Where to Find the Best Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia
Interactive guide to Philly’s signature sandwich
Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia.
Everyone agrees that the cheesesteak, the celebrated Philadelphia sandwich invented by Pat Olivieri in 1930, should be made with chopped beef and melted cheese. But opinions are strong when it comes to personal preferences about the degree to which said beef is chopped, the type of cheese to be melted, the bread used to make the sandwich, etc.
Those who prefer thinly sliced and finely chopped beef on a light roll often cite Roxborough’s Dalessandro’s as cheesesteak perfection. Others who prefer more coarsely chopped beef topped with gooey Cheez Whiz swear by Pat’s on Passyunk Avenue.
And still others refuse to even consider that a finer sandwich could exist than the thick, extra-cheesy steak sandwich from John’s Roast Pork in South Philadelphia.
The good news is that wherever you decide to go while you’re in town, you’ll definitely be experiencing an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. And no matter if it’s your first or your 101st, each bite is always worth savoring.
How to order a Philly Cheesesteak
When ordering a cheesesteak, the idea is to let the cashier know a.) that you would like a cheesesteak, b.) what type of cheese you want (American, Provolone or Cheez Whiz), and c.) whether or not you want fried onions. And you have to be as concise as possible while doing so.
Locals have become so adept at this practice that they basically have it down to three words: saying “one whiz with” to the person behind the counter means that you would like one cheesesteak topped with Cheez Whiz and fried onions. Get some more tips from locals in our Cheesesteak 101 video below.
Find Your Favorite
Now that you have a grasp of the intricacies of the construction and ordering process for a Philadelphia cheesesteak, it’s time to try one for yourself.
Discover your new favorite cheesesteak with our interactive guide (complete with map) of where to find the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, below.
Pat’s King of Steaks
The original and still among the best
One half of South Philadelphia’s famous cheesesteak corner
John’s Roast Pork
South Philadelphia sandwich shack sending customers away happy since 1930
Cheesesteaks worth the wait
The age-old dilemma: the Cheesesteak or the Roast Pork Italian
Steve’s Prince of Steaks
Another member of Philly’s cheesesteak royalty.
Excellent cheesesteaks in the city’s northwestern ridge.
(Photo by Rianvented)
Satisfying cheesesteaks on Henry Avenue
Streetside steaks, fries and “Gremlins”
Sonny’s Famous Steaks
The late-night cheesesteak shop in Philly’s Old City neighborhood
Another classic, must-visit cheesesteak establishment in South Philadelphia
Old-school Philly cheesesteaks
Serious sandwiches with Italian influence
Classic Philly cheesesteaks and hoagies on the South Philadelphia waterfront.
Packed sandwiches served freshed in Pennsport
Joe's Steaks and Soda Shop
Dishing cheesesteaks and egg creams since 1949
Now Open: Joe's new location on Frankford Avenue brings its classic cheesesteaks and soda shop-style to Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.
SpOt Gourmet Burgers
Look for the yellow cart with a red spot for praise-worthy cheesesteaks
Vetri's spin on the classic cheesesteak
Jimmy G's Steaks
Late-night cheesesteaks on Broad Street
Around the clock cheesesteaks in South Philadelphia
Jake's Sandwich Board
Slow roasted, hand-carved cheesesteaks in Midtown Village
First Street Steaks
Customizable cheesesteaks under the SEPTA El
No-frills dive bar in Rittenhouse Square
Stephen Starr’s elegant modern steakhouse on Rittenhouse Square
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