Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
May 19, 2012 11:19 AM

Cheesesteaks at or within walking distance of Citizens Bank Park?

I'm driving up from DC tomorrow for the Red Sox game -- sorry, I mean the Phillies game ;-) -- and want a cheesesteak while I'm in town. Is there anywhere in the park that serves a decent cheesesteak? I did a little poking around on the board and didn't see a recent answer. If not in the park, is there somewhere within walking distance of the park to get a decent cheesesteak? I'm guessing after the game I'm going to want to start the drive back to DC and am not going to want to be driving around Philly looking for cheesesteak, so in or near the park would be best. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Tony Luke's in the ballpark (Ashbourne Alley) makes a fine cheesesteak, but the roast pork sandwich (with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe) is better... maybe get one of both. Stadium preparation can be a bit of a crapshoot though, better would be to go to Tony Luke's original location at 39 E. Oregon Ave after the game. It's maybe a ten minute drive from the stadium but right next to an I-95 onramp. Again, the roast pork is a much better sandwich than the cheesesteak but as cheesesteaks go, Tony Luke's is one of the better ones.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      I've actually had better luck at the Tony Luke's stand at the ballpark than at the original location, I think because the line is usually long at the stadium and turnover is very fast. But my experience is limited to just a few times.

      Like barryg, I recommend skipping the cheesesteak and getting a roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone instead, it's replaced the cheesesteak as Philly's signature sandwich and it's much better.

      1. re: Buckethead

        I havent gotten Tony Lukes at the ballpark recently, not this season at all. I usually don't want to wait in the line but maybe I will check it out next time.

    2. Tony Lukes is a good option in the ballpark but if your looking for a variation of a tasty variation without the wait, I'd suggest going to the McNally's Tavern outpost by the escalators in left field. It is a cheesesteak on a kasier roll with fried onions, grilled salami, tomatoes, and special sauce. Clearly not health food but it is sure tasty....

      1. Thank you all for the suggestions! Ever since I decided to make the trip to Philly I've had cheesesteak on the brain, so I think I need to go with that, but I appreciate the roast pork sandwich suggestions as well. We actually have a place in DC that sells Philly-style roast pork sandwiches that everyone raves about, but I don't know of a place to get a good cheesesteak.

        If I'm not mistaken the McNally's Tavern sandwich is the Schmitter, which sounds delicious. Maybe I can try a Schmitter at the game and a cheesesteak at Tony Luke's afterwards -- but that may be overly ambitious. :-)

        11 Replies
        1. re: dracisk

          With good intent, it is noted that frequently when one asks for a cheesesteak rec. the Philly sandwich people take the opportunity to suggest Roast Pork as "Better". When one seeks a rec. on a Philly steak house ( not a sandwich shop) there are most often detailed and focused suggestions, not a suggestion to have Pork instead. Philly is a sandwich town and it is some what interesting to read, listen to, the chronic debate regarding which Cheesesteak shop and Pork vs. Steak. Oh, btw the Schmittter is one great sandwich, IMHO. But when seeking a great cheesesteak it is only a tasty temporary substitute. Good luck the Philly Cheesesteak maze is not always successfully navigated. However, the hounds here do know there sandwiches.

          1. re: Bacchus101

            Not exactly walking distance, but one of the Philadelphia sandwich institutions is close enough to Citizen's Bank Park to make it worth going out of the way and that is John's Roast Pork. It is in reality a full service breakfast and lunch stand that makes amazing roast pork AND cheese steaks and has won best of Philadelphia for each. Go with someone else and split one of each. If you take at the Broad Street line, just get off at the Snyder Street stop and walk down Snyder to the end. You cannot miss it. You are allowed to bring sandwiches into Citizens Bank Park, so if you go early enough you could get it and bring it in, or go eat it there and then go to the ball park.

            1. re: cwdonald

              From what I'm gathering, the OP is coming up on Sunday and John's is not open on Sunday. The only other place within walking distance of the ballpark is Talk of the Town on Broad & Packer Sts.

              1. re: Philly Ray

                Avoid Talk of the Town at all costs. That's by far the worst cheesesteak I've ever had. I've heard that they can make a good one, but they clearly demonstrated their ability to make a bad one to me: two strips of steak and a layer of american cheese on a forgettable roll.

              2. re: cwdonald

                John's is closed on Sundays unfortunately. It's also a pretty far walk from the subway--almost 30 blocks roundtrip.

                1. re: barryg

                  It allows you to work off the cheesesteak ....... but you are right they are not open on Sundays. I have walked it, and its about a 30 minute walk. I personally enjoyed it.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    It's only a little farther to walk there directly from the park, probably faster if you count time waiting for the train.

                    1. re: barryg

                      But if you are going by have to count the time going via train from snyder to the park......

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        Didnt even count that--makes the trip via subway even longer. It is definitely faster to walk to John's from the ballpark and just about the same distance on foot. If anyone were to undertake this, I'd say take Moyamensing east from 11th or 10th st but cut up to Snyder no farther east than 8th St--the area below Snyder gets sketchy at that point. Maybe 7th if it's early in the day (and youll get to walk by some interesting Cambodian businesses, restaurants, and groceries on 7th). Snyder itself isnt pretty between 9th and 4th Sts but it's not unsafe (though I'd avoid after dark if it's obvious you arent from around there).

                        Not that this has anything to do with chow... John's has fantastic cheesesteaks and roast pork, definitely a great suggestion. If youre driving, no reason you cant hit it up via car on the way in either.

                        1. re: barryg

                          I am sorry I really disagree with you. Google waking from citizens bank to johns versus broad and snyder to snyder. Its 2 miles versus 1.3 miles. So walking from broad and snyder all the way down snyder is definitely better than walking from citizens bank park. And I was talking about going via train from city hall to either snyder or the end of the line so the latter would have taken even longer. So there is no question that walking from broad and snyder is faster than from the ball park. Be that as it may, its not appropriate on Sunday..

                          1. re: cwdonald

                            OP was driving to the stadium so that was my perspective--you need to factor in walking distance to the station itself (putting total over 1.3 mi), plus waiting and travel time. If starting at City Hall, the ideal route would be to hit John's via Snyder, then walk to Citizens Bank Park from there.

                            At least we agree on the important stuff--the sandwiches :)

          2. Thank you all again for all your help! I drove up from DC and arrived early (as a side note, I was thrilled with how easy and reasonably priced parking was -- I'm used to paying $30-40 at Fenway or even at Nationals Park and paid $15 at Citizens Bank Park right outside the stadium). I got a Schmitter as soon as I got inside the park -- first things first -- it was delicious and there was no line. Afterwards we drove to the original Tony Luke's, which was easy and very conveniently located next to I-95 so I could jump on the highway afterwards for the drive home. There was a looooong line (lots of baseball fans) and the cheesesteak (wiz wit) was delicious. Thank you for saving me from Geno's/Pat's, which is where my boyfriend wanted to go!