Superbowl Recipe: Pittsburgh’s Famous Primanti Sandwich


Story by Leslie Huffman, Photo by Kimberly Chance

Cary. NC – One more week until the big game. Yes, the Super Bowl! Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I know that nothing is more sacred to someone from the Burgh than the Steelers. And, what better to eat while watching the big game than with a famous Primanti Brothers sandwich? Here, we’ll reveal the “secret” recipe so you can make this Pittsburgh version of comfort food right here in Cary.

History of Primanti Brothers

Back in the 1930’s, Joe Primanti opened a cart in the Strip District near downtown Pittsburgh selling sandwiches to truckers on the go. His brothers, Dick and Stanley, joined him along with nephew John DePriter who was the cook.

One trucker with a load of potatoes brought some in to the newly opened restaurant and John fried them up on the grill. With truckers in a hurray, he would put those fried potatoes right on top of the sandwich, wrap it in white paper and and serve it go. A Pittsburgh tradition was born.

In the 1970’s five more locations opened in Pittsburgh, including one in Three Rivers Stadium. You can now still enjoy a true Primanti’s sandwich at the new PNC Park and Heinz Field and at 15 other Pittsburgh locations.

Me, I always prefer the original location whenever we go back home for a visit. It has become a family tradition each time we are in town to enjoy the original Primanti Bros. Sandwich with slaw and fried potatoes on top.

The Recipe

  • 2 slices Italian bread
  • 5 -6 slices ham, thin (or chipped ham as us Pittsburgher’s say)
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup coleslaw
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • 1 cup French fries, still warm
  • mayonnaise

Spread mayonnaise on bread. Layer your choice of the above ingredients. Serve wrapped in white paper for authenticity with an Iron City Beer.

And if you go to Primanti Bros. DON”T ASK for the fries on the side. They’ll send you down the street.

Yinz guys enjoy now!
Editor’s Note: In consideration of fair and balanced coverage, if anyone has a traditional Superbowl recipe from Green Bay, Wisconsin, send it to
6 replies
  1. Leslie Huffman
    Leslie Huffman says:

    Thanks Greg and Bill, I like the mayo… it must be the new Southern girl mixed with the Pittsburgh in me. See ya’ll and yinz guys at Preimanti’s!

  2. Bill Wilson
    Bill Wilson says:

    No Mayo!! Thick sliced Itailan Bread, sweet & sour cole slaw (not creamy) made with green cabbage, vinegar and sugar, celery seed, veg oil, salt & pepper. The Fries are twice fried, once on Med heat, then after the Oil is up to High heat refried until golden brown. Oh, and 5 – 6 slices of thin sliced meat is very light, more like 1/4 to half pound of meat.

  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    Do NOT put mayonnaise on a Primanti Bros. sandwich. If you’ve had one I don’t know how you could possibly get that wrong.

  4. Burgh Gourmand
    Burgh Gourmand says:

    Thanks for the spotlight on the Burgh! You got it close–but there’s NO mayo on the real McCoy! Close enough if you drink enough “ahrns.” -B.G.

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