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Good/great bakeries in Philly?

chocokitty Apr 17, 2013 07:46 AM


I'm a first time visitor to Philly and I'm driving down from NYC. I'm not sure what bakeries are considered very good to great in your city?

What I consider good/great bakeries in NYC would be Dominique Ansel, Bread's Bakery, Epicerie Boulud, Balthazar, Bouchon Bakery (not their macarons), Bien Cuit and SCRATCHBread (the owner for the latter has some crazy versions of classic bread that I adore).

Please assist and thanks in advance!


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  1. b
    barryg RE: chocokitty Apr 17, 2013 07:58 AM

    Plenty are very good but I think these are great:
    Termini's (old school Italian) - Visit the original South Philly location if you can. Their outposts are fine too, the original is just more fun.
    Artisan Boulanger Patissier (french) - best baguettes and croissants -- though Parc restaurant makes great baguettes too
    Four Worlds Bakery (eclectic)
    Market Day Canele - no retail location but sold at La Colombe coffeehouses in Center City and at some farmer's markets)
    Nook Bakery & Coffeehouse - muffins and pastries are excellent. Wish the coffee was as good.

    8 Replies
    1. re: barryg
      Buckethead RE: barryg Apr 17, 2013 08:04 AM

      I'll second Termini's and Artisan Boulanger and add Belle Cakery.

      1. re: barryg
        chocokitty RE: barryg Apr 17, 2013 08:12 AM

        Thanks for the suggestions!

        Speaking of coffee, do you know of any good third wave coffeeshops? I know La Colombe (they have a few outposts in NYC) but is there any others?

        Thanks again!


        1. re: chocokitty
          SP1 RE: chocokitty Apr 17, 2013 08:54 AM

          Agree with Termini's, Artisan Boulanger, & Belle Cakery. All awesome, very close to each other. And, then you can get the coffee at Ultimo or Chhya (or both). All within walking distance.

          1. re: SP1
            bluehensfan RE: SP1 Apr 17, 2013 10:01 AM

            Termini's has excellent cannoli and you will want to get bread from Metropolitan. Both have locations in Reading Terminal Market. Some of the pies are good at Magpie but some are not...

            As far as coffee (from a non-drinker's perspective) La Colombe is good as is Elixir and people seem to get very excited about Ultimo.

          2. re: chocokitty
            barryg RE: chocokitty Apr 17, 2013 09:05 AM

            La Colombe is not third wave. Ultimo was just called best in the country by a survey by DailyPlate. I can't vouch for that but I do think it's the best in the city. They were also stocking bread, bagels and pastries from Four Worlds at one time, not sure if they still do. Chhaya is pretty good for brunch if that fits with your schedule.

            1. re: barryg
              SP1 RE: barryg Apr 17, 2013 09:20 AM

              Didn't LeBan (local top food critic) rate Chhya and Ultimo as a tie for best in the city? I'd have one at Chhya, then Ultimo and pick up some special beers to take off the caffiene edge! (Ultimo has a great selection of beers).

              1. re: SP1
                barryg RE: SP1 Apr 17, 2013 11:05 AM

                No Chhaya was #4. http://www.philly.com/philly/restaura...

                The list is a couple years old at this point.

          3. re: barryg
            Hansel RE: barryg Apr 22, 2013 08:23 PM

            Here's another vote for Market Day Canele. It's just the one pastry, but what a delight! The best canele I have had anywhere. They are usually at the Saturday Rittenhouse Market and the Sunday Headhouse Square Market, and I believe (though am not positive) that both markets would be open over the 4th of July weekend.

          4. c
            chocokitty RE: chocokitty Apr 17, 2013 12:21 PM

            Thanks everyone! I'll look into them (and the suggested coffee spots)!

            I'll be in Philly during the July 4th weekend. Hopefully, they're all open then. :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: chocokitty
              SP1 RE: chocokitty Apr 18, 2013 12:48 PM

              Considering you'll be over the July 4th weekend, besides checking to see if places will be open, may want to avoid the Center City area. Unless you want to take in the festivities. The places in South Philly will be very relaxed, lots of people leave town that weekend.

              1. re: SP1
                chocokitty RE: SP1 Apr 18, 2013 01:11 PM

                I was thinking there might be a few that might close during that weekend. Thanks for the tips!

                1. re: chocokitty
                  barryg RE: chocokitty Apr 18, 2013 01:17 PM

                  I doubt the Center City ones will be closed -- if anything the places in South Philly are more likely to close as they don't get nearly as much tourist traffic. Call ahead.

            2. s
              sueyee RE: chocokitty Apr 18, 2013 11:47 AM

              I like Tarte for their lemon bars and coconut macaroons. Sadly, I haven't found any good french macaroons in Philly yet.

              I haven't tried it, but I've also heard good things about Elixr near Rittenhouse Square.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sueyee
                chocokitty RE: sueyee Apr 18, 2013 01:12 PM

                Thanks, suyee for the suggestions! I've heard of Elixir for a while and I'm penciling that down.

              2. Delucacheesemonger RE: chocokitty Apr 18, 2013 01:31 PM

                While there are many good patisserie items in Philadelphia, to compare them to Balthazar, Tomcat, Amy's, Sullivan St, and others for bread is regretfully not going to happen. IMHO next to Paris, New York is the best bread town in the world and l miss it when trying to buy bread in Philadelphia. Great bagels yes, but that is it. Good baguette in Manayunk at Main St Market. Metropolitan and Le Bus are for me just meh.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  barryg RE: Delucacheesemonger Apr 18, 2013 03:10 PM

                  Do you really believe Philly has more good bagel bakeries than bread? That's insane.

                  1. re: barryg
                    Delucacheesemonger RE: barryg Apr 18, 2013 11:06 PM

                    Sorry, not more, nor better but NY Bagel at City Line and Haverford Ave does compare to Ess-A-Bagel,Tal and others in Manhattan, while l feel no breads are in the same league as those in NY.

                2. h
                  Hungryin theBurbs RE: chocokitty Apr 18, 2013 04:48 PM

                  Nobody has really mentioned Metropolitan, but I know many Europeans and New Yorkers who consider it among the best bread they've had and make a point of going there when the come to visit me.

                  1. a
                    arepo RE: chocokitty Apr 21, 2013 05:07 AM

                    And if you find yourself driving outside center city into the suburbs, make sure not to miss arguably the finest of all bakeries in Wayne, Pa called Aux Petits Delices. It doesn't get any better than this. http://www.auxpetits.com/

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