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Philly Cheesesteak Roundup

j
Jonny Pops Apr 16, 2009 09:50 PM

For years on end, I have been seeking out the best Philly Cheesesteaks from all over the city. It's not always the easiest thing to do since I don't live in Philly and often when I find one place that's good, I'll end up going back there for the next however many months or even years. anyhow, here's a little round up of some of the top Cheesesteak places in the City of Brotherly Love.

Pat's - They say this is the original place, but it tastes like amateur hour to me. Like many out-of-towners this was the first cheesesteak I ever ate in Philly, and I was completely unimpressed...even then, as a complete newbie.

Geno's - This place is even worse than Pat's. A complete waste of time. Plus the guy who runs it is a hothead who puts all kinds of inappropriate political crap all over the exterior of his shop. Don't even bother.

Jim's - For years, when I didn't know better, this was my place of choice. There's a location on South Street which is perfect for out-of-towners anyhow. It's an okay steak. But it honestly lacks in flavor in the meat and the sandwiches are often cold, even right after they give them to you.

D'Alessandro's - This spot is also completely overrated. I get the feeling this is the type of place for people who think Big = Good when it comes to cheesesteaks. They do give you a lot of meat. But the sandwich doesn't really come together.

Cosmi's - I wanted to love this place - a nice little Mom & Pop Italian deli in South Philly - but I just couldn't. You can get better cheesesteaks in Baltimore.

Tony Luke's - Now this place is good. The meat is a little more fatty than I generally like. but it is unquestionably a solid cheesesteak. They have plenty of other great sandwiches too. I tried the Meatball Parm today and it was excellent.

Chink's - This place is almost perfect....almost. The rolls are terrific. They make incredible milk shakes. The one minus is that they sometimes leave a little too much grizzle in the steak. But it is a very, very, very good spot.

Steve's Prince of Steaks - He calls himself the Prince, but to me Steve is the King. The sandwiches are awesome. The American cheese is melted before it's put on and you can get it on the cheese fries as well if you want (which I highly recommend) instead of the standard whiz. The steak is great, the roll is fantastic and the cheese rocks. Plus they're all doled out in just the right amount. Steve's is a must for any serious cheesesteak lover.

  1. Carolyn33 Feb 15, 2011 11:30 AM

    I agree whole heartedly about Pats ! Steve's IS the best ! :o)

    1. paychecktoday Dec 22, 2010 11:53 AM

      Has anyone hit the other Tony Luke's outpost (namely in Springfield Mall). I've never had TL before and was wondering if any of the other locations are a good representation of the original post down in S. Philly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paychecktoday
        j
        Jonny Pops Dec 23, 2010 08:16 AM

        Only other one I've hit is when they had a place in NYC, near the Port Authority. It's no longer affiliated though. It was spot on with the original taste-wise though. Even had the same, uhhhhh "decor".

      2. j
        Jonny Pops Nov 14, 2010 08:22 AM

        Anyone know if the Langhorne and Comly locations of Steve's are as good as the Bustleton location?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Jonny Pops
          c
          Corporate_40 Nov 16, 2010 12:01 PM

          I prefer the original to the rest of them. Some people say that everything, from the bread to the meat is the same, but for some reason the others are just a little "off".

          1. re: Corporate_40
            j
            Jonny Pops Dec 20, 2010 04:18 PM

            Tried the one in Langhorne. The cheesesteak tasted the same. So did the cheese fries. But that is some kinda depressing area with the backdrop of the enormous, vacant Levitt's - like something out of a Scenes from the Great Recession Photo Montage. Langhorne's definitely more convenient to I-95, but if I have the time, I think I'd prefer to hit the one on Bustleton in the future.

          2. re: Jonny Pops
            s
            Selfie Jun 3, 2011 10:48 AM

            JP, I've been to the Comly one and it IS as good. Didn't know there was a Langhorne one.

            - the person who introduced you to Steve's

            1. re: Selfie
              j
              Jonny Pops Jul 6, 2011 03:17 PM

              Thanks Self. I actually tried the one at Comly shortly after I posted that and wholeheartedly agree. It was one of the best cheesesteaks I ever got from Steve's, or anywhere else for that matter. At night, you just need to watch out for the drunks coming in and out of the restaurant and parking lot from the bar next door.

