4th Generation Meatball Sandwiches at Dad’s Stuffing

Back at the Meatball Competition at the Swedish Museum, I was in charge of focusing my attentions on the talented amateur contestants. I had a lot meatballs to try, and I didn’t really have the stomach room to sample from the professional competitors vying for the people’s choice award. I did manage to sneak a try of a meatball from Dad’s Stuffing. While Pastificio was the ultimate winner, I heard Dad’s came in second, and their meatball stuck out in my mind and was good enough to make me check out their South Philly spot.

Dad’s Stuffing is located on Ritner street, if you have never been, I want to paint this picture for you. While walking to Dad’s, I passed a duo of older gentleman speaking Italian and setting up dominos on a little sidewalk table. Adorable.

The tiny storefront holds the quintessential Italian deli, where the brothers running the shop are the 4th generation to work there. All of the customers looked like regulars. It makes you contemplate moving into the neighborhood.

And it is far from just stuffing and meatballs here. Every inch of the deli is crammed with sauces and prepared foods. But I stuck to what I came for.

The meatball sandwich I was served could be a model for all Italian meatball sandwiches. The light, beef meatballs came halved and topped with provolone cheese with a bright sauce that tasted mostly like ripe tomatoes all inside a fresh half loaf of seeded Italian bread. The giant sandwich was only $7.50.

I also couldn’t resist a try from their namesake items.  While more traditional bread stuffings are available, the rice and spinach stuffing was more of a tasty side dish.

Whether its meatballs, stuffing, or something else covered in tomato sauce and parm that tickles your fancy, a lunch at Dad’s Stuffings will have you feeling like a well-fed Italian neighbor.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • A neighborhood Italian deli with all the staples
  • Giant, delicious meatball sandwiches

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • No seating

Dad’s Stuffing,1615 Ritner Street, 215-334-1934



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