Allentown Fairground Farmers Market

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The Allentown Fairground Farmers Market is a carnival for carnivores. Pick up some meaty slab bacon, along with an assortment of the local ring bologna. There are regional specialties like souse and scrapple, all homemade. Savory pies, not just chicken but corn and cheese also, are to be found all over the market.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle | September 09, 2007

We tend to think of farmers markets as a source for locally grown tomatoes and corn, sweet and pristine berries picked that morning, and root vegetables still caked with moist soil. So a farmers market in Pennsylvania steel and coal country, in December, would turn up little of interest, right? Not so!

The Allentown Fairground Farmers Market is a meat-eater’s mecca, a carnival for carnivores, a festival of… well, you get the idea, there’s some good meat to be found here. Particularly interesting is the selection of various locally processed and smoked meats. We picked up some of the meatiest slab bacon we’ve ever seen (cooked, it was heaven), along with an assortment of the local ring bologna. There are regional specialties like souse and scrapple, all homemade. Even for area residents familiar with the blocks of Habbersett scrapple sold in supermarkets, it is fascinating to see all the different varieties of scrapple available here, along with arcana like liver pudding and sliced tripe and homemade headcheese.

There’s plenty to eat on the spot, too. We had some warm, homemade pierogis with sauteed onions from a stand that also sold some of the most tempting chicken pies imaginable. Savory pies, not just chicken but corn and cheese also, are to be found all over the market, as is that sweet local specialty, shoofly pie. We saw some incredible-looking giant stuffed pork chops, two bones thick and softball-shaped, cooked and ready for devouring then and there, or ready to cook at home. Generous samples of the butchers’ wares are available too, and it’s fun tasting and learning about the differences between the various smoked sausages and ring bolognas.

There’s much, much more available: homemade jams and jellies (we picked up some locally prepared horseradish), bakeries, produce stands, doughnuts, a fish market, a poultry market, Italian food, flea-market-type stands, and the list just goes on and on. There’s even a full supermarket at one end of the large brick exhibition building which houses the market. The merchants are country-store helpful, and prices are amazingly low.

The market is open from Thursday through Saturday. We wouldn’t dream of passing through when the market’s open without stopping at this Pennsylvania treasure.

What to Eat
Allentown Fairground Farmers Market, Chicken Pie
Chicken Pie
Must-Try
Can't say we've seen a more irresistable-looking dish than these homemade chicken pies.
Allentown Fairground Farmers Market, Filling
Filling
Must-Try
Filling covered in gravy from Dan's. Whatever you decide to eat from Dan's, be sure to get some of this weighty stuff.
Allentown Fairground Farmers Market, Hungarian Roll
Hungarian Roll
We purchased a poppy seed Hungarian roll from The Kiffle Kitchen. Hungarian rolls are a type of strudel made with pastry dough. It was fantastic! Kiffles are little bowties of crust wrapped around fruit or nut fillings.
Allentown Fairground Farmers Market, Pierogis
Pierogis
The pierogis were as good as they look.
Directions and Hours
open now
SundayCLOSED
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
WednesdayCLOSED
Thursday9am - 8pm
Friday8am - 8pm
Saturday8am - 6pm
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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