The Ultimate Guide to Philadelphia Cheesesteaks

If you’re from the Philadelphia area, you probably have a favorite. The best Philadelphia cheesesteak is a long-held debate, with old school steak shop and newcomers competing for the title.

philadelphia cheesesteak with onions and cheese whiz

But what makes the best Philly cheesesteak the best? Is it the roll? The cheese? Do you want a classic Philadelphia cheesesteak, or a modern twist? 

There’s a lot to consider when tasting the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, and there are new sandwich shops creating their own recipes each year.

We’ve rounded up the most popular places to get a cheesesteak in Philadelphia for you to test them all. 

Best Places to Get a Philly Cheesesteak

John’s Roast Pork

14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: (215) 463-1951
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John’s Roast Pork is in an unassuming location – you could pass it without noticing, if not for the long lines that tend to gather around the spot.

This luncheonette is home to one of South Philadelphia’s best cheesesteaks, however, with many naming it as the #1 stop in the city. 

John’s Roast Pork has been open since 1930 and has long been a favorite for locals, but it’s recently gained more attention. Carangi’s crusty seeded roll gives this cheesesteak its signature.

Their roast pork sandwich is another favorite, although you shouldn’t miss out on the cheesesteak if you’re stopping by. 

Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies

600 Wendover St, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Phone: (215) 482-5407
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An old school favorite, Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies is one of the most popular spots for a Philly cheesesteak. Located in Roxborough, many Philadelphians go out of their way for a Dalessandro’s steak, and you’ll find this sandwich shop on most of the “best of” lists out there. 

Dalessandro’s cheesesteaks consist of a thinly shaved and finely chopped beef, bound by cheese and served on an Amoroso roll.

You can choose to go with or without fried onions, peppers, mushrooms, or other toppings. Dalessandro’s is known for their well-chopped meat, as other places don’t cut it up as much. 

If you haven’t tried this classic sandwich shop yet, stop by for one of Philly’s most famous cheesesteaks. 

Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop 

630 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 470-3559
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Woodrow’s Sandwich Shop is a relatively newcomer on the Philly cheesesteak scene, but they’ve quickly made an impression.

Located on South Street, Woodrow’s makes specialty sandwiches, including a cheesesteak that’s gaining popularity.

Named the Woodrow’s Whiz Whit, this cheesesteak features caramelized onions, cherry pepper mayo, and truffle-infused whiz along with shaved rib-eye steak.

While this options offers a twist on the classic cheesesteak, it’s a delicious contender for the best of Philadelphia. 

Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop

1 W Girard Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: (215) 423-5637
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Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop originated in Northeast Philadelphia, but it’s current location in Fishtown is the better known spot. Joe’s first opened in 1949, and they stick to their traditional cheesesteak recipe still today.

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Joe’s Steaks and Soda Shop is right in the middle of the Fishtown bar scene, making it a popular stop for late night eats. They also serve milkshakes and ice cream sodas, and they offer vegan and vegetarian options as well. 

 Campo’s Philly Cheesesteaks

214 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 923-1000
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Campo’s is located in Old City near some of Philadelphia’s historic landmarks, making it a popular spot for tourists to grab an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak. 

Campo’s offers an assortment of sandwiches, including cheesesteaks, hoagies, grilled chicken sandwiches, and more.

They are also the official cheesesteak of the Philadelphia Phillies, and you can find them at the ballpark if you’re catching a game. 

Barclay Prime 

237 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 1910
Phone: (215) 732-7560
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If you’re looking for the most expensive cheesesteak in the city, check out Barclay Prime. This upscale steakhouse offers their take on a cheesesteak for a whopping $120 – roughly 10x the average price. 

For the money, you get a cheesesteak made from wagyu rib-eye, truffle whiz, and foie gras. It also comes with half a bottle of champagne. This cheesesteak is meant for sharing, as it’s incredibly rich. You don’t have to spend this much money for a good cheesesteak in Philadelphia, but if you’re into the novelty of it then it’s a unique find. 

