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Lucio J Mancuso & Son Cheese and Italian Shop – Since 1940! East Passyunk St. Philadelphia, PA

Posted on: February 22, 2018



A throwback to the tiny shops that used to line East Passyunk when people did more cooking than dining out, Mancuso & Son was opened in 1940 by Lucio J. Mancuso, and today stands as a reminder of what the neighborhood was like before it got hip. This sliver of a shop tucked under the plastic awning is under the direction of Lucio’s son Phil, who has owned it since 1971.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

Officially they’re known as “Manufacturers of Italian Cheese Products” and Phil makes ricotta and mozzarella in-house daily. Trust me, bring your cooler with you and get some, it’s delish. I’m glad I took a picture of this quick tray I put together for company, because as soon as we started in on it, it was devoured!

Mancuso Cheese - Mozzarella

Besides making cheese they primarily carry “Italian foods for people who cook” notes Phil. Imported and local ingredients are ready for your Sunday gravy / sauce, macaroni, olive oils and more.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

Cold cuts and a variety of cheeses, not just their own, are cut to order, and if they’ve got bread handy you might be able to get a hoagie filled with those delicious meats and cheeses*.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

Varieties of dressed olives are available – Sicilian style with celery is a customer favorite.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

Imported candies and desserts are on display under the watchful eye of Frank Sinatra and The Godfather, and framed photos of greats from the opera world. Phil is an opera fan, has been known to sing, and counts the nearby Victor Cafe as a favorite spot.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

They’re busy during the holidays with imported Easter eggs, and homemade ricotta pie, and at Christmas the store is packed with imported and homemade cookies and other delights. In the summer they make their own water ice (an icy South Philly treat) from handed down recipes.

If you’re lucky you may run into Phil’s wife Edda delivering him his lunch. I had a nice chat with her as we sat on the conveniently located chairs tucked into the shop. My South-Philly raised friend Edda says her mother insisted on only using Mancuso’s ricotta when making ravioli, making it a small cool world!

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

They are open 7 days and do take credit cards so LOAD UP while you’re here and come back often.

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

*The Rookie Hoagie Move – learn from my experience!

Mod Betty saw some bread during her first visit and made the rookie move of wanting an “Italian” hoagie, but having no idea what goes into one. What can I say? I’m half Irish and an uninspired cook 😉

Mancuso & Son Cheese Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap 2018

Phil guided me through what I might like on one, and I trusted his suggestions completely. The result was one of the most delicious hoagies we had ever had. Next time I went into the shop (Retro Roadhusband insisted I should not return home from Mancuso without a hoagie) I asked Phil to write down the ingredients, so I could order it again.

If you’re not sure what to get, ask for these ingredients – or just trust Phil, and your tastebuds will be delighted!

  • Proscuitto
  • Capicola – hot
  • Soppressata – hot
  • Provolone – sharp
  • Oil
  • Spice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Artichoke hearts

Mancuso & Son Philadelphia PA Retro RoadmapMancuso & Son Philadelphia PA Retro RoadmapMancuso & Son Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap

Not ones for advertising, knowledge of Mancuso & Son has been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Now you can be a part this tradition too, and Mod Betty is happy to be the one to get the word out.

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