Best Shopping: Billed as the oldest and largest working market in the US, historic 9th Street looks, sounds and smells more or less as it did when it was founded in the early 1900s. In those days, if you were on the quest for fresh cheese, pastries, herbs, produce, seafood, meats and pastas, you could buy it from sidewalk carts and store-front businesses along the street. Today's outdoor market, which runs from Wharton to Fitzwater streets, continues to fill that niche. What's more, visitors also find folks vending everything from cookware to antiques, jewelry to sporting goods both indoors and on the sidewalk. Over the past several years more immigrant groups have moved in and opened up their shops, so now this isn't just the best place to buy fresh gnocchi, you can now also lunch on authentic Vietnamese sandwiches and spicy tacos. Plan to hit the market in the morning.
Local Expert Sharon Rigney Says:
Best Shopping: "For a real insider's view of the local ethnic scene, walk a few blocks farther south down Passyunk Avenue – past the singing fountain – to see caged live animals in queue to be turned into food."
Recommended as Best Shopping Because: This little chunk of Italian South Philly is a great place to experience the old-school Philadelphia food scene.