Cheese Steak Shops

Certain restaurants are known for their expertise at turning out signature foods really well. They've pinned down the ingredients, mastered the process, and gained a strong following as a result. Philadelphia has had much success creating a substantial market for Cheese Steak Shops. Locals can't get enough of the city's excellent food, and you'll often find them, along with eager tourists, at popular Jim's Steaks or at Shank's Original, a major player in the field. Make sure you see what all the fuss is about!

10 Dalessandro's Steaks
Modest signage announcing "Steaks Beer-Hoagies" and the simple redbrick facade in no way prepare you for what this Roxborough treasure has in store. Indeed, those in the know claim that Dalessandro's may serve up the area's top cheesesteak -- there's just something special about the way they cram fried onions, seasoned steak and American cheese into those tasty hoagie rolls. What else sets this place apart from those closer to Center City? Well, at Dalessandro's you can chase your cheesesteak with a cold brew. (215-482-5407)

9 Barclay Prime
Upon ordering an entree at Barclay Prime, you'll be asked to select your own knife, and that's when you'll know: this restaurant is serious about steak. Set in a 1920s-era luxury hotel, this renowned steakhouse boasts eye-catching retro chic decor, superb service and, of course, some of Philadelphia's most phenomenal steaks. Start with the famous Kobe beef sliders before savoring a perfectly succulent New York strip or bone-in filet paired with decadent truffled whipped potatoes. (215-732-7560)

8 Tony Luke's Old Philly Style Sandwiches
First-timers may ask, "What's an 'Old Philly Style Sandwich?'" The answer is right here, just a stone's throw from the I-95 over-pass. Tony Luke's has garnered accolade after accolade over the years, and its walls are adorned with the faces of celebs who've dined here and enjoyed every last bite of their Cheez Whiz-covered steak and Italian pork sandwiches. Of course, the place has never ceased to connect with its more blue-collared customers -- the reasonable prices and good-natured staff see to that. (215-551-5725)

7 Jim's Steaks
It's best to know your P's and Q's before visiting this South Street cheesesteaker, where the grillmen take their choice top round very seriously. At Jim's, all steaks come with onions (that's just how they come, simple as that); subsequent "extras" range from "Whiz" and provolone to roasted bell peppers and mushrooms. Hoagies, soups, salads and even a few breakfast items round out the menu. Even if you're not in Philly, you can still enjoy a bite from Jim's -- They'll send a sandwich wherever FedEx delivers in the US. (215-928-1911, 877-313-5467)

6 Campo's Deli
What started as a small mom-n-pop grocery back in the 1940s has evolved into one of the signature places on Market to enjoy a Philly Cheesesteak. Is it the best in town? You be the judge. Just know that you're not going to find to find a friendlier place to enjoy the city's signature sandwich. If grilled rib-eye topped with provolone and onions doesn't strike your fancy, don't fret: They also serve up great hoagies and even a few vegetarian options. (215-923-1000, 888-462-4437)

5 Pat's King of Steaks
The self-proclaimed "King of Steaks," Pat Olivieri started out with a hotdog stand on the lower end of the Italian Market back in the 30s. As the story goes, one afternoon he decided to try something a tad different and grilled up some chopped steak, placed it on an Italian roll and topped it all with onions, creating the world's first-ever Philly Cheesesteak. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Pat's remains an Olivieri Family tradition, and their legendary sandwiches have been enjoyed by everybody from city cops to Larry King to Senator John McCain. (215-468-1546)

4 Geno's Steaks
One of many places billed as Philly's "Best," Geno's certainly has its fair share of devotees on the south side of town. Begun in 1966 by fella named Joe Vento, this 24/7, take-out-only joint has the art of serving cheesesteaks down to a science. That is to say, at the first window, order your sandwich. Without prompting, indicate American, provolone or Cheese Whiz and whether or not you want onions. Pay, pick up your order, and move down to the next window for a drink. And just in case you're curious, you really shouldn't leave town without trying the Cheese Whiz variety. (215-389-0659)

3 Cosmi's Deli
Get your authentic cheesesteak on at Cosmi's Deli in South Philly. In operation since the early 1930's, these hoagie-masters know the art of the sandwich inside and out. ((215) 468-6093)

2 Sonny's Famous Steaks
The crowds outside this humble little storefront on Market tell the whole story -- Sonny's makes some of the best sandwiches you can hope to find in Philly. You won't find much on the menu, but everything that is listed, from the burgers to the onion rings, are done just right. Cheesesteaks, of course, are the fan favorite, and Sonny's are made by cooking the steak in its own natural juices, stuffing the meat in a fresh-baked roll, and topping it with fried onions and, of course, a healthy helping of Cheez Whiz. (215-629-5760)

1 Shank's Original
Judging from the ambience, you may expect to see Rocky in here chowing down on a roast pork sandwich. In point of fact, the joint's as good as any when it comes to serving up a cheese steak. And even though Shank's and Evelyn's is a "hole in the wall," this is also where the locals and the city's politicians gather for home cooked breakfasts. Yo! Hows 'bout two over easy with a side of browns? (215-629-1093)


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Maps and Directions

1
Dalessandro's Steaks 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Take Out
Neighborhood: ROXBOROUGH
COST: $
2
Barclay Prime 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental, Steakhouse
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Parties / Private Rooms, Pastry Chef
Neighborhood: RITTENHOUSE SQUARE
COST: $$$$
3
Tony Luke's Old Philly Style Sandwiches 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: South Philly
COST: $
4
Jim's Steaks 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Deli, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Take Out
Neighborhood: SOUTH STREET
COST: $
5
Campo's Deli 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Deli, European, Italian, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Catering, Take Out
Neighborhood: Old City
COST: $
6
Pat's King of Steaks 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: South Philly
COST: $
7
Geno's Steaks 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: South Philly
COST: $
9
Sonny's Famous Steaks 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Take Out
Neighborhood: Old City
COST: $
10
Shank's Original 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner, European, Italian, Local Specialty
Dining Options: Catering, Counter Seating, Delivery, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: South Philly
COST: $