Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia’s Jewish fare is a mouth-watering expression of the city’s old school Jewish traditions, as well as its modern-day leanings. Philadelphia boasts Jewish bakeries which maintain traditional practices such as Kaplan’s and Lipkin’s along with those who bend the rules such as Essen and Philly Style Bagels.
Philly's Best Jewish Bake Shops
- Kaplan’s New Model Bakery – Opened In 1919, the scent of fresh oven-baked rye bread out of Kaplan’s kosher bakeshop drives customers in droves to this Northern Liberties’ bake shop. One of the cities oldest continues to use the perpetual sourdough method, saving a little from every single batch as a starter for the next. Their bread menu features plain, marble rye, black Russian with raisins as well as seeded corn rye with a garlic crust. Kaplan’s provides its rye bread and challah to local restaurants. 901 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-5288, www.kaplansnewmodelbakery.com
- Lipkin’s Bakery – Still on the corner of the original Lipkin’s in Northeast Philly, lined cardboard boxes of cookies, mini-Danishes, along with rugelach piled several feet high, for distribution to local synagogues. Lipkin’s has become a neighborhood landmark ever since 1975. Every day, the bakery pumps out 14 different varieties of flaky mushroom, potato, kasha, as well as white pizza knishes. Customers at each location line-up for the freshly baked babka, challah, hamantaschen, rye, and pumpernickel bread, as well as black-and-white cookies. 8013 Castor Ave., (215) 342-3005; 2153 S. Hancock St., (215) 462-1637, www.lipkinsoriginalbakery.com
Philadelphia's NonTraditional Jewish Bakeries
- Philly Style Bagels – A small batch bakery, with bagels formed by hand, boiled in local Yards beer then oven-baked on real wood planks. All this makes for an unforgettable crunchy crust along with a chewy interior, drawing lines outside of this Fishtown bagelry. With offerings such as sesame, whole wheat, everything as well as daily specials (blueberry rye), along with schmears like scallion cream cheese, jalapeno Tofutti as well as cashew butter. Bon Appétit proclaimed the lox, cream cheese, tomato, cucumber, and red onion combo as the countries very best sandwich. 1451 E. Columbia Avenue, www.phillystylebagels.com
- Essen Bakery – A James Beard Award semi-finalist; Baker, Tova du Plessis takes a more contemporary approach to Jewish pastries inside her charming South Philadelphia shop. Essen implies “to eat” in Yiddish, and Philadelphians are addicted to her chocolate halvah babka, za’atar-spiced challah, black-and-white cookies, as well delish bagels, while connoisseurs go for the moist, mouthwatering honey cake prepared with grated apples along with dark beer. 1437 E. Passyunk Avenue; The Piazza Pod Park, 1001 N. 2nd Street, (215) 271-2299, www.essenbakery.com