Philadelphia, PA - Terrible news: you are going to die. Great news: There is a lot of yummy Philly food to devour before you do. Only do us a favor and do not consume everything on the Philadelphia foodie bucket list at the same time.
Cheesesteaks – Born in South Philly, this meat-and-cheese (onion optional) sandwich is most frequently purchased at 24/7 operations Pat’s King of Steaks (where it was invented) and nearby Geno’s Steaks, Pennsport’s neon-lit Tony Luke’s, South Street’s Jim’s Steaks and North Philly’s famed Max’s Steaks. Geno’s, 1219 S. 9th Street, (215) 389-0659, genosteaks.com; Pat’s, 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue, patskingofsteaks.com; Tony Luke’s, 39 E. Oregon Avenue,(215) 551-5725, tonylukes.com; Jim’s, 400 South Street, (215) 928-1911, jimssouthstreet.com; Max’s, 3653 Germantown Avenue, (215) 229-9048 See.. Pat's vs. Geno's Philly's Cheesesteak Debate
Hoagies – Outside of the 215/267/484/445 area codes, these sandwiches often go by “subs” or “heroes.” Philly’s hoagie game is serious: The bread has to be just right—slightly crunchy on the outside yet soft enough to allow bites through to deli meat, cheese and toppings. South Philly spots such as Chickie’s Italian Deli and Cosmi’s Deli are classic; places like Primo Hoagies are reliably omnipresent. Chickie’s, 1014 Federal Street, (215) 462-8040, chickiesdeli.com, Cosmi’s, 1501 S. 8th Street, (215) 468-6093, cosmideli.com, Primo, various locations, primohoagies.com See.. Philadelphia's Hoagie Guide
Roast Pork – The Philly sandwich many locals consider to be the real hometown favorite consists of a quality long Italian roll, savory sliced pork, provolone cheese and broccoli rabe or garlicky spinach. Some people add long hots (peppers) for even more flavor. Two popular places people go for roast pork are the Reading Terminal Market’s Tommy DiNic’s and John’s Roast Pork, on the edge of South Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood. DiNic’s, 12th & Arch Streets, (215) 923-6175, tommydinics.com; John’s, 14 Snyder Avenue, (215) 463-1951, johnsroastpork.com See.. Philly's Best Roast Pork Sandwiches
Soft Pretzels – Early German settlers introduced this doughy delight. In the morning, locals can dip pretzels into cream cheese; typically, mustard is the condiment of choice. Soft pretzels are standard fare at food carts, and often sourced at South Philly’s Center City Pretzel Co. and throughout the region at Philly Pretzel Factory franchises. Center City, 816 Washington Avenue, (215) 463-5664, centercitypretzel.com, Pretzel Factory, phillypretzelfactory.com
Water Ice – Erstwhile referred to as Italian ice, this smoother-than-a-snow cone, better-than-a-shaved ice has flavor mixed in, not poured on top. Lemon and cherry win the most-ordered contest, though the sweet treat comes in a variety of flavors. South Philadelphia’s circa 1945 John’s Water Ice, multiple Rita’s Italian Ice locations, and West Philly’s Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice keep people cool in the warmer months. John’s, 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955, johnswaterice.com; Rita’s, ritasice.com; Siddiq’s, 264 S. 60th Street, (215) 410-6513, siddiqswaterice.com
Food Hubs – For these and more Philly flavors, the Reading Terminal Market and S. 9th Street Italian Market serve as culinary catchalls. The former houses 80 vendors of regional specialties and global cuisine in an historic onetime train terminal. The latter lines multiple South Philly blocks with merchants selling produce, cheeses, tacos, pasta, meats, spices and more. Reading Terminal, 12th & Filbert Streets, (215) 922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org, Italian Market, S. 9th Street, between Christian & Federal Streets, (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org