What Food is Pennsylvania Known For?


Pennsylvania may be known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history, but it’s also a paradise for foodies. From local delicacies to traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, the state has a diverse range of culinary offerings that are sure to satisfy any palate.

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, exploring Pennsylvania’s food scene is a must-do. From the famous Philly cheesesteak to savory pot pie, and sweet shoofly pie, the state’s cuisine is a reflection of its cultural heritage.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pennsylvania is a great destination for food lovers looking to explore local flavors and culinary traditions.
  • The state’s culinary heritage is diverse, with influences from Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and iconic dishes like the Philly cheesesteak.
  • Don’t miss out on trying delicious Pennsylvania Dutch treats like shoofly piescrapplewhoopie pie, and apple butter.
  • Experience the warmth of Pennsylvania with hearty comfort foods like pot pie and chicken and waffles.
  • Embarking on a culinary adventure in Pennsylvania is sure to leave you craving for more.

Exploring Pennsylvania’s Traditional Dishes

Pennsylvania is renowned for its diverse cultural influences, and its cuisine is no exception. The state’s food heritage is an eclectic mix of German, Dutch, and African American flavors, resulting in a unique culinary experience.

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine is a staple in the state’s food scene. This traditional cuisine, also known as Pennsylvania German cuisine, is characterized by hearty comfort foods and simple, yet flavorful dishes.

One must-try Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy is scrapple. This breakfast meat is made from pork scraps and cornmeal and is a popular dish in the Amish and Mennonite communities. Order it at any local diner, and you won’t be disappointed.

Another sweet treat to try is shoofly pie, a molasses-filled pie that’s rich and indulgent. It’s a classic dessert that’s been enjoyed in Pennsylvania for centuries.

Finally, a visit to Pennsylvania wouldn’t be complete without tasting the iconic whoopie pie. This dessert is made of two soft cookies sandwiched together with a creamy, sweet filling. Try it at a local bakery or farmers’ market for a true taste of Pennsylvania.

Overall, Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine highlights the state’s proud culinary heritage and is well worth sampling.

The Cheesesteak – Pennsylvania’s Iconic Sandwich

When it comes to iconic Pennsylvania cuisine, the cheesesteak reigns supreme. This mouthwatering sandwich, invented in Philadelphia, consists of thinly sliced beefsteak, melted cheese, and sautéed onions, all served on a crusty roll.

The debate over the best place to get a cheesesteak in Philadelphia has been ongoing for decades. Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks are two establishments that have gained national recognition for their delicious creations. Pat’s King of Steaks opened in 1930 and claims to have invented the cheesesteak. Geno’s Steaks, located across the street from Pat’s, has been serving up cheesesteaks since 1966.

Pat’s King of SteaksGeno’s Steaks
1237 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
1219 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Insider’s Tip: To avoid the long lines at Pat’s and Geno’s, try a lesser-known spot like John’s Roast Pork or Tony Luke’s, both of which are famous for their cheesesteaks as well.

Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a first-time visitor to Philadelphia, a cheesesteak is a must-try when exploring the local food scene. Just be prepared to debate with your friends over which place makes the best one!

Pennsylvania Dutch Treats and Comfort Foods

Pennsylvania is known for its hearty comfort foods and delightful Pennsylvania Dutch treats. One popular dish you don’t want to miss is the traditional pot pie, made with chicken, vegetables, and noodles, all cooked together in a pot until tender. This savory dish will warm your soul and fill your stomach.

If you’re looking for a unique combination of flavors, you must try the famous chicken and waffles dish. This dish combines crispy fried chicken with fluffy waffles and is often drizzled with syrup or honey. It’s a perfect example of how Pennsylvania’s culinary diversity can result in innovative and tasty dishes.

Another must-try is the delicious apple butter, made by cooking apples slowly until they turn into a thick, rich spread. Spread it on your toast for a taste of Pennsylvania’s fruit harvest.

These dishes are just a small sample of the many delightful treats that Pennsylvania has to offer. Be sure to explore all the flavors of this unique state and discover the culinary treasures that await.

A Culinary Adventure in Pennsylvania

Embarking on a culinary journey across Pennsylvania is an exciting way to explore the local flavors and food traditions that make the state’s cuisine unique. From the heart of Philadelphia to the rolling hills of the Amish countryside, Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of dishes and ingredients that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

One of the highlights of Pennsylvania cuisine is the emphasis on locally sourced ingredients and farm-to-table dining. From the fresh produce of Lancaster County to the artisanal cheeses of the state’s many dairy farms, there’s no shortage of delicious ingredients to explore in Pennsylvania.

The Flavors of Pennsylvania Dutch Cuisine

At the heart of Pennsylvania’s culinary heritage lies the rich and comforting flavors of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. From creamy chicken pot pie to sweet and savory shoofly pie, these traditional dishes are a delicious reflection of the state’s cultural roots.

Some other must-try Pennsylvania Dutch treats include apple butter, a sweet and tangy spread that’s perfect for toast and biscuits, and scrapple, a breakfast meat made from pork scraps and cornmeal that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

The Iconic Cheesesteak

No discussion of Pennsylvania cuisine is complete without mentioning the beloved cheesesteak. Whether you prefer it from Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s Steaks, this classic sandwich is a must-try when visiting Philadelphia.

Consisting of thinly-sliced beefsteak, melted cheese, and sautéed onions, the cheesesteak is a hearty and satisfying dish that’s as iconic as the city itself.

Local Flavors and Food Traditions

From the rolling hills of the Poconos to the bustling streets of Philly, Pennsylvania’s cuisine is a reflection of the state’s rich cultural history and diverse culinary traditions. Whether you’re savoring the flavors of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine or indulging in a classic Philly cheesesteak, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes to explore in the Keystone State.

So why not embark on a culinary adventure across Pennsylvania and discover the unique flavors and local ingredients that make the state’s cuisine so special?


What are some traditional Pennsylvania dishes?

Some traditional Pennsylvania dishes include scrapple, shoofly pie, whoopie pie, pot pie, and chicken and waffles.

Where can I find the best cheesesteak in Pennsylvania?

Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks are two famous establishments in Philadelphia known for serving up delicious cheesesteaks.

What is Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine?

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine refers to the traditional food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, a cultural group with German ancestry. It includes dishes like pot pie, scrapple, and apple butter.

What is a shoofly pie?

Shoofly pie is a classic Pennsylvania Dutch dessert made with a molasses filling and a crumb topping. It has a sweet and rich flavor.

What is a whoopie pie?

A whoopie pie is a popular Pennsylvania Dutch dessert made of two soft cookies sandwiched together with a sweet filling. It’s often referred to as a “cookie sandwich” or a “gobs” in some areas.

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