              - the person who introduced you to Langhorne.

              1. re: Jonny Pops
                b
                barryg Jul 6, 2011 03:34 PM

                My friend once asked an employee there which was better between the original Bustleton location and Comly. The guy thought about it, and said it was close but Comly has a newer grill, so it's better.

                I've only been to Comly once but I was not disappointed.

                1. re: barryg
                  c
                  cwdonald Jul 6, 2011 07:40 PM

                  Wouldn't that make the one in Langhorne the best then?

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    b
                    barryg Jul 7, 2011 08:12 AM

                    I guess so. But that's too far away.

          3. g
            grubberoo Aug 25, 2010 06:02 AM

            Hey Philly Hounds,
            Will be travelling back from Balt. tomorrow to north Jerzey. Anybody have a rec for a cheesesteak along the 295 corridor? I have had a great one from Chick's in Cherry Hill but afraid I may not make their closing time (5:30?).
            As a former Philadelphian, I was disappointed to read the less than stellar reports on Delassandros. In my years in the late 70's, I thought they were head & shoulders above the rest. Thanks.

            2 Replies
            1. re: grubberoo
              d
              DDR4040 Aug 25, 2010 01:09 PM

              Big John's in Cherry Hill is decent and very convenient to 295. It's as good or better than any of the other local spots. They are open until 9pm on Thursdays.

              http://www.bigjohns.com/bj_direc.html

              If you are running late, Yellow Submarine in Maple Shade is open until 10pm and not too far off of 295. I don't think it is great but some people here are big fans and Aaron McCargo chose it for his Best Thing I Ever Ate sandwich.

              http://www.findmymenus.com/mapleshademenus/menus/yellow.htm

              If you are committed to staying on 295, those 2 spots are about the best you are going to find. If it was me making that drive, I would do something completely different. I assume your current plan is to take 95 from Baltimore, up through Delaware, over the Delaware Memorial Bridge to 295. I would skip taking the Del Mem Bridge and continue straight up 95. Stay on 95 past the airport and the stadiums and hop off at Tony Luke's. Grab your sandwiches and get right back onto 95. Go north about 5 or 10 minutes and take the Betsy Ross bridge back over to jersey. Follow Route 90 then 73 about 5 or 6 miles back to 295 and you are on your way home. It is a very easy and well marked route, and will save you almost an hour off of your trip if you were to come all the way up 295 and then detour over to Philly.

              http://www.tonylukes.com/directions.html

              1. re: DDR4040
                b
                Buckethead Aug 25, 2010 01:18 PM

                I would do this as well (take 95 to Tony Luke's go over the Betsy Ross into NJ). Skip the cheesesteak though and get a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone.

            2. j
              Jonny Pops Jun 7, 2010 08:03 AM

              Anybody know where Steve's gets their rolls from?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jonny Pops
                d
                dmac6419 Jul 16, 2010 07:52 AM

                you can get a good steak or cheesesteak in any neiborhood store in philly and it will be a lot cheaper too, by philly i mean the delaware valley

                1. re: dmac6419
                  d
                  dmac6419 Jul 16, 2010 08:03 AM

                  also jims didnt used to be a tourist trap and it was a lot cheaper too,but like i said try other locations in the neiborhoods and you wont be disappointed ,me i wouldnt go anywhere near geno or pats,you can get a better sammich at an asian deli or spanish bodega trust me ,also you can buy landis chopped steak and make your own steak sammiches ,you got about 3 places in philly that make italian rolls.almost forgot steakems dont eat em not real meat,but alot of people in philly do.thats why we in america are so fat lmao

              2. n
                nitepflyer May 22, 2010 04:45 PM

                Steve's in the northeast is the best cheesesteak in town! The combination of their slender roll and their actual slices of steak cannot be beat.

