photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO
Of course Essen Bakery makes great bagels—the Passyunk Square Jewish pastry shop makes some of the best apple cake, babka loaf, and chocolate rugelach in town. The bagels here are dark blonde on the outside, tender on the inside, and are covered in mini bubbles from their speedy boil at high heat. Plus, the neighborhood bakery gets bonus points for covering their poppy bagel with so much seasoning that you have to squint just to make out the crust underneath. Get them topped with tomato, lox, and onions, but we also love them simple, with nothing but a bit of their house-made veggie cream cheese.