Carbo-loading for that upcoming half-marathon, or just looking for a hearty, cold-weather meal? Soup or chili in a tasty bread bowl will hit the spot. In some chain restaurants, including Quizno’s, Panera Bread and Corner Bakery Cafe, any soups on the menu can be ordered in a bread bowl. For those wanting a truly local feel, a few restaurants in and around Philadelphia offer a variety of food in bowls of bread.
Since 1977, Don Giovanni’s on Castor Avenue has been serving up pizza, cheese steaks and numerous Italian specialties. Newbies may be put off by the sometimes brusque service and dated decor, but neighborhood regulars know a good thing when they taste it. A big favorite among regulars is the mussels marinara, which comes in a bread bowl for $8.95. You can also get any salad in Don Giovanni’s signature garlic-flavored bread bowl.
Cedar Hollow Inn
Hours: Mon 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Tue to Wed 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Thurs to Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Built in the 1800’s, the Cedar Hollow Inn in the historic Yellow Springs area of Malvern is a local favorite. The enclosed sun porch is a charming spot to enjoy a lunch or intimate dinner. Every day of the week offers a special or event, such as “buck-a-shuck oysters,” which occurs all day, every Sunday, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The menu is American continental with some surprises like the duck quesadilla with mango black bean salsa. A popular appetizer is the spinach and artichoke dip served with pita chips in a bread bowl for $9.
Want more soup less bowl? Check out the best soup restaurants around Philadelphia.
For something a little bit different, Sorrento’s Pizza on Olney Avenue offers any of its 14 salads in a garlic bread bowl. Feel free to order something else from the menu as well—it’s humongous, with plenty of Italian standards and a lot of newer items, too. Sorrento’s delivers up until 11 p.m. and the restaurant itself is clean and friendly. From the delivery driver to the guy throwing the pizza, everyone is helpful and friendly, and this welcoming atmosphere makes Sorrento’s the place to bring the kids and the grandparents.
Related: Best pizza joints in Philadelphia.
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Landmark Americana Tap and Grille has three restaurants in the Philadelphia area: one in Center City, one in West Chester on Gay Street and one in Glassboro on Mullica Hill Road. The Philadelphia Landmark is very close to Drexel University (chances are that people at the table next to you are all Drexel Law students,) and is very modern looking—there are even fire pits on the outside patio area. A popular place for both the lunch crowd and dinner diners, there are great drinks specials every day. Don’t miss the bread bowls, since there are three delicious items you can fill them with: cream of tomato soup for $6.99, seafood bisque for $7.99 and short rib chili $6.99.
Do you make a rockin’ chili or cream of tomato with your home-grown tomatoes? Some bakeries sell bread bowls (or bread that can be used as bowls) that you can fill with your own soup recipe, or even canned soup. At Liscio’s Bakery in Glassboro, New Jersey, the bocce loaf is a perfect vessel. Metropolitan Bakery’s pumpernickel, multigrain and cracked wheat loaves work well, as does Conshohocken Bakery’s flat round loaf. You may never put your homemade three-alarm chili in a boring bowl again.
Many locations throughout the Philadelphia area
Hours vary, check website for location hours
Conshohocken Italian Bakery
Hours: Mon to Fri 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 7 a.m-2 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Want more bread less soup? Check out the top bakeries in Philadelphia.
Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.