If you have been in the City of Brotherly Love, you know that cheesesteaks are tourist draws, civic icons, and of course cultural obsessions.
In a city that holds the cheesesteak so highly, it’s no secret that Philadelphians take this piece of heaven seriously. While the tastes vary greatly, they are all basically the same thing – a locally baked long roll that is sturdy yet soft on the inside, with ribeye steak sliced thin and seriously worked on a flat-top grill.
That said, Philadelphians boast an intimate knowledge of the city’s holes-in-the-wall, hidden gems, and underrated spots where you can savor delicious cheesesteaks and tons of other classic cuisines.
Here are the best spots to grab a cheesesteak in Philly. Take your pick, there’s something for everyone.
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1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 patskingofsteaks.com
Cozy cheesesteak spot offering classic versions of Philly-style sandwiches!
Most tourists start their Philly cheesesteak trail at Pat’s Steaks named after the self-proclaimed “investor of cheesesteak” Pat Olivieri. The sophisticated shop on the South 9th Street of Passyunk Avenue is more of a throwback than a contemporary favorite.
Pat’s chops up its meat while it’s on the grill. The cheesesteak is awesome and you can have yours with extra cheese, mushroom, pizza, or pepper. Go ahead and order your steak and specify if you want yours with or without onions. Just to ensure you learn the lingo first – “wit” means with onions, while “wit-out” means without onions, and also choose the kind of cheese you want (plain, cheese whiz, American, provolone, or pizza steak). You can order fries and drinks to accompany your meal.
1219 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 genosteaks.com
Cheesesteak sandwiches served to your liking await you at this neighborhood favorite!
Holding down the corner of the 9th Street with longtime rival Pat’s is Geno’s Steaks founded by Joey Vento in 1966. Patrons line up 24/7 at this nook for the cheesesteak sandwiches prepared with only the freshest ingredients including thinly sliced rib-eye steak so it grills up nice and juicy but never greasy. The bread comes straight from the oven and the onions are always fresh.
Most folks like the sandwiches as they are, but you can add mustard, ketchup, or relish. While Pat’s chop up their ribeye into thin slices, at Geno’s the sliced steak stays whole. You also get a choice of cheez whiz, American, or provolone. If you want, you can also order a mushroom, pepper, pizza steak, or even a roast pork sandwich.
The walls here including the roof are decorated with memorabilia with photos of famous celebrities that have dined there. Come in anytime and order Geno’s cheesesteak. Whether it’s with or without onions, it’s something that every Philly visitor should experience.
600 Wendover St, Philadelphia, PA 19128 dalessandros.com
Cheesesteak spot serving locals with tons of hoagies, steaks, burgers, and salads!
For over half a century, the Dalessandro’s Steak has kept diners grinning thanks to their desirable cheesesteaks. It’s everything you want a cheesesteak to be. Located on Henry Avenue in Roxborough, this restaurant is not only known for serving incredible cheesesteaks but also delicious hoagies and burgers for over five decades. The main focus here is their super fresh ingredients and made-to-order steaks. When you make your order, all you have to do is look and listen.
The onions are hand-sliced, then perfectly sautéed in a blend of olive and vegetable oil then left to simmer on the grill for hours to attain that expected sweetness. Their meat is finely chopped rib eye, then cooked up to your liking. Wiz wit is the best choice to include here. The marinara dipping sauce is also a popular addition for many locals.
If you’re not a beef love, no problem. Go ahead and try the chicken steak, similar to the beef steaks but made with white meat – it’s quite fresh and extremely tasty. Want to dress up your cheesesteak while eating in? Well, they have a long chain of different peppers available from mild – just take your pick and enjoy.
Dalessandro’s is also the spot to come if you crave other classics such as fresh-cut hoagies, salads, and Angus burgers with plenty of dressings!
6030 Torresdale Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19135 joessteaks.com
A popular spot dishing out cheesesteaks and old-fashioned shakes as well as fountain sodas!
Don’t be fooled by the 1950’s décor and color theme on this popular nook. For more than six decades, Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop has been serving locals and tourists only the finest cheesesteaks in Philly. What was originally known by the name “Chink’s Steaks” after the original owner Samuel “Chink” Sherman has grown to a household name especially when the name cheesesteak is mentioned.
This spot started as a hole-in-the-wall that only served one thing: steak sandwiches, with or without the onions. Today, the menu is quite extensive with longer sandwiches including chicken cheesesteak, vegan option, cheesesteak burger, and more. The steaks are perfectly stuffed with prime ribeye on a hard roll. Throw in whiz and some onions, and you can’t beat it.
They also serve egg creams, shakes, and malted, made with real milk as well as other drinks to enjoy along with your cheesesteak.
400 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 jimssouthstreet.com
A vintage local chain serving authentic Philly-style hoagies and cheesesteaks!
Vintage tiles, well-polished stainless, mountains of beef steaming on the grill: There is something to love about Jim’s South St Cheesesteak. Since 1939 when Jim’s Steak opened its doors, it has been serving a staple to the locals for decades. The shop rocks a wall of fame covered in photos of popular celebrities who’ve visited the place and huge windows into the kitchen to watch all the action live.
The main draw here is their popular sandwich and cheesesteak made with top round. They come in two variations: one with cheese whiz and another one with a choice of American or provolone. It’s one of the few spots that make their cheesesteaks with top round with the ribeye being gristly, fatty, and tough making it delicious.
They also serve hoagies with their popular special Italian options with salami, imported ham, capicola, provolone cheese, topped with tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. Not a fan of meat? Try Maxine’s meatless option with a choice of cheese, vegetables and sauce. It’s definitely worth it!
7200 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19149 stevesprinceofsteaks.com
Cash-only fast-food spot serving delicious cheesesteaks, hoagies, and other favorites!
Cheesesteak consumption has its own unique etiquette. It’s a question of what kind of cheese you want. Is it whiz, American, Provolone, or with onions? At Steve’s Prince of Steaks, they serve all of them and even cook it right before your eyes. This spot has been serving the Northeast only quality steaks for decades.
The sandwiches here are huge and delicious with plenty of toppings. The ribeye which is shaved to 1/8 of an inch, gets dipped in whiz for that delightfully flavorful bite. The steaks come in different forms from plain to cheese to double-meat options. Make sure you specify whether you want yours with or without onions and your choice of cheese.
You can also order some extras including pizza sauce, mushrooms, roasted pepper, pepperoni, as well as lettuce and tomato. Once you’re done, sit down and enjoy your scrumptious cheesesteak.
228 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 sonnyscheesesteaks.com
No-frills cheesesteak spot with counter service options and other classics!
Known for authentic, award-winning cheesesteaks and friendly customer service, Sonny’s Steaks offers a fresh, healthier take on their recipe, preparing the Angus beef in their own juices rather than in oil.
Don’t let Sonny’s location in the tourist-friendly Old City deter you from exploring what they have to offer. Though old-school, this sparse yet welcoming shop knows the right way to prepare and serve a cheesesteak. It is made with whole slices of ribeye that are tossed on the griddle and thoroughly chopped into huge chunks during the cooking process.
They use locally baked Amoroso’s rolls, local whiz or cheese and boasts a liberal ordering policy. They even have gluten-free options and other favorites such as cheesesteak hoagies, pizza steaks, and more. You will also find burgers, grilled cheese (vegetarian and more) on the menu to enjoy alone or with friends.
No doubt cheesesteaks hit your taste buds especially because they come with plenty of options to choose from when it comes to toppings. If you’re looking for the best cheesesteak, you should try these top seven cheesesteaks in Philly. You will surely have one, two or even a couple to go to whenever the craving for cheesesteak hits!