                1. u
                  Uziel May 20, 2010 07:41 AM

                  I'm visiting Philly for the first time and wanted to try a cheesesteak, but I'm staying near the Old City part of town. I have on my list places like Jim's, Sonny's and Steaks on South, as well as Rick's. Any other options I should consider closer to the Independence Park area? I have the rest of my meals planned out, just need to figure out the dinner cheesesteak.

                  Currently, Rick's is the top of my list.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Uziel
                    p
                    Philly Ray May 20, 2010 09:13 AM

                    There is Campo's on 2nd and Market.

                    1. re: Philly Ray
                      u
                      Uziel May 20, 2010 09:55 AM

                      Oh gosh, thanks. Not sure how I missed Campo's. They look amazing. Thank you.

                    2. re: Uziel
                      j
                      Jbird35 May 20, 2010 02:25 PM

                      I used to live in Old City so Sonny's was my go-to place. Steve's is the best, but you'll do just fine at Sonny's.

                      1. re: Jbird35
                        u
                        Uziel May 21, 2010 10:48 AM

                        I guess I would drive to Steve's if I could easily find parking nearby, but I'll reconsider Sonny's as well. Thanks.

                        1. re: Uziel
                          b
                          barryg May 21, 2010 10:49 AM

                          Street parking at Steve's Bustleton & St Vincent location is fine. The Comley Ave location has a parking lot.

                          1. re: Uziel
                            s
                            Steve May 21, 2010 01:39 PM

                            If you can drive, hop in the car and get yourself to Tony Luke's. See a different part of Philly. Plenty of parking nearby.

                            -----
                            Tony Luke's
                            625 Highway 33, Trenton, NJ 08619

                      2. ellen4441 Apr 25, 2010 09:18 PM

                        AGREED that JIM'S STEAKS are often cold !!
                        They've got a "mountain of meat" sitting there on the grill; last time I was there it was lukewarm, and tasted like AIR !

                        I like my cheesesteak fresh and hot ...

                        1. m
                          mingo1968 Apr 23, 2010 09:27 AM

                          Let's see?
                          1. John's
                          2. Chink's
                          3. Campo's
                          4. Steve's
                          5. Abner's

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mingo1968
                            s
                            stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:39 AM

                            abners? i thought abners sucked. campos is decent. sonnys is a little better in my opinion, which is only a few doors down

                          2. s
                            Steve Apr 20, 2010 08:25 PM

                            Last time I was in Philly I finally got to try John's. I was disappointed in the roll. Surprised it was so 'bready.' Is this normal?

                            24 Replies
                            1. re: Steve
                              b
                              barryg Apr 21, 2010 05:26 AM

                              The roll is toothsome and has a harder crust. That's normal. They should be scooping the insides which make it less doughy. If you're a soft bread fan, John's is not the place, maybe try Tony Luke's.

                              1. re: barryg
                                s
                                Steve Apr 21, 2010 06:46 AM

                                No just the opposite, I thought the bread at John's was too soft. I much prefer the roll they have at Shank & Evelyen's - now they've moved (and it is just called Shank's?)

                                At John's it was more like a loaf of bread. Insides were great, but the roll hurt the experience. From what you say, I guess it was an anomaly.

                                1. re: Steve
                                  b
                                  barryg Apr 21, 2010 07:11 AM

                                  It's very disappointing to hear that. Was the roll seeded? What specifically did you order and what time of day was it?

                                  1. re: barryg
                                    s
                                    Steve Apr 21, 2010 07:36 AM

                                    It was mid-morning. Cheesesteak for breakfast on the way out of town. Not seeded, IIRC. It was a biiig sandwich, big roll. Nobody mentioned a choice of roll.

                                    Let me know if there's a choice and I'll go back next time I have the opportunity.

                                    1. re: Steve
                                      b
                                      barryg Apr 21, 2010 07:52 AM

                                      Roll ought to be seeded. I wonder if they had not received their delivery yet when you went, and they used a "backup" roll. No bread choice except for pork and breakfast sandwiches were you can get a small sandwich on a kaiser roll.

