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Philly Cheese Steaks

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Anyone know of any good, authentic Philly Cheese Steaks in the Chicago area?

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  1. Never found anything that comes close to Pat's etc., but why bother? Go for Italian beef -- much discussed on this site and something we know how to do -- if you're in Chicago and want something similar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jbw

      Sorry that I forgot to mention I am a "Chicagoan" . I was just looking for some places to try one of these since I really don't think it would be worth the time and money to travel to Philly no matter how good they might be.

      1. re: jbw

        Chicago can't seen to get anything straight they put a salad on a hot dog and you think you are going to find anything that resembles an authentic philly chessesteak...
        like the other guy said go to philly.

        1. re: Lisa07033

          Yea go to Philly or just shake up a can up cheese wiz and put it on an Italian beef sandwich (if you want to ruin a good sandwich).

      2. Philly's Best on Belmont, just East of Clark Street- meat is flown in from Philadelphia- it's the best I've found in Chicago

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pauly

          I'll second that. Definitely the best cheesesteak I've found in Chicago. I think there is one in evanston as well. Plus, they deliver.

          1. re: Mojo

            there is also a phillly's best express location just south of the mega mall on milwaukee; located in the logan square car wash building, but with street access.

            it's the same as the one on belmost, just smaller.

            1. re: miss ellen

              Howdy folks: Lou Carlozo, a Chicago Tribune reporter and transplanted Philadelphian, looking for a good Philly cheesesteak in Chicago. I have heard all about Philly's best, which is OK... but I am wondering if there might be something better out there. Any tips? If so, please email me at the aboove address or call me at 312-222-6178, THANKS! Lou

              1. re: Lou Carlozo

                Hi Lou, and welcome to Chowhound! We have a saying here: email helps only one hound, while posting helps the whole pack. We strongly encourage anyone with tips on great cheesesteaks to post here and share the tip with all the hounds reading along. Thanks!

        2. s
          Sweet Willie

          There is also an Evanston, IL location.

          I agree, best by far for Chicago, way above any other I've had in the Chicago area.

          Link: http://www.phillysbest.com/

          1. I lived in Philly for a couple of years, and thought the famous steak joints (Pat's and Geno's) were not good. The meat was very tough. The good beef stands here are much better than those in Philly.

            3 Replies
            1. re: snicky

              Agreed. Jim's on South Street, too -- which was the reason for my somewhat dyspeptic remark earlier. Any meat which depends on fried onions and Cheez Whiz for its flavor can't compare with a good Italian Beef. By the way, I am a Philly native, and hoagies are another matter . . .

              1. re: snicky

                Agreed. Jim's on South Street, too -- which was the reason for my somewhat dyspeptic remark earlier. Any meat which depends on fried onions and Cheez Whiz for its flavor can't compare with a good Italian Beef. By the way, I am a Philly native, and hoagies are another matter . . .

                1. re: snicky

                  I don't disagree with you, but Ishkabibbles on South St, and also near Pat's & Geno's is wonderful - much more tender beef. Way better than any rendition of philly cheesesteak in chicago (I'm not saying it's better than an italian beef. IMO an ishkabibbles cheesesteak and a good italian beef are about equal). and don't get me started on Tony Luke's roast pork sandwiches with sharp provolone! now that would be worth a trip to philly!

                2. I'm going to check out Philly's Best in Logan Sq. hopfully it as good as the other locations.

                  1. I went to grad school in Philadelphia and am a Jim and Ishkabibble fan. There is a place on Dempster in Skokie that had a pretty good steak-for Chicago. I do not remember the name but they also had New York style Pizza...or maybe New York was in the name. I found out about it via chowhound a few years ago.

                    1. One more thing If you can't get to philly... we found this shaved beef at our local BJ's
                      wharehouse club. The brand name is diluigi if you can find that get yourself a cast iron
                      griddle and some provolone cheese and some rolls. Fy up your onions in a saute pan first( I like them well done and it's easier this way) then put the meat on griddle and break up with spatula and keep stirring to cook. When almost done put onions then cheese on top and cover with roll. Flip over and enjoy. Just as good without taking the trip to philly.

