The key to having a successful day of gift shopping is taking multiple breaks to recharge and reward yourself. Below, a few of our favorite places to pop in for a snack during the chaotic kick-off to shopping season.
You'll need energy ASAP if you're the type to get an early start. Open at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Metropolitan Bakery’s famous cannelles are the perfect way to start your packed day in our famed shopping districts. The pastry’s soft custard center and caramelized crust pair well with a large cup of locally roasted Greenstreet Coffee. 262 S. 19th St., 215-545-6655
Brought to you by the brains behind HipCityVeg, this vegan bar offers plenty of sans-meat treats that carnivores will love, too. After shopping along Midtown Village, take a break and try a few small plates, like spiced cauliflower, "ricotta" toast, and chickpea fries. Wash it all down with a wheatgrass shot to give you the kick you need to get back out there and finish your shopping. 131 S. 13th St., 267-7758-5372
If you're dragging your feet by mid-afternoon, duck into Max Brenner for a sweet pick-me-up. The bald man will lure you in with the intoxicating smell of his new infused hot chocolate, available in gingerbread, pecan pie, and cookies and cream. Served in the signature HugMug, this dessert-drink is hard to resist. 1500 Walnut St., 215-344-8150
While you're boutique-hopping in Rittenhouse Square, buy yourself a little something—like Rouge's well-rounded artisan cheese plate. Sweet apples, roasted almonds, grapes, dulce de leche, and a delicious fig jam accompany a variety of delectable cheeses and a fresh baguette. After a glass of spiced white sangria, it's time to get back to checking things off your gift list. 205 S. 18th St., 215-732-6622
Located in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Bank & Bourbon is just the spot for a splurge-worthy appetizer. We recommend a sweet-and-savory starter: the roasted baby carrots made with chipotle pepper, honey, pistachios, toasted quinoa, and yogurt. 1200 Market St., 215-267-1200;
End a long, productive shopping trip with a decadent dessert from the famed old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Go all-out with the Great War Doughnut Sundae, complete with a fried apple cider doughnut, vanilla ice cream, house-made caramel sauce, whipped cream, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes—your reward for a hard day's work. 116 Market St., 215-627-1899