Primanti Brothers

Sandwich Shop
Memorable
One of the best
Save

There are Primanti Brothers all over the place in Pittsburgh and as far away now as Florida, but the original, in the Strip District, remains a worthy destination. It is open ‘round the clock, attracting — in addition to culinary tourists — a wide-ranging clientele of truckers, shippers, sports fans, and club-denizens with no place else to go when the bars close in the wee hours. Don’t come at night if you are looking for peace and quiet, for this can be a hugely boisterous joint, throbbing through dawn with people drinking Iron City beer and chowing down on some of the most amazing sandwiches ever constructed.

Primanti Brothers’ Dagwoods were originally designed for truckers who hauled produce to the nearby wholesale market. While their trucks were being unloaded, they dashed in to the restaurant with a big appetite but little time to fuss over a sandwich, an order of cole slaw, and fried potatoes all nicely and separately arranged on a plate. The solution was to load hot French fries directly into the sandwich atop the customer’s meat of choice, then top the fries with Pittsburgh-style (no mayo) cole slaw and a few slices of tomato: an all-in-one meal between two pieces of bread. The sandwiches are assembled at the grill behind the bar at the speed of light, so when the sandwich is delivered, the fries and grilled meats are still steaming hot, the slaw and tomato cool. It is common to see customers who are, shall we say, a wee bit tipsy (at 4am) sink their teeth deep into one of these big babies and pull away with the shock of the meat’s heat on their tongue.

Bizarre as the pile-up of courses sounds, Primanti Brothers fans insist that such favored combinations as double-egg and pastrami (both sizzled on the grill) or steak and cheese simply do not taste right if not capped with a layer of crisp-fried potatoes and another of slaw. The double-fistful meal is presented at the counter and at tables wrapped in butcher paper that serves as a plate and also as a drop-cloth to pick up the spillage.

What to Eat
Primanti Brothers, Pastrami and Egg Sandwich
Pastrami and Egg Sandwich
Must-Try
Mother of all sandwiches. This one is pastrami and egg. Plus, of course, French fries, cole slaw, and a tomato. The Italian bread is impeccably fresh.
Primanti Brothers, Corned Beef & Egg
Corned Beef & Egg
Must-Try
Corned beef with egg. This is the only place that I eat fried eggs.One of my favorite sandwiches in the US.
Primanti Brothers, Roast Beef and Egg Sandwich
Roast Beef and Egg Sandwich
Must-Try
Roast beef, Pittsburgh-style slaw, sliced tomatoes, fresh french fries, egg, and simply tasty bread.
Primanti Brothers, Kolbassi and Cheese Sandwich
Kolbassi and Cheese Sandwich
Must-Try
An inside view of a kolbassi sandwich shows the distinct layers of ingredients. Everything works in harmony, but it's the crisp vinegar slaw that shines for me,
Primanti Brothers, Capicola with Cheese
Capicola with Cheese
Must-Try
The capicola with cheese is my go-to sandwich at Primanti's. The spiciness of the ham, combined with the creaminess of the fries' interior and coleslaw's vinegary tang, make for an unbeatable combination.
Directions and Hours
closed now
SundayOpen 24 hours
MondayOpen 24 hours
TuesdayOpen 24 hours
WednesdayOpen 24 hours
ThursdayOpen 24 hours
FridayOpen 24 hours
SaturdayOpen 24 hours
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 1 MILE | 8 min

There's no neighborhood in America more appetite-friendly than Pittsburgh's Strip. Groceries of every sort, restaurants of every continent, stand-up snacks and sit-down meals abound. It's all within a few blocks, so park the car and take this walking tour of Roadfood classics that begins with outlandish pancakes at DeLuca's or strawberry hotcakes at Pamela's Diner…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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