Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Lancaster Central Market is located within a historic brick building in the center of Amish country. The Market serves as a historical landmark and hotspot to purchase any beverage or food necessities, as well as décor and collectibles.


© Lancaster Central Market

People often intertwine Lancaster Central Market’s history with the general history of Lancaster City. In 1730, Andrew and James Hamilton designated a 120 square foot piece of land with the intent to create a large public market for the town they curated. While a 120 square foot public market might seem enormous, it made sense for Lancaster because the town was created with the intent to be a market town.

Although the Lancaster Central Market is currently magnificent and extremely popular, majority of the designated land was used as a place for a few farmers and other community members to sell produce and other random items. In 1757, a rough shed was built on the land, and ten years later a fire apparatus was installed in the same shed. In the same year, an arcade inspired building was built. This building combined the Market with a Lodge and City Hall. Currently, the building serves as a historical hotspot, where the Heritage Center Museum is located, as well as a few retail stores and a Visitor’s Center.

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2.More History

More History
© Lancaster Central Market

Although historians have not been able to narrow it down to exact numbers, historians believe at one point the market contained more than 400 stands. This makes sense, as older versions of the market utilized an exponentially larger space than what the current market building uses. Although the Market quickly became popularized, the desire and need for fresh food led to many “curb markets” being established in various areas of town.

In 1889, the present day Romanesque Revival Lancaster Central Market building was designed and built by James Warner, a renowned architect. Warner was able to design and construct the building in less than half a year. Notable features of the Lancaster Central Market building include a combination of stone and brick work, intricate tower designs, and a terra cotta roof. Since the building was built in 1889, only a few structural changes have occurred. Other than the required changes to maintain the building, the Lancaster Central Market has retained majority of its original design and structure.

For over 275 years, the Lancaster Central Market has continued to be owned and operated by the same families, as well as provide fresh and local foods and services to the Lancaster community. It is this historical significance, renowned architecture, and fresh foods that have let the Lancaster Central Market maintain its recognition as one of America’s Greatest Public Places since 1995.

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3.Market Directory

Market Directory
© Lancaster Central Market

There are more than ten entrances into the Lancaster Central Market. Visitors can enter from any side of the building, which means the Lancaster Central Market can be accessed from Queen Street, Orange Street, King Street, or Prince Street. Inside the Market, visitors can explore products from any of the 70 vendors. There is also a restroom, located in the corner of the Market near one of the Queen Street entrances. The vendors within the Lancaster Central Market are divided among the following categories:

· Farm Produce, Flowers, & Garden includes vendors such as; Barr’s Farm Produce, Groff’s Vegetables, Spring Knoll Farm, and Thomas Produce.

· Meats, Poultry, & Fish features vendors such as; Carr’s at Central Market, Mr. Bill’s Seafood, Shenk’s Poultry, The German Deli, and The turkey Lady.

· Bread, Specialty Cheese, & Dairy includes the following vendors; Lancaster Farmhouse, Maplehofe Dairy, Ric’s Breads, ad Zig’s Bakery.

· Coffees and Teas is comprised of the following five vendors; Lancaster County Coffee Roasters, Mean Cup, Pureblend Tea, Shady Maple, and The Herb Shop.

· Specialty Grocery has an array of vendors like; Amish Family Recipes, New York Pickles, Lancaster Pet Bakery, and Saife’s Middle Eastern Food.

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4.More Market Directory

More Market Directory
© Lancaster Central Market

· Crafts, Collectibles, & Home Décor includes vendors such as Flower Garden Crafts and Pineapple Home Creations.

· Ethnic Food features vendors such as Rafiki’s Deli and Stella’s Greek Cuisine.

· Soup, Sandwiches, & Salads is comprised of a variety of vendors, such as Buona Tavola, Kom Essa, and Pantry on Market.

· Pastry, Ice Cream, Chocolate includes a variety of vendors, such as Prince Street Biscotti, Shady Maple, and Sweet Legacy Gourmet.

· Candy and Snacks includes vendors such as The Candy Stand and Miesse Candies.

For a full list of the Lancaster Central Market’s vendors, check out the Market’s Directory, which is located on their official website.

23 North Market Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 17603, Phone: 717-735-6890

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Best Things to Do in PA: Lancaster Central Market