Here’s a quick fact about me: I have a huge sweet tooth. As much as I love eating big meals at delicious restaurants, I always gravitate towards the dessert menu, pastry shops, and candy stores. At a family party for New Year’s Eve, I was grazing the dessert table, noshing on lots of delicious goodies when I tried the most amazing cookie. I asked Nick if he knew where the cookie came from, thinking someone in his family had baked them. He told me they were from Termini’s, like, duh, why didn’t I know that? But seriously, how did I not know about the most amazing South Philadelphia that serves up classic and delectable Italian treats? Nick promised he’d take me to this sweet spot and he finally delivered on this promise on a quiet Sunday afternoon when we happened to be in the area.
Termini Brothers Bakery is the realization of the American dream for two Italian families who opened the bakery back in the 1920s. The bakery retains the same old world feel, making you feel like you’ve stepped back into a different time. There are the wooden counters topped by marble and the black and white tiled floors. It also helped that two old gentlemen were playing a mandolin and a guitar (I wish I had the courage to snap their picture!). It sounded like The Godfather in there.
Now let’s move on to the pastries. There are no words for how delicious everything looked. Most of the goods are sitting out with hand-lettered warnings not to touch, even though you’re dying to sink your teeth into everything you see. One awesome goody that you can snatch up at Termini’s is their cannoli: the shells sit empty on the shelf ready for you to pick your favorite filling, which an employee will happily fill in the back. As good as everything looked, I settled on getting my absolute favorite Termini’s item: almond amaretti cookies. These crunchy-on-the-outside, soft and oh-so-sweet on the inside, topped with an almond cookies are my treat of choice. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about them! Sorry I don’t have a picture but it would probably tempt you too much.
I’m surprised it took me this long to make it to Termini Brothers Bakery. If you happen to be in South Philly, this is a landmark institution that you must make time to visit and pick out a delicious sweet treat.
Termini Brothers Bakery, 1523 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA.
[Other locations at Reading Terminal Market and the Comcast Center]