Pastrami on Rye: The Top 5 Delis in Philadelphia

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Sure, we have the market cornered on cheesesteaks, but Philly sandwich love doesn’t stop there. The traditional deli is a beloved institution around here; a place where you can order two pounds of meat squished between two slices of bread and not worry about snide glances. The next time the salty Siren call of pickles and corned beef start calling, head to one of these top delis.

1 Famous 4th Street Delicatessen

Whether you settle into a booth at their original Fabric Row location in South Philly or pop in over lunch break at their newer Center City spot, you'll quickly discover why this favorite is considered "famous." Their massive sandwiches will wow, while the upgraded Zaftig size looks like it could easily feed a family of four. Old school sides like kishka and kugal win over the traditionalists, while the amazing chocolate chip cookies melt everyone else.

700 South Fourth St.

Philadelphia, PA 19147


38 South 19th St.

Philadelphia, PA 19103


2 Sarcone's Deli

While Sarcone's doesn't fall into the category of traditional Jewish delis, this Italian market favorite knows how to handle a meat slicer. Specializing in hoagies (they obviously know their audience), the varieties on tap blow your classic turkey and cheese out of the water. We personally love any of the options which include prosciutto, including The Sinatra with sauteed spinach, garlic and mozzarella.

734 South Ninth St.

Philadelphia, PA 19147


3 Chickie's Italian Deli

Another hoagie heaven, Chickie's is pure Italian South Philly at its best. Come early as when the rolls run out, they close up for the day. No frills and ultra friendly, they'll make you a heaping sandwich of your favorite meats. We suggest you go off course a tad, though, and opt for the Veggie or the Fried Tomato Special. Garden goodness never tasted so divine.

1014 Federal St.

Philadelphia, PA 19147


4 Hershel's East Side Deli

Lauded for having some of the best pastrami and corned beef in the city, people line up at this Jewish deli counter for mountain-like sandwiches on fresh, buttered rye. Go for a lunch special and pair a Reuben with a cup of perfectly seasoned matzo ball soup and you'll have the greatest Jewish gastronomic combo around.

Reading Terminal Market

12th & Arch streets

Philadelphia, PA 19176


5 Koch's Deli

Satisfying University City students and professors since the 60s, this Jewish-style deli is always in demand. Nom on some free samples of their tender pastrami while you decide what to order. If you can't choose between the classic specials or more modern hoagie, blend them in the masterpiece that is the Jewish Hoagie: corned beef, pastrami, spiced beef, kosher salami and American cheese.

4309 Locust St.

Philadelphia, PA 19104


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