                                      1. re: barryg
                                        paychecktoday Apr 21, 2010 11:01 AM

                                        Does anyone know of any cheesesteak shops that are open late or 24 hrs besides the tourist spots (Pat's, Geno's, Jim's, etc)? I usually go to Phil's/Pat's for late night hunger runs but I just recently moved to DelCo and didn't want to make that far of a drive. I can't think of any off the top of my head......

                                        1. re: paychecktoday
                                          m
                                          mitchh Apr 22, 2010 08:39 AM

                                          Steak and Hoagie Factory I believe is open 24/7 (they used to be and I know this from personal experience). Personally one of my favorites, especially their chicken cheesesteak.

                                          For me, the best cheesesteak is in Maple Shade, NJ at Yellow Submarine (Aaron McCargo Jr of the Food Network agrees as this was his best thing he ever ate between 2 pieces of bread). I grew up on these and every now and again I'll drive an hour each way to have one. It tastes the same today as it did 20 years ago.

                                          -----
                                          Yellow Submarine
                                          710 N Forklanding Rd, Maple Shade, NJ 08052

                                          1. re: paychecktoday
                                            cheesewit Apr 22, 2010 09:22 AM

                                            LIved in Delco for years...Larry's on 54th St. near City Ave. at St Joe's and Abner's on Chestnut St. near Penn are open late and are quite close to Delaware County.

                                            1. re: cheesewit
                                              Den Apr 22, 2010 02:47 PM

                                              I've never been to either but in WIP's Ultimate Cheesesteak Challenge they rated Larry's as #34 and Abner's as #39 which is pretty lowly. Are the ratings warranted?

                                              1. re: Den
                                                cheesewit Apr 22, 2010 08:44 PM

                                                Den, I don't agree with everything on that WIP list. For example, I think Talk of the Town should be down around 39 or 40. I suggested Larry's and Abner's to the poster looking for late night spots not far from Delaware County.

                                                I do think that they should be higher than 34 and 39. I'd move them up about 5 places each.

                                                1. re: cheesewit
                                                  paychecktoday Apr 23, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                  i've had larry's steaks many of times for lunch (i work in bala cynwyd) and never knew they were open late. abner's i should have figured since it's on the upenn campus.

                                                  cheesewit, whats your fav delco steakshop? mine so far is either thunderbird in broomall or walt's in clifton. never had a leo's and i've heard good things from them.

                                                  thanks for the updates.

                                                  1. re: paychecktoday
                                                    cheesewit Apr 26, 2010 12:06 PM

                                                    I like Thunderbird very much and know the guys there. My Delco pick, just above Thunderbird, is La Forno on Providence Rd. in Media. Not to be missed! And pretty decent pizza from their wood burning ovens. Walt's is good.
                                                    I also like Dairy Cottage in Springfield. Leo's is just okay in my book.

                                                  2. re: cheesewit
                                                    Den Apr 23, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                    I'm not even sure Talk of the Town should have made the list at all. I tried it based on the rating and thought they must have been joking!

                                                    1. re: Den
                                                      cheesewit Apr 26, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                      Den, I was being nice about Talk of the Town. I don't understand how they made the list either. I guess some free sandwiches delivered to the studio helped.

                                                      1. re: cheesewit
                                                        b
                                                        barryg Apr 26, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                        Donovan McNabb and many Eagles cite TOTT as their go-to sandwich spot. I believe both McNabb and David Akers had specific "good luck" sandwiches they would get before games.

                                                        1. re: barryg
                                                          Den Apr 27, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                          Might be why T.O. said McNabb barfed during the Super Bowl...

                                                          1. re: Den
                                                            paychecktoday Apr 27, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                            badum CHING!

                                              2. re: paychecktoday
                                                b
                                                barryg Apr 23, 2010 06:43 AM

                                                Slightly closer than Pat's/Geno's is Philip's Steaks on W Passyunk, just off the I-76 Passyunk exit. They are open late on at least the weekends, but not sure quite how late. The steaks are very good and their Roast Pork is pretty good, too.

                                                1. re: barryg
                                                  paychecktoday Apr 23, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                  Yeah I'm a huge Phil's fan. It's a little bit of a drive but not horrible (maybe 15-20 mins for me). Well worth the drive

                                                  1. re: paychecktoday
                                                    m
                                                    mitchh Apr 23, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                    I'm a big Phil's fan as well, but it's at the bottom of my top 5.

