Philadelphia is a city renowned for its rich American history. There’s no other place where you can tour Independence Hall, take pictures of the Liberty Bell or climb the famous Rocky steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
But did you know that the City of Brotherly Love also has a world-renowned food scene? To make it easy for you, here are the 50 best dishes that everyone has to try when in Philly. If you want to know which foods Philly natives love most, check this list out.
1. Roast Pork Sandwich at Tommy DiNic’s
Fun fact: DiNic’s was the winner of the Travel Channel’s “Best Sandwich in America,” which obviously makes this taste a million times better.
2. “The Forager” Breakfast Sandwich at High Street on Market
Save your carb-hating days for later, because High Street on Market’s freshly-made bread can’t be beat.
3. Tarzan of the Apes at The Franklin Fountain
A classic American treat at a classic American soda fountain. How much more nostalgic can it get?
4. Fried Chicken at Federal Donuts
We should also mention that every order comes with a honey donut on the side.
5. Lamb Shoulder at Zahav
Brought to you by the masterminded Israeli chef Michael Solomonov, this dish, which also features pomegranate, is definitely worth celebrating over.
6. Hummus at Dizengoff
Along with a seasonal salad and freshly-baked pita for dipping, Dizengoff’s hummus makes for a satisfying and comforting meal.
7. Cannoli at Termini Bros Bakery
Every cannoli here is served fresh since pastry chefs don’t fill the shells until you purchase them.
8. Philly Cheesesteak from John’s Pork Roast
Does it surprise you that one of Philly’s best cheesesteaks isn’t from Pat’s or Geno’s? Just make sure to head over early before the lunch rush.
9. Cannoli French Toast at Café Lift
In case you didn’t get enough cannoli earlier…
10. Heart Attack Mac at Mac Mart Cart
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Philly’s first and only mac n’ cheese food truck that’s soon to be a store front! This one comes with bacon, caramelized onion and panko crunch topping.
11. Franolli at Frangelli’s Bakery
An alternative take on Dominique Ansel’s cronut, the franolli is Frangelli’s Bakery’s genius hybrid creation between a donut and cannoli.
12. Stuffed Challah French Toast at Sabrina’s Cafe
An oldie but goodie brunch staple that you’ll find on almost every Philadelphian foodie’s Instagram feed. But considering how incredibly delicious this is, there’s no reason to complain.
13. Pretzel at Miller’s Twist
Soft pretzels are for life.
14. Reuben Sandwich at Hershel’s East Side Deli
Nobody does pastrami like this classic Jewish deli. Period.
15. Tomato Pie at Ianneli’s Bakery
While it doesn’t include cheese, the tomato sauce is all that’s needed to get you hooked to this pie.
16. Country Fried Steak at Honey’s Sit N’ Eat
Not for the faint of heart, but if you’re in the mood for good soul food, this dish is meant for you.
17. Red Velvet Pancakes at Green Eggs Café
A nice reward for waiting 2+ hours in line for brunch.
18. Sushiritto at Hai Street Kitchen & Co
Founded by Japanese Iron Chef Takao Iinuma, Hai Street seamlessly fuses Japanese with American cuisine by incorporating traditional sushi ingredients into a Mexican-style burrito. Some may call it a supersize-me sushi roll, but all we know is that it tastes amazingly good.
19. Salted Caramel Budino at Barbuzzo
That caramel is literally to die for.
20. Square Pizza at Santucci’s
For all we care, Santucci’s could decide to make octagon-shaped pizza and we’d still eat every single bite.
21. Dessert Pizza at Max Brenner’s
Every food lover’s dream come true.
22. Coffee at La Colombe
Until you’ve had La Colombe coffee, don’t try to argue with us that it’s no different from regular coffee.
23. Ice Cream from Bassett’s Ice Cream
Come during the holidays, and you’ll also get to try their seasonal eggnog flavor! Yum.
24. Lobster Roll at Luke’s Lobster
Bringing the sweet taste of lobster all the way from Maine. The best part is, you get to smell like butter afterward.
25. Grilled Cheese at Meltkraft
Meltkraft melts their cheese just like their cheese melts our hearts.