                      1. Its not exactly authentic but the Chicken Philly at Boston Blackie's is really good. This is a small chain. There is a new one on East Grand Ave. and a new one going up across from Minnies on Halsted I think.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: grubsessiondotcom

                          I don't think that you really want an authentic Philly Cheesesteak. I've tried them at Pat's, Geno's, and Jim's and they are all like chewing on a tire. It's probably why Rocky's jaw looked funny. If you want a good cheesesteak in Chicago, Philly's Best is probably #1. If you work in the loop, there's a place called The Works in the food court at 200 N. Clark. Their chicken cheesesteak is good and I bet their regular cheesesteak is good too.

                        2. go to portillos order the jumbo italian beef with cheddar. basically the same idea as a philly cheesesteak but better. pat and geno's are not that good. if you are in philadelphia try steve's prince of steaks which has a few locations scattered around the area.

                          1. Has anybody tried the new Jersey Mike's cheesesteak? there is a few in chicagoland area now -
                            Does anybody else hate the way that Philly Best slices their rolls from top to bottom? What a waste of an Amarosa roll!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: exjerseygirl

                              No, just rearrange the meat/cheese within the roll once you get it.

                              Cheeze Whiz, Lt Onions, on garlic bread. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on top when it arrives.

                              1. re: exjerseygirl

                                Jersey Mike's Big Kahuna is as close to a Philly Beef I have had. It is pretty good but the bread is not as good as you get in Philly - but still a tasty samich!

                              2. I just heard from a new friend that Philly's Best is closest to the Phila experience here in Chicago. I grew up in Philly and never cared for Pat's or Geno's especially because of the whole cheese-whiz thing (35+ years ago they folded in american cheese). The place to go is Puge's on Rt202 in Blue Bell, PA. Also, the best way to order it is "Large w/ mushrooms, onions, and pizza/marinara sauce w/ hot peppers!" One large will feed a normal person for 2 days!

                                1. Well, although I would say they arent totally authentic(prepared with lettuce, shaved red onion and no cheese wiz, ) the Luigi sandwich with cheddar at Bar Louie is superb. the hoagie bun it comes in actually makes it in my opinion, crusty on outside and soft inside. Steak is well seasoned and just the right amount of cheese. I love it!

                                  Bar Louie has a few locations but I prefer the Wriggleyville one. 3545 N Clark St

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                                  Bar Louie
                                  5500 S Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: keckers

                                    An authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich is never made with cheddar. It's usually made with mozzarella or provolone, sometimes white American.

                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                      WRONG. I lived in Philly, and the usual choice of cheese is Cheese Wiz, which is 90% of the cheese ordered. Rarely provolone or american, but NEVER mozzarella.

                                      And as I have said before, none of those beef stands remotely compares to any of the top 10 IB stands in the Chicago area. Thank God we live in Chicago and not Philly when it comes to beef sammies.

                                      1. re: Bullit

                                        I lived near Philly too. Yes, Cheez Whiz (at it is properly spelled) is sometimes used, but that's not cheddar. Go to Pat's or Geno's in Philly, and you can get your cheesesteak with provolone, American, or Cheez Whiz, whichever you prefer. Cheez Whiz is more popular at Pat's, but provolone rules at Geno's and at the places I went in the suburbs. (Sounds like you're a Pat's guy/gal!) My point was and is, though, I've never seen it made with cheddar in Philly. EVER. So thanks for agreeing with me!

                                        And a Philly cheesesteak is not an Italian beef sandwich (or "sammie", as my four-year-old niece calls them). They are two different animals.

                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                          Nxtasy, I still say you must admit, although it is hard for you, that mozzarella is never associated with a cheesesteak. EVER.

                                          1. re: Bullit

                                            You're right, not mozzarella. Just provolone, white American, or Cheez Whiz.

                                            Bullit, I still say you must admit, although it is hard for you, that provolone is more common than Cheez Whiz at a lot of cheesesteak places in the Philly area. PERIOD.

                                  2. Dave & Buster's make a decent cheesesteak at both Chicago area locations

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                                    Dave & Busters
                                    1024 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610