                                                    1. re: paychecktoday
                                                      paychecktoday Apr 26, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                      Correction.......I had a craving for some cheesesteaks and went down to Phil's on Sat night around 230am -- no line which was good, but MAN, the cheesesteaks were pretty flimsy and not as good as I remembered. Maybe it was an off day/night for them, who knows.

                                                      It was so bad that I only ate a couple bites, wrapped it back up and went down to the circustown down at 9th and passyunk and ate a pat's "missteak".........argh!

                                                      1. re: paychecktoday
                                                        b
                                                        brightman Apr 27, 2010 06:55 PM

                                                        Talk of the Town makes a very good steak if you prefer flipped over chopped.

                                                        1. re: brightman
                                                          Den Apr 28, 2010 05:39 AM

                                                          Don't know when you were there last but I went 2 weeks ago, didn't finish half of it and then went down to George's for a really good cheesesteak.

                                                        2. re: paychecktoday
                                                          s
                                                          stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                          i thought phils was bascially the exact same steak as pats

                                      2. h
                                        hoagiesteak Apr 20, 2010 01:38 PM

                                        D'Alessandro's was horrible! Chubby's was even worse. i had to drown them in ketchup to be able to swallow them thats how dry they were. Frusco's on Frankford Ave is the way to go. DELICIOUS.

                                        1. b
                                          bsquared11 Mar 26, 2010 02:56 PM

                                          Been to them all in the Philly metro area, from N. Del to Trenton, Reading to AC and all points in between the city of Philly, and Steve's on the corner of Bustleton and St. Vincent's in NE Philly is the best. Outstanding pizza steak BTW with mozzarella. The sandwiches are starting to get pricey, but this is the best cheese steak in the metro area. Pat's and Geno's have gone downhill steadily in the last 10 years, simply for tourists. Runners-up, Chinks, and John's.

                                          1. paychecktoday Mar 25, 2010 06:24 AM

                                            I personally think Phil's is the best one out of all of them. Never had a experience there. good amount of meat and nice roll. all the other notable names that i've been to (geno's, pat's, d'alessandros, jim's) i wasn't as impressed. i guess its more for the tourists and not the locals. my biggest gripe with d'alessandros is the tiny interior and cash only. that and i felt like the old lady behind the counter was rushing me out the door b/c i wasn't eating fast enough for the crowd that was coming in the door.

                                            for a decent cheesesteak out in the 'burbs, try thunderbird on west chester pike in broomall or the pepper mill in paoli (i think its paoli -- off of 352)

                                            1. t
                                              t0ny1 Mar 24, 2010 06:32 PM

                                              tried Geno's nothing to write home about it was dry i had the provolone not cheese whiz and onions maybe the cheese whiz would have been better.

                                              1. f
                                                fuhgettaboudit02 Mar 23, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                TWO BEST STEAKS IN PHILLY ARE:
                                                CLASSIC CHOPPED STEAK - JOHN'S ROAST PORK
                                                WHIZ STEAK - PHILLIP'S 23RD AND PASSYUNK

                                                1. s
                                                  silverbullet69 Apr 27, 2009 01:26 PM

                                                  sometimes I get the feeling these cheesesteak "aficianados' don't even really like eating cheesesteaks. Yeah sure pat's isn't the best, neighborhood spots have better service & talk to you or whatever, but as far as I'm concerned if the meat isn't burned and the bread is fresh, it's going to taste pretty damn good.

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: silverbullet69
                                                    t
                                                    TwoBellies Apr 27, 2009 03:45 PM

                                                    LOL! Pretty true. I've rarely had a bad cheesesteak at any of the aforementioned places. Some are a little better, some a little worse, but damn, when you're hungry, they are all great. Lucky we have so many choices. Well said!

