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June 01, 2015

Baked in Philly: 7 Philadelphia-area shops serving up sweet baked goods

Food Bakery
Brown Betty Chocolate Cupcake Brown Betty/facebook

Delicious cupcakes, pastries, doughnuts and a variety of other treats are available at a number of bakeries in every neighborhood.

Philadelphia is famous for its salty grub (cheesesteaks and pretzels come to mind). However, there are plenty of places to satisfy your sweet tooth as well.

Delicious cupcakes, pastries, doughnuts and a variety of other treats are available at a number of bakeries in every neighborhood. To help your search for the perfect dessert, here are seven of the best spots for baked goods in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area.

Sweet Freedom Bakery

1424 South St., Southwest Center City | 1039 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa. | 577 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, N.J.

Looking for a vegan option to fill your cravings? Sweet Freedom has a great selection of dairy-, gluten- and egg-free options that don't skimp on the taste. The cookie sandwiches are highly recommended, as is, quite honestly, everything else on the menu. Sweet Freedom also provides vegan icing for you to use on your own creations and can make cakes that serve a party up to 40 people. Sweet Freedom allows those with food allergies or certain dietary needs to get their sweet fix, too.

Brown Betty Dessert Boutique 

722 N. 2nd St., Northern Liberties

Brown Betty Chocolate Cupcake
Brown Betty's/Facebook. 

Brown Betty's is the place to get a cupcake that looks as good as it tastes. These carefully constructed creations come in a variety of flavors, including coconut cream cheese and strawberry poundcake. And if you happened to be getting married anytime soon, Brown Betty's bakers can create customized treats for your guests.

Marian's Bakery

2615 E. Allegheny Ave., Port Richmond

Those with Polish heritage will find the fare at Marian's both familiar and comforting. The Port Richmond bakery is the perfect place for a babka, poppyseed loaf or paczki. Paczkis, in case you're not familiar, are the Polish equivalent of doughnuts and are filled with a rich jelly and caked in powdered sugar. If you have yet to try one, Marian's is the place to go. 

Little Jimmie's Bakery Cafe

6669 Germantown Ave., East Mount Airy

Little Jimmie's Bakery Cafe
(A selection of baked goods are displayed at Little Jimmie's./

The eats and the atmosphere make Little Jimmie's worth the trip to Mount Airy. Its quaint exterior houses a cafe that offers a selection of brownies, muffins and scones that are freshly made every day. But Little Jimmie's is more than a bakery, as their premium coffee is roasted in-house and their sandwiches are just as good as their desserts.

Varallo Brothers Bakery

1639 S. 10th St., South Philadelphia

Take in the Italian tradition of South Philly at Varallo Brothers. There's no shortage of choices here, with a number of different pastries and cookies awaiting your consumption. However, you're selling yourself short if you don't try a cannoli. Whether you get one filled with ricotta cheese or vanilla cream, sampling one is a must. Also, if the weather calls for it, a scoop of their gelato is perfect for a summer day.

Melrose Diner

1501 Snyder Ave., South Philadelphia

Melrose Diner
(Hot apple pie with vanilla sauce at the Melrose Diner. Delco Deal Diva/Facebook)

With all the new shops popping up around the city specializing in baked goods, you might not consider an old diner as your first choice for a great dessert. That's a mistake, because the pies, cakes and famous butter cookies are baked fresh every day. The best part is that the Melrose is a true diner, meaning that it's open 24/7. Hankering for a slice of apple pie at 3 a.m.? The Melrose is your spot. After all, as the old jingle goes, "Everybody who knows, goes, to Melrose."

K.C.'s Pastries

109 N. 10th St., Chinatown | 1827-1831 S. 7th St., Southwark

KC's Bakery
(Egg tart from K.C.'s Pastries. Peter V./Yelp)

With locations in both Chinatown and South Philly, K.C.'s offers both traditional Chinese baked goods as well as European-style cakes and desserts. You can get most of the more common treats you'll find at any Philly bakery, but they're known for their cream custard buns, egg tarts and sesame balls. The best part is how inexpensive their goods are, with most desserts costing around or just under a dollar.