John’s Roast Pork
South Philadelphia sandwich shack sending customers away happy since 1930
John’s Roast Pork has long been a favorite of South Philadelphia dock workers and contractors, but only recently has John’s gained mainstream recognition as one of the best purveyors of cheesesteaks in the City of Philadelphia.
This is due, in large part, to Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Critic Craig Laban, who in 2002 conducted a famous Cheesesteak Project to determine the best cheesesteaks in the region. In the end, John’s came out as the undeniable champion in all three categories.
And if that gives you great expectations for a cheesesteak from John’s, don’t worry, the steaks are really that good. In fact, John’s cheesesteaks are scarily close to perfect.
The beef is expertly seasoned and grilled. The cheese and onions are actually folded into the meat while still on the grill so the end result is far more flavorful and cheesy than many of its rivals. And the quality of the delightfully crusty roll alone, delivered fresh each morning from South Philadelphia’s Carangi Bakery, could be enough to declare this cheesesteak Philly’s finest.
Belying this excellence, John’s cheesesteaks might only be the second best sandwich on the menu; the namesake roast pork sandwich is actually good enough to keep you from ever even thinking about ordering anything else.
Get There Early!
Unlike other famed South Philadelphia cheesesteak shops, John’s operating hours do not extend into the wee hours of the night. So if you’re on a mission to taste cheesesteak bliss, you’ll have to do your steak-eating for lunch or as an early afternoon snack — the grill is turned off at 2:30 p.m.
And since the lunch rush can get particularly heavy, you can call your order in ahead of time if you want to avoid the line.