The Hoagie: Philly's Go-To Cold Sandwich

Visit Philly · Philadelphia Top 10 Guide · created over 6 years ago

According to local lore, the original hoagie-makers were Italian immigrants who sold their wares from carts or dockside luncheonettes. Today, the region’s favorite sandwich knows no bounds: From South Philly to the suburbs, there are go-to hoagie shops in every town and every neighborhood, and many even send their sandwiches through the mail to sate long-distance cravings. Whether it’s a traditional combo of spicy meats and fragrant dressing or a creative variation with artisan ingredients, there’s no shortage of the city’s signature cold sandwich.

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  • Hoagie at Lorenzo's Steaks & Hoagies in West Chester, PA

    Located in downtown West Chester, Lorenzo's slogan is "Where's the Roll?" and they aren't kidding. Sandwich sizes are listed by poundage, with a "mini" hoagie weighing approximately 1.25 pounds and a large climbing up to a staggering four pounds.

  • Classic Italian at Pastificio Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    Located just a few blocks from the Sports Complex, Pastificio has gained adoration from city officials and pro-athletes alike with their Classic Italian hoagie topped with mild provolone, Mortadella, Capicolla, Genoa Salami, and Prosciutto.

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    Soprano Hoagie at Lenny's Home Plate in Philadelphia, PA

    Many residents of Manayunk and Roxborough agree: The top hoagie shop on the Ridge Avenue is Lenny’s Home Plate, where the sandwiches include classics like the Soprano (genoa salami, capicola, cotechino, prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata, locatelli and provolone), served on Liscio rolls and available in Minor or Major League lengths.

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    Hoagie at Campo's Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    An Old City institution since 1947, Campo’s Deli is well situated for visitors of historic sites craving classic hoagies like Italian (salami, ham capacola, peppered ham, pepperoni, prosciutto and provolone) or Italian tuna (oil-packed), available on regular or seeded bread. Sports fans and concert-goers can enjoy the hoagies and cheesesteaks in the Wells Fargo Center, and the Phillies cheering section can find their cheesesteaks in Citizens Bank Park. More good news: They ship to cities nationwide.

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    Hoagie at Tony Luke's in Philadelphia, PA

    Tony Luke’s is a local institution whose cheesesteak (with Wiz or American) and Roast Pork Italian are the two most popular choices by far. Their hoagies deserve recognition too -- all hoagies are decked with lettuce, tomato, raw onion, hot and sweet peppers, cheese and pickles.

  • Wasabi Tuna Hoagie at Frak's Steaks in Philadelphia, PA

    There’s nothing traditional about the wasabi tuna hoagie at Frak’s Steaks, which does away with most of the usual ingredients and substitutes an Asian fusion-style tuna salad with wasabi seasoning, roasted red peppers, French-fried onions and a choice of cheese.

  • Holiday Hoagie at Cosmis Meat Market in Philadelphia, PA

    Cosmi's Holiday hoagie, named for sportscaster Howard Eskin, boasts a tangy filling of prosciutto, sharp provolone, Italian tuna, olives, roasted peppers and balsamic vinegar.

  • Chickpea Salad Hoagie at Blackbird Pizzeria in Philadelphia, PA

    The chickpea salad hoagie at Society Hill’s Blackbird Pizzeria is strictly vegan—the creamy filling is embellished with artichokes, lettuce, tomato and onion and served on a Baker Street vegan roll.

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    Vegan Hoagie at South Philadelphia Tap Room in Philadelphia, PA

    The South Philadelphia Tap Room also serves a mean and lean vegan hoagie, stuffed with grilled tempeh, marinated mushrooms and tofu mayonnaise.

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    Banh Mi at Nhu Y in Philadelphia, PA

    The Vietnamese answer to the hoagie, bánh mì are baguettes typically filled with meat (grilled pork and sausage are common), plus pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, pâté and mayonnaise, redolent with fish sauce.

  • Dattilo's Main Event Hoagie at Dattilo's Delicatessen in Philadelphia, PA

    Italian specialty market Dattillo’s Delicatessen gussies up hoagies with artichoke hearts and homemade roasted peppers, but customers can also buy the fixings to make their own with five different kinds of Italian bread, imported lunchmeats and long-hots to go.

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    Classic Hoagie at Wawa in Philadelphia, PA

    The official sponsor of HoagieFest and builder of a 4.5 ton sandwich in honor of American troops, local favorite Wawa food markets—with locations in five states—take their lunch offerings seriously, allowing customers to build their own in a variety of sizes.

