5 Classic Philly Foods For Your Culinary Exploration

April 5, 2021

The best way to explore a new city is through its food! For those of you who are new to Philly, the city is home to tons of local delicacies that you can’t find in other parts of the country. Whether you’re a recent transplant or just stopping by for the weekend, here is a list of our top five classic Philly foods to kick off your culinary journey and where to find them:


The Tasty Baking Company opened its doors in Germantown back in 1914. Over a century later, Tastykakes continues to make their signature, packaged, snack food cakes and other baked goods from their Navy Yard bakery. You can pick up a bag, box, or individual treat at any Philly grocery or convenience store.

Tomato Pie

Every city has its style of pizza, and Philly’s is the tomato pie. Sicilian immigrants brought over this unique type of pizza known for its focaccia-style crust, little to no cheese, and being served at room temperature. Popular Italian spots serving tomato pie include Santucci’s, Marchiano's Bakery, and Cacia's Bakery. Don’t knock it till you try it!


Scrapple is a regional breakfast dish created by the local Pennsylvania Dutch community. Pork scraps, cornmeal, and spices are combined to make a meatloaf which is then sliced and pan-fried. The greasy, polarizing dish is a diner staple and can be conveniently found at the Dutch Eating Place or Down Home Diner in Reading Terminal Market.

Water Ice

Think of water ice as Italian ice’s cousin from Philly who has a slushie-like consistency and simple ingredients: just water, sugar, and a fruit component in its most traditional form. John’s has been serving this summer treat for decades and is the water ice stand of choice for former presidents. Siddiq’s is a great West Philly option. Wherever you go, remember, it’s pronounced “wooder.”

Roast Pork Sandwich

Elevate your idea of the classic Philly sandwich and trade in your cheesesteak for a roast pork sandwich! Traditionally dressed with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone, the roast pork is considered by some to be the city sandwich of the locals; if you want to try the people’s sandwich, head over to Tommy DiNic’s in Reading Market Terminal or John’s Roast Pork.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our top five classic Philly foods to kick off your city’s culinary journey. While we capped this list at five, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of interesting, Philly-only foods. As the city opens up again, we hope you continue to explore other restaurants and eateries and support the rich local food scene that makes Philly a place that we are proud to call home.