Ranking the best Philly cheesesteaks in its hometown of Philadelphia is as divisive as an Eagles vs. Giants game. And, if you’re from the City of Brotherly Love, it’s likely that you’ve got your favourite spot for a cheesy, juicy beefsteak sandwich in your hometown.
Now, it’s time to impart your Philly cheesesteak knowledge upon others visiting the city. And, you’ll find that each place puts their own spin on the ever-classic ribeye steak-filled sandwich. Whether you’re into Philly cheesesteaks that are made with skirt steak, prefer an ultra-cheesy Cheez Whiz version, or love it loaded with onions, we’ve got something on this list for you.
Using our ranking criteria, we’ve brought you a list of the 25 places where travellers new to the city can find some of the best Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. Or, at the very least, indulge in some of the city’s biggest culinary rivalries and make up their minds for themselves. Consider it a fun taste test through one of the coolest cities in the country.
Think we missed one of your favourites? Leave a comment to let us know.
Best Philly Cheesesteaks In PhiladelphiaHow do these rankings work?
Head on down to South Street to check out Ishkabibble’s where they’ve been slinging savoury cheesesteaks since 1979. While their claim to fame might be their original chicken cheesesteak, their classic Philly cheesesteak is just as mouthwatering. Wash it down with an original Gremlin – a half-lemonade, half-grape-juice beverage that’s as refreshing as it sounds.
A South Street institution for decades, Jim’s makes one of Philly’s tastiest cheesesteaks. That means there’s often a line, but don’t worry – it moves quickly. The smell of the ribeye steaks sizzling on the grill will keep you keen while you wait. Go ahead and order two. You’re absolutely going to want to take one home with you to munch on later; they’re just that good.
Jimmy G’s is a local favourite, serving hot chopped and slab styles on fresh, warm Liscio rolls. It doesn’t matter how you order this sandwich, Whiz wit or Provo without, it’s going to tantalise your tastebuds in a way you’ve never felt before. And, they also serve a rendition that’s just as tasty for takeaway later: a Philadelphia Cream Cheesesteak.
Deep, deep in South Philly you’ll find the newcomer Oregon Steaks. Even though they’ve been around for over five years now, they’re new compared to other Philly cheesesteak joints in the city. But, that doesn’t stop them from serving some of the most irresistible cheesesteaks around. They’re open 24/7 too, making this one of the best places for a late-night cheesesteak run.
As the name suggest, the cheesesteaks here are ooey, gooey, and oh-so-delicious. Gooey Looies is by far one of the best places to sample a great Philly cheesesteak, especially if you’re looking for something full of flavour. You’re going to easily roll through a stack of napkins while eating here, but that’s all part of the experience. Juicy, flavourful and messy is a sign of a quality cheesesteak.
If variety is what you’re after then Del Rossi’s Cheesesteak Co. is one of the best places for a cheesesteak in Philadelphia for you. They’re well-known for the array of different options available. Sample any one of their dozen cheesesteak and chicken cheesesteak options. Or, sample them all! Really, anything you order is going to leave you dreaming about cheesesteak long after the last bite.
Cosmi’s Deli is a quaint, quiet corner store in South Philadelphia. In fact, it’s pretty easy to miss if you’re not looking closely. However, upon walking into this little deli, you’ll be delighted by the incredible smell of perfectly-cooked steak, grilled onions, and fresh bread from Sarcone’s Bakery. The beef here is coarsely chopped. So, if that’s your style, you’ll love the cheesesteak from Cosmi’s.
Headed out of South and Central Philly? Pagano’s Steaks & Hoagies is home to one of the best Philly cheesesteaks in North Philadelphia. This small store is cash-only and takeout-only, making it great for lunch on-the-go. Expect chopped-style steaks doused in ketchup, which is a North Philly thing. You can, of course, request otherwise, but we suggest sampling the local style.
There’s a reason why the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches at Shank’s have won so many awards. Simply put, they’re some of the best cheesesteaks you’ll find in the entire country, and not just their classic. They also serve savoury pizza, steak, and roast pork options. Each one is as delicious as the next.
If you’ve got the time to sample 25 of the best Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia then you’ve got time to head a bit outside of the city to sample the ones at Leo’s. Massive portions, finely-chopped meat, and a classic taste and style make the cheesesteaks here simply irresistible. Well worth the short drive outside of central Philly.
McNally’s Tavern has been serving warm, tasty cheesesteaks since 1921, so they’ve had some time to perfect the balance of flavour and ingredients. They’re famous for their “Schmitter” sandwich here, which is a unique reimagining of the classic cheesesteak. It’s served on a kaiser roll and topped with delightful ingredients. Wash it all down with one of their craft beers. We can’t think of a more perfect flavour combination.
