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Markets & Stores

Catania Bakery, Founded in 1932

Steve | Sep 27, 202007:17 PM    

For the past four decades, I have sporadically passed in front of Catania Bakery on N. Capitol St. and it's always been closed. Not just closed for the day, but it looked like it was closed and untouched for years and years. The sign, I figured, was the object of a bygone era on a dilapidated stretch of road.

So imagine my surprise to see it open on Saturday morning. I went in and was transported back in time to a place that looked untouched by the modern world. There is no display case, just a counter upon which they place the few pastries they have for sale, plus there's a rack of large and medium loaves of Italian bread with some rolls. Cash only. There's a stand-alone ATM at the end of the block that, despite its sketchy appearance, actually works.

When I got home with my baked goods, I found this online article from 2015 which explains some few things a history buff would deeply appreciate, including a 102 year old founder and a 14-tier bread oven:

http://www.capitalcommunitynews.com/c...

As the article indicates, you will already be familiar with the style of bread if you've ever had a sub from the Italian Store, Vace, A Littieri, and a bunch of other places which get their breads from Catania. A huge step up from the ridiculousness of the sub chains, but not the memorable bread that you can get at so many places in Philly. The pastries are nothing special. The almond cookies are addictive.

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