                                                    1. re: TwoBellies
                                                      b
                                                      Boognish Apr 27, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                      I took some out of towners to Geno's a few years ago a little before noon as we were passing through and consequently spent the entire drive home apologizing to them about the terrible, TERRIBLE quality of the steaks we ate. Grizzly, cold, chewy, awful topped off with surly service. Welcome to Philly!

                                                      1. re: Boognish
                                                        b
                                                        BBCaprice Apr 28, 2009 03:15 AM

                                                        I concur. The only thing I ever tasted on a Geno's steak was the onions. The meat has no flavor whatsoever.

                                                        1. re: BBCaprice
                                                          t
                                                          TwoBellies Apr 28, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                          maybe I'm the only one in this thread who feels this way, but I like Geno's and Pat's, maybe not as good as Steve's or Pudge's, but not as bad as I'm reading here. I've been to Geno's many times and never felt dissatisfied.

                                                          1. re: TwoBellies
                                                            Den Apr 28, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                            Although I haven't been to Pat's or Geno's since my college days, I would suspect many of the detractors haven't been there in years either and just write them off because that's where all the tourists go.

                                                            1. re: Den
                                                              b
                                                              barryg Apr 28, 2009 09:45 AM

                                                              I agree that Pat's and Geno's get a bad rap from locals. They both can make a good steak. The problem is that there is no consistency. One night it can be great; another, awful. I have found Pat's a bit more reliable.

                                                              One major problem with Geno's is that when they are busy, they precook the meat (steam it, I think) in the back and bring it to the griddle where they just grease it up a bit. Pat's actually always cooks the meat fresh; you can see the raw meat in a pile next to the griddle.

                                                              Pat's, in general, gives larger portions than Geno's, where you can end up with a sandwich that is mostly bread. But, at Pat's you can end up with a steak that has a lot of gristle. Neither use particularly high quality ingredients. They are both OK but other spots are more reliable.

                                                              1. re: barryg
                                                                b
                                                                Boognish Apr 28, 2009 11:13 AM

                                                                I really think you hit the nail on the head: if they can't make a consistent product, why take the gamble? I can't adequately describe just how bad the steaks were the last time I was there, and how embarrassed I was after talking them up to my friends!

                                                                Additionally, my (female) friend recently took some out of towners to Geno's and was harassed by the guy taking her order. She ordered her steak "with prove." The guy behind the counter feigned ignorance and told her that , "there's no such thing as prove. We have provolone, but it's not called prove." He was just being rude for the sake of embarrassing her in from of her company. Why go through such hassle when you're guaranteed an excellent steak from John's, Steve's, or a half dozen other places in the city without being insulted? I mean, she was STEAMED at the exchange (which went beyond my brief description). It was just completely unnecessary for him to humiliate her in front of her coworkers while she was trying to show them a nice side of Philly.

                                                                As for the idea that those of us with negative opinions of either Pat's or Geno's are influenced because they're for "tourists", well, frankly, that's a load of malarky, at least in my case. I routinely bring friends and associates to Philadelphia, and we hit every tourist-y thing there is to do, from Independence Hall to Phillies' games. But I'm not about to subject them to sub-par food and surly service.

                                                              2. re: Den
                                                                j
                                                                Jonny Pops Apr 28, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                                Uhhhhh, no. I write them off because they suck.

                                                                1. re: Jonny Pops
                                                                  Den Apr 28, 2009 01:42 PM

                                                                  As I said, I have not been to either Geno's or Pat's in years and should subject myself to that recent experience. That's why I don't give opinions about them. However, I'm thinking in order to make a distinction among my favorites, I need to test Geno's and Pat's out once in while. My current faves are:

                                                                  John's
                                                                  George's
                                                                  Steve's
                                                                  and neighborhood spot, Cisco's

                                                                  I recently did go to both Delasandro's and Chubby's to confirm my earlier thoughts, both below expectations.

                                                      2. re: silverbullet69
                                                        j
                                                        Jonny Pops Apr 28, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                        Sounds like you have some truly discerning tastes.

                                                        Seriously though, one purpose of this board is to find the best places. By definition, not everyplace can be the best. Some places are better than others and that's what we're after. As I mentioned above, I don't live in Philly, so when I seek out a steak there, I want it to be good. Not something you can get at a Wawa. Sure this involves writing a lot of places off. But that's the way it works. Not everyplace can be your favorite.

