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Ok, don’t get us wrong—Philly loves cheesesteaks, and so do we. While the famous food is deservedly iconic, the city has many more standout sandwiches well worth a try. If you’re looking for something besides the typical tourist spots, check out a few of our favorite spots here.

THE PAESANO (Paesano’s Philly Style)

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In the new Philly sandwich scene this namesake stack is an icon, as are some of the other creative options at Paesano’s. Enjoy juicy and tender beef brisket on toasty bread, with a horseradish mayo that packs both tang and heat, gooey sharp provolone, oven-roasted tomatoes, and pepperoncini. A runny fried egg ties it all the different flavors together. Bring cash and your appetite; your tastebuds will thank you later.

FUN FACT: The Panelle—a Sicilian chickpea pancake wrapped up with roasted tomato, pickled fennel and housemade sauce—is a good vegetarian option.


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Federal Donuts is known for donuts and fried chicken, but this summer its new sandwich became the hottest culinary commodity in town. So what made it a favorite? Twice-fried boneless chicken breast covered in a flavor-packed buttermilk ranch rub, slapped between a potato roll, and topped with American cheese, dill pickle, and “Rooster sauce” (mild chipotle mayo). Yep, that’s it. The chicken is the star, with a perfect crispy crunch and just the right amount of grease with every bite.

FUN FACT: Over 21,000 of these fried chicken sandwiches were sold at the temporary Spruce Street Harbor Park location this summer.

CREAMY LOBSTER ROLL (Surf and Turf Truck)

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This food truck is a seafood favorite. It offers traditional New England-style lobster rolls, as well as ones with some twists on the classic. While the menu rotates occasionally, the best item on the list is the creamy lobster roll. Chunks of warm and buttered fresh lobster meat are stuffed into a crispy roll with kale, and topped with the truck’s soul-warming lobster bisque and bacon bits. Lobster topped with creamy lobster? You bet. If this toasty treat isn’t available when you hit up the truck, check out the lobster grilled cheese.

FUN FACT: Food trucks can be tricky to track down as their locations change daily. Check out Surf and Turf Truck’s Twitter to see where they’ll be next!

THE SCHMITTER© (McNally’s Tavern)

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Yes, this variation on the Philly cheesesteak is so notable that it’s copyrighted. It brings together a variety tastes for a unique signature dish. The ingredients are simple: sliced beef, American cheese, fried onions, tomato, grilled salami, and a zesty special sauce (mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, and Worcestershire) on a toasted kaiser roll. Using high-grade roast-beef-like meat and cooked salami over Genoa makes this famous sandwich explosive in flavor and high in quality. You can get the ’wich at Lincoln Financial Field or Citizens Bank Park, but quality we prefer the original spot

FUN FACT: The landmark tavern has been located on the cobblestone Germantown Avenue for over 80 years, and the original owners’ great-granddaughters run it.

CUBANO (Lolita)

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image via Instagram

A Cubano is a ramped-up ham sandwich because of its key ingredient, which happens to be one Philly does well—pork. Lolita’s take on the classic includes three varieties of pork: country ham, bacon and succulent pork shoulder. Caciocavallo cheese and chipotle aioli melt over the meat, which is topped with crunchy cabbage and pickles. Also, it comes with jalapeno fries, which are unforgettable.

FUN FACT: Crafty margaritas are a staple at this modern Latin  joint. Try our favorite, the blood orange (tequila blanco, blood orange, lime, and mint).

Header image via Instagram