Primanti Brothers Sandwich: A Pittsburgh Classic!

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious sandwich, then the Primanti Bros. Sandwich is a must-try.

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this iconic sandwich is a beloved local favorite.

What is a Primanti Bros. Sandwich?

The Primanti Bros. Sandwich is a quintessential Pittsburgh invention that beautifully combines hearty ingredients in a unique way. It starts with Italian bread, which serves as the foundation for layers of coleslaw, tomato slices, and a generous helping of French fries.

The star of the show, typically some kind of protein, such as roast beef, pastrami, or grilled chicken, is placed on top. Finally, everything is crowned with another slice of Italian bread, creating a colossal and satisfying sandwich.


The Most Popular Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The classic, go-to choice at Primanti Bros. is the “Pittsburgher.” This mouthwatering creation features grilled steak, melted provolone cheese, tomato slices, and hand-cut French fries, all topped with sweet and sour coleslaw. It’s a fan-favorite for its irresistible combination of flavors and textures.

Primanti Brothers’ Number 1 Seller

The “Primanti’s Almost Famous Sandwich” is often referred to as the number one seller at Primanti Bros. This sandwich typically includes roast beef, turkey, ham, and cheese, along with the signature coleslaw and fries.

The Original Primanti Brothers Sandwich

The original Primanti Bros. Sandwich, which remains the heart of their menu, featured grilled steak, tomato slices, French fries, and Italian bread. This simple yet satisfying combination has been a Pittsburgh tradition since the 1930s.

The Oil Used by Primanti Brothers

Primanti Brothers uses a vegetable oil blend for frying their French fries to achieve that perfect crispiness. This helps contribute to the signature texture of their sandwiches.

Is Primanti Bros. a Pittsburgh Thing?

Yes, Primanti Bros. is a quintessential Pittsburgh establishment. The sandwich is a beloved local icon and a must-visit destination for both Pittsburgh residents and visitors. The chain has expanded to other locations, but it remains deeply tied to its Pittsburgh roots.

The History of the Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The Primanti Bros. Sandwich has its origins in the Great Depression when Joe Primanti and his brothers decided to create a unique and filling sandwich for truckers and laborers in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

The idea was to serve an entire meal between two slices of bread, making it convenient for workers who didn’t have time for a sit-down meal.

The inclusion of French fries and coleslaw in the sandwich provided a complete meal in one hand-held package.

Over the decades, Primanti Bros. has become a beloved Pittsburgh institution and a testament to the city’s culinary creativity.

The Primanti Bros. Sandwich is a culinary masterpiece that captures the essence of Pittsburgh’s food culture. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, trying a Primanti Bros. sandwich is a delightful way to experience the unique and delicious traditions of the Steel City. It’s an experience you won’t forget, and it’s sure to leave you craving more.

Primanti Bros. Sandwich

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Get ready to indulge on Pittsburgh's iconic staple, the Primanti Bros. Sandwich! Savory meat, melty cheese, a sweet and tangy slaw and French fries between Italian bread.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 day 3 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Course dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 1 sandwich
Calories 247 kcal


  • 2 slices soft Italian bread
  • sliced pastrami or your favorite type of meat
  • handful of fries
  • tomato slices
  • provlone slices

For the Coleslaw

  • 1 cup thinly shredded green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Pastrami

  • 1 4 lb corned beef brisket
  • 3 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2-3 tbsp yellow mustard

Recipe Instructions

For the Slaw

  • Add the cabbage to a small mixing bowl. Add sugar, vinegar, and seasonings. Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Set oven to broil. Pile desired amount of meat onto a sheet pan. Top with slices of provolone cheese. Place in oven and watch closely until cheese is melted.
  • Assemble. Using a spatula, scoop meat and melted cheese onto a slice of bread. Top with French fries, coleslaw, and tomato slices. Top with other slice of bread.

For the Pastrami

  • Add corned beef to a large plastic container or bowl. Cover with cold water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and store in fridge for 24 hours. Change water halfway through and rotate meat.
  • After 24 hours, remove from water and pat dry.
  • Combine your peppercorns, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds in your mortar and pestle. Gently mash until ground up. Mix with the onion and garlic powders.
  • Rub mustard over all sides of the pastrami. Next, cover with the spice mix, making sure to evenly coat. Let it come to room temp while you preheat your smoker.
  • Preheat your smoker to 250 ℉. Once hot, add your beef directly to the grates. Cover and let it smoke until it reaches 160 ℉, about 3 – 4 hours.
  • Add hot water to a pan and place rack on top of pan. Place brisket on top of the rack. Cover brisket with aluminum foil, sealing all the sides of the pan. (You're creating a steam bath).
  • Place back on the smoker until the internal temp reaches 200 ℉, about 2 hours.
  • Remove from the smoker and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain and enjoy.


Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 9gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 365mgPotassium: 805mgFiber: 15gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 186IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 265mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Pittsburgh, Primanti Bros. Sandwich
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

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