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Food & Drink

Top Bagels In Philadelphia

September 30, 2010 10:30 AM

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credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

People don’t talk about bagels in Philly the way they do in New York, but there are a few notables. Some recipes have been passed down through generations, and some are just now kneading a name for themselves.  One West Philly man, in fact, is starting his own sourdough revolution.  – Suzanne Woods

Four Worlds Bakery

4634 Woodland Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19143
(215) 967-1458
www.fourworldsbakery.vpweb.com
www.twitter.com/challahman

There is no parallel for the taste and texture of a “Challahman” bagel. Instead of the typical yeast starter, Michael Dolich uses sourdough in all his breads and bagels. People may give him a hard time, saying that his doughy creations taste too much like bread and not enough like “bagel,” but the Challahman answers, “What is a bagel?”  He’s defined it as a one of the best things we’ve eaten for breakfast. If you head there for your “everything” on a Thursday afternoon, chances are you’ll get to meet the Dolich clan.  This spot is a throwback to a time when everyone knew their baker, not just the cashier that rang up their bag of Stroehmanns.

gleaners Top Bagels In Philadelphia

credit: thegleanerscafe

Gleaners Cafe Gallery

917 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-3904
(215) 923-3205
www.myspace.com

Gleaners uses bagels from Cacia’s bakery out of South Philly. They get a shout out for having one of the best breakfast bagel sandwiches in the city; the “Painkiller” is referenced daily around the Italian Market. This bagel sandwich is complete with egg, cheese and house-made spicy ketchup. It will stop the shakes and set you right after a long night on the sauce.

103267759spencerplatt Top Bagels In Philadelphia

credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Philadelphia Bagel Co.

1100 South Columbus Boulevard, #2
Philadelphia, PA 19147-5513
(215) 336-7211

Located directly off Columbus Blvd, this place has been a faithful stop for many on their morning commute to Rt. 95 for the last 25 years. They even carry bialys, a switch-up on the common bagel.  This dough never makes it to the kettle; they shape it and smear a blend of onions, olive oil and poppy seed on it, then bake it right away.  You can enjoy them as early as 5 a.m. And FYI, this spot has the contract for our the local Whole Foods.

73189208zachburstein Top Bagels In Philadelphia

credit: Zach Burstein/Getty Images

South Street Philly Bagels

613 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-2332
(215) 627-6277

In its 6th generation of management, South Street Bagels does an enormous amount of wholesale business. There’s a 50% chance that if you’re in a café around Philly spreading your cream cheese on a bagel, it came out of their ovens.  Customers have their choice of 18 house-made spreads, too. Manager Aaron recommends the Everything Wheat with a lil’ whitefish.

Wild Flour

8701 Torresdale Avenue, Unit I
Philadelphia, PA  19136
(215) 624-3300
www.wildflourbakery.net
www.twitter.com/wfbakery

It seems as though almost everyone in culinary Philadelphia knows Nishon Yaghoobian, former Executive Pastry Chef at the Striped Bass. His egg-y brioche is touted as brilliant, and his artisan breads are available at Philadelphia’s farmers’ markets or for pick up. You can also find that brilliance at Green Aisle Grocery on 1618 E. Passyunk.

Suzanne Woods has resided in Philadelphia since 2001. She’s freelance writer, craft beer enthusiast, and is president/founder of the Philadelphia Women’s Beer Club. She eats out two meals a day, churns out exotic ice creams as often as she can, and has her records spinning more often than not. You can follow her drinking and dining adventures at www.beerless.com.
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