Philadelphia is a great place for food lovers. Philadelphia is a beautiful city bustling with a variety of cuisines. From cheesesteaks to pretzels, there are many iconic foods to try. Food in Philadelphia is influenced by the people who make up its population. You can find Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Middle Eastern influences in the Philadelphian cuisine. Here are some of the most popular foods you should try while in Philadelphia:
Water Ice is an iconic Philadelphian desert locals enjoy on a hot summer day. As the name suggests, the dessert is made of shaved ice mixed with fruit syrup into a smooth consistency. Outside of Philadelphia, this delicious treat is called the Italian Ice. The dessert was popularised by Rita’s Italian Ice, which retired firefighter Bob Tumolo founded in the 1980s. Making this simple dessert is a rather time-consuming process. The trick to creating a perfect water ice recipe with a smooth consistency is to ensure that half of the water that goes into the manufacturing process turns into ice crystals. You can try D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats, Dre’s Homemade Water Ice and Ice Cream, Fred’s Water Ice, etc., for this delicious treat in Philadelphia.
Pretzels are one of the favorite snacks among the locals in Philadelphia. Pretzels are a standard food item here, no matter the time of the day. The German settlers introduced the recipe, and Philadelphia is known for its signature variety – the soft Pretzel. Ideally, a Pretzel should be crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. In Philadelphia, Pretzels are shaped like in figure eight, compared to the heart-shaped ones elsewhere. Experts say that this unique shape is what resulted in the texture and flavor characteristic of soft pretzels in Philadelphia. You can try this delicious treat in Miller’s Twist, Philly Pretzel Factory, Pretzel Workz, etc.
There is no list of Philadelphia cuisines without mentioning the iconic Philly Cheesesteaks. It is a super delicious sandwich made from caramelized onion, pepper, thinly sliced steak, and cheese filling into a crusty roll of bread. When it comes to cheese, you can opt for provolone, American, or Cheez-Wiz for your Philly cheesesteaks. The original recipe for this popular dish is credited to Pat and Harry Olivieri, who ran a hotdog stand. The Philly Cheesecake, as we know it today, originated in the 1930s when the brothers introduced it in their hotdog stand. You can try delicious cheesesteaks at Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks, John’s Roast Pork, or Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies.
Hoagies are the Philadelphia version of the sub sandwich, but better. Hoagies are influenced by Italian cuisine and contain meat, cheese, and other condiments. The recipe for this iconic dish is known to be from the Italian immigrants who resided in Hog Island during WW1. You can try Hoagies at popular spots such as Primo Hoagies, Liberty Kitchen PHL, and Pastificio Deli.