It’s possible to find good croissants and other pastries in Philadelphia: we have J’aime, Metropolitan Bakery and the Artisan Boulanger Patissier in South Philly, to name a few. But when a friend asked me to meet at Function Coffee Labs in a quiet spot in Bella Vista just around the corner from our bustling Italian Market (1001 S. 10th), and I tasted one of their buttery flaky sourdough-based croissants, I knew I’d found pastry bliss. All of the pastries and breads (which are mostly sourdough-based) are made and baked in-house daily at this tiny corner cafe owned by Ross Nickerson and Megan McCusker (who, according to their website, travelled the world to discover the best coffee-making practices to emulate “where coffee meets science”- before settling in Philly).
As their name attests: one needs coffee to function, so why not make it really good? A cappuccino with one of their Sourdough Fruit and Cream Cheese Pastries on a sunny morning (or a rainy day for that matter) at a table across from, or sitting in, the lovely, well-shaded Barascino Park has become one of my favorite ways to start the day.
A Cookie Dough Sourdough Cruffin or Cinnamon Swirl Croissant may spark your fancy, and they also bake muffins, cookies and offer savory “toasts” with yummy toppings like smashed avocado topped with pickled radishes and red pepper flakes. The staff is friendly and helpful and always happy to fill the dog water bowl should you bring your furry pal.