A Taste of Italy in Philadelphia
My parents took me to Rome for the spring break, where I indulged in far too much gelato. I can think of only three places to find gelato in Philadelphia—Capogiro, Gran Caffe L’Aquila, and Anthony’s Italian Coffee House. There are surely more, but Capogiro seems to be the top spot for gelato lovers, and for good reason. Their gelato is the best I have tasted outside of Italy . . . and even better than some of the Italian offerings.
Capogiro’s gelatos—or gelati, if you prefer–are made fresh every morning. The flavors are rotated depending on the season, and milk from our own Pennsylvanian cows is used to achieve the smooth, rich, and creamy texture gelato is famous for. Just like in the gelaterias of Rome, the flavors are displayed in a shiny glass case, in a magnificent, tempting rainbow at the front of the cafe.
The server proudly told me about the care and attention they put into their gelato. Many of their fruit gelatos do not contain dairy and are similar to sorbets. In addition, he assured me that samples were unlimited. I took him at his word and had gone through six sampling spoons before making my decision. My recommendations: try the pistachio. It is simply magnificent— creamy with a strong roasted nutty essence. (It looks lovely, too . . . not electric green.) My other recommendation is the ugli-fruit gelato. The sign below it read, “Pomelo’s secret lovechild.” It presents a distinct citrus taste—refreshing and delightfully bitter.
*Although the quality is top notch, it is worth noting that the prices at Capogiro are not cheap. At around $5, it is comparable to the prices of high-end gelatarias in Rome. However, if you are the type to spend your birthday money on food, you probably won’t be disappointed.
Capogiro has several locations, including one in University City and another in the Old City. The one I recommend, however, is on 13th Street not far from Little Nonna’s. There’s a cluster of local boutiques and restaurants if you walk south on 13th from Chestnut to Walnut. In the warm weather it’s an appetizing stroll, as the majority of outdoor restaurants in this area have sidewalk seating.