Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Jul 28, 2007 09:47 AM

Hungry for Philly Cheese steak in San Diego

It's been years since I've had a Philly Cheese steak sandwich.
Any one know where I can get a_good_one in San Diego?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As a Philly native who has been in SD for 12 years, admittedly, I'm still searching for that perfect cheesesteak here on the west coast. I've tried a few places, including Balboa's (College Area) and the Philadelphia Sandwich Co. (Kearny Mesa). They're fine--about a 6 of 10 rating. However, so far, the best has been Gaglione Brothers (8 of 10) in Point Loma. Strangely, I've never been to their shop, but rather, had a really good steak from their booth at Artwalk back in May (April?). The meat was flavorful, the grilled onions were sweet, and importantly, the rolls sprang from an Amoroso's box. Oddly, their website says their bread is baked in-house, so I don't know WTF to believe. Also interesting is that the owners aren't from Philly and are quite upfront about their Bay-area roots. For me, that doesn't matter. The taste was on-point, and besides, if you’re gonna steal, then steal from the best. Check their website:

    4 Replies
    1. re: gpdexter

      I've always liked the Philadelphia Sandwich Co., though you cannot, I repeat, cannot get the Provolone. Insist on Yellow American or Cheez Wiz (my favorite). I haven't tried the other places.

      As for the bread. . .why would anyone want bread that's baked 3000 miles away when you can have fresh bread via Solunto's.

      1. re: gpdexter

        My personal favorite is Alex's Brown Bag on Laurel between 4th and 5th Aves. Remember, this is a day time, M-F operation. They do open at 7am so you can enjoy an elbow dripping Philly Steak sandwich first thing in the morning, truly the breakfast of champions. Alex's uses Solunto's bread, as they feel it works out better than flying in Amoroso's par baked, which they used to do. Gaglioni Bros. is my second favorite, but theirs is not quite as juicy as Alex's.

        1. re: Captain Jack

          Thanks Captain Jack,
          I think checking out Alex's is a good enough reason for ditching work some day soon.

          1. re: Captain Jack

            ditto the Brown Bag; they are in my office bldg so I had to cut down on the number of trips but their cheesesteak is great. avoid discussing teams in Philly if they aren't playing well...

        2. Philly Frank's in San Marcos is pretty good to me (and to my Philly-born bf).

          They have Amorosos rolls flown in daily and also sell Herr's and Wise chips and Tasty Kakes. And Italian ices. All good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: leanneabe

            Philly Franks is ok. I was always a mushroom steak guy when i went to school in Philly but I must admit i like the works +(whiz)at Franks.

            1. re: leanneabe

              Third vote for Philly Franks. I went to college outside Philly and this pepper cheese steak (hot and sweet peppers) is very close to what I got on the corner at school.

              I have been going to Philadelphia Sandwich company since they opened and always like their cheesesteaks and the hoagies.

            2. I've had good ones here:

              Amoroso rolls, and they also sell Tastykakes.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Josh

                I have had a good sandwich there as well, although they were out of Tastykakes the last few times I went.

                  1. re: imafattyfoodie

                    Sortof like a chocolate twinkie. Beloved for reasons that escape me by people who have escaped Philly.

                    1. re: Ed Dibble

                      Ed. Does Ronnies on Ave A still have good Philly Cheese steaks? Talking about them is what got us thinking about where in San Diego to get one.
                      Wouldn't mind driving to Yuma for one though.

                      1. re: starkoch

                        No. Honestly, I only tried them once. When I asked for hot sauce, they all looked at me like I was crazy. Ronnie's pizza is good though. I must say that I am very picky about Philly Cheese Steaks as a grad school buddy of mine and then later another friend are both from Philly, so I have eaten pretty close to the real thing on several occasions.

                        Bernardo's in the Foothils does better versions of cheese steaks and serves them with good salsa. The Bernardos are from Philly, but they do not call their sandwiches Philly Cheese steaks as that title is too big of a burden to carry. Still not worth driving to Yuma for, but if you are driving through around lunch time worth a stop. In back of a small stripmall just west of the exit at Foothills Blvd.

                1. Philly Grill on University about two blocks east of Park Blvd.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mikec

                    YES, I would love to hear other opinions on this place. I ate there once and thought it was the best Philly cheesesteak I have had in San Diego. I am no authority though, only been to Philly once.

                  2. I second Philly Franks in San Marcos... i love them!!