Philly Food Fight: Which Local Fave Do YOU Crave?

The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the shore is calling your name. It seems that we skipped spring and went straight to summer in Philadelphia! And while summer means different things to different people, I think there is one thing we can all agree on: it’s a time to treat yourself.

Whether it’s a pretzel on the boardwalk, a water ice on the beach or a Tastykake in your picnic lunch, there is plenty of local fare to satisfy your cravings all summer long. BUT — and this is a big BUT — these tasty traditions are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium and calories. These are NOT items you should eat everyday. They are occasional indulgences. But for those days you just gotta satisfy a craving for a Philly fave, some are better options than others. Today, we’re matching up some of Philly’s finest treats to see which one is better for our waistlines.

Salty Craving:

Herr’s Cripsy N’ Tasty Potato Chips vs. Philadelphia Soft Pretzel

Salty 2


  Herr’s Crisy N’Tasty Potato Chips Philadelphia Salted Soft Pretzel Winner
Calories 140 290 Herr’s Chips
Sodium 180 mg 1100 mg Herr’s Chips
Carbs 16 g 70 g Herr’s Chips
Protein 2 g 14 g Philly Soft Pretzel

Winner: Herr’s Crisy N’ Tasty Potato Chips are the clear winner!

  • With Herrs, you save 150 calories, 54 grams in carbs, and 920 mg of sodium.
  • Dietary guidelines are only to consume a max of 2000 mg of sodium a day… and that soft pretzel has a whopping 1,100 mg. That’s a little over half your daily intake in one fell swoop.
  • Sodium creates water retention which means bloating. Bloating is not a good beach accessory.


Pastry Craving:

Italian Cannoli vs. TastyKake Buttercream Cupcakes


Traditional Italian Cannoli(1 large) Tastykake Buttercream Cupcakes (1 pack-2 cupcakes) Winner
Calories 374 260 Tastykake
Fat 10 g 10 g It is a tie!
Cholesterol 32 mg 15 mg Tastykake
Sodium 88 mg 270 mg Tastykake
Carbs 42 g 42 g It is a tie!
Sugar 33 g 31 g Tastykake

Winner: A tie! In the end, go for the one you are craving when it comes to this food fight!

  • Although Tastykake cupcakes are the winner in nutritional stats, it isn’t by much.
  • If you want the more natural option, go for a cannoli from a pastry shop that uses natural and whole ingredients. Tastykake is LOADED with processed, artificial ingredients.


Philly Sandwich Craving:

Cheesesteak vs. Italian Hoagie


Philly Cheesesteak (10”) Italian Hoagie (10”) Winner
Calories 730 950 Cheesesteak
Fat 32 g 39 g Cheesesteak
Cholesterol 145 mg 145 mg It is a tie!
Sodium 2380 mg (daily maximum is 2000 mg!) 3510 mg (daily maximum is 2000 mg!) Cheesesteak
Carbs 57 g 61 g Cheesesteak
Sugar 2 g 5 g Cheesesteak
Protein 57 g 58 g Cheesesteak

Winner: Cheesesteak! Cheesesteak lovers rejoice!

  • Italian Hoagie was worse on all fronts except for cholesterol. The hoagie packed 220 more calories, 7 more fat grams, and 1,130 more mg of sodium!
  • Now it is super important to note that BOTH of these are very high in sodium. The daily maximum is 2000 mg and both were over the daily maximum. So drink lots of water with these choices to avoid water retention and bloating!


Cool Dessert Craving:

Water Ice vs. Gelati


Water Ice – Cherry (regular) Gelati – Mango & Vanilla (regular) Winner
Calories 260 390 Water Ice
Fat 0 g 13 g Water Ice
Cholesterol 0 g 75 g Water Ice
Sodium 35 mg 180 mg Water Ice
Carbs 65 g 67 g Water Ice
Sugar 63 g 61 g Gelati

Winner: Water Ice

  • The custard added to the Gelati tastes so good, but it adds on 130 calories, 13 g of fat, 145 mg of sodium and 75 g of cholesterol!

There you have it! Next time you go for a Philly fave, you now know the lesser of the two tasty evils.  For more details on the nutrition information featured here, check out the following resources.

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