Donkey’s Place

1223 Haddon Ave, Camden, NJ 08103
Phone: (856) 966-2616
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Donkey’s Place is technically across the river in Camden, but it’s gained so much popularity that we had to include it in our list of Philadelphia cheesesteaks. Take a quick ride over the bridge or hop on the ferry to try the cheesesteak at Donkey’s Place. 

The cheesesteak at Donkey’s Place is known for being loaded with onions, and it’s typically served on a kaiser roll instead of a long roll. They also offer house-made hot sauces if you want to spice up your cheesesteak. 

Angelo’s Pizzeria 

736 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 922-0000
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Angelo’s Pizza has quickly become one of Philly’s favorite pizza shops, but they are also well known for their cheesesteak. The secret to their pizza is the same reason their cheesesteak has grown popular: the bread. Angelo’s cheesesteaks come on crusty, sesame seeded, house-made rolls. 

Angelo’s cheesesteak is also made with high quality rib-eye and toppings, making a delicious sandwich. For a twist on the classic, order the Tony Head – a cheesesteak made on the same roll, but turned into garlic bread. 

Oh Brother Philly

206 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-515-3255
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Brother Philly is the perfect place to grab a delicious cheesesteak when exploring the city center. It’s only three minutes from the Benjamin Franklin Museum and other exciting attractions.

It’s a quick, counter-service restaurant with seating inside. It’s casual but always has a crowd.

As you can assume by the name and the title of this list, cheesesteaks are the star of the show on Oh Brother Philly’s menu.

You can never go wrong with a classic cheesesteak here, but they also have other cheesesteak recipes, burgers, and some of the best French fries I’ve ever had.

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I always get a classic cheesesteak with parmesan truffle fries. 


108 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 515-3828
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If you’re in Center City, Cleavers is one of the most popular cheesesteaks in the area. Located right by Rittenhouse Square, Cleavers is a family business with a focus on high quality, fresh ingredients for their cheesesteaks. 

Cleavers offers their cheesesteaks on a roll, a wrap, or in a bowl with just the fillings. You can make your own, or choose from their menu of specialty cheesesteaks. They also offer a vegetarian cheesesteak made with portobello mushrooms.

Saad’s Halal Restaurant

4500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19139
Phone: 215-222-7223
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Saad’s Halal Restaurant is nestled between the Walnut Hill and Spruce Hill neighborhoods in West Philly.

The restaurant is beautiful, inside and out, and has a great atmosphere perfect for gathering with friends or eating alone. 

Saad’s Halal is a Middle Eastern restaurant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have delicious cheesesteaks.

They make everything from scratch, and while their authentic cuisine is to die for, I have to talk about their cheesesteaks.

They have your classic beef cheesesteak and a fish cheesesteak. While it sounds odd, I promise it’s worth a try. 

Cosmi’s Deli

1501 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 468-6093
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Cosmi’s Deli is a small corner shop in South Philly, serving up sandwiches since 1932. While it may not look like much from the outside, Cosmi’s is a local favorite, and their cheesesteak has gained them some extra attention.

Cosmi’s cheesesteak comes standard, with your choice of cheese and the option to add fried onions, peppers, and more.

It’s served on a sarcone’s roll, and you can choose between a classic hoagie roll or a seeded roll. 

Jaxx Steaks Taproom

242 Wharton St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-336-1308
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Jaxx Steaks Taproom is south of the Philadelphia city center on Wharton Street, just north of Dickinson Square Park.

The restaurant is a beautiful, modern, industrial spot with cozy seating inside and plenty of outdoor seating when the weather’s nice. It’s the spot you go to when you want a great meal and a cold drink. 

The menu here is filled with cheesesteaks and other tasty sandwiches you can’t get anywhere else in the city. They also have pizza and Strombolis!

My favorite dishes are their cheesesteak stromboli and the Me 19 cheesesteak. The Me 19 cheesesteak features fried onions and fried hot longs and is a must-try.

Max’s Steaks 

3653 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Phone: (215) 229-9048
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Max’s Steaks is one of the most popular places for a cheesesteak in North Philadelphia. It was also featured in the Rocky franchise movie Creed, giving it some extra Philly cred. 

