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Top 15 Philly Foods For Your Eating Pleasure

Updated on April 18, 2017

TastyKakes Food Truck

Jeep Wrangler POV of TastyKake Food Truck
Jeep Wrangler POV of TastyKake Food Truck | Source

The TastyKake Temptation

While the Tasty Baking Company has been around for 100 years (founded in 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), this picture was taken in present day Philly area. I was driving from a computer client when I saw, in the distance, a vehicle that had the back doors open while driving ahead of me in the left lane. As I sped up see a clear picture of the truck, I paused with a loud WOW! It was a TastyKake truck in which the driver must have forgotten to close the back door - practically inviting me in for Kandy Kakes or Krimpets.

Believe me that I calculated about 50 different ways to get in that truck within a two mile distance but opted for a smart phone picture instead.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A markerPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania -
Philadelphia, PA, USA
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The Philadelphia Food Temptation

You do not receive recognition as the cultural and economic giant in the Delaware Valley by chance. You have to have great culture - check. You have to have great history - check. You have to have great foods - check.

Having grown up on the beach in New Jersey I only heard about some of the great foods associated with Philadelphia. As a young boy, TastyKakes were the first introduction into this great portal but I knew nothing of culture or history then - I only knew that I like chocolate and peanut butter.

When I moved into Pennsylvania 15 years ago, I began understanding more of the great foods from the largest Commonwealth city. The Philadelphia (aka Philly) foods that are most popular in this area include cheese steaks, hoagies, scrapple, soft pretzels, tomato pies, TastyKake and water (Italian) ice.

Philadelphia Food Favorites

Which Philly Area Foods Do You Most Associate with Philadelphia?

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The Cheese Steak Temptation

When the weather is warm, we like to ride in my Jeep Wrangler with the top down and the radio on. One a warm Summer day we took a drive without any destination in mind. We drove west of Philly for several miles into the Lancaster area. On a back road we saw a cow stop. It looked like a bus stop for cows (see the video above). We parked the Jeep and got out to hand select my next beef cheese steak. Do you know as I walked up and down cow row, looking at each cow individually, they all turned their heads in the same direction looking at me as if I were their next meal.

As I wondered how many cheese-steaks I could have with this flock of cows, I could not resist the video so I took this brief footage and posted it to YouTube immediately.

Wawa (Foods and Location)

Wawa - Bagel Sandwich - Turkey Sausage, Egg Whites and Cheese
Wawa - Bagel Sandwich - Turkey Sausage, Egg Whites and Cheese | Source

The Wawa Temptation

Located in the Chester Heights Borough of Delaware County near the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a town called Wawa. Wawa was renamed from Pennelton in 1884 as the name translates into "Wild Goose" from the many flocks that were attracted to a local water supply.

In Middleton Township of Chester Heights is a dairy, specifically Wawa dairy, that began expanding itself to the surrounding area eventually opening up a convenience store. Given the popularity of the Wawa stores today, in the the Philly area, a town local must feel as important as a person from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The Wawa store sells a great breakfast sandwich with turkey sausage, egg white and cheese on a bagel. The sandwich is inexpensive, around 300 calories and available because the town of Wawa turned their dairy into a convenience store (once of which is located about 1/2 mile from my home).

Meals Past and Present near Philly

breakfast near Philly1
breakfast near Philly1 | Source
breakfast near Philly2
breakfast near Philly2 | Source
breakfast near Philly3
breakfast near Philly3
breakfast near Philly4
breakfast near Philly4

Ethnic Foods On South Street In Philly

Souvlaki's South Street - Greek Gyro sandwich
Souvlaki's South Street - Greek Gyro sandwich | Source

Game Day, Holiday and Sports Bar Foods From Philly

Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's
Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's | Source
Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's
Philly Cheesesteak from Geno's | Source
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings | Source
Pizza from local pizza place
Pizza from local pizza place | Source
Slidders (Turkey Sausage, Egg Whites and Cheese) from a local diner
Slidders (Turkey Sausage, Egg Whites and Cheese) from a local diner | Source

Suburban Philly Food Favorites

While there is a Buffalo Wild Wings in Philadelphia and some of the best wings around, there is also a great local diner to get my own menu item sliders or a fantastic local pizzeria that can keep you there for days with the smell a great food.

At a local diner I ordered turkey sausage, egg white and cheese sliders so often, it became a menu item. True story and now a local favorite from a diner that used to sell a cheese-steak as good as any authentic Philly food place.

When it comes to Friday nights, pizza is our choice for diner and we will not deter from our favorite local pizzeria. A decent beer selection on draft and great food are only two reasons why we keep going back.

Philadelphia Original Foods

Scrapple - copy granted by Stu Spivack
Scrapple - copy granted by Stu Spivack | Source
Tomato Pie - copy granted by Frank DuRoss Jr. a.k.a. Fduross of English Wikipedia
Tomato Pie - copy granted by Frank DuRoss Jr. a.k.a. Fduross of English Wikipedia | Source

Top 10 Philadelphia Favorite Foods

Year of Origin
sliced beef, melted cheese, italian roll
potato chips, pretzels
sliced meats, cheese, lettuce, italian roll
peanut chews
chocolate, peanuts
17th, 18th centuries
everything in the pig but the ears
soft pretzels
baked bread in the shape of a knot with salt
cheese, meats or veggies wrapped in italian bread
chocolate cake and peanut butter kandy kakes
tomato pie
late 19th century
a square, cheese-less pizza
water ice
fruit and ice

Cheese Steaks, Scrapple and Tomato Pie - Oh My!


One of the most famous foods to originate from Philadelphia is the cheese-steak sandwich - probably as popular as the Gyro sandwich in Greece or on South Street in Philly. Having lived here for 15 years I have had many cheese-steaks and took the best cheese-steak in Philly challenge only one time. We were at the Class of 23 Ice Hockey rink located in North Philadelphia when we got hungry and wanted to get some lunch. Following the game, we elected to head down to the famous battle grounds of Geno's and Pat's - both cheese-steak vendors across the street from one another in South Philly. I purchased the most popular sandwich from each menu, added cherry peppers to each (pictured in this hub) and tasted both. I think it was the melted cheese on top of Pat's sandwich that made it a better food for me but if you may get yelled at if you are not quick with your order.


The Pennsylvania Dutch call it "pan rabbit" but this mechanically separated pig parts smashed together with cornmeal and wheat flour is as popular in Philly as chocolate is in Hershey. I first learned of this food from a friend who offered me to try it. I do not try any food without knowing what it is first so I asked him what are the ingredients. His reply was "everything from a pig except the ears". I told him that there was a better chance of the Philadelphia Eagles winning the super bowl then me trying this local favorite (at that time the Eagles were so bad that a high school football team could have beaten them).

Several years later, I did try a very small piece that was pan fried and loaded with hot sauce. I did not enjoy this food and will not try it again, in my lifetime, but the product is very common in this area so it is worthy to mention.

Tomato Pie

Another local favorite among the Philadelphia people is a simple yet tasteful food known as Tomato Pie. Believe me, the only other local food simpler than this pie is the soft pretzel. The tomato pie is a rectangle of baked bread (resembles a Sicilian pizza), tomato sauce and perhaps Romano cheese) period. The flavor really depends on the sauce but add some hot sauce and peppers and you have a nice meal that can serve the entire family.

Philadelphia Food Quiz

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© 2014 mts1098


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