August is National Panini Month. Fresh bread, melted cheese and quality ingredients such as vegetables, meats and poultry create the finest panini. Celebrate these hot pressed sandwiches with some of the best options Philadelphia has to offer.
317 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
At Panini’s Trattoria, panini are prepared in the traditional Italian style, using bread that’s baked daily and only the finest natural ingredients. Choose from over 20 sandwich options, including roast pork and provolone, tuna Italiano, honey mustard chicken and more. Or, create your own combination by picking any three ingredients. Panini range from $5.95 to $8.95. Offering more than just panini, this cozy Old City BYOB also serves hot and cold wraps, a variety of cheese steaks, antipasti, salads for lunch as well as house-made pasta and dinner entrees such as veal chops, gnocchi gorgonzola, seafood risotto and chicken parmesan.
18th and Sansom St.
Wine, beer and cheese. When their forces combine, they bring you the magic of Tria, a casual café without the pretension of a snooty wine club or the brashness of a sports bar. Pair your choice of world-class wine or fine craft brews with one of Tria’s cheese panini for the perfect flavor combination. Choose from brie with mushroom, lemon oil and baby spinach ($9.50) or three-cheese with Grana Padano, apple tree chevre and fontina topped with tomato ($9). If you’re not sure what to try, any of the Tria servers will be happy to help with suggestions. Visit during happy hour Monday through Thursday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to enjoy five great tastes at $5 each. While the selection varies daily, the specials always include a red wine, white wine, two beers and a cheese plate.
1225 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Fuel offers what few other restaurants in the city can – wraps, panini and salads that are 100-percent organic, under 500 calories and available gluten-free. The Fuel Stacker ($9.95) is made with a gluten-free bread recipe that Fuel developed specifically to withstand the pressure of the panini press. House-made mozzarella and pesto is combined with eggplant, zucchini and portabello mushrooms for a filling vegetarian choice. Other favorites include the high-protein grilled cheese ($6.95) with provolone, mozzarella, fresh lemon cream cheese, tomato and spinach or the Thai tofu or chicken panini ($8.95) made with carrots, cucumbers, basil, crunchy noodles and peanut sauce.
XIX (Nineteen) Café
Hyatt at The Bellevue
Broad and Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Located on the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, Nineteen Café offers spectacular views of the city skyline along with American cuisine prepared with local produce and the finest seafood, poultry and meats. In addition to a raw bar and specialties such as crab salad and organic chicken breast with wild mushroom hash, the XIX panini ($15) is a favorite, featuring beef brisket and provolone with chipotle mayo and pickled cabbage slaw. For a complete meal, order the three-course lunch special for $20. After a first course of cheeses, salad and meats, choose a lunch entrée such as pappardelle pasta or the panini with caramelized onions, bacon, fried egg, arugula, tomato, cheese and herb mustard. Complete your meal with a selection of mini desserts.
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1141 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Perhaps best known for its authentic mojitos and margaritas, Mixto also offers an outstanding variety of Latin American, Caribbean and Cuban cuisine. Among classic dishes including ropa vieja and arroz con pollo, you’ll also find the Cuban sandwich on the lunch menu. This traditional hot pressed sandwich is the Cuban version of a panini made on a very similar press called a plancha. At just $9 (including plantain chips), this sizable sandwich features roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, homemade garlic spread and pickles on a Cuban roll.
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Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.
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