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Best Cheesesteak (in Philly) from a Place That Is Off the Beaten Path?

Just in case I fly to Philly this spring to catch a ballgame, I'd like to know about a place or two that has great cheesesteak that isn't touristy and isn't well known. Thanks! Anyplace within 5 miles of downtown would work for me.

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  1. Chink's - Torresdale St. in Northeast Philly (my favorite)
    Steve's Prince of Steaks - St Vincent and Castor St - NE Philly
    John's Roast Pork - Weccacoe (sp?) and Snyder - South Philly
    Tony Luke's - Oregon Ave - South Philly

    Not so good - Pat's, Geno's, Jim's

    Overrated....way, way overrated - D'alessandro's in Roxborough. Can sombody explain to me why everyone loves this place?

    Don't miss trying a roast pork italian (roast pork, sharp provolone, greens) at DiNic's in the Reading Terminal Market, John's Roast Pork or Tony Luke's. A better Philadelphia sandwich. Beats the cheesesteak by a mile.

    4 Replies
    1. re: G Goo

      I agree totally with your list. However, I think the answer to the D'alessandro's question lies in its history. Once upon a time they did have one of the very best if not the best cheesesteak in Philly. I would stop and get one each time I was in the area. But that was in the 80's. When I came back to town in the 00's it's one of the first places I went and I was also totally disappointed. But then I discovered Steves (the one on Bustleton, not the Boulevard, which is not as good) and Chinks, so hooray. Even though I prefer a chopped Steak, Steve's really delivers. For folks who used to eat at D'a but haven't been for a long time, fondness and memories probably account for their being on the list rather than a recent experience. It's a shame but it is what it is. And I never made it across the street to Chubbys. One of these days...

      1. re: Ellen

        At Chink's I love sitting at the bar where I can see the steaks being made in the window, and the shakes being whipped up. I always end up in a conversation.....it's the kind of place that facilitates conversation. It's such a throwback. Love it.

      2. re: G Goo

        See link to change in D'Alessandro's ownership:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/505239

        Go to Chubby's- right across Henry Avenue from D'A.

        1. re: G Goo

          Problem with getting a cheesesteak at John's Roast Pork is trying to avoid the roast pork...it just draws me in...mmmmm....

        2. I vote for Steve's. There is one that is easy to get to from downtown. It's in the North East on Comly and Roosevelt Blvd. You can get there easily from I-95. Never go to Dalessandro's, most dissapointing cheese steak I've had. Made me mad I spent the money.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dream_of_giusti

            That's funny. I felt the same way when I wasted money on Steve's. Now that D's has been sold, let's see what happens to the place, whether it goes up, goes down, or remains the same.

          2. John's Roast Pork is not far from the ballpark and the cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches are the best. Strange hours though (usually, M-F 6am-3pm)- if you miss it then Tony Luke's is an acceptable (though not nearly as good) substitute, even closer to the ballpark.

            5 Replies
            1. re: pronek

              The hours are based on the fact that they have always been primarily there for breakfast - lunch for the dock workers. Didn't get much publicity til Craig L did the article a few years ago. They are now open on Saturdays as well, but close by 3:00. Happily, Snyder Ave is now open between Columbus Blvd and second St (it has been closed for over a year, so it is again easy to access!

              1. re: Bigley9

                There now open Sat.? Are you positive? I hope so.

                1. re: Tonyjlive

                  They started just before they closed Snyder Ave and it was on and off during the construction but they were there last weeked!

                  1. re: Bigley9

                    and not there by 2;00 this weekend! I'll try to get more info

              2. re: pronek

                Open till ~3 PM unless they run out of rolls earlier than that...

              3. G Goo, I would suspect you aren't from Philly as no true Philadelphian would ever call Torresdale Avenue, Torresdale Street. Nonetheless, I believe you really know a cheesesteak given your list and take on Pat's and Geno's and to a lesser extent Jim's which while not up to the standard of Chink's, Steve's, John's or Tony Luke's, is still better than Pat's or Geno's.

