When people think of Philadelphia bakeries, the iconic Tastykake often comes to mind. But Philly is home to far more bakeries than just the maker of the famous pre-packaged snacks and treats. Some favorite spots have developed recipes that can be enjoyed by those with dietary restrictions, and others are using recipes with a history that goes back several generations. A few of these bakeries are even producing confections with a following that has spread across the county. From special-occasion desserts such as birthdays and wedding cakes to simple Saturday morning breakfast treats, these favorite Philadelphia bakeries have everything you could want to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Town Crier Bakery at Peddler’s Village
29 Peddler’s Lane
Lahaska, PA 18931
While Town Crier is located in Bucks County, an hour-long scenic drive from the city, it’s worth the trip. Peddler’s Village is home to 70 specialty shops and several restaurants, and no trip would be complete without a sweet treat from Town Crier Bakery. This old-fashioned spot offers delicious breads, scones, cupcakes and more. While items such as pepperoni bread, sticky buns and sugar cookies are traditional favorites, seasonal selections including apple dumplings, pumpkin pie and strawberry shortcake are the stars of many of the Village’s popular festivals. In addition to everyday baked goods, Town Crier offers wedding and special-occasion cakes as well as cookie and pastry trays for all of your big events. Eager to create any vision you might have, Town Crier welcomes custom cakes orders and even offers gluten-free and vegan options to fit your needs.
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8126 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Bredenbeck’s has been making days delicious for over 120 years. The historic Chestnut Hill shop offers impressive pies, pastries, cakes and cookies. Everything is made in house without preservatives and using only the finest natural ingredients. With a reputation for creating some of the most delicious and beautiful wedding cakes around, it’s no surprise that Bredenbeck’s appears on practically every list of suggested vendors at wedding venues in the area. And as if all that wasn’t enough, this charming spot is also home to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. A summer favorite, the parlor has been serving hand-dipped cones, banana splits and milkshakes since 1986. Soft serve and gluten-free flavors are also available. While the ice cream parlor is open seasonally, many of the most popular flavors are available year-round in the bakery.
1614 W. Ritner St.
Philadelphia, PA 19145
A staple in South Philadelphia for over 25 years, this family-owned bakery brings beloved Italian favorites to the city. With the opening of several new locations, it’s now easier than ever to enjoy Potito’s famous cannoli, flaky Sfogliatelle, Italian cream cake and more. During the holidays, the pumpkin pie and homemade Italian and butter cookies are always popular choices. And if you’re looking for something with a “wow factor” for special occasions, you’ll want to order the signature Colossal Cannoli. This giant two-foot cannoli can be stuffed with up to 60 mini cannoli for $99, making for a truly memorable dessert.
Sweet Freedom Bakery
1424 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Philadelphians with food allergies or dietary restrictions love Sweet Freedom Bakery. In addition to being gluten-free, the tasty treats are also vegan (made without eggs, dairy or casein). Chemical sweeteners, highly processed sugars and preservatives aren’t used, and corn, soy, wheat and peanuts (as well as other common allergens) are avoided. In fact, there are no mystery ingredients at Sweet Freedom, and a complete list of ingredients is available for all of your favorite confections, so you know exactly what you’re eating when you order. While sweets lovers without dietary restrictions might miss their usual sugar/flour combos, Sweet Freedom is a haven for those who have a hard time finding baked goods they can enjoy. Standout items include the Samoa cupcake, blueberry oat bars and cookie sandwiches.
1523 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
A Philadelphia landmark since 1921, Termini Brothers is a third-generation family business that has been handed down from father to son. While the business has grown from one flagship location into four Philadelphia retail locations and an online store, the same dedication to quality and customer service remains. In fact, all of the baked goods are still produced in the original shop to ensure consistency and quality. And, like most bakeries with an Italian heritage, Termini makes a delicious cannoli. Other favorites include the Long John cookie, made with almond paste and filled with raspberry jam; the chocolate banana, an amaretto cookie with French buttercream and raspberry jam and then topped with a sliced banana and dark chocolate; and Torrone, a nougat mixture with pistachios and almonds.
868 E. Street Rd.
Warminster, PA 18974
The dream of German immigrants Willy and Martha Rilling, the first Rilling’s Bakery opened in 1936 near Fairmount Park. It wasn’t long before business was booming, and the Rillings were not only able to relocate to a better location but were also able to open additional stores. Over the years, the tradition of master baking was passed down through three generations. And while the Rillings eventually decided to focus just on one central store in Bucks County, the same dedication to service and quality that Willy and Martha prided themselves on remains. Today, the bakery is run by their grandchildren, Michael Voz and Diane Volz Tino. Rilling’s Bakery offers bread and rolls, cupcakes, cookies, pies and more, but it is best known for its buttercake and pound cake. With incredible flavors and decorated to match any idea you might have, it’s not unusual for families in the area to order a Rilling’s pound cake for every special occasion.
2614 E. Lehigh Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Located at the corner of a row of homes in the Kensington/Port Richmond area of Philadelphia, Stock’s is easy to overlook. Unless, of course, you’ve ever had a Stock’s pound cake. While this fifth-generation family bakery makes breads, cookies, buttercakes, sticky buns and more, it’s the pound cake that has made it famous. Baking approximately 3,000 cakes each week, Stock’s uses a custom-created oven that actually had to be cut to fit in the small building. Sold in plastic-wrapped “bricks” unless you’re ordering for a special occasion, the pound cake is moist and buttery and typically topped with a layer of ultra-white, creamy frosting. For many Philadelphians and former Philly dwellers, a Stock’s pound cake is an icon up there with the soft pretzel or cheesesteak.
Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.