I’m tired of hearing it Delco. “This is the best food in Delco. Nah this is.” Nah here’s your power rankings and until something better comes down my gullet you’re gonna like them. I’m not saying these places only great food is what I list: All these places make great grub. This is solely a list of my favs and the power rankings. If you have a place I missed: Email me @ Birdsfan152@gmail.com. I’m fat and I love to eat so I’ll go try anything out.
First we start with the RIP’s for places that have closed down.
RIP Honorable Mentions
These are the places that have gone on to the Delco food afterlife.
John’s Drive In – John’s was at the corner of Marshall and Long Lane in Upper Darby for a very long time. Closed when the last brother retired about fifteen years ago but until then you could stop in, sit on those old school circular cushioned stools at the counter and get a great hot dog and old fashioned soda.
Morrone’s Water Ice – Now this is odd because the original Morrones is still open on N 63rd in Cobbs Creek. They ventured and opened one up by the Upper Darby Police Station back in the 90s. Hands down the best dessert in Delco when it was open. Their Cherry Vanilla Water Ice is the quintessential WOODER ICE. If you never have imbibed I advise you to venture to cobbs creek sometime soon.
Hanne’s Breakfast Nook – You were a true OG if you frequented Hanne’s. My uncle took me there as a kid often and let me know if you wanted to look good for a date that you always make sure to bring your dates to breakfast there. 1. She always made you feel like you were a regular. 2. The breakfast was amazing. 3. You served yourself drinks like you were in your own kitchen. They just don’t make places like Hanne’s anymore.
Scaramuzzas – Now most people know Scaramuzzas for their pasta which is still served in local stores freezers. But damn their sandwiches were great. Nestled in Clifton Heights they even named one after my dad “The Howard”. The Howard was a half sausage half meatball sandwich. I drove by recently to find them closed and crap was I disappointed.
Wings To Go – Now there was two iterations. The first one is the one that is missed. When they closed and reopened with new management they were gross. Completely lost the ability to properly cook wings. How that happens as a hot wings specialty shop is beyond me. Their wings were great though and definitely a missed delicacy in Delco Lore.
DELCO DELICACY POWER RANKINGS
10. Difabio’s Truffle and Parmesan French Fries – When I ordered this I thought to myself wtf an I getting into. These are gonna taste like crap. Damn was I wrong. They only leave you craving more. When you have some of the best burger places in PA in Delco and you choose an Italian Restaurant as the best French Fries you know they must be good. Hell their whole menu is great.
9. Miss Marty’s Mischagoss Sandwich – Also known as a Corn Beef Special, there’s a little chopped liver on this sandwich that makes it the Mischagoss. First of all, no one makes a Corned Beef better than a real Jewish Deli. This finely tuned sandwich beast is amazing. My dad for years begged me to eat one until I finally grew the sack and nom’ed on this delight. Stop by say hi to Ms. Marty and chow down on one of these sometime soon.
8. Nifty Fifty’s Mikshakes – Someone tried telling me Nifty’s was a chain. I laughed. The Ridley one is leagues above the other two. Their milkshakes are exactly what I need when eating a burger and fries too. Their flavors and mixtures are endless. If you’ve never imbibed get down to Ridley and have one ASAP.
7. Original Bagel – Breakfast has always been a must in my house. When we were on the go fast it was always the Original Bagel. A true Jewish New York style Bagel maker smack dab in the heart of Delco on West Chester Pike. Personally I always ride with the Sausage Egg and Cheese on an everything bagel but my family and everyone else i know loves the French Toast and Cinnamon Swirl bagels with cream cheese. Definitely check them out if you haven’t yet.
6. Original Thunderbird Stromboli – I ate one last week. Why? Cause it had been too damn long since my last one. Best with the peppers and onions this Italian delicacy comes best from Thunderbird. Eat in for the great atmosphere or have it delivered and enjoy at home. This is another one of those items that gets even tastier as leftovers as well. With all the juices soaking into the crust. Delish man.
5. A Cut Above Italian Hoagie – You thought I would say Wawa? Theirs haven’t been good since they changed from the Original Amoroso’s rolls. Another Route 3 hidden gem, A Cut Above is a whole notch above the rest. It’s the bread and the fact they pack in the meat. Never make it a Primo’s when you have a true hoagie maker right here in Delco. Order ahead and pick up on your way home, then enjoy.
4. Erin’s Pub’s Prime Rib – I will tell you this is not my favorite item on their menu. Erin’s Pub Makes the best Veal Parm in Delco hands down. BUT Erin’s Pub’s number one food item is their prime rib and my family would disown me if I said otherwise. It is why people from far and wide travel to Norwood for one of the greatest delights of Delco cuisine. Always ask for the au jus and be damn sure to ask for a potato, cmon man you’re at an Irish Pub.
3. Charlie’s Hamburgers – Had a conniption when i heard they were closing down. They’re not. Nestled off of 420 is the hidden gem of Delco. Charlie’s Hamburbers are the best around. I won’t be debating this. Hands down the best. So close to Nifty Fifty’s that I’ve been known to get a shake at the one and the burger at Charlie’s. Always make it a double and be amazed as the guy behind the counter never writes down your order, no matter how large, and nails it right every single time. Just like Charlie’s, the right choice in burgers every single time.
2. Old Original Nick’s Roast Beef – Can you say you’re truly from Delco without having ever eaten its best sandwich? Nah. If Philly is the Cheesesteak, Delco is the Roast Beef Sandwich. Unlike Philly there’s only one right answer: Old Original Nick’s Roast Beef.
1. Picas Pizza – Rectangular and baked in a pan like God intended. This choice is directly related to my upbringing. I was born in Upper Darby and my parents treated going to Picas as a celebration. They’d get us in the car all excited to go to the most delicious Pizza Italian restaurant. It was rare but man was it always good. I’ve eaten hundreds of dozens of boxes of their pizza and never once had a bad slice. Top three types: Pepperoni, Their Crumbled Sausage and man do they cook up one hell of an Anchovies topped pie. Leftovers are better served the next day cold every time. What tells me why this is the definitive choice for a number one: Every time my college friends have a party, each and every single one of them begs for me to bring two boxes. One for the party, one for them the next day.
Sports Journalist with an eye on being a sports talk radio host