Fox & Son Fair Foods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Reading Terminal Market, a 78,000-square-foot indoor market in central Philly, is home to Fox & Son Fair Foods, a vendor selling nostalgic carnival snacks with modern twists.

Amusement park vibes span a menu of savory and sweet favorites: corn dogs, cheese curds, loaded fries, and funnel cakes. Fresh, by-hand touches, though, take Fox & Son’s treats from midway to next level. Corn dogs are dipped in homemade buttermilk corn batter (or dairy- and egg-free batter) and available in mozzarella, beef, beef/pork, spicy pork or vegan (plant-based) versions. Fancy upgrades include a Korean-style version (panko crust drizzled in ketchup, mustard and sugar) or sweet potato batter. 

Cheddar cheese curds (fried or fresh) and hand-cut French fries get a gourmet boost: tossed in ranch, truffle and habanero seasonings, topped with chili cheese or curds and gravy to create Canadian poutine. Side sauces are also house-made: ranch, queso and honey mustard, to name a few.

From here, stroll around the Reading Terminal Market, funnel cake and fresh-squeezed lemonade in hand. The 1893-opened beauty, comprising eight iron-and-glass market houses in Victorian design, boasts a fascinating backstory. Under the Reading Railroad Company’s train shed, the covered market (one of only a few back then) was trendy and popular in its prime. Its state-of-the-art innovations included refrigerated storage for keeping seasonal produce year-round, refrigerated trucks, and a free delivery service allowing housewives in nearby suburban towns to order groceries to their nearest train station.

The market’s midyears weren’t profitable at all, though. The Great Depression and Reading Railroad Company’s 1976 bankruptcy both took their toll on a once bustling merchant hub.

Finally, the Reading Terminal Market is restored to its former glory. Since the 1990s, efforts to revitalize and preserve the building as a historic landmark and community hotspot have brought in a new generation of hungry crowds. Today, Reading is home to around a hundred food vendors like Fox & Son and visited by over 6 million people annually.

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