                Regarding D'Alessandro's, I have to say that on any given day I could agree or disagree. I think the problem with the place is the same problem with Jim's, they cook too much steak in a giant pile on the grill. The meat really steams instead of grilling and seems to become chewy. Carmelization makes meat taste better and if you're steaming it, it's going to cook but never taste as good. I don't know whether I've just been lucky but, of all the times I've been to John's which is my favorite, the steaks are always cooked to order, they don't have this giant pile of meat on the grill steaming away.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Den

                  Actually I spent 8 years of my life in Mayfair. Although I've lived outside the hood for a while now, yes I do consider myself a true Philadelphian. The Ave in my life was Frankford not Torresdale.

                  Whoops! Now I'm embarrassed ;) Hope this doesn't ruin my cheesesteak cred......

                  I agree with your take on D'alessandro's. The 3 or 4 times I've been there I was greeted with that mountain of steaming beef. Not appetizing. Additionally their onions are limp and bland and piled on top of the steak like a cherry on a sundae. The onions and cheese are best when mixed into the steak. Chinks steaks, while simple (american and onions the only options) are made to order resulting in a delicious symphony of cheese, onions, beef and bread.

                2. CHUBBY'S !!!!!! on Henry avenue Don't even think about going across the street D'Alessandros. Chubby's consistently delivers a fantastic cheesesteak.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Marianna215

                    I agree on Chubby's. Have an ice cold mug of beer with your cheesesteak. Service is friendly also. They even pack steaks to go for me to take back home to New York. I get a chubby from Chubby's.

                  2. I agree with the comment about d'alessandro's...sometimes their great, other times they have waaay too much meat just sitting there in a huge pile. Its kind of gross to see actually. But d'alessandros and chubbys (across the street) are a bit further from center city than 5 minutes.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jjwls7

                      The OP said 5 miles not minutes.

                      1. re: Philly

                        its more than 5 miles as well.

                    2. I have to totally agree with the comments on d'alessandros. Went there once and was greeted by a mound of steaming unappetizing beef. Everyone but me in the long line ordered thewsauce oin top and after eating the steak I now know why. You need it to mask the flavorless beef. Never again.

                      Also agree on John's roast pork for both the pork and the cheese steak.

                      Have to admit I am always surprised when I get the roast pork at Citizens Bank Park from Tony Lukes and it is good. Ball park food is not supposed to be good. :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: waynefoodie

                        Yeah the food offered at the ballpark is excellent (notable exception - Bull's BBQ...yuck!) and the beer is fantastic. Sly Fox, Yards, Troegs, Victory and Flying Fish brews can be found. Kudos to the Phillies for making an effort to spotlight local favorites. But that still doesn't make up for 1 championship in over 100 years!

                      2. get the roast pork at Tony Luke's at the ballpark and/or the Schmitter sandwich at the ballpark. both are excellent.

                        1. John's Roast Pork for the steak and the pork. The best. Torresdale is an Ave. and it gets dumpier by the minute.

                          1. John's is great, and convenient to the ballpark, but likely not open at game time. Try Talk of The Town on Broad St., just north of Packer Ave. It is the closest to Steve's (one of the city's best, steak flipped not chopped) you will find in South Philly, and will not be mobbed with suburban Phillies fans like Tony Luke's. Get the cheesesteak at Talk of The Town, and get the roast pork sandwich from the Tony Luke's outpost at CBP.

                            1. I have to agree about D'Alessandro's. The place is really hit-or-miss. I've had great cheesesteaks there on some occasions and pretty mediocre ones on others.

                              I like Chink's Steaks but their name makes me cringe. I went there once and when I mentioned something about Steve's (which I also like), the teenage girl behind the counter proceeded to trash their competitor, saying something to the effect of "Their cheesesteaks can't compare to ours." I'm not sure I agree, as I think both are very good, but it was amusing nonetheless. I like everything about the place except the moniker.

