#whyIlovePhilly: An Ode to DiBruno Bros
When I lived in Brooklyn, one of my favorite ways to start the weekend was exploring Italian butcher shops and bakeries. My boyfriend and I are love cooking and are obsessed with tasting new foods as much as possible. We were lucky and ambitious enough to take our bikes near and far in search of the best bread, cheeses and meats. So when I decided to move to Philadelphia, one of my neighborhood requirements was to be within walking distance of an Italian market.
Enter: DiBruno Bros.
A third generation-owned culinary enterprise where I spend all of my free time and money. You can find me on any given day at these five locations:
- Italian Market on 9th Street
- Rittenhouse Square on Chestnut Street
- The Market at Comcast Center
- Ardmore Farmer’s Market in the suburbs
- The Franklin Market and its Bottle Shop
DiBruno’s is an Italian family-owned specialty shop that makes you feel welcomed from the minute you step into any of their stores. I love bringing visitors to the Italian Market location near our house because that’s where the legacy started. The tiny hallway-like shop is filled nook to cranny with cheese, oils, cured meats, sauces, and every other pairing item you could think of. The cheesemongers don’t hesitate to offer you a bite as you stare at your surroundings, wondering how this House of Cheese could host so many delicious treats in one place. The whole experience is intoxicating. If you aren’t salivating within the first few seconds of being inside, something’s wrong.
For solo lunch hangs, I sneak away to the Franklin Market location where La Colombe coffee is readily available and new lunch combos are to be discovered. The Franklin Market is setup like a grocery store which is dangerous because though I usually stop in to grab a meal to go, I end up walking away with more snacks and drinks than I truly need. Lunch here means I probably ordered a grilled cheese and tomato soup, or found a new pasta plate to try, or walked away with a baguette in hand. All are less than $20 which is a win for me. I’m known to send – and receive — the Abbondanza Gift Box to loved ones on special occasions, too.
Pennsylvania’s strict alcohol laws make it difficult for this former New Yorker who’s used to walking into a bodega or corner wine shop on the regular. So when The Bottle Shop opened around the corner from my office, you can bet I was front and center on opening night.
I love spending happy hour at DiBruno’s Bottle Shop. Beer and wine are typically $2 less so I drag coworkers with me to split a plate of snacks while we sip and lament over the craziness that was work that day. ‘Culture Club’ is the best though: it’s a class on cheese pairings where you learn to recreate your own bites at home. Jeff, cheese and beer and wine expert teaches you when to aim for contrasting flavors (wine) versus complimentary flavors (beer). It is delicious and I always walk away learning something new (like did you know Philly is a top dog in craft beer?!) and unexpectedly loving a new ingredient (Kleine Schweine Pepperettes!).
I love DiBruno’s. I love grocery shopping after work at Rittenhouse. I love asking the cheesemongers about cooking ideas. I love seeing what new items they have on stock. I love taking my friends and family to their shops. I love buying treats to take home. It is my new happy place that has helped me settle in and fall in love with Philadelphia. So thanks DiBruno Bros. for all the endless delicious bites!
Scroll through the slideshow below and try not to drool.
Image Titles and Descriptions
- ‘Beer Meets Cheese’ Temple of Awesomeness and curated cheese flight from DiBruno Bros. praised by Anthony Bourdain
- The Bottle Shop by DiBruno Bros. is run by a triple-certified Sommelier, Cicerone, and Cheese Professional offering weekly beer flights and specialty cheese pairings
- The Bottle Shop at The Franklin (834 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia)
- ‘The Art of Affinage - Aging Cheese’ bite from DiBruno Bros. bathed in Victory (Raw Cow, PA) washed in Victory Storm King beer
- ‘Coffee & Cheese’ bite from DiBruno Bros.: La Colombe Draft Latte served with Nabbabo (Goat, Italy) on Cinnamon Torta with Crushed Piedras de lunas
- ‘Soup Dumpling Inspiration’ bite from DiBruno Bros.: Sternschnuppe (Raw Cow, Germany) with Larchmont Pâté de Campagne, Hot Suhey Peppers and Sesame Caioroli