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Best *tourist* cheesesteak

In my career, I come across many many tourists who inevitably ask for the best place to get a cheesesteak. Working with them so frequently, I find that they want a good sandwich, but are also looking for some sort of convenience. Personally, I enjoy John's or Tony Lukes. I live in DE, so driving to NE Philly for Dellassandros is not going to happen, although there are some local spots I also enjoy. However, people coming in for one or two days don't want to spend $10-20 in round trip cab fare to sit and eat a sandwich at a place they've never heard of.

They want Ginos, Pats, or Jims. Now that Tony Lukes has been on Bobby Flay's throwdown, it's a little more well known.

My suggestion is usually Jims. They have a decent cheesesteak; they can sit and eat, and even buy a beer to go with it, and enjoy the freak show that is South Street. There may be cab fare involved, but the fact that South Street is there (aka. another tourist attraction) it's a little more worth it IMO.

So there you have it! Thoughts? Input? Rocks thrown at my head for daring to suggest a tourist go somewhere "touristy"? I'm quite curious.....

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  1. George's near the corner of 9th and Christian in the Italian Market.

    1. I'm a Talk of the Town man, but its not very attractive for tourists. For tourists, I usually stick to Tony Luke's (but go with the roast pork). Or if you are up for a really long drive - white house.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dtphilly

        You really like Talk of the Town? The last time I had a cheesesteak there the first bite landed the whole meat part of the sandwich on my lap. Too tough and gristly for me.

        1. re: BBCaprice

          Every since I heard that Donovan McNabb gets is "good luck" cheesesteak here, I've been curious about this place. I'd love to hear some other opinions.

      2. Tony Luke's is a no-brainer. Besides being(IMO), the 2nd best cheesesteak in town, it is dead simple to find. And if anyone in the group wants an adult beverage, their Beef N Beer is right across the street.

        1. Reading Terminal would be a great place to send tourists but I don't know if there is a decent cheesesteak there.

          1. Whenever we have friends in town who want a cheese steak we take them to Jims for the reasons you mention, Jessicheese. We don't care for Pat's, but if folks want to go there, we steer them to Gino's instead.....

            Of course, we go to John's or Tony Lukes when on our own......

            1. This is my 2nd reply...I love cheesesteak debates!

              Anyway, I mentioned George's at 9th & Christian because the Italian Market is a great tourist stop. After seeing the other posts I would 2nd Jim's but also thinking the right spot may depend on your age group. Older = George's, younger = Jim's given the neighborhood/attraction.

              1. Thanks for the replies! I really like the idea of Georges in the Italian Market, too. I'll have to keep that in mind for future inquiries!

                1 Reply
                1. re: jessicheese

                  For me it's a no brainer and it's Jim's without a doubt especially when you take into account the location on South Street.

                  And, honestly, I've never understood the infatuation with Tony Luke's (which I call Tony Fluke's especially since they are now selling frozen sandwiches that you can get in the grocery store. Sorry but that puts them on the same level as Steak'um in my book). There's absolutely nothing I like about their cheesesteak from the roll to the meat.

                  As for Talk of the Town, I used to LOVE that place and would routinely go before and/or after sporting events, but the service got extremely slow so I stopped going altogether. It's a shame because their cheesesteak was really good.