                              But all the places mentioned on this thread are pretty well-known among most Philly natives I've spoken with. Is there any truly "underground" place in the city or the 'burbs that's a hidden gem and only known amongst neighborhood locals? Something on the level of Di Fara in Brooklyn or Burt's Place in the Chicago suburbs, which are two great pizza places that operated in obscurity for a long time before becoming exposed by this site, among others. It was amazing for me (and most others I've spoken with) that places serving such great pizza could be practically unknown outside of their neighborhoods for years. (Today, Burt's is steadily gaining notoriety in the Windy City area while Di Fara is mobbed at all hours, thanks to a major NY Times write-up for about 5 years ago.)

                              I'm wondering if there's a seriously under-the-radar but top notch cheesesteak/hoagie equivalent in the greater Philly area.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: pbergen

                                Try Talk of The Town. It is the least known of any of the establishments under discussion.

                                1. re: pbergen

                                  You want underground......try Sal's Pizzeria in the Warrington Mews shopping center in Warrington.......a great steak

                                  1. re: G Goo

                                    Oh yeah? Nice. But is it simply "good for the suburbs" or a "destination-worthy place"? I have no problems driving out to an eatery if the food is terrific but was wondering if it's worth the long drive.

                                    Also, would you guys include Mama's in Bala Cynwyd on the list of good underground places? I've been wanting to go there for a while but every time I stopped by, it's been closed. Some people swear this is the best cheesesteak but others have told me not to bother. Your take?

                                    1. re: pbergen

                                      Well......worth a drive? I'd say no. While it is good for the suburbs, It doesn't beat a Chink's, or Steve's, or John's or Tony Luke's. But if you're in the neighborhood definitely stop in. It's in a strip mall and has the ambiance of a DMV. The people are nice and the steaks are great. They melt the cheese in with the steak.....just the way it should be.

                                      1. re: G Goo

                                        Mmm, sounds good. I'm not normally up in that area but I'll have to try it next time I'm around there. Thanks.

                                      2. re: pbergen

                                        mama's is great but not what you would imagine as the typical philly cheese steak. they are huge and smothered with cheese on a harder roll. pretty impossible to eat just with your hands. i like there chicken cheese steaks as well. they are not open that late and i believe closed on monday or tuesday. they are actually a pizza joint but i'm not a big fan of their pizza. definitely a good steak but don't expect the typical philly cheese steak.

                                    2. re: pbergen

                                      Eve's Lunch in Norristown. Great zeps, meatballs and steaks. There's nothing quite like a cheesesteak zep.

                                      1. re: pbergen

                                        Max's on Germantown and Erie Ave. It's a well known spot right near Temple Hospital and one of the best I've ever had. Only locals really know about it since it's deep in North Philadelphia. Also, a couple of doors down, is King of Pizza. Those guys are great and they've been there since I was a kid. (I'm 24 now btw)

                                      2. How about the Original Jim Steaks: 431 North Sixty-Second Street in West Philadelphia. It's been at that location since 1939.

                                        1. Kappy's on Butler Pike just north of Ridge Pike is very good. John's Pizza in Frazer also does good cheesesteaks. I second Eve's and Lou's but, I go for the zeps.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: RC51Mike

                                            I went by Kappy's today after reading about it online. It appears to be permanently closed.

                                            1. re: vicarious

                                              That's too bad. Great steaks and nice folks.

                                          2. Ok you said "In Philly" but then again you said "Best Cheesesteak". So I'll ignore the first clause.

                                            Chick's deli in Cherry Hill (Erlton).
                                            (Not "Chink's" which is a different place.)
                                            You're not going to get a better cheesesteak anywhere. And there is a soft pretzel bakery 100 feet away.

                                            1. Anyone mention Cosmis, I had a few great Steaks there a few months ago and also
                                              once in a while Cacias bakery on Rittner (15yh?) does a Roast pork special that is among the
                                              best in the city with bread fresh out of the oven. I also second and third Steve's as it
                                              is worth the trek to the NE

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: PhillyFoodDoc

                                                I heard about Cosmi's Deli - it's on 1501 S. 8th St at Dickinson St, a little bit south of Pat's and Geno's. Generally I've heard great things about this place but still haven't managed to get there myself. I'm wondering how their cheesesteaks compare with places like John's Roast Pork, D'alessandro's, Chink's, and Steve's.

