What makes a bagel “Philly Style”? Well, Philly Style Bagels are boiled in Yard’s beer! Need we say more? Head over to Fishtown, across from Palmer Park, and you’ll find this quaint shop.
Collin Shapiro and Jonathon Zilber met in 2009 while working together stocking beers at the Foodery in Northern Liberties. They started making bagels simply because it seemed like a fun thing to do. Their bagels were made for the the first time because they were experimenting with other food and beverage fermentation projects, such as curing, and smoking. One day they had cured salmon, but hadn’t really thought about what to eat it with. In that moment, they decided to make a batch of bagels, were so impressed by how good they turned out to be, and thus, Philly Style Bagels were born.
Collin and Jonathon would meet up every week and make bagels. Eventually, they started to think they just might have something on their hands. They knew Joe Beddia from serving him coffee at Shot Tower Coffee in Queen Village long before Pizzeria Beddia opened. Since Joe’s shop is closed on Sunday’s, Collin and Jonathon convinced him to let them make bagels in his shop. The first time they baked there, Joe told them they were the best bagels he had ever had, and he wanted them to keep going with it.
The first pop-up wasn’t promoted. They told friends what they were doing, and before they knew it, there was a line out the door. People kept telling Collin and Jonathon that they wished they were there every weekend, and soon their bagels became more frequent from Spring 2014 until the end of 2015.
We fell in love with our location because Fishtown is such a great neighborhood, and we love our neighbors so much! We had a loyal following from our pop-ups at Pizzeria Beddia, and we wanted to stay close to the people who had given us the opportunity to open up a shop in the first place! Palmer Park was what really did it for us; thinking about people coming to get bagels and then walking across the street to enjoy them in the park sounded too good to pass up. We really wanted to offer that experience to all of the neighbors who make this neighborhood so special.
Philly Style Bagels are unique in that they add beer to the water that the bagels are boiled in. They did some research and found that bakers traditionally use malt syrup or honey in the boil water, but since they had some Yard’s IPA, they decided to try beer instead. This is what gives them their shiny exterior, their golden brown color, and of course, adds to their delicious flavor. Since their bagels were unlike any other they had ever had, Collin and Jonathon knew they had created something special: the Philly Style Bagel.
The bagels are delicious. They’re dense, they’re thick, they’re light and fluffy all at the same time. This is more of a take out spot, with no tables or chairs inside, but luckily Palmer Park across the street has benches where you can sit and enjoy your bagel.
We wanted to keep our menu simple. It can be frustrating to go into a place when there are a million things to choose from. We do plan to add to the menu and rotate things as we continue to evolve. We want things to always be fresh and exciting.
We plan to add more special flavors and rotate them, but at the moment, we’ve been doing rye and blueberry bagels on the weekends. In the everything bagel spice mix, we add our own touch by including yellow mustard seeds and red pepper flake, as well as the traditional garlic, onion, sesame, poppy, and salt.
Don’t sleep in and expect to get yourself a bagel! They sell out frequently, even once when we were scheduled to visit! We eventually were able to try the BLT with Avocado on an Everything Bagel and it really hit the spot with butter lettuce, a ripe tomato and avocado slices and then some thick cut bacon that they bake in the oven giving the entire shop a delicious smokey bacon smell!
If you’re a cream cheese lover than you’re in for a treat. There are plenty of varieties of cream cheese. We tried the plain and vegetable cream cheese. They also offer jalapeno, scallion, smoked salmon, tofutti, and vegan butter. You can add lox, cucumber, avocado, tomato or red onion to any sandwich.
We’re about to let you in on the SECRET MENU: You’ll want to grab a Pizza bagel here, they’re so much better than that frozen ones you had as a kid! We were pleasantly surprised to try it on a Salt bagel. And the Pastrami bagel sandwich is bomb, loaded up with thick cut pastrami, red cabbage, and mustard.
As we brought our bagels outside, still hot from the oven, we watched the line out the front door grow and savored every bite. Had there not been a line, we definitely would have gone back inside for more.
Its safe to say with bagels like these, we expect to see crowds here everyday of the week, except Tuesday and Wednesday when they’re closed. Be sure to go early if possible- Philly Style Bagels will sell out and you don’t want to be missing out on this fabulous bagel action!
-Lea and Arielle
Images of Jonathon Zilber and Pizzeria Bedia from Pintrest and Philly.com. Palmer Park image from VisitPhilly.com We’d like to thank Jonathon and Collin for allowing us to come in and try your bagels.