To truly experience Philadelphia, you have to try a cheesesteak. Steak: sliced, chopped and grilled, piled atop a long Italian hoagie roll, with your choice of Cheeze Whiz, American or provolone – order sharp provolone if you like a bit of zing! And it does not stop there. If you want fried onions order it “wit,” that is Philly speak for “with fried onions.” Then customize your cheesesteak as the menu allows. Whether you choose to add sautéed mushrooms, sweet or hot peppers, tomato “pizza” sauce, raw onions or broccoli rabe, it will taste amazing. If you are a fan of Cheeze Whiz order the cheese fries to complete the melt down. Yes, that is fries topped with mounds of Cheeze Whiz.
When it comes to finding the best cheesesteak in town, everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone in Philly has an opinion: “Geno’s is the best,” “No way, Pat’s is better,” “Nothing tops Tony Luke’s.”
Make up your own mind. There are many places to find this Philly favorite. We suggest you try more than one; then share your “best cheesesteak experience” with us at #DNCPhillyCheesesteak!
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
All Night & All Day
Pat’s and Geno’s are two cheesesteak rivals located across the street from one another, just south of Philly’s Italian Market. The neon lights and the fact that they are open round-the-clock make this stop a must. And, if you go hungry enough you can try one of each! Something they both agree on? They are cash only.
Location: 9th Street & Passyunk Ave.
Location: 1219 S. 9th St.
More South Philly Picks
South Philly is where it started, hot dog vendor Pat, yes that “Pat” of Pat’s King of Steak’s, Olivieri created the first cheesesteak in 1930 and South Philly has been piling on the steak and cheese ever since.
Location: 1501 S. 8th St.
Located in Philly’s trendy Passyunk Square neighborhood, home to BYOB restaurants and boutiques, this deli has cheesesteaks and another Philly staple, the Italian Hoagie – known as a “submarine sandwich” in some states. An authentic Italian Hoagie comes with salami, hot capicola, mild provolone, mortadella, tomato, lettuce, onions, oil and vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.
Location: 14 Snyder Ave.
If you want to branch out, you may opt to try a pork sandwich “wit” sharp provolone and broccoli rabe for a mouth-watering South Philly variation.
Original Location: 39 E. Oregon Ave.
The following for this steak shop has grown so large that it is a chain now!
South Street is the vibrant edgy unofficial east/west boundary between “Center City” and “South Philly.” It is home to Jim’s Steaks, another crowd favorite for their cheesesteaks. And, if the line at Jim’s is too long then try Ishkabibble’s, one block to the west.
Location: 400 South St.
517 South St
And Then There’s:
Location: 12th and Arch Streets
This foodie heaven has several vendors where you can try a cheesesteak. So grab some friends for a taste off. Your choices are:
- Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies and Cheesesteaks
- Down Home Diner
- Molly Malloy’s
- Spataro’s Cheesesteaks
- By George! Pizza, Pasta & Cheesesteaks
Location: 240 Market St.
Location: 600 Wendover St.
Don’t see your favorite? Exercise your democratic right and let us know; tweet or Instagram your favorite and use #DNCPhillyCheesesteak!
Read more about Philly cheesesteaks:
Originally from the U.K., Amanda Mott has called Philadelphia home for 25 years and loves it for the history, neighborhoods, and lively arts and culture scene. Having become an American citizen 20 months ago, she is looking forward to voting in her first presidential election this November. She works for the University of Pennsylvania.