From South Philly cannoli experts to Northeast rye masters, these 25 bakeries have defined Philly’s sweet baking history — and show no signs of slowing their roll.
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While debates still rage about whether a Philadelphia-made bagel can ever truly compete with New York standard bearers, it’s undeniable that our city has experienced something of a bagel renaissance in the past few years: newcomers like Knead, Spread, and the Bon Appétit-blessed Philly Style Bagels are doing new and exciting things, some of Philly’s longest-running bakeries that dominated the market for years are still turning out great bagels every morning, and even artisan bakeries are getting in on the action with limited-edition runs one or two days per week.
The next time you’re looking for a lox sandwich, an egg and cheese, or just a classic schmear, turn to one of these solid options.
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Pretzels at Alla Spina | Photo by Arthur Etchells
As a lifetime Philadelphian I’ve consumed more than my fare share of pretzels. Even with the knowledge that Philadelphians eat more than 12 times as many pretzels as the average American, I feel I consume more than all but the most zealous Philadelphia pretzel eaters. And it has been that way for a long time. In Catholic grade school, the soft pretzel was as much a part of any school day as prayer. I’ve had a pretzel with mustard for breakfast more often than any bowl of cereal. I still don’t blink at the thought of ordering a pretzel from any street vendor, though I’ve become suspicious of the watered-down mustard coming out of the squirt bottles (that’s why there are always mustard packets in my desk drawer). And I believe a certain amount of Philadelphia’s culture vanished when Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors, but that was disgusting.
Favorite Soft Pretzels »