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Philadelphia’s famous food and drinks

A gourmet guide to the city's iconic eats and drinks.

October 2, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 12
A view of the Philadelphia skyline, with Philadelphia City Hall in the background.

Ready to embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Philadelphia? With its rich history and diverse culture, Philly is a city that serves up a smorgasbord of mouthwatering delights and thirst-quenching beverages that are as vibrant and unique as the city itself. So, prepare your taste buds, because we're about to dive into the top famous foods and drinks that define the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia’s Top 5 Famous Foods


Let's kick things off with the undisputed heavyweight champion of Philly cuisine: the Cheesesteak. This iconic sandwich, loaded with thinly sliced beefsteak and melted cheese on a long, crusty roll, is a testament to the city's love for hearty, unpretentious food. Whether you prefer yours "wit" or "witout" onions, or with Provolone or Cheez Whiz, there's a cheesesteak out there with your name on it.

Soft Pretzels

Next up, we have the Philadelphia Soft Pretzel. This isn't your average pretzel, folks. It's a unique, figure-8 shaped treat with a dense, chewy interior and a slightly crispy exterior, generously sprinkled with coarse salt. Pair it with some spicy mustard, and you've got yourself a quintessential Philly snack.

Roast Pork Sandwich

Often overshadowed by its cheesesteak sibling, the Roast Pork Sandwich is a hidden gem in Philly's culinary crown. Stuffed with juicy, slow-roasted pork, sharp provolone, and garlicky broccoli rabe, this sandwich is a symphony of flavors that will have you questioning your cheesesteak loyalty.


Scrapple might not win any beauty contests, but this breakfast staple, made from pork scraps and cornmeal, is a beloved part of Philly's food heritage. Fried until crispy and served with a side of ketchup or maple syrup, it's a testament to the city's waste-not-want-not ethos.


Last but certainly not least on our food tour is the Hoagie. This isn't just a sandwich; it's a towering masterpiece of Italian cold cuts, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, all drizzled with oil and vinegar on a fresh, crusty roll. It's a handheld feast that fully embodies Philly's larger-than-life spirit.

Philadelphia’s Top 5 Famous Drinks

Citywide Special

The Citywide Special is a Philly institution. This no-frills combo of a shot of whiskey and a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is a testament to the city's down-to-earth vibe. It's a drink that says, "We're all in this together."

Root Beer

Root Beer has a long history in Philadelphia, with local brands like Hank's capturing the city's nostalgic spirit in a bottle. Whether you're enjoying it straight up or as a float with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this sweet, frothy beverage is a taste of Philly tradition.

Craft Beer

Philadelphia's craft beer scene is booming, with local breweries like Yards and Victory leading the charge. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, there's a brew for every palate in this city of beer lovers.

Irish Coffee

Philly's Irish heritage shines through in its love for Irish Coffee. This comforting blend of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of cream is like a warm, boozy hug in a mug.

Water Ice

We're rounding off our drink list with a Philly summer staple: Water Ice. This isn't your average slushie. It's a smooth, refreshing treat made from fruit juice, sugar, and water. Whether you call it "wooder ice" or "Italian ice," it's the perfect way to beat the Philly heat.
These are the  top foods and drinks that make Philadelphia a foodie’s paradise. Each bite and sip tells a story of the city's history, its people, and its unwavering spirit. So, next time you're in Philly, make sure to try these iconic eats and drinks. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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