Cheesesteak Spots in Philadelphia

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When it comes to local cuisines, America is phenomenally varied. Travel to any unfamiliar small town, city, or even state, and you’re likely to discover some culinary gem you’ve never heard of before, even if you’ve spent your whole life only miles down the road. 

But there are some iconic foods that rise above the noise — some divas of deliciousness that everybody, everywhere, has heard of. The Philly cheesesteak has earned this honor.

But not all cheesesteaks are created equal. So if you’re ready to bite down on Philadelphia’s cheesesteak scene, you’ll need a guide. This guide is your all-access pass to the storied history and mouth-watering hotspots that have made the Philly cheesesteak an icon of American cuisine. 

What’s in a Cheesesteak?

We all love a delicious cheesesteak, but if it’s not from Philly, you should think about your life choices. And if it is from Philly, you still need to know what goes into the iconic Philly Cheesesteak and how it came to be to make the most of your next meal.

Back in the 1930s, a hot dog vendor named Pat Olivieri decided to grill up some beef and throw it on an Italian roll. The enticing aroma wafted through the streets of Philadelphia, and thus the first Philly cheesesteak was born.

Over the decades, the humble cheesesteak has evolved into a myriad of delicious versions. Today, you'll find it with a variety of cheeses, like provolone cheese, served on different types of bread, like hoagies and seeded rolls, and even complemented with exotic condiments, like BBQ, cherry pepper mayo, and ketchup. 

You can even find cheesesteaks with fried onions, caramelized onions, hot peppers, and brisket. Despite these wild flavor combos, the heart of this Philadelphian dish remains the same — thin slices of juicy beef nestled in a warm, crusty roll covered in cheese.

But where can you get the best of the best cheesesteaks? It depends on who you ask! But if you ask us, the following cheesesteak joints are where you need to be.

Pat’s King of Steaks

When talking about cheesesteaks, one must start with Pat’s King of Steaks, the birthplace of the Philly cheesesteak. Since the 1930s, Pat’s has been serving up these divine sandwiches on Passyunk Avenue, continuously captivating both locals and tourists.

Pat’s King of Steaks is unique in many ways. Its authenticity and legacy, coupled with the inviting ambiance of its open-air seating, are undeniable. The tradition at Pat’s runs so deep that they even have their own lingo for ordering!

Their signature cheesesteak is so beloved, it's seen as the gold standard for Philly cheesesteaks. A trip to Philadelphia isn't complete without sampling this iconic creation. Plus, they’re open all night to satisfy your late-night cravings.

Geno’s Steaks

Geno's Steaks was born in the heart of South Philly in 1966 when Joey Vento decided to open a steak shop on 9th street, just across the road from Pat’s. Their friendly rivalry has given birth to one of the most famous food face-offs in the city, and by God, are we grateful.

What sets Geno’s apart? Besides their 24/7 service, it's their cheesesteak — the beef is sliced super thin and topped with a generous portion of melted cheese. It's a combination that hits the spot every time.

Geno’s ambiance is as captivating as its cheesesteaks, with its bright orange seats and walls adorned with celebrity photos. And while the cheesesteaks are the main attraction, don’t miss out on their fries — they're the perfect crispy companion to your sandwich!

Jim’s Steaks

Imagine a place where time seems to stand still, where the vintage art deco facade sends you back to a bygone era — and that's Jim's Steaks for you. Established in 1939, this iconic joint has been serving mouth-watering cheesesteaks for decades.

Jim's stands tall and proud amidst a sea of cheesesteak spots, thanks to their secret weapon: the meat. Here, it's not just about how you slice the steak — it's about the art of grilling to perfection. 

The unforgettable crunch of the freshly baked roll, coupled with the tender steak and melting cheese, is an experience that lingers long after the last bite. As for our top recommendation, it's all about the classic cheesesteak — onions, Whiz, and all. 

Tony Luke’s

Down under the highway in South Philly, you'll find Tony Luke’s. This institution in the cheesesteak scene was founded in the early 1990s. Tony Luke Jr., a man with a passion for food, envisioned a place where people could enjoy traditional Philly flavors with a modern twist — and he made it happen. We stan a self-made king.

Tony Luke's is all about the experience. From watching your cheesesteak being prepared in their open kitchen to the rustic outdoor seating, every moment is steeped in authentic Philadelphia essence.

Dalessandro's Steaks

In the north corner of West Philly, Dalessandro's has been ruling the Roxborough cheesesteak scene since 1960. This family-owned eatery might be a bit off the beaten path, but that’s what makes it all the more charming.