                                                In other words, is it merely good for the area or great by any standard? If it's truly great, then I think this place would qualify as a sleeper.

                                                How about Evelyn & Shank's as another sleeper cheesesteak contender?

                                                1. re: pbergen

                                                  Evelyn & Shank's -Great roast beef sandwiches. Served w/ bowl of gravy and pickled tomatoes on the side. NO FRIES, DON'T ASK!

                                                  And There's a place down by the Airport - (Folcroft?) called Leo's that's pretty good for steaks.

                                                  Cosmi's very good as well, I highly recommend the seafood chowder.

                                              2. About a year ago, a couple from New York City asked me directions to a cheesesteak place on Rising Sun Avenue. I forget the cross street now and the name of the place but I did warn them it was not the greatest neighborhood. It was recommended to them by people in New York. Anyone familiar with such a place? Maybe it was mentioned above and I just don't recognize it or maybe it is the true "underground" steak place.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: jfr

                                                  JFR -- Have been following your posts - -are you in the restaurant business

                                                2. Jfr,
                                                  I think you are thinking of Frusco's.
                                                  Great Steak and they use Sarcone's rolls.
                                                  For the OP of the
                                                  beaten path and nice folks.

                                                  6700 Rising Sun Avenue
                                                  Philadelphia, PA 19111
                                                  (215)725-2535

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: PhillyFoodDoc

                                                    Thought Frusco's was 7220 Frankford, drove by that address today and did not see it on Rising Sun.

                                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                      Frusco's is at 7220 Frankford Ave. There's another one (not sure if it's same owner) at 8675 Torresdale Ave. The one on Frankford Ave. is great.

                                                      1. re: cheesewit

                                                        Will try Frusco's and report back, used to live next door to owner of Jim's steaks nice house, not great steaks.

                                                  2. original poster is looking for something within 5 miles of downtown (or CBP). all these suburban recs are great, but is there anything as yet unknown in Center City or S. Philly?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: brightman

                                                      i've suggested this little gem to a lot of people and no one seems to believe me...until they actually go. random little pizza place called paul's pizza on 20th street (and spruce) - their cheesesteaks are the best. funny b/c their pizza's only so so, but their steaks, oh man: perfectly toasted but still soft bread, cheese mixed in with the meat, steak cooked one portion at a time (no steaming pile ala jim's), great fried onions. i live in ny now where there are NO good cheesesteaks to be had and oh how i wish i could go to pauls right now....

                                                      1. re: hopalong

                                                        I have never had a cheesesteak served to me in Philly where the roll was toasted. Is that a new trend?

                                                    2. I was in Philly this weekend and had a latenight cheesesteak at Campo's Deli on Market Street that was pretty good.
                                                      My favorite cheesesteak though is at John's Roast Pork in South Philly but I didn't have time to get there this trip.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Infomaniac

                                                        i'm vegetarian, but my girlfriend weighs in heavily on the cheesesteak opinion when we have out-of-towners in who really want to have one. she agrees with the above two recs: if we're driving, a stop at john's roast pork (reeeeeeeeeally off the beaten path, under i-95 near the PPA tow lot) is a must... and if we're walking around the city, we usually stop in at campo's in old city - great spot for people-watching when they have the tables out in the warm months. and campo's has other food that the vegetarian part of the equation can eat. :)

                                                      2. I absolutely love Jim's steak on 4th and South. I think that South Street is a good place to visit if you never been to Philly before. I think the meat that they use for their steak is tops. So, you can go to Jim's, have the best steak in a cool, legendary hang-out neighorhood. Get the best Margarita ever at Copabanana right acroos the street. Stroll to the waterfront or for the views and have fun.

                                                        1. Cosmi's is a real deli and has no seating (except some limited tables outside) but I guess John's suffers from the same issue. Cosmi's is good, but not close to John's. For a John's steak I'll eat in my car.

                                                          The trick to D'Allesandro's is to only go when its not busy. Otherwise, the steamed meat is what you get (but across the street at Chubby's is hardly ever as busy.) Chubby's uses ribeye (as does Sonny's Famous, down the street from Campo's around 2nd and Market.

