Hoagie Bracket

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: United States

Publishing organisation: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-03-22

Language: English

Authors: Design and development: Sam Morris
Digital editing: Patricia Madej and Evan Weiss
Hoagie authority: Craig LaBan
Photography: Monica Herndon and Rachel Molenda
Editing and food stylist: Joseph Hernandez
Copy editing: Roslyn Rudolph
Descriptions: Jillian Wilson, Craig LaBan, Michael Klein, and Patricia Madej
Audience: Lauren Aguirre and Erin Gavle


Made by the Interactive Desk at the Philadelphia Inquirer. A small team of designers, developers, and journalists who tell stories using code.

Project description:

We asked readers to populate a “hoagie bracket” to crown the deli who makes the best Italian Hoagie in Philadelphia.

Impact reached:

Nearly every deli who made it to our final 16 ran their own campaigns to win it. We were interviewed by a Canadian radio station who wanted to know why. One deli, who shall remain nameless, stuffled the ballot box leading to a “very serious intervestigation”.

Techniques/technologies used:

The page uses React SSR, SCSS, and webpack to generate everything.

We built our own voting platform built on S3 to keep track and display the votes. D3 was used in rendering the results and investigation graphics.

Context about the project:


What can other journalists learn from this project?

We were worried this would be too trivial to spend this much time on but were massively surprised by the response. It was a good reminder that newsrooms should present a more varied array of stories, even ones that provide levity.

Project links: