I’ve been a Philly resident my entire life. That’s 25 years of wooder ice, humid summers, unpredictable winters, double parking, and ridiculously good sandwiches.
I’m from the actual city of Philadelphia, unlike you suburbanites who throw around the Philly name to give your hometown some context (just kidding :)). I live one mile from the stadiums and about three subway stops south of the city center. In my sick, twisted mind I believe this gives me some degree of credibility when it comes to recommending the best sandwiches in this town.
- Roast Pork (w/ Broccoli Rabe and Sharp Provolone)
- Cheesesteaks (whiz wit..more on that later)
- Roast Beef (wet)
These are my favorite sandwiches, in order by my addiction and described how I like them prepared. The debate about sandwiches here is an age old discussion that often gets heated for non-sensical reasons. With that said, I firmly acknowledge that this topic is purely subjective and most of you won’t agree with my assertions, but I digress.
Call it a hoagie, sub, hero, whatever you want.
These beauties are undoubtedly my all-time favorite sandwich. My go to is almost always the Italian hoagie with extra banana hot peppers. Beautiful layers of cheese and cold cuts (prosciutto, capacolla, provolone, salami) nestled with just the right amount of disorganization on top of a soft, crunchy, airy roll. Simply delicious. Pair it with a pilsner or ale and you have yourself a mighty fine lunch.
Hoagies are sold at almost every takeout joint in the Philly and South Jersey area, but the key differentiator is the bread. Sarcone’s bread is my favorite and close second would be Amoroso’s.
My picks for Philadelphia’s best hoagies:
Roast pork sandwiches are just incredible. Typically served hot with boiling broth poured over top, these babies are to die for. I always order mine the traditional way — broccoli rabe and sharp provolone cheese on a crispy long roll.
The go-to roast pork sandwich in Philly is at Tommy DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal Market. Make sure you get there before the lunch time rush because the line can be overwhelming. Seating is hectic at the RTM which is why I typically avoid it when I’m craving a roast pork. I instead opt for John’s Roast Pork or Tony Luke’s which have better seating availability.
My picks for Philadelphia’s best roast pork sandwiches:
Alright. The heavyweight fight and the review you’ve all been waiting to read. The cheesesteak.
Before we begin, let me show you how to order a cheesesteak so you can seem like a real pro:
- Steak with American cheese and onions: American Wit (Wit Out for no onions)
- Steak with Cheez Whiz and onions: Whiz Wit (Wit Out for no onions)
- Steak with Cheez Whiz, onions and peppers: Whiz Wit and Peppers
My perfect cheesesteak requires just enough meat, cheese, and most importantly, delicious bread. I need my bread to be confident enough to withstand the forces of the “sog”, or the tendency of the juices in the sandwich to rip the bread apart at the seams.
I also need the meat and cheese placed in the roll so that the cheese is facing up. Some steak joints slap the meat/cheese combo inverted into the roll which is completely maddening as all you can taste is the dryness of the meat.
I’m a big chopped cheesesteak fan and you should be too. The typically tourist favorites are Geno’s and Pat’s. Do not go to either of these establishments because you’ll only be selling yourself short. Philly natives never hit the PG up. Don’t be a rook!
When ranking the below I took into consideration quality and consistency and that’s it. It’s honestly all you need to worry about.
My picks for Philadelphia’s best cheesesteaks:
Super subjective post, I know, but I feel it’s important to get a few options out there for you all. The bottom line is if you’re going to be in the Philly area, drop me a line in the comments or at my social media accounts (Twitter or Instagram) and I’ll give you the most personalized experience.