                                                          As a rule, I NEVER eat a steak in a pizza shop, as they usually toast the roll, use mozzarella, etc... but Joe's on 16th (I think between Market and Chestnut) makes a very nice steak.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: phillyjazz

                                                            I used to swear by the Joe's cheesesteak and ate one every week for years. But after the old guy stopped cooking them, I just haven't found it worth going any more. Which doubly sucks because if there's a good steak to be found in Center City, I haven't found it.

                                                          2. Joe's is at 16th and Sansom. The only thing between Market and Chestnut on that side of the street is Liberty Place.

                                                            1. two good cheesesteaks on south street would be from olympia II (between 6th and 7th) and genarro's on the corner of 11th or 12th and south. neither are the bets in the city but good and accesible if you are being a tourist.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: mazza3

                                                                Steaks on South is great, too. It's near 4th Street.

                                                              2. What could be more off the beaten path then John's Roast Pork? In this case, you get to eat the BEST cheese steak in town, the BEST roast pork in town, and it is so far off the beaten path that unless you are a local, good luck finding it!!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                                                                  I like a good challenge, so if I do get to Philly this spring and decide to go to John's, I'll make sure I have a good map, my trusty compass, and my GPS!

                                                                  1. re: hiddenboston

                                                                    It's actually pretty easy to find (if you're driving). Just go down Cloumbus Blvd to the Ikea (which, like most Ikeas, you can't miss), look for the Lowe's next to it, and find John's tucked away in the corner up behind the Lowe's. If you get lost you can just do a perimeter patrol until you find it....

                                                                    1. re: pronek

                                                                      I was there a few weeks ago, and they were doing construction that made to impossible to get right to John's. I usually park in the big shopping center lot across the street anyway ....

                                                                2. Do the best cheesesteak recommendations in Philly involve Cheese Whiz? I know the big tourist traps in Philly use that, but was curious if real Philadelphians really eat that stuff, or is there better?

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: egbluesuede

                                                                    plenty of natives go for whiz, though this native prefers provolone. i have ordered a cheesesteak with american or whiz though when the mood is on me, all are good. and you can always ask for extra cheese if you are feeling decadent. yum! my two favorite ways of ordering a cheesteak - provie with pizza sauce, onions and mushrooms or provie with mushrooms and hot peppers. mmmmmm...hey-zeus christos do i want a cheesesteak now. why did i give up meat for lent?!?!?! ugh!

                                                                    1. re: egbluesuede

                                                                      It's not a tourist thing at all. The fact of the matter is that the first cheese ever placed on a steak was in fact Cheese Whiz. Kraft is local to Philadelphia.

                                                                      Not that I would put it on my steak, but it's even more authentic than American or Prove.

                                                                      1. re: egbluesuede

                                                                        Wow I disagree....I always saw Whiz as something that out-of-towners put on their steaks. Guess I'm wrong. Personally I think it's gross. Go for the provolone or the american.

                                                                        You will soon find that cheeseseteak tastes are highly individual. On occasion I do a steak, american, fried onions and *gasp* ketchup!

                                                                        1. re: G Goo

                                                                          Yeah, steak sandwiches were only steak until the 1950's when Kraft developed its new space-age cheese food product. It was somewhat of a gimmick to include it with the sandwich.

                                                                          I have lots of Philly friends who always go for the whiz. No me though. Yick.

                                                                          1. re: G Goo

                                                                            as a lifelong Philadelphian who lived 15 years in South Philly, I strongly disagree with your disparaging of steaks with wiz. Steve's wiz pizza steak is one of the best sandwiches on the planet.

                                                                            1. re: brightman

                                                                              I agree! Whiz may seem unnatural, but it's no less so than the American Cheese or Provolone-like substance you're likely to get on a cheesesteak anyway. Whiz is tangy, and you can't beat the color, especially if you are buzzed. REAL provolone (sharp) hand cut on a roast pork .... now THAT is another story ...

                                                                              1. re: phillyjazz

                                                                                You can certainly get sharp provolone on a cheesesteak......just ask! Beats cheez whiz any day. You couldn't pay me to put that orange crud on my steak!