The reason Dalessandro's has such a dedicated following lies in the harmony of fresh ingredients, their hand-cut rib-eye steak, and the perfect roll-to-meat ratio. Dalessandro’s makes a cheesesteak that really pops, with every layer perfectly curated and considered.

The most sought-after dish here is their cheesesteak with American cheese, so this is your spot if you want an iconic cheesesteak but can’t get into the idea of Cheez Whiz. It's the epitome of comfort food — hearty, cheesy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

For an extra layer of flavor, add some grilled onions and mushrooms. Trust us — it's a flavor combo that will keep you coming back for more.

John’s Roast Pork

Don't let the name fool you — John's Roast Pork is a cheesesteak paradise. It started as a small shack back in 1930, primarily serving roast pork sandwiches. But over time, they've mastered the art of making a killer cheesesteak too.

John’s is all about attention to detail. Their steak is thinly sliced and cooked to perfection, and they don't skimp on the cheese. They even make their own rolls every morning, ensuring the perfect blend of crispiness and fluffiness and a personal homegrown twist that makes a difference.

 As for the top picks — apart from the obvious cheesesteak and roast pork — the sharp provolone and spinach combo is a must-try. It's a medley of flavors and textures that takes the humble cheesesteak to a whole new level of deliciousness. 

Sonny's Famous Steaks

Nestled in the heart of Old City lies Sonny's Famous Steaks, a place that’s been serving up happiness in the form of cheesesteaks since the 1990s. As such, Sonny's is all about giving you an authentic Philly cheesesteak experience. 

The relaxed vibe, the vintage decor, and the hustle and bustle of the open kitchen all add up to make Sonny's a cherished piece of Philly's culinary scene. But the star of the show is undoubtedly their cheesesteak.

Their cheesesteak is a flavor fiesta — fresh ribeye steak, sliced daily and never frozen, topped with a generous serving of melted cheese. If you want to level up your cheesesteak game, though, you can't miss the "Sonny's Special.” 

It’s the perfect marriage of cheesesteak and pizza, topped with mozzarella and homemade marinara sauce. We’d say more, but our mouths are full.

Steve's Prince of Steaks

Steve's Prince of Steaks has been a cornerstone of northeast Philly's food culture since 1980. The founder, Steve Iliescu, sought to create the "perfect steak sandwich," and, in our opinion, he's done just that.

The uniqueness of Steve's lies in its straightforward approach to the classic cheesesteak. Their idea of a perfect cheesesteak is simple — no fancy ingredients or toppings, just high-quality meat, cheese, and a soft, chewy roll. It's a testament to the belief that you don't need to complicate things to create delicious food.

For an extra crunch, add their signature pickles, and you'll understand why Steve's Prince of Steaks has won the hearts of Philly locals.


Among a list of cheesesteak places that all sound like they’re run by the friendly dad in the brownstone next door, Ishkabibble's stands out from the rest. It’s a spot on South Street that adds a delightful sprinkle of fun to Philly's Center City cheesesteak scene.

Stepping into Ishkabibble's is like stepping into a vibrant slice of Philly life. The graffiti-covered walls and the lively atmosphere give you a taste of Philly's eclectic charm. But the real showstopper is their inventive take on the cheesesteak.

At Ishkabibble's, they believe in pushing boundaries. From chicken cheesesteaks to refreshing, fruity drinks, if you want something that’s more than standard, this is your spot.

With Great Whiz-Dom Comes Great Responsibility

You've just taken a whirlwind tour of the vibrant, delicious, and sometimes surprising world of Philadelphia cheesesteaks. Each spot has its own story, its own unique flavor, and its own way of celebrating this iconic sandwich. 

That said, in the world of cheesesteaks, there are no rules. Just a lot of melted cheese, tender steak, and the promise of a gastronomic adventure that you won't forget anytime soon.

The best Philly cheesesteak is more than just a sandwich. It's a cultural icon, a piece of Philly's heart, and a testament to the city's love for good food. 

Now that you’re loaded up with all of this delicious, meaty, cheese-whiz wisdom, it’s your responsibility to share it with everyone you know — because cheesesteaks are best when shared with friends…if only so you can try more than just one. For more delectable food recommendations, check out the FoodGod blog, and don’t be afraid to give us a follow on Instagram!


Pat’s King of Steaks

Geno's Steaks

Jim's Steaks

John's Roast Pork


Tony Luke’s


Steve's Prince of Steaks

Sonny's Famous Steaks

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