Max’s offers all the standard cheesesteak options, served on a soft Italian roll with your choice to add onions, peppers, mushrooms and more.

They also make hoagies, and if you go in person there’s a full bar as well. 

Chubby’s Steaks

5826 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128
Phone: (215) 487-2575
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Another contender from Roxborough, Chubby’s Steaks makes a classic Philly cheesesteak that many Philadelphia natives mark as their favorite. Chubby’s also offers chicken cheesesteaks, hoagies, specialty sandwiches, salads, and wings.

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Chubby’s is also a full service bar, and they offer beer to go. They’re open late on weekends, making them a popular spot for late night eats in the Roxborough area of Philadelphia. 


517 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 922-0494
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Ishkabibble’s is on the main stretch of South Street, and it’s gained popularity for its cheesesteak.

While many out of towners line up at Jim’s down the street, you can grab a top-notch cheesesteak at Ishkabibble’s if you’re in the know. 

Many patrons love Ishkabibble’s chicken cheesesteak, and the shop claims to have invented the chicken cheesesteak.

Everything is made to order here, so you can order your cheesesteak however you like it. There are plenty of other beloved menu items at Ishkabibble’s as well, so don’t leave without trying some french fries as well. 

Pat’s King of Steaks 

1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 468-1546
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You can’t talk about Philly cheesesteaks without mentioning Pat’s King of Steaks. Pat’s original owner, Pat Olivieri, claims to have invented the Philly cheesesteak, and the shop has been around since 1930.

Pat’s is located in South 9th street right off of Passyunk Ave, sitting right across from its biggest competitor: Geno’s.

The Pat’s vs Geno’s debate is a Philly tradition, although most local Philadelphians would probably argue that neither has the city’s best cheesesteak.

Still, Pat’s draws large crowds, and since they’re open 24 hours a day, it’s a great spot for a late night cheesesteak. 

Geno’s Steaks

1219 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 389-0659
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Geno’s Steaks, located directly across the street from Pat’s, is the other half of the famous rivalry. This quick stop cheesesteak joint is also open 24/7, so stop by anytime to grab a cheesesteak or even compare the two rivals across the street from one another.

Geno’s fans claim it wins the rivalry due to fresh, thinly sliced ribeye and homemade bread. Not sure where you stand in the Pat’s vs. Geno’s dispute?

Try both and let us know who wins your vote in the comments!

What is a Philly Cheesesteak?

The cheesesteak sandwich originated in Philadelphia, and the Philly cheesesteak still reigns supreme (especially in the eyes of Philly natives).

A Philly cheesesteak is made with shaved or finely chopped steak on a long roll, and typically comes with cheese and fried onions. Some believe that a true Philly cheesesteak requires cheese whiz, but most cheesesteak restaurants offer other options like American or provolone cheese as well.

How do I order a Philly cheesesteak?

The traditional way to order a cheesesteak in Philadelphia is “wit or witout”.

In local Philly lingo, this means with or without fried onions. Many Philadelphians believe a true Philly cheesesteak must include the onions, but plenty of people go without.

When you’re ordering a cheesesteak, you’ll most likely be asked what type of cheese you prefer, as well as any other toppings like peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

What type of cheese goes in a cheesesteak?

The standard Philly cheesesteak comes with cheese whiz, but you can opt for other cheese options as well. Many people choose American, provolone, or cooper sharp. Some cheesesteak restaurants have a signature cheese of their own.

Philadelphia is the home of the Philly cheesesteak, so you can find these delicious sandwiches all across the city. Check out our top 25 Philadelphia cheesesteaks to find your favorite!

Did we forget to mention your favorite cheesesteak in Philadelphia? Let us know who we missed in the comments, or tell us your top pick from our list!

One Comment

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  1. The only Cheese steaks is Steve’s steaks is the Best to get there and their french fries are really good and both the cheese steak and fries are very delicious to eat. Steve’s steaks also a second location at Roosevelt Blvd (Route one) and Coulomy Road in the Great North East . Try it you’re will like it.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

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