                                                                          2. re: egbluesuede

                                                                            Just make sure you order in English! Ha Ha to all you natives.

                                                                          3. Well, Uh mmm....I am 67 years old and have been eating cheese steaks all over this city for the past 55 years, so I guess I have some experience. When I was a kid, I never ever heard of a cheese steak with that crappy spread. Provoline or American cheese were the choices. I have eaten a cheese steak at every place mentioned on this Board that is within the confines of Phila and I have NEVER eaten a cheese steak with that fake Kraft stuff and I dont know anyone else who has other then tourists. Maaz3, whoever you are, you are completely wrong.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                                                                              Mazza3 is not at all wrong. plenty of locals eat steaks with wiz. American cheese is not that different than wiz, as it too is a processed cheese product, not a natural aged cheese. my preference is mild provolone, but when the craving strikes, I get a wiz with.

                                                                              1. re: brightman

                                                                                thanks for the support brightman. born and raised south phill-ian, near 30 years old and plenty of people from the city eat whiz, end of story, oldersir. to each his own.

                                                                              2. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                                                                                Since you clearly have more experience than the others posting here, can you tell me your favorite places and ways you like the cheesesteak prepared ?

                                                                                1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                                                                                  Also, do you know which, if any, would overnight some to me? Or maybe my sister can do it; she lives in Blue Bell. I can't remember if my daughter and I went to Jim's or Pat's in downtown around 2004. Aren't they across the street from one another? In any event, it was good but not great. We went to D'alessandor's in July '06 and my wife and I thought it was fantastic! Though not a native of Philadelphia, I grew up in Buffalo and used to drive cars to Manheim for auction, where us drivers would stop in a local joint for some good ones, too.

                                                                                2. Are any of these close to the Hilton Garden downtown?

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rebategirl

                                                                                    The best cheesesteak joints are well outside Center City walking distance. John's Roast Pork and Tony Luke's are in South Philly and Steve's and Chink's are in Northeast Philly.

                                                                                    1. re: G Goo

                                                                                      I would beg to differ. There are DOZENS if not HUNDREDS of perfectly good steak sandwiches in Center City. I've had better-than-acceptable cheesesteaks from street vendors, and pretty fine ones in some cheap taverns like Oscar's on Sansom. While some of the more stellar examples may be found in outlying areas, there are plenty of joints around 2nd and Market, Reading Terminal, South Street and University City where excellent examples can be had.

                                                                                      1. re: phillyjazz

                                                                                        I agree with you that there are passable steaks in CC, but I believe the question was referring to the steak joints we were discussing.

                                                                                  2. The question to which I was last responding had to do with steaks in proximity to the Hilton Garden downtown. Assuming "rebategirl" is not a native, and maybe "off-topic" I suspect she is not looking to go "off the beaten path", but to get a decent cheesesteak.

                                                                                    From the Gallery, I'd go to 2nd and Market to Campos, or Sonny's. Either of those will be close enough to give a tourist a high-quality experience within walking distance ...

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: phillyjazz

                                                                                      I second the recommendation for Campo's.

                                                                                    2. It has been years since I have been but my best cheesesteak has always been at the explorer's den. Defintely of the beaten path. They used to close at 4 am but according to menupages they now close at 1 am.

                                                                                      1. I am from Philly but now live in the Midwest. Grew up eating Larry's on Lancaster Ave & 54th & City Line which were great then, not so much now. When in Philly, dying for a cheesesteak, I was going to Dalessandro's (sp?) which sometimes was very good and often just OK. I found relief at Chubby's across the street which is not fabulous, but damn good. In re: Pat's and Geno's: Take a pass.

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: billyphiladelphia

                                                                                          I agree with most everyone on here Pat's & Geno's are no good unless you are down in the city at 3 or 4 am and very well hydrated. I think a good cheesesteak comes from Sonny's in between 2nd and 3rd on Market street in the Olde City area. If you can travel outside of the city you'll find an EXCELLENT Cheesesteak at Pudge's in Blue Bell.

