After transitioning out of a career in the entertainment and record industries, owner Jan Marc Dorfman jokes that he began looking for a new way to “sell round things with holes in the middle.” He fully embraced this new opportunity when he founded Delancey Street Bagels in November of 1989, originally stocking his shelves with 18 bagel varieties and a coffee machine that could only brew two pots at a time. Since then, he has expanded the selection to feature 22 different bagels—including cinnamon raisin, sourdough, and asiago cheese—as well as a full espresso bar with roasted arabica beans from organic and international producers as far away as Guatemala and Kenya. The staff fills the rest of the menu with hot deli sandwiches and an array of baked goods that can include muffins, cinnamon rolls, and scones alongside seasonal items.
Based on Delancey Street in New York City’s lower east side, a bustling corridor for local sidewalk vendors and pushcarts, the shop emanates nostalgia for an old-school marketplace with exposed brickwork and sepia-tone exit signs above the doors.
Philadelphia calls Madame Saito the Queen of Sushi, and it's easy to see why. Armed with formal culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and experience from apprenticeships under premier Tokyo sushi chefs, she has committed the last 26 years to spreading her love for Japanese culture and contemporary fusion cuisine. Although she leaves time in her schedule to manage Tokio Sushi Bar—her sushi restaurant with French culinary influences—, The HeadHouse Cafe, and to conduct an annual sushi-making competition, Madame Saito counts education as one of her highest priorities. She regularly commits her quadrilingual tongue to demystifying the art of sushi during classes for aspiring chefs and casual students alike, teaching them how to hand roll maki and slice fish into perfectly uniform dodecahedrons.
In 2009, Philly Balloon Decor got its start in Puerto Rico under the name Boom Boom Events. In 2013, the outfit moved to Philadelphia to craft inflatable decorations for birthday parties, weddings, and other events. The company's balloon artists tailor their creations to clients' preferences, inflating works that range from centerpieces for tables to masses of balloons that spell out messages.
The confectionists at Louie's Bakery craft every cookie, cannoli, and cake from scratch, letting patrons consume them at home or inside their airy eatery. In the shop, cheesecakes and other baked delights are shielded by glass display cases to protect them from impulsive taste buds that hope to kidnap them. The shop also produces customized wedding and specialty cakes, which add a personal touch to one-of-a-kind life milestones.
Juniper Organic Cupcakes is a licensed and insured cupcake delivery service that offers home-baked and organic goods. Made entirely with naturally produced or organic ingredients, these cupcakes arrive in recyclable packaging and wear naturally colored frosting. Casual flavors include vanilla and chocolate, and signature flavors include pumpkin pie, red velvet, and strawberry shortcake. The service also offers display accessories, scones, muffins, and fruit and granola bars.
Tastebuds' upscale menu serves homemade takeout and prepared foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start a long day of spelunking off right with a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich or stop in during a break from serving jury duty on the Q Continuum's trial of humanity for one of their filet-mignon and caramelized-onion paninis. The deli rotates its take-home entree specials daily alongside healthy regular favorites such as the bruschetta platter and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips. You can also accent any repast with fresh bread from local bakeries, fair-trade coffee, imported and domestic cheeses, specialty teas, Boar’s Head deli meat, and other specialties. Delectable desserts such as the très chocolat brownie, black-and-white cookies, or hand-dipped ice cream treats (prices vary) provide enticing endings to any meals that don't naturally end with the real murderer being unmasked. This Groupon can also be used toward Tastebuds' catering service or unique menu of gourmet gift baskets.