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Philadelphia Cheesesteak Trail

September 14, 2023

Philadelphia is known for a lot of impressive things, but one particular item is the City of Brotherly Love’s trademark sandwich: the cheesesteak. This local delicacy is a mouthwatering combination of tender pieces of beef and melted cheesy goodness on a fresh Italian roll. Most establishments offer a choice of Cheez Whiz, American, or Provolone cheese and the option to add fried or raw onions. If you’re coming to Philadelphia and looking to try a cheesesteak, here are some local spots to try.

Center City

Amid the bustling streets and iconic landmarks, the cheesesteaks in Center City are a savory emblem of Philadelphia’s vibrant food culture and stand as a savory emblem of Philadelphia’s vibrant food culture.


Address: 108 South 18th Street

Founded in 2016 by a brother and sister team, Cleavers is a Center City Philadelphia eatery that diverges from the traditional Philly Cheesesteak scene. With a background in cheesesteak manufacturing, the duo wanted to offer gourmet options made from top-quality ingredients. Their menu features a variety of ribeye and chicken-based sandwiches with artisanal additions, including a portobello mushroom and veggie cheesesteak.

Barclay Prime

Address: 237 South 18th Street

This fine dining restaurant put an elegant spin on the cheesesteak in 2004. Their $140 version uses Wagyu beef, decadent foie gras, truffled cheese whiz, and caramelized onions on a sesame seed roll. This perfect highbrow meets working-class meal is served with champagne.

South Philadelphia

South Philadelphia is the home to the rival cheesesteak spots: Pat’s and Geno’s. While these two eateries spark debate over which has the better sandwich, there many other must-try cheesesteaks across the neighborhood.

Angelo’s Pizzeria

Address: 736 South 9th Street

This cash only cheesesteak joint in South Philadelphia has been cranking out cheesesteaks since it was established in 2013. Their sandwiches start with the basics: a soft Italian roll and fresh-cut steak, but it’s the bonus cheese option that fans rave about. Angelo’s offers Cooper Sharp cheese, along with the originals: American, Provolone, and Cheese Whiz. Let’s be honest, it’s not just the cheeses that draw the crowds, this sandwich is the total package.

Geno’s Steaks

Address: 1219 South 9th Street

Joey Vento opened his rival steak shop right across from Pat’s in 1966 following the success of his curbside grill at the same location. The difference? He started serving sandwiches with slabs of the beautiful, marbled meat, instead of chopping it up. It worked. Geno’s has turned into an industry icon thanks in large part to its 24-hour glowing neon signs, prompting the corner to earn the nickname “Cheesesteak Vegas.”

A steak shop on the corner of a city street is shown. There are people standing outside of the shop. There are bright orange and yellow neon signs and lights above them reading Geno's Steaks, The Best.

Photo by J. Fusco for GPTMC.


Address: 517 South Street

Ishkabibble’s name comes from an old Yiddish saying: “Do I look like I care?” The famed South Street “hole in the wall” started pumping out high-quality steaks in 1979. They put their own stamp on Philly sandwich history when they introduced the chicken cheesesteak.

Jim’s Steaks

Address: 400 South Street

This two-story diner-themed spot has been serving up mouth-watering steaks on South Street since 1976. The line regularly wraps around the block and the griddle cooks never forget a face. Try the traditional chopped cheesesteak or branch out with a pizza steak.

John’s Roast Pork

Address: 14 East Snyder Avenue

Roast pork might be the namesake of John Bucci’s 92-year-old South Philly sandwich joint, but locals know the secret star of the show is something he calls the “Ultimate Cheesesteak.” It features 12 ounces of choice meat, smothered in either provolone or American cheese. Don’t ask for Cheez Whiz here.

Mike’s BBQ

Address: 1703 South 11th Street

The Mike’s BBQ Brisket Cheesesteak is a greasy love letter to Texas BBQ and Philly’s favorite sandwich. Owner Mike Strauss smokes his brisket for 10 hours before letting it rest for another five. He tops it off with a homemade “whiz” of Cooper Sharp, American, and heavy cream.

Oregon Steaks

Address: 2654 South 10th Street

Oregon Steaks gives you all the ambience of Pat’s and Geno’s without the lines. They aren’t afraid to “sizzle the gristle” to charred perfection while finely chopping the onions into pearls. Plus, they are open 24 hours for late-night cravings.

