The cheesesteak, a crusty roll filled with thin slices of (or chopped up) ribeye and melted cheese, is a culinary institution in Philly
. Finding the best cheesesteak is a cultural phenomenon, drawing tourists from across the nation for a taste of this iconic staple. The cheesesteak is Philly’s fast, ‘any-time’ sandwich, even making the menus at pizzerias and high-end restaurants. The classic recipe entails the simple bread-meat-cheese combo, other toppings include sautéed onions, mushrooms, ketchup, and hot and sweet peppers. Here’s our guide to the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.
Sandwich Shop, American, $$$
Don’t be fooled by the word ‘chain’ – Tony Luke’s is a South Philly institution, churning out one of the best cheesesteaks in the city. Splashed in red and white, Tony Luke’s is sticking with an old-school-style theme: order from the counter, have a seat at one of the picnic tables, and dig into a heaping pile of thinly sliced ribeye steak (100 percent USDA Black Angus), copious amounts of Cheez Whiz, and sautéed onions on a freshly house-baked Liscio’s roll. Drip factor achieved.
Tony Luke’s, 39 E Oregon Ave, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 551 5725
Nestled along Passyunk Avenue, Philip’s Steaks is an unassuming casual spot bringing a true authentic cheesesteak experience to South Philadelphia. This hidden gem is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that cheesesteak lovers can get their fix at any time; and while this one’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s well worth the trek. Go for the Old Fashioned Cheesesteak, an off-the-menu item – sliced ribeye, provolone cheese, grilled tomatoes, onions, and long hots (spicy peppers).
Philip’s Steaks, 2234 W Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 755 4820
John’s Roast Pork
Hot roast pork may be the said-specialty at John’s Roast Pork, but locals know the deal – head to the counter, order the cheesesteak, 12 ounces of chopped and grilled ribeye on a sesame seed roll with sauteed onions and melted cheese, and have a seat at one of the outdoor picnic tables. An establishment since 1930, John’s Roast Pork is usually marked with a long line, so get there early.
John’s Roast Pork, 14 E Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 463 1951
Steve’s Prince of Steaks
Steve’s Prince of Steaks, located in Northeast Philly, has been a treasured cheesesteak joint since the early 1980s. Go for the cheesesteak: thin slices of beef, sautéed onions (optional), and cheese – we recommend American or Cheez Whiz, and be sure to add extra for an additional 93 cents. Diners are welcome to indulge in the free pepper bar, though we encourage eaters to keep it simple.
Steve’s Prince of Steaks, 7200 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 338 0985
Venture towards Northwest Philly and find Dalessandro’s Steaks – a hoagie and cheesesteak mom-and-pop shop serving up ridiculous sammies alongside gourmet sodas, 20 different beers, and a free pepper bar for spicing up your steak. Go for the cheesesteak, made with a soft roll, melted cheese, and chopped ribeye – chopped vs. sliced is an ongoing debate, though Dalessandro’s claims this ensures the beef properly absorbs the flavors of the melted cheese and grilled onions, and we certainly agree.
Dalessandro’s Steaks, 600 Wendover St, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 482 5407
Sonny’s Famous Steaks
Sonny’s Famous Steaks serves cheesesteaks piled high with 100 percent Angus Beef, melted cheese, and onions on a fresh Amoroso’s roll right in the heart of Philly. Highly recommended are the Cheez Whiz, or the ooey, gooey provolone – here, all of your cheesesteak dreams will be realized.
Sonny’s Famous Steaks, 228 Market St, Philadelphia, PA, USA, +1 215 629 5760