                                                                                          1. re: kg4

                                                                                            If you get steak from Pudge's, eat it at Pudges. They are HUGE, but also very wet, and it it travels longer than five minutes, you'll need a knife and fork, and even then the roll will be a soggy mess.

                                                                                            1. re: phillyjazz

                                                                                              I think Pudge's is decent but I don't really care for their regular cheesesteak that much. For some reason, their fried onions taste weird to me. Their cheesesteak hoagie is good though.

                                                                                              The best I have found for a cheesesteak is the previously mentioned Steve's Prince of Steaks. Their steaks are terrific.

                                                                                            2. re: kg4

                                                                                              In my book, kg4 is someone who knows a thing or two about good cheesesteaks. This thread's author asks for someplace in the city within 5 miles from downtown. Best recommendation I've seen based on that is Sonny's. Wanna' travel a bit? Check out Pudge's in either Blue Bell or Jeffersonville. I love La Forno in Media. Another not well known to those outside of the area is Bocella's Deli in Havertown. Gigantic cheesesteaks there. Check out Kappy's in Conshohocken not far from Ridge and Butler - very good cheeseteaks in the tradition of Steve's. From time to time, I'll go to Mama's on Belmont Ave. in Bala Cynwyd. Some people swear by Leo's in Folcroft. I'm not such a big fan. Another good place is the Thunderbird in Broomall on West Chester Pike. I've been to almost 200 steak shops and can wax poetic about cheesesteaks and their variations for hours.

                                                                                              1. re: cheesewit

                                                                                                Nobody's mentioned my favorite, so I'm guessing it's not there anymore. When I lived in Philly briefly, 10 years ago, there was a street vendor named Gus's Hoagies or Gus's Steaks or somesuch. He'd park his truck at the corner of Callowhill and Broad Streets every weekday from 11 to 2 ... that's right next to the Inquirer-Daily News Building and across the street from the parking enforcement bureau. He'd have a line stretched halfway around the block all afternoon long.

                                                                                                I tried Pat's and Geno's and several of the other Center City establishments and for my money, the best cheesesteak came from Gus's truck. I worked nights at The Inquirer and I'd come an hour early to work just so I could stand in line and get my cheesesteak from Gus's, which I'd take upstairs and enjoy before getting down to work.

                                                                                                Can anyone tell me if he's still there? Used to be him and his wife, and sometimes their 20-ish son would be there helping them out too.

                                                                                                Man, I miss a good cheesesteak. They're hard to come by in Montana. :-)

                                                                                                (P.S., Gus would make your sandwich with whiz or provolone or American or all of the above, however you like it. Personally I preferred the provolone.)

                                                                                                1. re: WillieHughes

                                                                                                  Will be in Philly at Hahneman (sp?) Hospital in a few weeks - I have only eaten at one place - I think it is called Riks in the Reading Terminal Market - Where should I get my cheesesteak from after my appointment - I think it will wind up being around 3pm or should I go before around 12pm??? Looking for somewhere close because I will need to drive back to central NJ!

                                                                                                  1. re: tuxedo

                                                                                                    Rick's is still there, but they are a variation of the Pat's/Genos' thin slab of meat on a roll variety.... not the best cheesteak. If you go to the terminal, get a roast pork with fresh-cut sharp Provolone for DiNics' !!!

                                                                                                    Or Chinatown is a few blocks away. Grab a great deal on a Burmese lunch at Rangoon, or some great Vietnamese !!

                                                                                                    If you REALLY had your heart set on a cheesesteak, I'd head north up to Market to Campo's or Sonny's ..

                                                                                                    1. re: phillyjazz

                                                                                                      to get to Campo's from Hahnemann, go south on Broad or 15th, then east on Market...

                                                                                          2. Another off the beaten path suggestion is Gooey Louie's in the Pennsport area, near 3rd & Moyamensing. Great cheesesteaks & hoagies, too. No seating, but great 4 take out. Bocella's in Havertown has been sold & isn't that good any longer. Mama's in Bala is super, also.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. Leo's in Folcroft. No interior seating, but picnic tables outside. Those and others: See

                                                                                              http://www.bestcheesesteaks.com/chees...