  • Godfather Italian Hoagie at Slack's Hoagie Shack: Grant Plaza 2

    The 15 area locations of Slack’s Hoagies each offer a little something different, but what unites them is the signature Godfather Italian hoagie and a choice of seeded or plain rolls.

  • Knuckle Sandwich at Primo Hoagies in Philadelphia, PA

    A South Philly shop that’s grown immensely in recent years, Primo Hoagie has elevated the art form with a long list of hoagie variants, including the Turkey Diablo and the Knuckle Sandwich (provolone and roasted peppers).

  • Hoagie at Lee's Hoagie House in Philadelphia, PA

    Started in Mt. Airy, Lee’s Hoagie House now has 17 outposts and has built its empire on simple meat and cheese combinations served on Liscio’s rolls.

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    Hoagie at Di Bruno Brothers in Philadelphia, PA

    A major destination for any Italian specialty food connoisseur and purveyor of hoagie fillings galore, Di Bruno Bros. makes a mean sandwich in its own right, with a high-quality olive-oil drizzle.

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    Jewish Hoagie at Koch's Take Out Shop & Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    While Italian hoagies are everywhere in Philly, the true Jewish hoagie is a rare treat, and Koch’s Deli in University City, which serves a corned beef, pastrami, spiced beef, kosher salami and cheese concoction on an Amoroso roll, is the place to find one.

  • The Frankford Hoagie at Finks Hoagies in Philadelphia, PA

    Dubbed the “King of Gourmet Hoagies,” Fink’s offers a signature hoagie with two secret weapons: cotechino (fresh pork sausage) and olive spread. The other hoagies, named for Northeast neighborhoods, similarly elevate traditional recipes with creative touches.

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    Italian Hoagie at Carmen's Famous Italian Hoagie in Philadelphia, PA

    For those who like their hot peppers hot, Reading Terminal stand Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagie is the place for an authentic hoagie stuffed with all manner of meats.

  • Hoagie at Pudge's Steak and Hoagies in Blue Bell, PA

    Boasting a bread supply from Conshohocken Bakery, Pudge’s makes simple hoagies with lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion and oregano. A menu of extra toppings such as hot and sweet peppers, sharp provolone, bacon and “hoagie spread” gussies them up.

  • Hoagie at Carlino's Specialty Foods in West Chester, PA

    Homemade seeded semolina bread, house-label olive oil and locations in both Ardmore and West Chester make Carlino’s Specialty Foods and Catering a hoagie-lover’s dream.

  • Guiseppe Hoagie at Planet Hoagie in Media, PA

    Media’s claim to sandwich fame, Planet Hoagie is a takeout-only gem of a shop with a long list of Italo-centric selections such as the Guiseppe (hot sopressata, sharp provolone, Italian tuna and prosciutto). In Philadelphia, hoagie lovers can find their sandwiches at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.

  • Italian Hoagie at Shank's Original Pier 40 in Philadelphia, PA

    While it’s perhaps better known for its hot sandwiches, Shank’s delivers a respectable menu of traditional hoagies: Italian (mixed meats and mild provolone), Old-School Italian (with prosciutto and sharp provolone), chicken cutlet, tuna and veggie.

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    Junk Yard Special at Sarcone's Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    The original Bella Vista Sarcone’s deli has spawned multiple locations, and it’s easy to see why. At the hoagie mecca, freshly baked seeded rolls are lovingly stuffed in combos like the Italian Market (hot capicola, turkey breast, roasted peppers, sharp provolone) and the Junk Yard Special (turkey, prosciutto, sautéed spinach, roasted peppers, mozzarella, sharp provolone).

  • Old Fashioned Italian at Ricci's Hoagies in Philadelphia, PA

    Point Breeze hoagie destination Ricci Brothers uses pillowy Liscio rolls as the basis for its no-frills two-handers, with varieties like Italian (two types of salami), Old-Fashioned Italian (sharp provolone, prosciutto, sopressata and pepper shooters), Turkey and Cheese and Prosciutto and Sharp Provolone.

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    Daddy Wad at Paesano's Philly Style in Philadelphia, PA

    The offerings at Paesano’s sandwich shop are decidedly new-school thanks to chef Peter McNamara’s flourish: Daddy Wad marries mortadella with pistachios, genoa salami, sopressata, capicola, prosciutto and sharp provolone with arugula, tomatoes, onions and sweet and hot peppers, while the Tuna Italiana throws herb-cheddar spread, hard-cooked egg, roasted tomatoes, arugula and chips into the mix.