                                                        1. re: Jonny Pops
                                                          j
                                                          jessjackets Feb 18, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                          Steve's Prince of Steaks on Busleton in the north east. Their meat is sliced not chopped. They just do it right. The best hands down!

                                                      3. Marianna215 Apr 17, 2009 09:07 PM

                                                        While I love steve's and Tony lukes -- Chubby's is not to be missed. It's across the street from Delassandros but in my opinion its waaay better.
                                                        You also can't beat Lager from the tap served in freezer cooled glasses.
                                                        I live in LA now, and always make Chubby's the 1st stop for cheese steaks when I get into philly.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Marianna215
                                                          j
                                                          Jonny Pops Apr 21, 2009 08:39 AM

                                                          I've been meaning to hit this place. What usually stops me is dealing with the Schuykill - so I end up at a place close to 95. Thanks for the rec.

                                                        2. t
                                                          TwoBellies Apr 17, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                          I agree for the most part with what you say, however, I've been to Steve's a few times, and albeit good, I would not crown him King or even Prince, that quickly, maybe a 9 of hearts. My favorite is still Pudge's in Blue Bell. Great count and terrific rolls, Their fries are unbeatable.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: TwoBellies
                                                            u
                                                            umphilly Apr 18, 2009 04:22 AM

                                                            I've been heading to Pudges a couple times a year for a few years now, and I think they're solid, but I can't seem to figure out why they're mentioned with the best in the area. They are huge with a lot of meat, but always seem relatively dry, lacking sufficient cheese, and uninteresting to my taste.

                                                            1. re: umphilly
                                                              g
                                                              givemecarbs Apr 21, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                              Really umphilly? I usually eat my Pudge's steak there because they tend to get soggy before I get home. Soggy but still warm. But I do get mine with mushrooms as well as cheese. The cheese seems ample to me, and nicely blended with the meat as I prefer it. The meat is really good. They moved to the shopping center next door, where the Pepperidge Farm outlet is, only a stone's throw away. Their new digs are more spacious and if you dine in it is possible to avoid the ever present flat screen tv. But I got mine to go and it was incredible, as always.

                                                              1. re: givemecarbs
                                                                c
                                                                cwdonald Apr 21, 2009 03:18 PM

                                                                I agree with umphilly that the meat can be dry (either cheesteak or chicken cheesesteak). I usually order the steak with sauce which is a nice spicy sauce that adds both flavor and keeps the meat moist. I think the sauce is one of the things that differentiates Pudge's steaks. The bread never is anything special at Pudgie's, unlike at a place like John's, but overall its still a good steak.

                                                                1. re: cwdonald
                                                                  Delucacheesemonger Jul 2, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                  After many dissenting posts on Pudge's superness or less, l finally went this afternoon. Pros-Great service, cheesesteaks cooked to order thus hot as can be, the regular at @$7 is HUGE. Cons-Even after ordering extra cheese, had difficulty finding it on sandwich, meat was totally tasteless but there was a lot of it, bread was far too 'bready' for me. l left one half of the sandwich uneaten. Sorry, my vote goes on the negative side.

                                                              2. re: umphilly
                                                                s
                                                                stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:38 AM

                                                                pudges in blue bell is okay. for the suburbs. whats embarrassing is that there are so few places to get a good cheeesteak in philly. steak shop/pizza shop places dont wanna spend the money buying quality ingredients. any other city would be in competition everywhere if they were known for a special sandwhich

                                                            2. b
                                                              barryg Apr 17, 2009 05:10 AM

                                                              Long live the Prince! Truly the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia. BTW you can order "both cheeses" which is the melted American with the orange cheese, which I think is not whiz but a homemade concoction.

                                                              You need to hit up John's Roast Pork on Snyder--that's the only other steak in the running with Steve's.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: barryg
                                                                j
                                                                Jonny Pops Apr 21, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                                Thanks for that "both cheese" tip. That is insider knowledge I can use!

