A Look Inside Central Market Lancaster County Pennsylvania

by Oct 31, 2021

I wandered through Central Market on a recent trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I literally stumbled upon it as I was photographing the historical character of Lancaster. At the time I had no idea how much history there was around the market.

Central Market is the oldest, continuously running public farmers’ market in the country. Central Market began in 1730 when farmers would sell their wares on a field on the estate of Andrew and Ann Hamilton. King George II designated Lancaster as a market town and by royal decree proclaimed Lancaster was to hold “two markets in each week … of the year forever in the lot of ground already agreed upon for that purpose and granted for that use.” Since that time there have been market days continuously. That is a long time!

The current building began operation in Central Market has operated out of its current location since November 1889That was 132 years ago. The market itself has been in operation for 291 years

The building was designed by architect James H Warner, which was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. I love the brickwork, the arched windows, and the doors. This 20,540 square-foot brick building is quite a bit smaller than Pike’s Place in Seattle.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Stoltzfus Home Style Bakery
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA

The line was long at this establishment.  They offer baked goods, canned goods, PA Dutch pastas, meadow tea, and Maple Syrup. Their glazed pretzels are popular. 

Central Market Flowers by Perfect Pots
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA
Central Market Flowers by Perfect Pots offers a variety of  buds, and greens, and seasonal flowers.  They have a farm just north of Lancaster.
Rooster Street Butcher
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA

Rooster Street, was founded byTony and Kristina Page who wanted to share their love of food. Their  goal was to remind people that healthy meat and simple ingredients can be transcendent, can be found locally and is worth sharing with others. 

Kom Essa

Kom Essa means “come eat,” a Pennsylvania Dutch phrase used at mealtimes to call family and friends to the table. The stand is owned by Elmer and Miriam Beiler. They sell hot dogs, sausages, handmade soft pretzels, and breakfast sandwiches.

Biscotti by Amish Family Recipes
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA

I was so tempted to break my gluten free diet and get me some biscotti. Hello jar of Pistachio Cranberry. In fact, I circled by 5 times, but my will power held.  Besides biscotti, Amish Family Recipes  sells 44 different varieties of jarred foods.  That include salsas, jams, dressings, mustards, and pickled vegetables. All of them are Amish and Mennonite recipes.  They also sell stroopies.  I had to look that one up. A stroopie is a Dutch stroopwafel.  Basically, it is a cinnamon cookie, made with a waffle iron. And it has a layer of caramel in the inside.  Sounds yummy.

Longs Horseradish
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA

Long’s Horseradish has been made fresh for five generations. It began in the late 19th century in Germany and have been selling in the US since 1902.  I was really wanting to buy a bottle as I love horseradish, but the though of carrying it around for nearly a month swayed me against it.  I have since tried to purchase it from their website, but they didn’t have any for sale there.

Rows of Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vendor Unknown)
Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA

I forgot which vendor this was. They looked yummy – but I have that whole gluten free thing going on.

Sausage Vendor

Well there I go again, forgetting the name of this vendor.  If I had a fridge and a kitchen available I would have gotten some sausage. They had a wide variety of sausage available.  If anyone knows the name of the vendor, please let me know.

Exterior of Central Market Lancaster, PA


  • Central Market is wheelchair-accessible at doors #1 and #2 on the southeast corner of the Market House, closest to Penn Square. While most of our 13 doors require a few steps, the entryways through both of those doors are at street level.


23 N Market St
Lancaster, PA 17603




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Leisa Watkins

Leisa Watkins is the founder of Cultivating Health, Happiness and Joy. She believes life is meant to be enjoyed and experienced in abundance. She is on a mission to help people break through barriers and avoid roadblocks in life while creating a life they love. She also shares tips on getting more out of life, despite it's challenges on our Instagram channel. Please follow us.


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