Here’s Where to Eat Flaky, Crispy, Cheesy Borek in Philly
The Middle Eastern baked treat is also called boreg, byrek, or burek, depending on where it's made.
We all know that Philly is a bread lover’s dream — but our chefs’ and bakers’ expertise goes beyond baguettes, bagels, rustic loaves, and croissants. Enter borek (or boreg, byrek, or burek, depending on who’s making it), pockets of flaky, tender phyllo dough made across the Middle East and surrounding regions. They’re traditionally stuffed with cheese, but the possibilities are endless. Here’s where to get your hands on borek in Philadelphia.
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Authentik Byrek, University City
While byrek are just starting to show up on Philly’s trendiest restaurant menus, there’s a whole food truck devoted to traditional and updated takes on the savory pastry. Posting up on the 3500 block of Market Street on Drexel’s campus, Authentik Byrek offers a traditional beef-and-onion pastry as well as Philly cheesesteak, spicy sausage and white bean, and chicken tomato pesto.
Camille Cogswell’s menu at CookNSolo’s new Israeli bakery and cafe serves as a tasting tour of Middle Eastern breads and pastries — with a full section devoted to borekas, filled with potato, briny Bulgarian feta, jam and sweet cheese, or earthy Swiss chard.
Apricot Stone, Northern Liberties
Chef Fimy Ishkhanian offers these crispy pillows of phyllo stuffed with different cheeses — melted mozzarella, farmers’ cheese, and a house-made Armenian cheese — on the mezze menu at her Mediterranean-Middle Eastern-Armenian BYO.
Stina, South Philly
Much of the menu at Bobby Saritsoglou’s West Passyunk restaurant is centered around its wood-burning oven, which turns out pizzas, pitas, fire-kissed veggies, and Turkish-style borek filled with smoked kashkaval cheese, topped with sesame, and drizzled with honey.
Isot, Bella Vista
Borek get a whole section of the menu at this long-running Turkish spot off South Street. Take your pick of pastry: pacanga, stuffed with soujouk (dry-cured sausage), tomatoes, peppers, and mozzarella; a mixed veggie version; or classic spinach, parsley, and feta cheese.
Renata’s Kitchen, West Philly
This neighborhood spot on Baltimore Avenue offers breakfast, brunch, and lunch with a Middle Eastern touch—and makes its own flaky pastries, including two kinds of burekka: airy pastry triangles stuffed with your choice of spinach and feta cheese or mushrooms and caramelized onions.