If you’ve been around for a while, then you might know that Oh Brother Philly serves some of the best burgers in the city. However, they’re also well-loved for their melt-in-your-mouth Philly cheesesteaks. The locale itself is cosy and inviting, making it the perfect stop for any traveller that’s tired after a day of touring.
It’s hard to argue that Steve’s Prince of Steaks serves one of the best Philly cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. Here, they cook their meat on a flat grill and serve it up on a long roll that doesn’t overpower the cheesy goodness of the sandwich. Guests rave about how well-balanced the cheesesteaks here are, even though they’re spill-over-the-paper messy and delicious.
Campo’s is well-known by travellers as being a super tasty and convenient option for those new to Philly cheesesteaks. It’s centrally located right on Market Street, making it the ideal pit stop for lunch after a day of exploring the city. Order Maggie’s Old Fashioned Cheesesteak for a dive into traditional Philly flavours. Or, sample any of the other cheesesteaks on their menu. You really can’t go wrong here.
Sonny’s Famous Steaks offers a fresh, healthier take on the recipe, frying the 100% Angus beef in its own juices rather than in oil. The friendly staff here is also eager to teach folks everything and anything about cheesesteaks — from how to order one in true Philly style to the mouthwatering history of the sandwich itself.
As the name suggests, you can indulge in more than just high-quality cheesesteaks at Joe’s. This old-fashioned soda shop and neighbourhood diner has been around for years, serving some of the most fantastic milkshakes alongside their famous cheesesteaks. The combination of sweet and savoury is something you simply can’t miss, especially if you love your sandwich doused in tasty Cheez Whiz.
Juicy meat, crunchy onions, and perfectly crisp bread all make Philip’s home to one of the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. However, you’re going to want to make sure you ask for the Old-Fashioned. It’s a bit different, but locals love it. It comes with beef, provolone, grilled tomato, and fried onions. Trust us, you’re going to want to order more than one.
John’s has gained mainstream recognition in recent years as having one of the best cheesesteaks in the city. Seeing as they’ve been serving hungry locals since the 1930s, it seems to all be about their secret weapon. What makes their cheesesteak so tasty? Perfectly crusty seeded rolls from Carangi’s Bakery. Bring an appetite because you won’t want to leave a single delicious crumb on the table.
If you find yourself exploring the famous South Street in Philly then head on over to Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop to sample some of the most well-crafted sandwiches in the city. Amongst many other tasty menu items, they craft one hell of a cheesesteak. Start with the famous Woodrow’s Whiz Wit, which they serve with shaved ribeye, caramelised onions, and an irresistible truffle-flavoured cheese whiz. We’re drooling.
This incredible cheesesteak is made with 100% USDA-inspected rib-eye steak. And, they bake their own rolls. For the real Tony Luke’s experience, visit the restaurant’s original location, located next to an I-95 overpass on Oregon Avenue in South Philadelphia. You pick up your sandwiches from streetside windows and either feast at the outdoor picnic-style tables or take them to go.
Dalessandro’s is loved for its signature steak, chopped much finer than many of its South Philly competitors. They use only the freshest meats, cheeses, produce and bread to create their beloved cheesesteaks that are well worth travelling miles for. Not convinced? Walk into the storefront and the smell will have you salivating before you can even get in line to order.
What Chubby’s claims to specialise in are cheesesteaks, cheese fries, and ice-cold beer served in frosted mugs. If that doesn’t sound like foodie paradise then we don’t know what does. Here, they’ve perfected the balance of fried onions, American cheese, and rib-eye steak cooked to perfection on an amoroso roll. The finely-chopped meat ensures you can easily devour this tasty cheesesteak in seconds.
Geno’s late owner claims to have first added cheese to the classic Philly sandwich. For more than half a century, Pat’s and Geno’s have waged a (mostly) friendly competition, with visitors often ordering from both shops to see which they deem the winner. You’ll find that Geno’s specialises in a thinly sliced rib-eye steak for maximum juiciness, using only the freshest of onions and house-made bread for added taste.
Numerous locals and food blogs rank Cleavers as having the best Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Perhaps it’s the central location or the fact that they serve a scrumptious veggie option for non-meat eaters. Or, it might be the sheer variety; they serve a classic Philly as well a BBQ sammie and something called Papa’s Favorite. Really, everything here is delightful and delicious. So, try it all.
Listen, we totally understand the somewhat fictitious rivalry between Pat’s and Geno’s. And, while it’s actually really hard to rank the absolute best cheesesteak in Philadelphia, for travellers, we absolutely recommend visiting Pat’s if you’ve only got time for one cheesesteak. Pat’s claims that its founder, Pat Olivieri, invented the steak sandwich back in 1930. Here, the grill sizzles 24 hours a day, serving up hot, cheesy sandwiches to locals and travellers alike.