What To Eat At The Franklin Flea (With Photos)


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So the Brooklyn Flea couldn’t hang in the ‘illadelphia, but since we like us some vintage knickknacks as much as the latest Bed-Stuy transplant, we’re lucky that Mark Vevle stepped up to craft our own version. The Franklin Flea, a pop up flea market, has operated the last several Saturdays in the space of the former Strawbridge’s at 801 Market Street. It’s definitely the place to go if your holiday shopping list includes things such as the following: assorted collection of mismatched wooden drawers, mid-century modern furniture, replica of a Vespa poster, vintage Pyrex, or locally-crafted jewelry. Even if your personal design aesthetic doesn’t include artfully placed typewriters, consider stopping by the Flea for the food.

If you’re in the market for edible gifts, consider picking up some of the delicious West Philly-made nut butters by PB & Jams. The honey walnut butter is especially fatty and delicious on it’s own and the spicy peanut butter is ready to slap as-is on some noodles. Righteous Felon is also on site, peddling their three flavors of handmade beef jerky. If spice is what you’re after, try one of the four hot sauces by Hank, or sample popcorn tossed with spicy, tangy Saint Lucifer.

There’s plenty that’s ready to eat as well. Some of our favorites are represented, including Hot Diggity, Milk + Sugar, Elixr, and Luke’s Lobster, but where the Flea really excels is in food from folks who you might not yet know. Organizer Mark Velve sees this as a key draw, because as long as potential food entrepreneurs can file the appropriate paperwork and partner with a certified kitchen to prep their food, the Flea’s indoor space is a great place to test the waters, and their recipes.

Among these newbies this past weekend were Nick Merlino’s porchetta sandwiches on focaccia, and Seoul Food Philly, whose offerings included a pulled pork sandwich “with Korean flair” and a fried kimchee and ribeye cheesesteak. Emily and Erick of Home Shoppe, currently a sandwich shop pop-up at Tiny Terra Firma in Manayunk, had four stately sandwiches on offer. The Study Abroad matched smoked turkey with caramelized onion, pecorino and red pepper sauce on a baguette, and the Sinclair (smashed avocado with mustard seed and olive oil on whole grain toast) offered a break from the more meat-heavy options.

While nobody would debate that cupcakes are delicious, it was awesome to see another, vegan, dairy and gluten free sweet option on hand.  Koliyan Cambodian Desserts are Moulika Anna Hitchens’ answers to her grandmother’s Cambodian sweets. Featuring coconut, tropical fruits, and starchy veggies and traditionally eaten as snacks instead of as dessert, they’re unlike anything else in Philly’s mobile food scene. At the Flea, try baht bun, sweet little coconut and cassava bites, and num asom, banana leaf wrapped coconut rice with jackfruit and black eyed peas.

The Franklin Flea has two more markets for the year--including a special, weekday market this Friday, the 20th from noon until 7:00, and Saturday, the 21st from 10 until 5:00.Check out the photos below.

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Franklin Flea [Official]

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  • danielle

    really glad to hear about the friday option!