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What's your favorite Wawa food?
What's your favorite Wawa food?
Courtesy of Wawa

Six Things to Order When Wawa Opens in Broward and Palm Beach

Wawa has finally started digging into South Florida, which means soon Broward and Palm Beach County residents will be able to order Wawa fan favorites like the hot meatball and cheesesteak hoagies, Buffalo chicken bites, salted caramel lattes, and Sizzli breakfast sandwiches.

If you're not familiar with the Philadelphia-based gas station chain, you will be soon: Last year, Wawa announced plans to open up to 50 stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties over the next five years.

On Wednesday, July 13, groundbreaking celebrations took place at not one, but two future South Florida locations: Federal Highway and Sample Road in Pompano Beach and Belvedere Road and Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach. 

Among the first Wawas to hit the area will be the West Palm Beach store, scheduled to open in spring 2017. It is one of five Wawas slated to go under construction in Palm Beach County in the next few years, in addition to plans for Blue Heron Road at Garden Road in Riviera Beach, Lake Worth Road and Congress Avenue in Palm Springs, Forest Hill Boulevard and Congress Avenue in Palm Springs, and Lake Worth Road and Jog Road in Greenacres. 

Further south, future Wawas will appear at Stirling Road and Davie Road in Davie, U.S. 441 at Loxahatchee Road in Parkland, Broward Boulevard at 27th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, and Commercial Boulevard at 94th Avenue in Sunrise.

In Pompano Beach Wednesday, with shovels in hand, several members of Wawa shared their opening plans, opening schedule, and long-term growth strategy for the South Florida community.

"We are thrilled to officially break ground on our first South Florida store and look forward to growing and bringing the Wawa experience to this market," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa president and CEO. "We will also break ground on three additional stores in the Broward County community, and by spring 2017, Wawa will officially be open for business in South Florida."

Wawa is probably one of the only convenience stores on the planet with a cult following. According to Forbes, the store brings in an estimated $9 billion in revenue from fewer than 650 stores in six states, and the official Wawa account has over 1.3 million fans on Facebook, nearly 60,000 Instagram followers, and more than 160,000 Twitter followers. Founded in 1964, the Pennsylvania-based company is best known for its made-to-order hoagies, freshly prepared foods, coffee, and beverages.

Never been to Wawa before? Here's what you'll be making a 2 a.m. pit stop for in a few months:

There are more than 30 combinations of create-your-own Wawa hoagies.
There are more than 30 combinations of create-your-own Wawa hoagies.
Courtesy of Wawa

1. Hoagies
No, not subs. Hoagies — AKA the best sandwiches, like, ever. The full menu of hoagie sandwiches is without a doubt Wawa's most popular menu item. Why? The dough is from Philadelphia's Amaroso's Baking Company, and it's baked fresh in each store daily. They even have cute names for different sizes, from the 4-inch "junior" and 6-inch "shorti," to the 10-inch "classic." You can basically make any type of sandwich in the world with endless combinations of meats, toppings, sauces, and specialty add-ons you design yourself using their cool touchscreen menus at the deli counters for customizing food orders. Choose from one of 32 original combinations including the Buffalo breaded chicken, the pepperoni pizza, and the oven-roasted turkey. 

Wawa is the only gas station convenience store to serve its own burrito bowls.
Wawa is the only gas station convenience store to serve its own burrito bowls.
Courtesy of Wawa

2. Hot & Cold Prepared Food
Sure, you might not think of convenience stores as a place to find fresh food that's actually worth eating, but Wawa will surprise you. In addition to its made-to-order hoagies, Wawa offers literally dozens of other freshly prepared menu items, from soups and salads to snacks like giant soft pretzels, Buffalo chicken bites, and hot dogs. There are even comfort food favorites like macaroni and cheese (which you should seriously consider customizing) and even burrito bowls made with rice, black beans, and salsa topped with chicken or beef.

Wawa has its own line of bottled beverages.
Wawa has its own line of bottled beverages.
Courtesy of Wawa

3. House Brand Drinks
If you're thirsty, Wawa has the quencher. Like most items, you can get tons of drinks at Wawa you can't get anywhere else, including the house brand iced teas, from mango and green tea to sweet and peach tea. Then there's the lemonade (and a half-and-half that's out of this world), sodas, chocolate milk — even orange juice. Don't forget the fruit and cream smoothies, including flavors from mango, peach, and bananas Foster to mint cookie and cream, chocolate chocolate chip, and caramel cream.

Wawa breakfast sandwiches are known as Sizzlis.
Wawa breakfast sandwiches are known as Sizzlis.
Courtesy of Wawa

4. Breakfast Sandwiches
Really, you haven't lived until you've had a Bacon Croissant Sizzle. "Sizzli" is just the name for Wawa's branded breakfast sandwiches, which you can order a dozen different ways on a bagel, croissant, biscuit, or French toast with toppings like applewood smoke bacon; regular, turkey, or chorizo sausage; several types of cheese; and, of course, egg. Craving breakfast late at night? Most stores stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's also a selection of doughnuts, bagels, and muffins baked onsite daily. And please, don't forget the hash browns.

Wawa desserts include pies, smoothies, milkshakes, and more.
Wawa desserts include pies, smoothies, milkshakes, and more.
Courtesy of Wawa

5. Dessert
Wawa began as a dairy farm, and its roots in the dairy business go back more than 100 years to when Wawa Dairy was founded in 1902 in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where it bottled fresh milk products from certified Guernsey cows. Today, Wawa produces an array of amazing dairy products — like its own ice cream. Try a Flurricane: ice cream blended with candy, cookies, or chocolate chips. Wawa even sells a range of specialty housemade desserts, including the oven-baked s'more pie. 

Wawa's coffee bar offers lattes, macchiatos, iced chai, and hot chocolate.
Wawa's coffee bar offers lattes, macchiatos, iced chai, and hot chocolate.
Courtesy of Wawa

6. Coffee
Ten types of lattes? Seven different hot chocolates? Four types of chai? There's a magical machine that does it all. If you prefer regular coffee, every store has an overwhelming amount of roasts and brews to choose from — and then a full refrigerated creamer and sweetener bar for customization to the max. Wawa even does this amazing thing when, every now and then, coffee is sold for $1 (any size) or just given away for free. The coffee is so good, Wawa even packages it in bags for you to bring back to brew at home, just in case you can't make it to the store that morning (or night). And just like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, keep an eye out for limited-time, seasonal releases like pumpkin spice.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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