photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

Beiler’s Doughnuts image

Beiler's Doughnuts


Center City

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastCheap EatsClassic EstablishmentKidsQuick EatsSerious Take-Out Operation
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As busy as Reading Terminal Market gets, you can still make out Beiler’s by the only spot with a line as long as Rita’s on the first day of summer. The Pennsylvania Dutch bakery sells baked goods like cinnamony coffee rolls and freshly brewed coffee, but it’s the donuts that get us (and the people) going. 

Each day they have up to 40 different varieties of these warm, light, fluffy, and airy circles of sweet dough. You can get them filled with syrupy blueberry jelly, sprinkled with some bits of M&M’s, or go classic with vanilla sprinkled. No matter which one you order, after your first bite you’ll start wondering how much your parents really loved you as a kid if they sent you to school with a carton full of Munchkins on your birthday instead of these. Even now, we’d still only share these donuts on our birthday with loved ones who promise to give us a kidney if needed.

There’s no ideal time to come here, as we’ve tried to stop by in the early morning and in the late afternoon and the line is still unreasonable. But sometimes you just need one when you’re casually walking around downtown with some time to kill or you have an out-of-town friend who wants to know what makes the food in Philly so great. Take them here, give them a caramel apple donut, and watch them readjust their daily itinerary so they have an extra 20 minutes to wait in line for another one every day.

Food Rundown

Glaze Cake

Sometimes a stripped-down donut is the best thing, especially if you want to eat it while zigzagging through people on the way out of the market. This option is thick, chewy, and the glaze isn’t too syrupy.

Chocolate Mousse

If you ever need to save face after a big fight, grab a chocolate mousse donut. Whoever gets it will know you sat in a line longer than the one for any ride at Six Flags. They’ll pretty much forgive you for anything after they experience the way the fluffy warm chocolate bursts out this donut.

Caramel Apple

This is a soft and doughy option that’s stuffed with a cinnamony glaze at its center. It pretty much melts into caramel butter each time you bite it. With an apple glaze coating and bits of cinnamon crunchy beads on the top, this donut sort of reminds us of a Good Humor Bar.

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