Taste of Philly is a little storefront operation that looks, feels and smells more like a real Philly joint than some places actually operating in sight of Independence Hall -- from the cramped seating (six tables set nearly on top of each other) and counter that opens straight onto the tiny galley kitchen, to the Tastykakes by the register and the birch beer in the cooler by the door. The walls are hung with the requisite East Coast paraphernalia -- Eagles pennants and framed posters of Rocky Balboa -- and, most important, both the cheesesteaks and the hoagies are enough to send blue-state refugees into paroxysms of homesickness. With every sandwich made on an Amaroso roll (the gold standard of hoagie rolls), stacked thick and well dressed by the sandwich artists in the kitchen, a lunch here is exactly what the name promises: a Taste of Philly for those lonesome for the East Coast.


The Philadelphia Filly was once a stationary restaurant, but then Sally Rock and Dale Goin decided to take their authentic Philly cheese-steaks on the road. They now serve their sandwiches at fairs and other annual events; during the Taste of Denver, for example, there are always huge lines snaking out from the Filly's booth. But the rest of the time, they simply operate the best little cheesesteak carts in town -- at 16th and Broadway during the lunch rush, and at 16th and Market late at night (when Rock's son Willy takes over the grill). No matter what time of day you're getting your Filly Philly, though, you can count on it being a huge, double-cheese monster capable of taking the edge off even the worst kind of hunger.

The Philadelphia Filly was once a stationary restaurant, but then Sally Rock and Dale Goin decided to take their authentic Philly cheese-steaks on the road. They now serve their sandwiches at fairs and other annual events; during the Taste of Denver, for example, there are always huge lines snaking out from the Filly's booth. But the rest of the time, they simply operate the best little cheesesteak carts in town -- at 16th and Broadway during the lunch rush, and at 16th and Market late at night (when Rock's son Willy takes over the grill). No matter what time of day you're getting your Filly Philly, though, you can count on it being a huge, double-cheese monster capable of taking the edge off even the worst kind of hunger.


New York City is famous for lots of things. It's got Broadway and the Empire State Building, the Rockettes, Donald Trump's hair, more hookers per capita than any city outside of Southeast Asia, and the best restaurants anywhere in the world. Of those, some of the most universally recognizable are the delis that dot Midtown and the outer boroughs, and it was to these bastions of old-world sandwich craftsmanship that the owners of Deli Tech looked when seeking inspiration. As a result, in Denver you now can get a killer Reuben (literally -- the sandwich is big enough to choke a donkey), a decent bowl of chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup, and a slice of real New York cheesecake imported straight from the cheesecake sweatshops of Park Slope. But if a true taste of the Big Apple is what you're after, skip the preliminaries and go straight for the stacked pastrami and corned beef on rye. Assembled from ingredients brought in from some of those same New York delis and served with the best sandwich mustard in town, this monster is piled so high you've got to unhinge your jaw like a python just to get a bite. But once you do, you'll never be satisfied by another sandwich.

New York City is famous for lots of things. It's got Broadway and the Empire State Building, the Rockettes, Donald Trump's hair, more hookers per capita than any city outside of Southeast Asia, and the best restaurants anywhere in the world. Of those, some of the most universally recognizable are the delis that dot Midtown and the outer boroughs, and it was to these bastions of old-world sandwich craftsmanship that the owners of Deli Tech looked when seeking inspiration. As a result, in Denver you now can get a killer Reuben (literally -- the sandwich is big enough to choke a donkey), a decent bowl of chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup, and a slice of real New York cheesecake imported straight from the cheesecake sweatshops of Park Slope. But if a true taste of the Big Apple is what you're after, skip the preliminaries and go straight for the stacked pastrami and corned beef on rye. Assembled from ingredients brought in from some of those same New York delis and served with the best sandwich mustard in town, this monster is piled so high you've got to unhinge your jaw like a python just to get a bite. But once you do, you'll never be satisfied by another sandwich.


Three things are always true about the Bagel Deli. First, there's inevitably someone in line ahead of us arguing with the counter help over how to assemble his sandwich, proving that not only does the staff take sandwich-making seriously, but so do the customers. Second, there will always be someone who -- despite the big board listing all the available sandwiches and the glass-front deli cases showcasing every meat, fish, side, salad and knish in the joint -- asks for a ham sandwich. Whoever is working behind the counter will then patiently explain (for the thousandth time, no doubt) that this is a kosher-style deli, and that means no pork products, but how 'bout a nice smoked turkey instead? Third, there will always be fresh potato knishes and warm six-packs of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray and black-cherry sodas available, and they're absolute necessities for any proper Jewish deli lunch. And there's none more proper than lunch at the Bagel Deli.


The Bagel Deli & Restaurant
Courtesy The Bagel Deli Facebook
Three things are always true about the Bagel Deli. First, there's inevitably someone in line ahead of us arguing with the counter help over how to assemble his sandwich, proving that not only does the staff take sandwich-making seriously, but so do the customers. Second, there will always be someone who -- despite the big board listing all the available sandwiches and the glass-front deli cases showcasing every meat, fish, side, salad and knish in the joint -- asks for a ham sandwich. Whoever is working behind the counter will then patiently explain (for the thousandth time, no doubt) that this is a kosher deli, and that means no pork products, but how 'bout a nice smoked turkey instead? Third, there will always be fresh potato knishes and warm six-packs of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray and black-cherry sodas available, and they're absolute necessities for any proper Jewish deli lunch. And there's none more proper than lunch at the Bagel Deli.

At Chedd's, Dirk and Wendy Bruley have elevated the humble grilled cheese sandwich to an art, doing it better, smarter and in more wondrous variety than anywhere else in town. Grilled cheese is just about all they do at Chedd's, in a thousand different combinations that no one may have tried before. You want ham and limburger? Chedd's can do that. Bacon-studded cheese and salami on potato bread, or three different kinds of cheddar on twelve-grain bread? Chedd's can make those, too. With thirty cheeses, a dozen breads and innumerable meats, veggies, spreads and condiments available, Chedd's is the place where cheeseheads realize their most fervent sandwich fantasies.


At Chedd's, Dirk and Wendy Bruley have elevated the humble grilled cheese sandwich to an art, doing it better, smarter and in more wondrous variety than anywhere else in town. Grilled cheese is just about all they do at Chedd's, in a thousand different combinations that no one may have tried before. You want ham and limburger? Chedd's can do that. Bacon-studded cheese and salami on potato bread, or three different kinds of cheddar on twelve-grain bread? Chedd's can make those, too. With thirty cheeses, a dozen breads and innumerable meats, veggies, spreads and condiments available, Chedd's is the place where cheeseheads realize their most fervent sandwich fantasies.

Phil Collier, the owner of A La Tomate, is a man multiply obsessed. He and his kitchen do great pastries, decidedly Frog-ish pizzas that are both weird and wonderful, and also put out a sandwich board so full of high-class, high-quality ingredients that the only way to contain it is on a huge chalkboard hung behind the counter. Absolutely everything adorns this list, from snipped leaves of fresh basil, real chvre, Genoa salami and four different kinds of mustard to housemade olive-and-fig spread and French Brie so strong it tastes like your hands after a trip to a petting zoo (but in a good way), and while there are no prepared versions of sandwiches that you can order by name, the big board does offer maybe a dozen suggestions. Still, in the end it's up to you -- and with this much good stuff available, it would be hard not to come up with something wonderful.

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