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Question: Where in West Philadelphia can one buy clothing, books, tapes, snacks, prepared food and get a haircut all in one store? Answer: At Makkah Market, located across from the mosque at 43rd and Walnut.

Opened in 1996, Makkah Market has become the place to go for a diverse offering of Middle Eastern and African Halal dishes. Open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Makkah is a great option for anyone looking for food past one in the morning. The late hours make the market a popular stop for cabbies, and although the doors lock later at night, there is a window for orders.

The market's best offerings are the prepared foods, which are fast, delicious, and cheaper than any Middle Eastern food cart around campus. The market serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. The chicken shawerma sandwich is a generous portion for $3.50 and comes stuffed in lafa (flatbread) with tempeh salad and tzitiki. For dessert, there is a selection of baked goods prepared on the premises, all for $1. The baklava is perfectly flaky and sweet.

Both credit and debit cards are accepted, though there is a $5 minimum for debit and $10 minimum for credit purchases, and given Makkah's low prices it's not out of the question you'll be purchasing extra food to reach the limit.

The market's offerings, however, are not limited to prepared food. The selection of groceries, although smaller than those of Fresh Grocer and Supremo, is exotic compared to FroGro's banal offerings. Makkah is the perfect place to stock up on snacks. Cookies from Uelker, a Turkish company, are $1.95 a bag. Those looking for nutrition information, however, are out of luck. Many of the packages lack detailed info, and others offer it only in Arabic.

The back of the store has a full deli and a seating area with televisions tuned to Arabic news. The barbershop is upstairs and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you're tired of eating the same Greek Lady sandwiches and Qdoba burritos, then head down Walnut to Makkah Market - the food is cheaper, better, and more diverse than anything campus can offer.

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