Alongside legendary Philly stalwarts like Sarcone’s and Kaplan’s, excellent bread bakeries — where you can find crusty sourdough made with local stone-ground flour or shiny challah loaves braided to perfection — are a dime a (baker’s) dozen in Philly. There is something for every taste: old school, new school, seeded, enriched, sweet, savory, crunchy, and melt-in-your-mouth and airy. What’s more, with an adjacent booming bagel scene, most of the following places offer those bready brunch staples regularly for those who can’t imagine a Saturday without a schmear. Looking for cookies and cannoli instead of sourdough and rye? Bakeries excelling in the sweet side of things are here.Read More
Where to Get a Loaf of Bread in Philly That You’ll Never Forget
From airy, eggy challah to crusty, crunchy sourdough, Philly’s bread-baking scene is on the rise
Available at the Germantown Kitchen Garden Farm Stand in Germantown and High Point Cafe in Mount Airy, and with delivery to those neighborhoods plus East Falls, Michael’s Bread is the kind of blistered sourdough that you’d encounter at a classic Parisian boulangerie. Baked in a wood-fired oven, the bread is great for sandwiches and toast. Keep an eye on social media for where Michael’s will be available that week. Never want to go without? Folks in Northwest Philly can sign up for a weekly subscription here.
Ursa Bakery’s Claire Kopp McWilliams was the head baker and miller at Vetri, eventually going on to co-write a book on the subject with chef Marc Vetri called Mastering Bread. And master it, she has: At Ursa Bakery, a micro-bakery that pops up weekly at a handful of different locations around the city, McWilliams uses local grain to make artisan fougasse, sesame bread, spelt honey loaves, and even granola. She’s at the East Falls farmers market on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, and a handful of other places that you can find here. Preorders are welcome.
Lost Bread Co. (Multiple Locations)
Baker Alex Bois is something of a legend in Philly. His Lost Bread Co. became part of a new wave of bread-making in Philly when it opened in 2017, with crusty loaves made with stone-ground local flours, seedy sandwich breads, and those signature pretzel shortbreads. Lost Bread is available at farmers’ markets, the original Howard Street location, and now at a second brick-and-mortar in Rittenhouse, where bagels and pizza made with regional flour — and wonderful pastries by pastry chef Lex Ridgeway — are hearty in all the right ways.
Kaplan's New Model Bakery
For over a hundred years, Kaplan’s New Model Bakery has been baking up feather-light challah loaves, flavorful Jewish rye breads in half a dozen varieties, and bready bagels that are true stunners. Everything they sell is certified kosher and truly delicious.
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The Kettle Black
This Northern Liberties spot makes serious bagels, seasonal loaves, croissants, pastries, and pretzels that are all top contenders for the best bread in Philadelphia, with some great vegan options to boot. It’s walk-up only, and open in the morning from Thursday to Sunday, so when the mood strikes for something carb-y, be prepared. Coffee and specialty lattes are also available.
High Street Philly
Part bakery, part all-day restaurant, High Street Philly sells some of the best artisanal bread in town, like spelt baguettes, buckwheat cherry loaves, and anadama miches. The fluffy challahs — seeded and plain — are available on Fridays. Preorders can be made for pickup or delivery online.
A bonus feature of dining at Parc on Rittenhouse Square is the bread basket, but eating at the restaurant isn’t a requirement: Parc sells loaves of all classic French varieties and styles to go.
Metropolitan Bakery (multiple locations)
Opened in 1993, Metropolitan Bakery perhaps holds the title of grand dame of Philadelphia artisanal bread shops. It still lovingly churns out a multiplicity of loaves — from raisin nut to organic spelt — and all of them are great. You’ll find these loaves at their Rittenhouse Square and University City locations but also all over the city at a range of cafes.
The story goes that French baker Bastien Ornano moved to Philadelphia for love. Tasting his line of viennoiserie, including his swoon-worthy croissants, confirms this is true. But also swing by (come early) for baguettes and a very popular country loaf. Everything is très Français.
For nearly a century, Sarcone’s has represented the gold standard in Philadelphia bread baking. Freshly made plain and sesame-seeded loaves line the walls of this small, cash-only Italian Market shop. Tearing into a warm loaf of crusty Italian bread while strolling down Ninth Street is a unique Philly pleasure.
Function Coffee Labs
Thursday to Sunday, this local favorite coffee shop has sourdough loaves available to pair with a weekend coffee run (try their specialty lattes in flavors like blueberry lavender and orange creamsicle). Wheat-heads will also be pleased to learn that Function has an array of delectable pastries, namely sourdough croissants that are no joke.
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This is where to go for dense, old school Sicilian-style bread out of a wood-fired oven. Does the wood fire matter? It does. The rough-hewn texture feels like access to a Sicily (and Philadelphia) of another age.
Mighty Bread Company
Handmade sourdough pretty much says it all about Mighty Bread Co. and owner Chris DiPiazza’s special baked goods. He worked in a rented space for a couple years before opening this South Philly bakery where he employs a natural fermentation process to create crusty sourdough in varieties that include seeded, chocolate, rustic olive, cheese, and more. Preorders can be placed a day in advance.
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Baker Tova du Plessis makes desert island babka. Last rites babka. Stick-’em-up-give-me-the-babka-and-nobody-gets-hurt kind of babka. But since babka for every meal is frowned upon, there’s also excellent rye bread, challah, and a rotating list of new options for all tastes and occasions.
Artisan Boulanger Patissier
James Beard Award nomination letters dot the wall at this French bakery owned by Amanda Eap and Andre Chin. The baguettes and country loaves are given a properly long and slow eight-hour rise and finished in a steam-injection oven for supreme crust and crumb. Don’t skip the divine almond croissants either, and banh mi on their signature banh mi rolls are a standout.
Dulce Artisanal Pastry
Across the river in Collingswood, Dulce Artisanal Pastry is a go-to for sweet treats of all stripes, from lime mint tarts to almond plum croissants. But it also has a robust bread program, with French baguettes, white sandwich loaves, chocolate Puerto Rican mallorcas, and sourdough semolina boules, all worth taking home.