                                                                My question on John's is, do they use rolls with Sesame seeds? I thought I saw this in a photo on their website or somewhere. It's a big no-no for me on cheesesteaks.

                                                                1. re: Jonny Pops
                                                                  b
                                                                  Bigley9 Apr 21, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                                  no sesame seeds

                                                                  1. re: Bigley9
                                                                    p
                                                                    Philly Ray Apr 21, 2009 11:00 AM

                                                                    I'm pretty sure that John's does use sesame seeded rolls.

                                                                    1. re: Philly Ray
                                                                      s
                                                                      stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                                      yup. thats the only setback to their cheesesteak. that and the ungodly long wait

                                                                  2. re: Jonny Pops
                                                                    g
                                                                    geoheim Apr 21, 2009 09:11 PM

                                                                    I thought the sesame seeds on the rolls at John's would be a big turn-off too but it turned out to be more of a psychological hurdle because after having their cheesesteak I rate it the best I've had (with Chink's being 2nd and Tony Luke's 3rd).
                                                                    The quality of their meat is just outstanding and they really pack it on. Just wish they were open nights and weekends.

                                                                    1. re: Jonny Pops
                                                                      c
                                                                      coolgeek Apr 26, 2009 03:50 PM

                                                                      I'm pretty sure that John's uses Carangi rolls

                                                                      1. re: Jonny Pops
                                                                        s
                                                                        stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                                        agreed

                                                                    2. Den Apr 17, 2009 04:33 AM

                                                                      When in town you've got to try George's near the corner of 9th and Christian and John's Roast Pork at 2nd and Weccecoe. Honorable mention in the burbs IMO would go to Cisco's in Flourtown.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Den
                                                                        r
                                                                        roeena Apr 14, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                                        steve's, steve's and steve's
                                                                        there is nothing more to say except....steve's.

                                                                        1. re: roeena
                                                                          Den Apr 22, 2010 07:22 AM

                                                                          Steve's is pretty darn good but I have to say I just tried Chink's and I think my new top 4 are...

                                                                          George's
                                                                          Chink's
                                                                          Steve's
                                                                          John's

                                                                        2. re: Den
                                                                          ChrisOC Apr 20, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                          Wow! Cisco's is still open? They used to have great hoagies!

                                                                          1. re: ChrisOC
                                                                            Den Apr 21, 2010 04:45 AM

                                                                            Yes, it is open daily

                                                                          2. re: Den
                                                                            j
                                                                            Jonny Pops Sep 9, 2010 09:08 AM

                                                                            Finally tried George's last weekend and I am definitely sold on it. It doesn't quite edge out Steve's or Chink's in my book, but it's flirting with my top tier and definitely belongs in the discussion. Still have to make it to John's.

                                                                            1. re: Den
                                                                              s
                                                                              stevemick1323 Feb 15, 2011 07:35 AM

                                                                              is that what they call the street down there by johns? i thought it was at snyder and ....water street maybe?

                                                                              1. re: stevemick1323
                                                                                b
                                                                                Bigley9 Feb 15, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                                it is Weccecoe - it is the street that runs along the railroad tracks and dead ends into snyder. Water runs along I95 on the east, Front along I95 on the west

                                                                                1. re: Bigley9
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                                                                                  stevemick1323 Feb 16, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                                                  i used to live a few blocks away on third and jackson......and yet i hardly ever made it there due to their insanely ridiclous hours...

                                                                                  1. re: stevemick1323
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                                                                                    Philly Ray Feb 16, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                                    Not to beat a dead horse on this, but their established hours are 6:45 to 3PM. That's 8 hours and 15 minutes of customer serving time. Add in the prep time if they arrive early and the clean up time if they stay after 3 and you are looking at a potential 10 hour minimum work day (probably more). Do you work a 10 hour work day on a regular basis? Cut these people some slack.

                                                                                    1. re: stevemick1323
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      Bigley9 Feb 16, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                      go on Monday holidays - they are open when banks are closed...that's when I get there most. Or heck, just call out sick. Lots of places are just open for breakfast and lunch stevemick, not sure why you are so worked up about it.

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