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“Best Deli Sandwich- Bang for your Buck”

Hershel's East Side Deli
Ranked #10 of 4,610 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Delicatessen
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Reviewed January 22, 2014

I recently came back from Philly. I traveled there on 01-17-14 through 01-21-14. My first stop was to visit the Reading Terminal Market. The place was of course packed and I wanted something to eat. I decided on Deli- I ordered and Pastrami Sandwich and was floored- 2 reasons- 1- The taste was what you expect out of a 50 year old deli from the Lower East Side of Manhattan- Authentic and True to what a Pastrami Sandwich should taste like- Another person in my party had the Corned Beef which they said was excellent as well. 2- Value- The price is around $8 and change- A similar sandwich in NYC would cost at least $15.00-
Only issue is that I am now spoiled as I wish they had a Hershel's in South Florida where I live-

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Thank Traveler122768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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208 - 212 of 296 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2014

They have really great pastrami. And this is from someone who lives in Brooklyn, NY. They are a favorite of ours. We have visited Philadelphia quite often and we always try to make sure we time our visit so that we can stop by the Reading Terminal Market and buy their sandwich to eat while we are there and to bring home at least a pound of their pastrami. Their brisket is also really good.

Thank Mary Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This is the 2nd time we've come here for breakfast sandwiches - mainly because we've been talking about the Pastrami from our last visit 9 months ago and knew we had to come back the next time for it again. No use going on and on talking about it, when you can just easily say, "The Pastrami is the BEST, hands down". Go ahead - even for breakfast, treat yourself to an egg and pastrami sandwich on a bagel. Or just treat yourself to the pastrami....any time of the day...

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Thank margaritadee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2013

Years ago, when I first moved to the Philadelphia area, I quickly learned that one of the things I was giving up was North Jersey and New York Jewish delis. It seemed that Philadelphians just didn't know what good deli was. Or maybe it was that, because there is such an abundance of cheese-steaks and hoagies and soft pretzels, they were willing to accept mediocrity. Well, now that I have had my first experience with Hershel's, I finally have a “go to” deli in Philadelphia.

I accompanied a friend to a court appearance in Philadelphia. We expected it to take all morning, and then we would go for a nice lunch in Philadelphia. Rather than deal with center-city parking, we decided to take the Patco High Speed Line from New Jersey.

As it turned out, we were done by 10:30. A little too early for lunch at a restaurant. There are so many good things at the Reading Terminal Market. Lets just take a walk through and find something for brunch. We passed the Cajun place – how 'bout some chicory coffee and a beignet? Passed Termini's – a cannoli and espresso? Some sushi? A gourmet cheese platter? No, no, no and no.

Then I passed Hershel's Deli. The first thing I noticed was three cutting-board stations, one with corned beef, one with pastrami and one with turkey. As I was looking at the beautiful, moist corned beef, a counter-man asked “Can I help you?” “Can you make a combination corned beef and pastrami?” I asked. “Sure,” he said, “You want that on rye with mustard”? “No,” I said, “How 'bout with cole slaw and Russian dressing?” “OK,” he said, and right in front of me started hand-slicing the meat, just like in the very best New York delis. Watching the creation being made for me, my dining partner said “I'll have one of those too, just like that.”

“You want a drink?” the counter-man asked. “You have Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray?” “Yes.” “I'll have one.” “What's that?” asked my dining partner who is unfamiliar with Jewish deli. “Its a celery-flavored soda. Its popular in New York delis,” I told him. “I'll take one of those too,” he told the counter-man.

“Do you have a potato knish?” I asked. “Yes.” “I'll take one of those,” I said. My dining partner said “I'll have one too.”

We took our food, and some napkins and plastic-ware, to one of the tables in the shared-table area right opposite Hershel's counter.

I couldn't wait to bite into my sandwich, which I must say was not easy because of its height. The meats were perfectly melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious. The Cel-Ray was the perfect accompaniment. My only complaints about anything ... The knish was hard at the bottom. I couldn't cut it with my plastic fork. Maybe they're better when they're fresher. And the pickle spear served with the sandwich was nowhere near the sour pickle I would get in a New York deli.

But the Reading Terminal Market dining experience makes up for this. The public seating area is one of the best places for Philadelphia people-watching, and that’s what we did for a while after stuffing down the second halves of our sandwiches. Then the four blocks back to the High Speed Line station was just right for walking off a big meal.

So next time someone asks about Jewish deli in Philadelphia, I'll know just what to tell them – Hershel's!

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1  Thank UneasyRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

Pastrami, Brisket, Corned Beef are all awesome! For me the Pastrami was the best! Really like the fact that they actually stay open till 6pm. Unlike the more famous place that starts with a "D" across the way that to me is very pretentious and pulls the napkin holders off of the counter and is in full clean up mode at 5pm and acts like they are to good for my money. So support Hershel's not only because they have great food but they work hard for your money!

1  Thank Newwnguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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