One half of South Philadelphia’s famous cheesesteak corner
The intersection of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia is the epicenter of Philadelphia Cheesesteak lure.
On the south side of this corner, Pat Olivieri first invented the sandwich in 1930.
Today, the corner is home to the two most famous cheesesteak vendors in the world: Mr. Olivieri’s eponymous Pat’s King of Steaks and, on the north side of the corner, the always illuminated Geno’s Steaks.
For 40 years, the two shops have waged a friendly competition to win the title of best cheesesteak in town, with Geno’s founder, Joey Vento, claiming it was he, not Olivieri, who first added cheese to the cheesesteak.
Geno’s has been slinging its famous cheesesteaks from the same location here for more than forty years now and has never been more popular. Like Pat’s, Geno’s is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you can visit whenever you get the urge.
But no matter when you decide to go, you will most likely be greeted by a line ahead of you. But don’t let a line, no matter how long, deter you — Geno’s cashiers and cooks are famous for speedily handing the endless flow of customers.
Just be sure you’re ready to order your cheesesteak properly so you don’t hold up the line!
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, 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 wiz with” to the person behind the counter means that you would like one cheesesteak [denoted by the “one”] with Cheeze Wiz as your choice of cheese [denoted by the “wiz”] and with fried onions [denoted by the “with”].
Similarly, saying “one provolone without” would secure you a single cheesesteak [one] made with provolone cheese [provolone] and without fried onions [without].
Ok. Got it? Now go ahead and test out your ordering prowess for real.