Pat’s King of Steaks

Address: 1237 East Passyunk Avenue

Pat’s King of Steaks, the original cheesesteak joint, has maintained its authentic charm since opening. They have a sign that instructs visitors on how to properly order: “wit” or “wit-out” (that’s slang for topping your sandwich “wit” onion). The classic cheesesteak can’t be beat and is a great place to start for anyone trying their first steak.

A large sign above a shop is shown. The sign has a large crown on top of it. The crown is yellow, the words are red. It reads Pat's King of Steaks. There is another large white sign off to the left.

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Philip’s Steaks

Address: 2234 West Passyunk Avenue

Order from the window at this traditional South Philly take-out spot. Open 24 hours, this delicious spot sits away from the hustle of “Cheesesteak Vegas”. Pro tip: order the Old Fashion Steak, served with provolone, grilled tomato, long hots, onions, and ribeye.

Tony & Nick’s (formerly Tony Luke’s)

Address: 39 East Oregon Avenue

Tony & Nick’s takes so much pride in their work that they created the “10 Commandments of Cheesesteaks.” For example: you can only use 100% ribeye and don’t think of adding ketchup or Swiss cheese. The shop ships their steaks nationwide, packed in ice and microwave-ready. But the best place to enjoy one is at their original South Philly location, preferably after a Phillies or Eagles game.

Old City

Imagine enjoying your cheesesteak immersed in historic Old City, observing the blend of modern life and historic ambiance.


Address: 214 Market Street

This has been the go-to steak spot for people strolling the cobblestone streets of Old City since 1947. The Phillie Phanatic has been known to pop in too – it’s his second home after Campo’s opened at Citizens Bank Park. The move? Order the “Heater,” featuring thinly sliced ribeye melded with jalapenos, Buffalo sauce, and jalapeno cheddar.

A sandwich is shown. The roll is a light brown. The meat inside is like an almost dark gray. The meat is smothered in yellow cheese. The sandwich is in white paper in a wicker basket.

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Sonny’s Famous Steaks

Address: 228 Market Street

Located a stone’s throw from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Sonny’s keeps it simple. They skip seasoning the meat in favor of letting the fatty natural juices take over. It works. Spice it up with Cheez Whiz and Spanish onions.

Charlie’s Roast Pork

Address: 1301 South 3rd Street

Charlie’s Roast Pork checks all the boxes: plenty of seating, friendly service, and high-quality chopped ribeye comfortably wedged into a Caranji seeded roll with American cheese. It doesn’t hurt that you can pair your cheesesteak with a half-price growler at nearby Pennsport Beer Boutique.


Address: 600 Wendover Street and Henry Avenue

This tiny Roxborough rowhome rose to fame in recent years thanks to Jimmy Fallon and The Legendary Roots Crew. Fallon visited the joint and showcased its steaks on his show. Locals have been flocking here since 1960, fighting for a coveted counter seat and a whiff of ribeye amid the clanging spatulas which finely chop each piece of meat. 

A sandwich is shown. The two halves of the sandwich are side-by-side. The meat is a darkish gray and there appear to be onions on top of the meat. The roll is a golden brown. The sandwich appears to be on a white paper.

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Larry’s Steaks

Address: 2459 North 54th Street

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant used to fuel up on Larry’s super-sized Belly Filler: a 2-foot take on a classic cheesesteak. Bryant visited every time he was in town, and they even shipped sandwiches to him in Los Angeles. Their location, across from Saint Joseph’s Fieldhouse, still honors the hoops legend.

Max’s Steaks

Address: 3653 Germantown Avenue

This North Philly monument, in the heart of Nicetown, is where Michael B. Jordan schools the world on how to use the word “jawn” in the movie “Creed.” It’s also one of the best cheesesteak joints in town, best known for using 100% sirloin – no ribeye – and serving it on a 2-foot sub roll.

Steve’s Prince of Steaks

Address: 7200 Bustleton Avenue

It wasn’t too long ago that only locals knew about this cozy eatery nestled inside a Northeast Philly rowhome since 1980. Now they boast four locations, including a Center City spot across from Liberty Place. Steve’s insists on not chopping their ribeye cuts and serving their gooey steaks on an Amoroso roll.

Looking for more activities to surround your cheesesteak journey? Visit our things to do page for more iconic Philadelphia experiences.

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