Vote for York’s Central Market
I love York’s Central Market. And apparently so do a lot of other people in PA. Right now the American Farmland Trust is running a contest to determine America’s favorite farmer’s markets. Currently Central Market is #1 in PA in the voting! And is not far off from being America’s favorite, so please do your part and vote (you do have to search for Central Market in PA in order to vote here)! Voting ends August 31st.
Did you know York’s Central Market, built in 1888, is on the National Register of Historic Places? A coworker introduced me to the market (as us locals call it) a few years ago and I’ve been trying to pay it forward by introducing my friends ever since. So it’s about time I blog about it.
There is so much to see and buy there that I have yet to get to every place, but here is a list of my favorite food haunts to date:
Mezzogiorno AKA The Panini Place
This was the reason I started frequenting Central Market. Prior to enjoying lunch here on one blissful day a few years back, I had never had a panini. I used to hold a grudge against sandwiches in general as my mom used to pack the exact same turkey on stale-because-my-mom-freezes-everything bread every day. So for a long time I avoided eating sandwiches all together, but this place made me see the light. Grilled sandwiches are clearly superior to their cold counterparts! My absolute favorite is the #8. It’s a way upgraded panini version of a BLT, using tomato, mozzarella, avocado and bacon instead. But you simply have to give their specials a try too – they change them every week and never have the same thing twice! They also shut down for a couple of weeks in the summer to take an annual trip to Italy for “research”. Any place that shuts down for vacation is OK in my book.
Tina’s Greek Salad
I’ve only more recently discovered this place and am so glad I did. They make the best greek salad EVER. It’s got all my favorites, mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, onion and feta, LOTS of feta (I can’t even eat all of the cheese on this thing!) . The secret is in how they mix herbs and spices into the salad – NOT the dressing. I don’t know how it makes it taste differently, but it does. The dressing is also really delicious and simple and super healthy (although the piled high feta probably makes up for it). I’m pretty sure it’s just red wine vinegar (or could be apple cider vinegar) and oil. At first I thought I might still be hungry since there isn’t any meat in the salad, but I was full afterwards. The good full, not the roll-me-outta-here-there-is-no-way-I-can-finish-the-workday full. I’m just filled up enough until dinner.
You might think that with fries in the name the little spuds would be the main attraction. And while it is neat to watch them put a whole potato in their slicer contraption, pull the lever down, and pop out a handful of fries ready for the fryer, they have plenty of other yummy food to make a complete meal. The hubs favorite is their pulled pork sandwiches, which I can also vouch for as being ridiculously good. He has been known to order one meal and then an additional pork sandwich after he licks his fingers clean. This is definitely a stand you’ll want to get to early – they always have a line!
The Fish Market
You might think that by seeing seafood all over this stand, it would be a good healthy alternative, until you step closer and see that everything is fried to a deep golden delicious crisp! If you want a crab cake, this is the place to go. They also do a really thick cream of crab that is seasoned just right. I’m from Maryland, I know my way around a can of Old Bay. But go early. They run out of their most popular items and there is ALWAYS a line if you go after noon.
This stand is newer, but I am all ready absolutely in love with their spinach, cashew and goat cheese salad. It’s enough to fill you up, but light enough for a hot summer day. I have yet to experiment with their other food choices, but they seem to have more of a gourmet food type feel and change their specials frequently. They also make everything fresh on the spot right in front of you and use environmentally friendly containers.
This is just a list of the places I frequent for complete meals. I realized I have too many favorites at the market to contain them all in one list, so my next list will contain my favorite other places (including desserts, sides and produce). Here is a list of all of the vendors at Central Market.
I haven’t eaten at every stand at market, so please let me know what I’m missing!