  • Italian Inferno Hoagie at Lombardi's Specialty Hoagies in Philadelphia, PA

    The Italian Inferno is the item of choice at underdog Lombardi’s Specialty Hoagies, a Dante-inspired number with capicola, soppressata, sharp provolone and hot pepper shooters.

  • The Godfather at Cosmis Meat Market in Philadelphia, PA

    Family owned and operated since 1932, Cosmi’s is a corner deli with a legendary reputation for hoagies hot and cold served on Sarcone’s rolls. The Godfather (prosciutto, sopressata, roasted peppers, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and green olives) is a standout.

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    Original Veggie Hoagie at Chickie's Italian Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    The award-winning Chickie’s Italian Deli’s notable menu items include the Original Veggie (baked eggplant, sautéed broccoli rabe, roasted peppers and Chickie’s own blend of sharp provolone) and Tuna Special (olive oil-packed tuna with provolone, roasted peppers, lettuce, tomato and onion). Each delectable sandwich sits on a roll from Sarcone’s Bakery.

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    The Drexel Hoagie at Stan's Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    The home of the “Stanwich,” Stan’s Deli is Powelton Village’s main hoagie connection, with all of the traditional one-meat delights, plus an array of specialty hoagies. Popular options include The Drexel (corned beef, spiced beef, coleslaw, turkey, Russian dressing and provolone) and The Penn (spiced beef, honey turkey, spicy turkey, hot pepper cheese and Russian dressing).

  • Sunnyside special hoagie at Brothers Old Style Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    Tucked away in East Falls, Brother’s Old Style Deli enthralls with its small selection of hoagies: Three Brothers (Asiago, sharp provolone and Swiss); sharp provolone with roasted peppers; and the Sunnyside Special (mozzarella balls, roasted peppers and sliced prosciutto).

  • Nucci Italian Hoagie at Marinucci's Deli in Philadelphia, PA

    A Mayfair favorite, Marinucci’s Deli gives customers a lot of hoagie for their buck—one meat-packed sandwich can easily feed two people, and the Nucci Italian and the Brous Avenue (roast pork with sharp provolone and roasted peppers) are signature items.

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    Italian Hoagie at Salumeria in Philadelphia, PA

    The Reading Terminal’s elegant cheese emporium Salumeria also happens to be one of Center City’s top-notch outlets for sandwiches. Their Italian hoagie combines imported meats and cheeses layered with roasted red peppers, artichokes and a drizzle of creamy house dressing.

  • South Philly Hoagie at Skippack Village Italian Mrkt in Skippack, PA

    Variations on the hoagie theme at Skippack Village Italian Market include the South Philly (soppressata, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes) and the Roast Beef Abbruzzi (beef and spicy cheese spread).

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    Sessano special hoagie at Sessano Cafe and Deli in Norristown, PA

    The pork sandwiches win rave reviews at Norristown’s strip mall gem Sessano Café, but the Sessano Special hoagie (prosciutto, salami, capicola, provolone, mozzarella, tomatoes, roasted peppers and basil) is just as worthy of praise.

  • Classic Italian at Cut Above Deli in Newtown Square, PA

    The appropriately named Cut Above Deli in Newtown Square services its passionate patrons with not one, not two, but seven different styles of Italian hoagies, ranging from Classic to Milano, all made with quality ingredients like Daniele prosciutto and Sarcone’s bread.

  • Moscia at Montesano Brothers in Chester Springs, PA

    There’s the Moscia (sweet soppressata, mozzarella and prosciutto) and the Meddigon (deli- style ham, bologna and American cheese) on offer at Montesano Bros, a Chester Springs deli and market with breads from Abruzzi Bakery.

  • Ultimate Italian at Foster Boys in Downingtown, PA

    In case the Ultimate Italian (featuring stuffed pepper shooters) isn’t enough for you, Downingtown favorite Foster Boys Pizza has Special Italian (sharp provolone, ham, capicola, soppressata and prosciutto) and Super Italian (sharp provolone, capicola, soppressata, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and tomato) hoagies, too.

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    Don Supreme at Pallantes Italian Deli

    A relative underdog in the hoagie world, Richboro’s Pallante’s Italian Deli placed high on radio station WIP’s hoagie challenge with its Don Supreme, a Sarcone’s roll filled with prosciutto, sopressata, shredded provolone and oil-dipped long hots.

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    Monster at Altomonte's Italian Market in Doylestown, PA

    The Monster is the hoagie of choice at the authentic Altomonte’s Italian Market and Delicatessen, featuring mortadella, provolone, capicola, sopressata and ham, available at both Bucks County locations.