It’s shareable, filling, and usually less than $10 bucks. And Philly has always been a tough sandwich town to beat, with our hoagies and roast porks. But it’s more than just business-as-usual between two slices of bread these days: We’re having something of an international sandwich moment. Here are fifteen of the best sandwiches in Philadelphia, from a bangin’ Bolognese to a classic banh mi. And yes, there’s even a better cheesesteak, although this one isn’t like any you’ve tasted before.
Cheap Eats: A Sandwich Spectacular
FALAFEL SANDWICH, BITAR'S
Bread: Allentown's Soumaya and Sons Bakery pita.
Innards: Falafel, lettuce, tomato, parsley and pickled turnips, topped with tahini sauce.
Sandwich secret: The falafel stays moist and fluffy thanks to a two-part cooking process: First it's pan-seared to seal in moisture, then it's charcoal-grilled to order.
Innards: Hatfield salami, provolone, white onions, tomatoes, oregano, oil. Hot-pepper "hoagie spread" optional but recommended.
Sandwich secret: Not too much meat or cheese.
Lou's Sandwich Shop, 414 East Main Street, Norristown, 610-279-5415
PULLED PORK ITALIANO, DINICS
Bread: DiGiampietro's Bakery.
Innards: Shredded "Italian-style" pork (sharp provolone optional and recommended).
Sandwich secret: The pork is seasoned overnight, roasted at a high temp, then braised for a garlicky finish. The long cooking process means it's only available after 11 a.m. – and often sells out way before closing, so don't show up late.
Innards: Meatballs with optional provolone and parmigiano.
Sandwich secret: The delicious, hefty meatballs (beef, pork and veal) are chef Kristian Leuzzi's grandmom's recipe. Enough said.
Stogie Joe's Tavern, 1801 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-463-3030
EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA, SHANK'S Original
Bread: Seeded Liscio's Italian roll.
Innards: Eggplant, mild provolone, tomato sauce.
Sandwich secret: Breaded eggplant slices are pan-fried in a specially seasoned olive oil, then finished off on the grill for a light, greaseless texture; the homemade tomato sauce elevates this winner.