Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Apr 11, 2014 12:45 PM

Stopping by philly on the way to Baltimore from NY.

Hey all, I'm driving from NY to Baltimore and I'm planning on stopping by Philly for food. If you were to choose ONE place/thing to eat in less than an hour, what would it be? Thanks for the help!!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What day of the week are you travelling? And what time of day are you planning on stopping?

    2 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      I'll be there in the middle of May, Mon-Wed. Planning on a nice dinner on Monday most likely.

      1. re: cwdonald

        Sorry, I thought this was for the Baltimore post. I'll be travelling on a Monday morning/afternoon!

      2. I would have a roast beef and swiss on rye with Russian dressing at Koch's deli @43rd and Locust.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          Thanks! I will definitely look it up

          1. re: mxdx1

            Travelin' through NJ on the pike, I have diverted across the Walt Whitman bridge just to get back to Koch's, 40 years after college there.

            1. re: Veggo

              haha! Man there are just so many choices!

              1. re: Veggo

                When was the last time you were there? I've lived in the area for close to 20 years, but can no longer recommend it. It's not bad for the occasional sandwich, but it's nothing like the old days. No Koch is involved with the establishment currently.

                1. re: Boognish

                  I know that Bobby and Louis are no longer there and it was sold, I'm saddened to hear the new owners are not maintaining the Koch's quality and quantity standards. You may have spared me from a long disappointing detour my next time in the area.
                  Mrs. Koch used to pass out so much sliced meat and cheese to those waiting in line that sometimes it almost made a meal! Ah, the memory of better days....

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Yeah skip it. Just a regular deli, nothing special.

                    1. re: barryg

                      Wow, that is very sad. When I was at grad school at Penn in the mid-90s, I lived one block from Koch's and spent many a happy hour on that line!

          2. I would get a sandwich

            Some Options for Classic Philly Sandwiches

            John's Roast Pork


            Tony Lukes




            Or a bit more complex



            All are easily accessed off of 95 and all are classic Philly in location and atmosphere

            John's is an all time local favorite but has awful hours

            Shanks is on the river and you can sit and watch the barges and the bikers on a nice day

            Tony Lukes I never ate at but it is a pretty classic joint

            Paesanos is my favorite of the list and their sandwiches are really elevated from the rest. I had for lunch today the house made lamb sausage sandwich - truly amazing. Paesanos on Girard probably an easier lift from 95 and easier parking

            4 Replies
            1. re: JTPhilly

              Wow, that is VERY helpful! It is definitely going to be tough to narrow it down!! Thank you!!

              1. re: JTPhilly

                All of these sound terrific! I hope to be coming through this week around lunchtime, does anybody have a good idea how much time I should budget out of my trip north on 95? Food this good must surely involve a line -- I would ideally pull off of 95 around 12:30, with two kids, so if any of these places are known for short lines at lunch that would be really cool. As great and as short a list as this is, I wonder if anyone local can help me make my decision?

                1. re: antepiedmont

                  I'd go to Tony Luke's. Very easy off 95, always quick service, and options that should appeal to everyone. I'd get the roast pork italian, but the cheesesteaks are also decent. My kids like the chicken cutlet sandwiches, which you can get Italian (provolone and greens), or with tomato sauce and cheese, plain, or however.

                  1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                    Thanks for the recommendation. I was kind of hoping for Paesano's but that may have to wait until I'm not in a rush

              2. I'd get a roast pork sandwich at Tony Luke's. There are better lunches in the city, but that one is literally directly underneath I-95, very convenient for your drive. If you're not quite that pressed for time, I'd go to Paesano's in the Italian Market.

                7 Replies
                    1. re: SP1

                      Au contraire... John's Roast Pork is far superior to Tony Lukes...

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        True, John's is also my favorite. It seemed to me the OP's arrival time may not coincide with John's hours.

                        1. re: SP1

                          He followed up by saying travelling Monday morning/afternoon which should be ok for Johns as long as he is there before 3.. (do they still run out of bread?)

                          1. re: cwdonald

                            Thanks guys! I am most likely either going to try Johns or go to Dinic's!

                            1. re: cwdonald

                              Before 3:00 should be fine, especially on a Monday.

                    2. I would go to the Reading Terminal Market. My first choice probably would be a roast pork with broccoli rabe and provolone.

                      Another alternative at RTM is Hershel's Deli which makes its own pastrami..

                      Salumeria makes great classic Philly style Hoagies.

                      Beck's is a Cajun food stand in the market, and it not only makes a credible muffelletta, but they make a cajun cheesesteak that is much better than the touristy versions of cheesesteaks.

                      There are plenty of other options in RTM. And Philly's chinatown is right close to RTM. You could go to Nan Zhou Noodle house and have hand drawn noodles. either pan fried or soup.

                      The biggest issue I have is whether you are really going to be able to get in and out in an hour, especially with parking.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: cwdonald

                        I'm an asian from NY, I think I get enough chinese food :P I am very interested in this Hershel's deli... Homemade pastrami.. Thanks for the help!!!

                        1. re: mxdx1

                          Thanks for the reply... would certainly not have suggested Chinatown had I known.. next time you might want to provide more informaton...

                          That said, I failed to give you the name of the place that makes the roast pork. Its Tommy DiNics. This place won best sandwich in america on a Travel Channel show.

                          The owner of Herschels Deli in RTM used to work at Katz's in NY so he learned to make his pastrami from one of the best.

                          1. re: cwdonald

                            Oh man.. I think I just got sold on the pork sandwich now...

                            1. re: mxdx1

                              you can get an equally good version of the pork sandwich at John's Roast Pork if you are time limited (John's is closer to I95)

                              1. re: Bigley9

                                I do not think John's has broccoli rabe..

                              2. re: mxdx1

                                the pork with Broccoli Rabe at DiNic's is the way to go! it is heaven!

                                1. re: mxdx1

                                  The pastrami sandwich is lightyears better.