Philly is at its heart a sandwich town. Cheesesteaks are synonymous with the city, but locals know there’s so much more to try here: roast pork sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, Jewish deli sandwiches, hoagies of every variety, and crispy banh mi. Start with these 18 shops — they’ll never let a sandwich lover down.Read More
18 Epic Sandwiches to Seek Out in Philly
If there's one thing this city excels at, it's the sandwich
1. Gilben’s Bakery
This Mount Airy bakery gives a New Orleans spin to a Philly classic: the fish hoagie. Lightly battered seafood is piled onto garlic-buttered, toasted long rolls and generously drizzled with rémoulade. The offerings here aren’t limited to white fish filets — fried shrimp, mussels, and salmon are also on offer. Order online for pickup or delivery.
In Kensington, Martha’s list of hoagies covers all the bases, from the vegan jawn with carrots impersonating cured meat, to the Italian made with fennel and Calabrese salami. Order online for pickup or delivery, or make reservations to dine-in.
3. Poe’s Sandwich Joint
This Fishtown eatery comes to us from marijuana activist N.A. Poe, who promises “high class munchies” on the shop’s Instagram. Go for one of the chicken cutlet creations (like the Hamilton, stuffed with bacon, fries, and Cooper Sharp cheese) or the messy, saucy meatball sandwich. Preorder online for pickup and delivery, or dine in.
4. Liberty Kitchen
The hoagie list is excellent at Liberty Kitchen, and the della casa option — capicola from 1732 meats, fresh mozzarella, arugula tossed with Calabrian chili oil, and a balsamic-pepper spread — what more do you need? A vegetarian version with roasted eggplant is also available. Order online for pickup or use Caviar for delivery.
5. Middle Child Clubhouse
The Philly favorite for ginormous breakfast sandwiches and even bigger lunch options has been such a hit since it opened in 2017 that it now has a second outpost in Fishtown, where all the sandwiches you’d find at the Washington Square West location are available to eat in or take to-go. The So Long Sal — with Italian meats and cheeses, artichoke relish, and balsamic mayo — is a favorite.
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Spring Garden's sandwich shop sources locally, buys nose-to-tail, and builds some of the best-tasting sandwiches in the city. For breakfast, a sandwich of local eggs, cheese, and scrapple makes for a merry morning. For lunch, opt for the braised beef sandwich loaded with mushrooms, onions, and house-made Whiz — the next great evolution of the cheesesteak. Takeout and delivery are available online.
7. Hershel's East Side Deli
For a stacked corned beef or pastrami Reuben on rye, the place to go is Hershel’s inside Reading Terminal Market. Complete your order with a potato knish and a Dr. Brown’s soda. Delivery is available via a few delivery services, including Mercato and Caviar.
After leaving Abe Fisher, chef Yehuda Sichel turned his attention to sandwiches with this fast-casual shop in Rittenhouse serving creative combinations on house-baked sourdough bread and fluffy milk buns. Order online for sandwiches like the grilled swordfish and kimchi tartar sauce for pickup or delivery.
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9. Monster Vegan
Center City’s Monster Vegan offers deceptively plant-based dishes with a comfort food spin. Try the fried chicken banh mi or the fried chicken cutlet sandwich — topped with broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, sharp Parmesan, and aioli — for the ultimate vegan sandwich experience. Call or place orders online.
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10. Angelo’s Pizzeria
Bread lovers unite! Angelo’s owner Danny DiGiampietro (who married into Philly’s bread royalty, the Sarcone family) is known for his pizza dough, but deserves equal praise for the fresh baked seeded loaves he uses in his epic sandwiches. They’re massive, messy, and loaded up with breaded chicken cutlets, cured meat, fresh mozzarella, and shaved Parm. Call ahead for takeout.
11. Porcos Porchetteria
Slow cooked porchetta and housemade ciabatta are the base elements of the pork-centric sandwiches at Chad Durkin’s Washington Avenue walk-up window, which is next door to Durkin’s bakery. Go with the OG, complete with crisp bits of cracklin’, or tackle a Philly-style sandwich with provolone and a bitter rapini pesto.
12. Ricci's Hoagies
The “old fashioned” at this century-old corner sandwich shop is the ideal Italian hoagie: super sharp provolone, peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion, Italian salumi, and ham on a seeded roll. The Philly accent is extra strong at Ricci's, and you can taste it in every bite. Call for takeout and delivery.
13. Cosmi's Deli
Choosing between a hoagie and a cheesesteak is the hard part at Cosmi’s, a family-run South Philly operation in business since 1932. On the hoagie side of things, go for something Italian-influenced with one of a few combos involving salami, hot capicola, provolone, prosciutto, salami, soppressata, mortadella, and fresh mozz. And one more choice: Cosmi’s offers every customer the option of seeded bread from Carangi's or Sarcone's or unseeded from Aversa. (Select seeded, of course.) Order online for takeout and delivery.
14. Artisan Boulanger Patissier
Philadelphia, PA 19148
The banh mi at Artisan Boulanger Patissier stands out thanks to its baguette. Crusty, with a slight sourdough tang, the bread is a perfect vessel for the crunchy pickles and paté that make the sandwich a delectable balance of flavors. Heading here for breakfast? The sausage, egg, and cheese on a croissant is a winner. It’s takeout only.
15. Café y Chocolate
Philadelphia is home to all sorts of creative takes on cheesesteaks but none satisfy like this cafe’s homage to the ubiquitous sandwich. The “cheesesteak a la Mexicana” features extras like caramelized onion and Serrano peppers, along with chipotle mustard and a side of pico de gallo. Takeout, delivery, and onsite dining are available.
16. Old Original Nick's Roast Beef
Serving since 1938, this South Philly institution (which also has locations outside the city) deals in cold beers and gravy-soaked roast beef sandwiches. While roast beef is the go-to, the roast pork is worth trying too. All sandwiches are best enjoyed as a combo: topped off with broccoli rabe and a slice of provolone. Takeout and onsite dining are offered.
17. John's Roast Pork
Open since 1930, John’s Roast Pork in South Philly draws diners from far and wide for both its roast pork sandwich (made with spinach instead of broccoli rabe) and its excellent cheesesteak. Call ahead for takeout.
Bear, DE 19701
A little farther afield from Philly, the Zoagies food truck serves some of best fish sandwiches and chicken cheesesteaks in Delaware. Get the Zochness Monster, made with shrimp, crab, and lobster on Zoagies’s deep-fried roll for the ultimate indulgence. Crinkle-cut fries and fried Oreos are excellent sides. Call ahead to preorder or walk-up for immediate service.