Four Worlds Bakery
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 Cafe Gallery
917 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-3904
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.
Philadelphia Bagel Co.
1100 South Columbus Boulevard, #2
Philadelphia, PA 19147-5513
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.
South Street Philly Bagels
613 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-2332
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.
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.