26. Crabmeat Xiao Long Bao at Dim Sum Garden
It’s not every day that you find crabmeat in soup dumplings, especially since traditional dim sum houses stuff them with pork.
27. Brisket Ramen at Cheu Noodle Bar
The ultimate comfort dish to warm you up during the chilly Philly winters.
28. Donuts at Beiler’s Bakery
All hand-fried, hand-glazed, hand-rolled and hand-filled. While you’re there, it’s also a good idea to treat yourself to a freshly-baked cinnamon roll or whoopie pie.
29. Italian Hoagie at Sarcone’s Deli
Located in the heart of Philly’s Italian Market, Sarcone’s Deli sells the next best thing to a Philadelphia cheesesteak.
30. Gelato at Capogiro
From signature flavors like vanilla and hazelnut to more unique flavors like avocado and cucumber, Capogiro’s super-creamy gelato never disappoints. Plus, it’s been ranked the #1 ice cream spot in the world by National Geographic!
31. Spicy Soppressata at Nomad Pizza
On the outside, this pizza looks like any ordinary pepperoni pizza, but Nomad brings it one step further by drizzling honey on top.
32. Fried Brussels Sprouts at Zama
A signature Szechuan-style dish that strikes the perfect balance between chewy egg noodles and spicy chili oils. It’s no wonder why dan dan noodles are one of Han Dynasty’s most popular orders.
33. Monkey Bread at Jones
This will drive you bananas.
34. Fried PB&J Sandwich at South Philadelphia Tap Room
This place succeeds at transforming a childhood favorite into an adult-appropriate meal.
35. Crabfries at Chickie and Pete’s
These are best enjoyed with a beer in hand and while watching the Eagles play.
36. Water Ice at John’s Water Ice
You can’t say you’ve been to Philly unless you’ve had “wooter” ice.
37. Sal’s Old School Meatballs at Amis
Made just the way your imaginary Italian grandmother did back in the day.
38. Cheesesteak Eggrolls at Continental Mid-town
As impossible as it sounds, you can never have too many cheesesteaks when you’re in Philly.
39. Tuna Dumplings at Vic Sushi Bar
Essentially pieces of tuna sashimi wrapped around a generous filling of avocado, tempura, spicy mayo and imitation crab. We absolutely love everything about this dish.
40. Spinach Gnocchi at Vetri
Run by the legendary Mark Vetri, this restaurant makes classic gnocchi extra special with the addition of brown butter.
41. Tamales at Mole Poblano
These tamales will change your life, especially if the only Mexican food you’ve ever had comes from Chipotle.
42. Breakfast Tacos at Honest Tom’s Taco Shop
A nice replacement for that sad bowl of oatmeal. Honest Tom’s is also a great place for lunch or dinner with friends.
43. Good Dog Burger at Good Dog Bar
What makes this burger so special is the Roquefort cheese-stuffed beef patty. You best be prepared with some napkins, otherwise you could find melted cheese stuck to your pants the next morning.
44. Guacamole at El Vez
El Vez’s guac is so good, it makes us wish guacamole were its own food group.
45. Arista Sandwich at Paesano’s Philly Style
Made with roasted suckling pig, Italian long dogs, broccoli rabe and sharp provolone, all conveniently stuffed in a warm hoagie roll.
46. Chocolate French Toast at Renata’s Kitchen
Formerly called Café Renata, Renata’s Kitchen is a hidden gem in Philly loved for its classy atmosphere and food.
47. Lombarda Pizza at Osteria
Who could ever resist some good yolk action happening atop a pizza?
48. Frozen Yogurt at Yogorino
At least the frozen yogurt part makes it healthy?
49. Roast Beef Sandwich at Nick’s Old Original Roast Beef
Do yourself a favor by also ordering some gravy fries. After all, what’s roast beef without gravy?
50. Apple Cider Donut at Linvilla Orchards
One simply does not visit Linvilla Orchards just to pick fresh apples (though they’re also something that shouldn’t be missed). Rather, people stop by to take home a dozen box of freshly-made apple cider donuts. We promise you that your first one won’t be your last.