1617 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
South Philly’s eatery Fond’s owner and pastry chef Jessie Prawlucki has opened a sweetshop, Belle Cakery, giving her a little more elbow room (she shared tight kitchen quarters with Fond co-owner, chef and husband Lee Styer) to create her amazing confections. Some favorites include homemade malted milk chocolate ice cream with peanut brittle and vanilla-hazelnut cannoli with a hazelnut praline shell. In the fall, that gorgeous cannoli becomes butternut cannoli, oozing with a cinnamon and caramel mascarpone filling.Related: Top Chefs Heating Up the Culinary Scene in Philadelphia
110 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Winner of the 2011 Philly magazine’s “Best of Philly” dessert, Barbuzzo’s heavenly and sensual Salted Caramel Budino is served in an adorable little Mason jar. This confection has a dark chocolate cookie crust, real slow-cooked vanilla bean caramel and the perfect amount of sea salt. It’s ideal for sharing, but you really don’t have to. Although the food at this snug BYOB on revitalized 13th Street is fabulous, make sure to leave room for dessert.
Flying Monkey Patisserie
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch streets
Philadelphia, PA 19176
It was the strangely yet aptly named Pumpple cake that put Flying Monkey Patisserie on the map. As it’s describes, the cake is the “turducken of desserts.” Enjoy both apple and pumpkin pie baked into vanilla and chocolate cake layers and iced with luscious buttercream frosting, then artfully decorated with sprinkles. The bakery runs out early, as it only bakes one a day. If that’s too much for you, Flying Monkey is also known for its amazing whoopie pies. In addition to the everyday flavors (including classic chocolate and Red Velvet), you can enjoy pumpkin chai, chocolate-covered pumpkin and snickerdoodle in the fall, all for just $2.50 each.
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37 S. 19th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
With an inventive a la carte menu and a thrifty five-course tasting menu offered Mondays through Thursdays, Matyson could be your own best-kept secret in Rittenhouse Square. Bring your own dessert wine (Matyson is BYOB), and dig in to the fig brown butter tart with mascarpone ice cream. The layers of flaky goodness and sweet, creamy ice cream perfectly balance the tart and sweet flavors of the fig filling. Like Matyson itself, this tart is small but mighty.Related: Top Spots for Thai Food in Philadelphia
38th & Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Sugar Philly has been riding the wave of food truck popularity: It was nominated for a Vendy award (kind of like the Oscars for food trucks), named one of the top 20 food trucks in America by Smithsonian Magazine and featured on Food Network’s “Sugar High.” Here, it’s all about the macarons. These not-so-little bites of heaven are made fresh every day and have the perfect amount of crispness on the outside and chewy goodness on the inside. The regular flavors are pretty awesome, especially the milk and honey and the chocolate ganache, but when the leaves begin to change, Sugar Philly offers some delicious fall alternatives, too. Get there early: The pumpkin spice chocolate and maple walnut macarons sell out quickly.
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Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.