We found Tartes on our first evening in Philadelphia, as we did what we always do--dropped off the suitcases and went exploring. We had some time until dinner, so we just decided to walk around for a bit and wander wherever, which turned out to be Arch Street near the Betsy Ross house.
The neighborhood is a bit mixed, as a lot of Philadelphia is now. Colonial houses and buildings are mixed with modern buildings as well as many from the 1800's, parking lots and banks, restaurants and churches. I found the mix delightful, since sometimes there were lovely row houses in unexpected places.
Tartes is in a tiny building tucked between parking lots. See that room inside the window? That's all it is, and there is no "inside." It's just a walk-up window, but it's so great to watch them making the delicious goodies right there. The display window shows you what they offer, much of which is just enough for one or two people.
We bought a pumpkin spice cake and intended to share it for dessert after dinner. However, it turned out that we dined at a terrific Cuban restaurant called Cuba Libre (more on that later) and ordered a special that came with dessert. We ate the pumpkin spice cake for breakfast the next morning. I was afraid that after sitting all night in its little box, it might be a bit stale, but it was moistand delicious, perfect with our morning coffee.
If you're ever in downtown Philadelphia and need to satisfy a craving for something sweet, drop by the window at Tartes. Bring cash because they don't take credit cards.
Tartes Fine Cakes and Pastries
212 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106