Head about 130 miles northeast to cheesesteak territory -- a.k.a. Philadelphia -- and you'll find a neighborhood, beaming with Italian history and culture at the nation’s oldest and largest working outdoor market, the 9th Street Italian Market.
Running from Wharton to Fitzwater street, the market is home to 100+ merchants, including pasta manufacturers, seven meat markets, cookware shops, and dozens of fruit and veggie vendors -- right along the streets where Rocky Balboa once famously (and, OK, fictionally) ran.
The market, which was a hub for Italian immigrants during the late 19th century, offers foodies a unique way to hand-pick fresh and authentic foods inexpensively.
The market goes beyond serving as a quintessential Philadelphian grocery hotspot, also offering tons of shops, bars and restaurants where you can dine or grab a drink. Your sense of smell is sure to pick up as you come across some of the market’s best cheese (DiBruno's), pastry (Isgro's) and hoagie shops (Sarcone's), topping our list of places to be sure to visit.
If you're in need of some 9th Street Market 101, take a guided tour of the famed marketplace to learn more about its history. For $20 per person, you can sample some of the shops' best foods and meet local store owners and workers.