With cheesesteaks to the east, pierogi to the west, Old Forge pizza up in NEPA, and all sorts of good, gooey stuff in Amish country, Pennsylvania is rich with native foods. Our newsletter readers shared their favorites.
You’ll find regional differences in all sorts of things throughout Pennsylvania, and that’s definitely reflected in the kind of foods synonymous with various parts of the state.
You’ve got cheesesteaks and soft pretzels to the east, pierogi to the west, Old Forge pizza up in NEPA, and all sorts of good, gooey stuff in Amish country like shoofly pie and whoopie pies (or gobs, as some Pennsylvanians call them).
Hot dogs are a big deal in the Lehigh Valley. And let’s not forget that Pennsylvania is considered the mushroom capital of the world and is a leading manufacturer of chocolate. (Yes, chocolate is a food).
With so many great native foods here in the commonwealth, we asked our newsletter readers to tell us their favorites.
Here’s what your fellow Pennsylvanians had to say (some responses have been edited for length and clarity):
“Pizza from Old Forge”
-Patricia O’Donnell, Taylor
-Heather Green, near Pittsburgh
“I may live in the eastern part of the state, but nothing beats pierogi. Every time I visit my family in Pittsburgh, I have to have it.”
-Jackie W., Doylestown
“My favorites would have to be a sub sandwich from Screpesi’s, or a tuna sub from V & S Sandwich Shop, both on Lancaster Avenue in Reading. I’ve been enjoying these since I was in my 20’s and now I’m 70. Maybe eating these for decades could be a reason I’ve lived so long?”
-Terry Strugis, Douglasville
“A pretzel with German mustard. Delicious!”
-Teresa Strittmatter, Philadelphia
“My favorite Pa. food is definitely Tastykakes, especially the Chocolate Juniors. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting in a nice portable package? Yes please!”
-Laura Klotz, Northampton County
“A zep sandwich, which was born, and is pretty much only found in Norristown. Best zeps can be found at Eve’s Lunch in Norristown.”
-Victoria Eckert, Berks County
“Old Forge pizza.”
Ruth Kemmerer, NEPA
“Philly soft pretzels! I have always loved Philly soft pretzels since my dad took me to my first Eagles game at Franklin Field in 1962 and he bought me a bag of them from a street vendor.”
-David Narkiewicz, Lancaster County
“Deep fried scrapple with maple syrup!”
-Mary, Chadds Ford (*grew up in Lebanon)
“My favorite foods from Pa. are chicken (or turkey) corn soup and the special steak sandwich from Little Italy in Bainbridge. I also love a good wet-bottom shoofly pie and apple dumplings! We have so much great local food here that it’s hard to choose just one favorite.”
-Wendy J. Diffendall, Bainbridge
“Tony Luke’s roast pork with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone at Citizens Bank Park!!!”
-Janice Ritenuti, Swiftwater
“Pierogi, with lots of sour cream. All day, every day.”
-Tommy Winooski, Greenburg
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