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Top Delis In Philadelphia

When you think of delis, you picture fresh meats, cheeses, oil, veggies and more all piled high on the area's best bread and rolls. With both Jewish and Italian delis (among others), Philadelphia delivers when it comes to great sandwiches and hoagies. The best delis in the area are favorite lunch spots, must-stops before sporting events and even the go-to for party trays to bring to gatherings with family and friends.

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
700 S. 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-3274

This corner deli has been a Philly staple since 1923. In fact, it even appeared in Philadelphia-based movies "Philadelphia" and "In Her Shoes." After more than 80 years of being run by the same family, Famous changed ownership in 2005. The current owner, Russ Cowan, grew up in the deli business in New York and maintains the tradition of great Jewish delis. Portions are huge, so it's not unusual to go home with leftovers for lunch the following day. All of the baking, pastrami smoking and corned beef pickling are done in-house. Piled high on crusty grilled rye, the tender hot corned beef with Russian dressing is the standout favorite.

Ben & Irv's Delicatessen & Restaurant
1962 County Line Rd.
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
(215) 355-2000

Originally located in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, Ben and Irv's is a family-owned business going back just about 60 years. The Jewish-style deli moved to Huntingdon Valley in the '80s and it has been an area favorite ever since. The deli is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for its pastrami, corned beef and smoked fish as well as Jewish specialties like matzo ball soup.

Related: Top Breakfast Sandwiches In Philadelphia

Chickie's Italian Deli
1014 Federal St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 462-8040

Henry George opened Chickie's Italian Deli in 1993. Naming the spot after his mother, who passed away soon before the deli opened, Henry takes great pride in using Calabrese recipes when possible. All of the hoagies are served on Sarcone's bread, and Chickie's claims to be the home of "The Original Veggie Hoagie." Made with sharp provolone, sautéed broccoli rabe, baked eggplant and roasted peppers, vegetarians will rejoice in this hefty meatless meal. Another classic that you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else is the "Fried Tomato Special" with fried tomatoes, roasted peppers, crispy bacon, lettuce and your choice of cheese. To make it even more incredible, add on the optional turkey and a generous spread of mayonnaise.

Cosmi's Deli
1501 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-6093

Cosmi's was founded by Cosimo Quattrone in the heart of South Philly in 1932. The family owned and operated store started out as a grocery store with a full-service deli and butcher department. During the '70s and '80s, patrons started coming in on their lunch breaks and asking for their meats on rolls with cheese. Soon, Cosmi's was one of the most popular hoagie spots in the area. And while the cheesesteak is said to hold its own next to the famous Pat's and Geno's nearby, "The Sicilian" is a favorite monster hoagie made with sopressato, hot coppa, prosciutto, mortadella, sharp provolone and roasted red peppers on a seeded Sarcone's roll.

Koch's Deli
4309 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-8662

This West Philadelphia spot has been serving University City since 1966. Combining Jewish deli favorites with the traditional Philly hoagie, Koch's makes colossal sandwiches to order using freshly sliced meat. Order the "Jewish Hoagie" to get a taste of what Koch is known for. This meaty masterpiece is served on an Amoroso roll and features spiced beef (a Koch exclusive), pastrami, corned beef, salami, American cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and pickled banana peppers. While this tiny storefront can get crowded, guests have the benefit of receiving free samples such as potato salad while they wait. Love the potato salad? Opt for the "Special K" hoagie, where the potato salad is piled high on a hoagie roll along with turkey, pastrami, corned beef, salami, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing or mustard.

Sarcone's Deli
734 S. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1717

Some of the best restaurants and sandwich shops in Philly use bread from Sarcone's Bakery, so why not go right to the source and visit Sarcone's Deli, located just a few steps from the bakery? The hoagie rolls here are known for their crunchy crust and soft, dense middle – ideal for your favorite cheeses and meats. The gourmet "Old Fashioned Italian" is stuffed with sharp provolone, hot coppa, prosciutto, hot sopressato, mayo, lettuce, onion, tomato and dry herbs and is always a top choice. And the "Junk Yard Special" (prosciutto, turkey, roasted red peppers, sautéed spinach, mozzarella, provolone, oil, red, wine vinegar and dry herbs) once appeared on an episode of "Best Thing I Ever Ate" on The Food Network.

Related: Best Sandwiches In Philadelphia

Slack's Hoagie Shack
15 locations in Philadelphia & New Jersey

Slack's Hoagie Shack was established in 1988 and quickly became the top hoagie franchise in the Mid-Atlantic area. You don't get the rustic charm of the South Philly Italian Market favorites, but the hoagies are delicious in their own right. "The Cumberland" (an upgrade from the standard American hoagie) is a favorite featuring capicola, lots of American cheese, salami, bologna, tavern ham, shredded lettuce, oil, spicy hot pepper relish and dried oregano. All Slack's hoagies are served on the famous soft Amoroso's rolls.

Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women's fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn't pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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