💌 Love Philly? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.
The train shed above Reading Terminal Market hasn’t welcomed any trains since the 1980s, but it’s feeling a little bit like the Hogwarts Express just arrived at the market.
To help promote Harry Potter: The Exhibition — an immersive touring exhibit that made its debut at the Franklin Institute last month and will be there through September — Reading Terminal vendors are debuting Harry Potter-themed snacks and items. Think butterbeer whoopie pies, owl cookies, and house-themed smoothies.
It’s up to individual merchants to decide whether they offer the treats daily or just on occasion, More vendors are expected to join the Harry Potter-party with additional items later this month. The specials should be available at least through the end of March, with the potential to continue for longer, according to RTM spokesperson London Faust.
Of course the camera’s gotta eat first with themed food like this (tag #LoveRTM to make the market happy), and you can also catch a fun selfie. In Piano Court, right behind Miller’s Twist, there’s a Hogwarts Express backdrop, with plans to add some props for visitors to use in the coming week.
At the center of the market, Philbert the Pig is donning glasses, a pointed hat, and a Gryffindor scarf to celebrate the occasion (and he looks SO FREAKING CUTE).
Here’s a look at some of the participating vendors and their spellbinding specials.
El Merkury at the Market: Hogwarts house churros
This Central American spot in Center City opened a sister location in Reading Terminal Market last year. The stand has fare originating from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, including some popular breakfast options. For the Harry Potter promotion, look for churros themed after the four Hogwarts houses, like sugary Hufflepuff or spicy Slytherin.
Famous 4th Street Cookies: Wizard cookies
A presence in the market since 1982, Famous 4th is known for warm-from-the-oven cookies loaded with nuts or chocolate. For this promo, they’re going a different direction, with dipped sugar cookies decorated with different Potter-related designs. Look for Hedwig or Harry’s face, and the Deathly Hallows symbol.
Tambayan: Pumpkin cake
Tambayan, founded and run by chef Kathy Mirano, serves Filipino cuisine inspired by her grandmother’s recipes. It’s putting forward a pumpkin cake as part of the local Potter-mania.
Molly Malloy’s: Harry Potter pop tarts
Molly Malloy’s, a family-run spot for comfort food with the market’s only beer on tap,, has rotating Potter-themed pop tart flavors. The butterbeer pop tart special unfortunately ended on Thursday (yeah, I’m sad I missed it too — lmk if you’ve got a time turner I can use). The new version is the Half Blood Prince, made with sweet and tart red currant fruit filling.
Pennsylvania General Store: Wands of pretzel
A one-stop-shop for Pennsylvania and Philly favorites, the Pennsylvania General Store is selling the Wizarding World answer to their popular chocolate-covered pretzels: pretzel wands.
Flying Monkey Bakery: Butterbeer whoopie pies
Operating in the market since 2010, this stand bakes up all kinds of sweets in small batches (don’t miss the Thanksgiving season pie-inside-a-cake “Pumpple”). For the next few weeks, you can find butterbeer-flavored whoopie pies, with soft cookies sandwiching a buttercream take on the popular Hogsmeade drink.
Old City Coffee: London Fog tea
Old City Coffee, in operation at the market since 1988, offers coffee made from beans roasted in house, along with other drinks. In a nod to the British series, London Fog tea is a special on th emenu.
Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialties: Hogwarts house smoothies
This stand offers traditional Middle Eastern fare, from shawarma to smoothies to falafel made from a recipe the owners have been using since 1981. In the Harry Potter spirit, they’re adding four different smoothie flavors, each based on a Hogwarts house.
Fox and Son Fancy Corndogs: ‘Diag’Onion Alley’ rings
This spot for freshly made, gluten-free, carnival-style foods is serving up “Diag’Onion Alley” rings: seasoned onion rings drizzled with honey mustard sauce and Heinz ketchup (Gryffindor colors!).
A Taste of Spain: Wizard-themed Iberico cones
The stand that offers tapas, Spanish desserts, and specialty gourmet products from Spain is rolling out wizard-themed Iberico cones. The bite-sized meat or cheese piled high in a paper cone is topped with sparkly skewers with symbols from the series.
Herbiary: Stones, wands, books, and candles
This shop looks to draw “cooks, crafters, and kitchen witches” with offerings like herbal toiletries, remedies, and tchotchkes. Plenty of magic-related items are on sale, like stones, wands, books on mystical topics, and two types of spell candles: one for protection and the other for inner peace.