Dessert eaters rejoice: Here are my favorite bakeries in Philadelphia
I take my sweets very, very seriously. I was raised in a family of dessert people, and we are a picky bunch. As a frequent dessert eater and amateur (though extremely untalented) baker, I won't settle for dry grocery store cupcakes or mass-produced cookies. I need treats with some imagination, some oomph. My pastries need to give me the ol' razzle-dazzle.
I already had a few favorite bakeries in Philadelphia, but I decided to use this post as an excuse to visit some that I had been meaning to try. I spent a few weeks eating my weight in cookies, brownies and all different kinds of sweets. It was glorious.
From classic pound cake to cookies with googly eyes and jimmies, I've found my eight favorite dessert spots in the city. But, of course, I'm always open to new suggestions.
Cake Life Bake Shop
1306 Frankford Ave
I love a bakery that sells cake by the slice. This BYOB bakery also makes killer cookies, cupcakes and other sweet and savory pastries (it's also a coffee shop). But if you can only get one thing, for the love of all things holy, get the honey and lavender cake. It is, hands down, the best cake I've ever had in my life.
262 S 19th St
Metro isn't just great for breads. While you're picking up your daily baguette (that's a thing, right?), treat yourself to a piece of chocolate stout cake or a cherry and dark chocolate sea salt cookie. They also make some vegan offerings. As a chaser for your sweet treat, you should also pick up one of their sea salt and fennel soft pretzels, a personal obsession of mine.
1255 Marlborough St
This tiny corner bakery is easy to miss, but worth searching for. I love their mini peanut butter and jelly cookies and homemade Oreos, but I also swear by their brownies and cupcakes. And the apple crisp. And the "monster cookies." If you can't tell, I've eaten basically everything they make.
The Bakeshop on 20th
269 S 20th St
I don't typically order brownies from bakeries, incorrectly assuming that most brownies taste basically the same. Then I had the most glorious, decadent brownie of my entire life at this tiny bakery near Rittenhouse Square. It was fudgey and gooey and I still have dreams about it sometimes, which is only a little weird. They make cookies, pies and other sweets as well, but make sure you pick up a brownie.
212 Arch St
This adorable little pink bakery only has a walk-up window, so prepare to take your pastries to go. And I do mean "pastries," because you're going to want to try an assortment of their brownies, cookies and tarts. I love the plum and ginger tart, but I plan on returning to try...just about everything else.
A La Mousse
145 N 11th St
Matcha is the name of the game at this Chinatown dessert spot. They're known for their matcha crepe cake, a beautiful dessert of thin crepes layered with matcha cream and served with green tea ice cream. They also do a matcha lava cake I'm dying to try. For those of you who don't like your desserts green, they offer a bunch of other pastries, coffees and sweet drinks.
ICI Macarons & Cafe
230 Arch St
I love the way macarons look, but I've been scarred by some sub-par macarons in the past. Luckily, ICI would never serve a gummy, chalky excuse for a macaron. They have a ton of flavors to choose from (I got the milk & honey and the hibiscus & sour cherry, both of which I would highly recommend), and the taste and texture of their macarons are perfect. They have coffee and additional pastry options as well.
2614 E Lehigh Ave
I'm going old-school on you with this one. My grandparents grew up in Port Richmond, and throughout my childhood we would always have Stocks's pound cake for holidays. I have no idea what else this bakery makes, but it doesn't matter: this pound cake is the most glorious dessert in the entire world and also the taste of my childhood.
Also check out: Best Philly ice cream spots