If you love well-known food locations like Reading Terminal Market in Philly or Chelsea Market in NYC, but don’t feel like leaving the Lehigh Valley, then the Easton Public Market is a perfect place for a foodie adventure right in your own backyard. I’ve been wanting to go and see for myself what everyone has been raving about. And also being a lover of anything that is local and organic, I wanted to go show my support. After my trip last weekend, I can say the Easton Public Market may be a weekly destination for me.
My first impression walking in was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting the Easton Public Market to be so spacious. The high industrial ceilings and spacious, hardwood-floored walkways allow people to walk through with ease. My first stop was Mister Lee’s Noodles, which is on your right when you first come in.
The menu, though small, offer dishes with big flavor. I order the Dutch Ramen ($15), which had beef-mustard dashi, beef confit, sauerkraut, caramelized onions, braised kale, a 60-minute egg and pickled red onion. My friend opted for the Cold & Spicy Ramen ($12) that has cold ramen, ground pork, bok choy, soy, scallions, miso, sriracha and garlic oil. After ordering we sat at the counter and watched the chefs prepare our dishes. The presentation of my noodle bowl was so perfect I almost felt bad for digging in. The sourness of the sauerkraut and pickled red onions balanced out the richness of the broth and beef confit. The Cold & Spicy Ramen lives up to its name: it’s VERY spicy! Though the heat doesn’t overpower the rest of the flavors going on in the dish.
After having our leftovers packed, we figured what would be a better palate cleanser than a sweet crepe from Full of Crepe? It’s located right behind Dundore & Heister (which has a large variety of local, organic and pastured meats).
Our crepe of choice was the “Sweet P” ($7.50), which has hazelnut chocolate, peanut butter, fresh raspberries and crème anglaise. Unfortunately, they were out of crème anglaise, but they were kind enough to offer to add another ingredient instead, so we chose bananas. We were even allowed to choose between strawberries or raspberries, so we went with strawberries. Really we made our own crepe, but regardless it was still decadent. The crepe itself was light, and there was a perfect balance between fresh fruit and creamy peanut butter and hazelnut chocolate.
If you thought I’d be full by now, think again. I’d been fasting all day so I’d be able to try everything for your benefit (you’re welcome).
Next, we found ourselves sandwiched between The Taza Stop and More Than Q Barbecue Co. Attempting to be healthy with my next meal choice, I went over to The Taza Stop and ordered the Ta’ameya (Egyptian Falafel), which is ground fava beans mixed with herbs and spices, fried and served on freshly-baked pita with tomatoes, diced onions, fresh spinach and choice of sauce ($7). They offer tahini or garlic sauce, and I chose tahini. My friend went over to More Than Q Barbecue and ordered a Brisket Sandwich ($9). The falafel was crispy on the outside yet tender on the side, and the tahini sauce was the perfect creamy accompaniment. Sadly, I was only able to take a few bites before stomach couldn’t hold any more food. The brisket was cut right in front of us, and tasted as juicy as it looked.
Even though my jeans were feeling tight, I couldn’t leave without trying something from Scratch, which serves up fresh bread, pizza and refreshing ShawneeCraft beer. Technically, there aren’t single slices of pizza available.
But you can get a Poor Man’s Pizza ($6), which is a slice of 100 percent sourdough bread topped with plum tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and then toasted in their wood-fired oven. I got it to go, but snuck a quick bite so I could try it while it was fresh. This was like French bread pizza completely revamped. The bread was crispy, yet chewy. And the fresh ingredients topped with the saltiness of the cheese made a perfect bite. If I wasn’t so full, I would have finished the whole thing.
Just because I wasn’t going to eat anymore treats at the Easton Public Market, doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to take something home for later. I stopped over at Chocodiem and found myself in chocolate paradise. Here they have handcrafted chocolates, mousse, macarons and more. I somehow managed to practice self-control and only bought three truffles: naked dark chocolate, dark caramel and espresso (made with fieldstone espresso).
Dessert didn’t end there. Next we stopped at Debbie’s Pie in The Sky, where we got a bag filled with buttery cookies and a slice of Strawberry Rhubarb Blueberry Pie for later.
Before we made our way out, I couldn’t resist stopping at Olive With A Twist, where they have organic olive oils sourced from Northern California, balsamics, imported cheeses and more. There are many tempting flavors of olive oil but I kept it simple and went for the Koroneiki ($16), an extra virgin olive oil. I wish I could have stopped at more vendors, but my stomach (and wallet) didn’t allow it. Other unique places I will definitely be going back to try are are 3rd & Ferry Fresh Fish, Dundore & Heister, EPM Farmstand, Fieldstone Coffee & Tea, Tolino Vineyards and Youssef’s Fruit & Nut Gallery.
Don’t think the Easton Public Market is a place exclusively for foodies. This market welcomes you to come with your children, and almost every vendor I stopped at had a children’s menu option available. There is even the FreySmiles Kid’s Zone, a 200-square-foot space for your kids to play in while you can enjoy food and drinks. With all these great offerings, it’s really hard to find a reason not to venture to downtown Easton more often. Market hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Easton Public Market, 325 Northampton St., Easton, PA 18042
Call: (610) 330-9942
Kristina Gonzalez is a lifelong Lehigh Valley resident who works in the publishing industry. She enjoys dining out regularly and trying new restaurants in the area.