Central Market in Lancaster City

In the mid-1700s, King George dubbed Lancaster City as a market town and required that from then on till eternity Lancaster was to have two market days a week. Till this day, they honor that though King George is no longer on the thrown and we are no longer subservient to the British Crown. Two market days happen every week; in fact, the city has added a third market day. Central Market is open on Tuesdays from 6 AM to 4 PM; Fridays from 6 AM to 4 PM; and on Saturday from 6 AM a.m. to 2 PM.

My first experience with Central Market was visiting there during Mr. Rome’s fifth-grade class on the class field trip. I had visited different markets before like Green Dragon and Roots Country Market. Having grown up at the Hertzog Homestead, I’d really not been in Lancaster City before that. The entire experience was mesmerizing. I remember exploring the local streets and shops. But the thing that I remember most was Mr. Rome buying me a kumquat.

Later when I was a parent and had children, I took them back to Central Market along with my wife to have them experience the kumquat, And yes 20+ years later, there was a still a fruit stand selling the kumquat.

Just this past weekend, my daughter and I visited Central Market once again. We were downtown Lancaster to attend a convention at the Marriott Hotel where the Anime and Manga convention Zenkaikon was going on. We arrived early because parking is always rough at these conventions. We decided to walk over to Central Market to grab some breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny day and great for walking around the city.  We walked to Central Market from the convention center, a five-minute walk.  We explored Central Market, passing meat stands, flower stands, fish stands, tea stands, and many, many other stands with tons of delicious looking baked goods. I finally ended up at Mean Cup, a coffee stand that makes absolutely excellent coffee. I gave my daughter a few dollars, and she went off in search of some breakfast. She came back with donuts from Shady Maple, who we mentioned on this podcast before (they are part of Shady Maple Smorgasbord). After I got my coffee, I ran into some friends of ours who worked at the Fulton Theatre. That’s the thing about Central Market especially if you are a local person.  You encounter people that you know there almost all the time. Later that day when we needed a break from the convention, we went back to Central Market to get her lunch. We ended up at S. Clyde Weavers, who has different stores around the county. I ordered a delicious ham sub and my daughter ordered a breakfast burrito.We could’ve eaten our food at Central Market; they have a few tables at the one in the market where one could sit down and eat. There are also places outside on a beautiful day like Saturday was to sit outside the market and just watch city life past by. The entire area is idyllic and very historic. There are plenty of small shops and restaurants to explore beyond the boundaries of Central Market within walking distance. Truly a beautiful unique area to visit.


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