Looking for a sweet treat in Philly? If so, the City of Brotherly Love offers a rich diversity of international flavors. Take your taste buds on a tour of Europe, Asia, and back home to the USA by visiting these five dessert shops.
Termini Bros Bakery has been serving up the flavors of its Italian heritage since 1921. Known for its fresh cannolis, the old-fashioned bakery fills them on the spot so they stay crisp on the outside while creamy on the inside with a range of fillings. The bakery also offers cookies with ingredients such as almonds and pine nuts, fruity and chocolatey cakes, flaky pastries, cheesecake, and fig bars.
Since 1938, Termini Bros has operated its flagship store on South 8th Street. Lines can be long, especially during the holidays. If you’re a local Philadelphian, you don’t have to go far for your cannoli – now there are locations at Packer Park Shopping Center, Reading Terminal Market, and the Comcast Center.
France is known for pastry and dessert shops that captivate passersby with buttery, sweet scents. Sample a taste of France without the transatlantic flight by visiting this charming French café at 204 South 17th Street near Rittenhouse Square. Desserts include crispy macaroons, bars, cookies, biscotti, and cakes.
With colorful layers of fruit or chocolate, Miel Patisserie’s cakes have a decorative flair. The Frasier cake, for example, combines vanilla mousse with Kirsch-soaked sponge cake and fresh strawberries. There’s also the Mocha Tower, a base of Devil’s Food Cake with tiers of mocha, milk chocolate, and vanilla mousse.
Macaroon flavors are extensive and vary from one day to the next. They range from the ordinary chocolate and vanilla to the extraordinary honey orange blossom and salted caramel.
The third stop on our tour moves away from European flavors to tastes from the shores of Japan. Welcome to the T-Swirl Crêpe, located on 10th Street in Chinatown.
Its rice flour crepes are crispy, ice cream cone-shaped treats that are then filled with sweet and savory indulgences. For dessert, of course, the focus is on the sugary selections, such as Banana Chocolate, Mango Raspberries, and Chocolate-Nut Party. The Chocolate-Nut Party crepe is a festival for your taste buds, with its rich assortment of yogurt, almonds, chocolate truffles, gelato, pistachios, and chocolate pieces.
There’s seating inside the store, but you also might enjoy walking around Chinatown with a crispy, delicious, eat-on-the-go dessert in hand. It’s no wonder so many locations are opening up in cities such as New York and Toronto.
For a dessert spot that adds an Asian flair to Euro confections, visit A La Mousse, a café in Chinatown. To the uninitiated, ingredients such as matcha (finely ground powder of a special type of green tea leaves) and green tea may seem unusual. But when combined with familiar sweets, magic happens. For example, there’s Chocolate Lava Cake that is accompanied by thick matcha cream and served with green tea ice cream. Or the Matcha Parfait that blends matcha ice cream with candied orange and cherry and more. Pastries not enough? Indulge yourself with some coffee, tea, matcha beverages, and even milkshakes.
For something more traditionally American, visit Sweet Box Bakeshop on 13th Street in Washington Square for cupcakes, brownies, cookies, puddings, tarts and more.
The bakery stands apart because of its changing menu and unexpected cupcake flavors. Perhaps you want to enjoy the colorful confetti birthday cupcake. If you’re craving some extra sweets, try the brown sugar cookie dough cupcake. And if you’re feeling classic, perhaps order a red velvet cupcake.
Since the menu changes from day to day, check ahead to make sure your favorite sweet craving is available when you visit. Follow Sweet Box’s Instagram page for lots of fun-filled flavors.
With this five-stop tour of desserts, enjoy sampling all that Philly’s desserts have to offer. When you do, you’ll likely appreciate the unique melting pot of international flavors at your doorstep. It’s a good idea to call ahead to confirm hours of operation and details of any of the food, and like any major city, if driving, where the best place to park is.
Carolyn Frith, a content consultant who owns Carolyn Frith Marketing, aims to rid the world of snore-and-bore writing on the web. She covers Philadelphia events and real estate options and a range of other content.