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Best Cheesesteak in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville

I am searching for the best cheesesteak in Boston or surrounding towns. I searched the site and have not seen a post for this one yet.

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  1. The cheesesteak served on the late-night (after 11pm) menu at Redbones is pretty good.

    1. Wonderful question. Maybe cheesesteak doesn't come up because some people here call it a steak and chees, but in any event, I would love to know the answer.

      1. The J. Pace and son on Cross street in the north end does a pretty good one. I only like the one at this Pace location and not the other locations for some reason. Not a lot of good choices around here sadly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gooch

          Il panino makes a pretty good one.

        2. Mr. Swank has ordered admirable cheese-steaks at Sabatino's in the past: drippy, meaty, cheesy.

          1. This is easy. Carl's in Waltham makes a most admirable steak and cheese (I assume the ask here is not about Philly-style cheesesteaks). They're large, reasonably priced, made from special cut meat which is specially ground. The sandwiches are good and greasy and the roll works well with the meat and cheese. Best of all, when they make them, they layer the meat and cheese so that when you bite into the sandwich, your teeth hit cheese then meat then cheese then meat then roll. Woof!

            Downside to Carl's is: no indoor seating. Amazingly, even in winter weather, the place is still busy.

            5 Replies
            1. re: hondodog

              I know I'm in the minority, but I was underwhelmed with Carl's on my only visit there. (Waltham, I think there are one or two others?) I agree the sammies are both large and priced reasonably, but the meat is not so much ground as it is chopped, IIRC? Almost minced? I remember finding it a little strange, though not necessarily bad. I've been meaning to give them a second go round, maybe it'll be sooner rather than later.

              1. re: Chicken with a Capon

                Yeah, they are making loose meat sandwiches without even knowing it - might as well use ground beef. Notice most of the reviews of this place put the size of the portion as number one reason to like. Its the cheasecake factory of cheesesteaks. Pretty much any pizza joint in the area makes one that is just as good imo.

                1. re: LStaff

                  Uh, my review didn't say Size Matters. I like the way it tastes, and, even better, the mouth feel of cheese/meat/cheese/meat/bun.

                  I'll say it again: size doesn't matter.

              2. re: hondodog

                I tried Carls based on recommendations here a few years back. What I wrote then is that a lot of people rave about how big Carl's is. Most subs are adequate to fill me, so bigger is not necessarily better. After eating at Carl's I was unpleasantly stuffed, but realized that it had not tasted so good. The meat and cheese to roll ratio is way off and it just wasn't that tasty.

                Personally I think there are a bunch of pretty good steak & cheese places, but no outstanding ones in the area. A few that I like:

                - Supreme Pizza (on Mass Ave near symphony): I haven't been there in awhile, but when I lived in Back Bay this was my go to place for years. Their steak cheese and pepperoni was always prepared with care, hot and tasty. There's definitely nothing fancy and the sub is best eaten on site.
                - Cheddars (Cambridge Alewife): Consistently good. Not open on Sundays.

                I have gotten away from Bob's in Medford as I found their quality to be inconsistent. A few times I was in there when it was busy and thought the sub was rushed and cheese not integrated enough. Also, there's no where to eat there and reheating at home can be a production. Steak and cheeses just don't travel well.

                1. re: Gabatta

                  Ill tell what is good to do with carls steak and Cheese, is let a large one with extra cheese go cold, then slice into pin wheels and put on a non stick backing sheet and warm it 350 oven, it makes a great snack or something to take to a party, its real good

              3. Pat's Place, ironically located in Brigham and Women's Hospital, makes a pretty decent steak and cheese.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rlee21

                  Pat's is the shrine to Dionysus to BWH's Apollo. Hidden around back - the duality of man (and healthcare).

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I think BWH relies on Pat's to provide patients for their cardiac care ward. Was just there for the first time in years and had my usual: chicken cutlet with the works on a toasted roll. mmmmm! and free CPR.

                2. My favorite is the cheesesteak and mushroom on a toasted bun from Cheddars in Cambridge.

                  1. I'm partial to Rondo's on West Broadway in Southie. No frills but solid Steak and Cheese.

                    1. I second the vote for Carl's in Waltham. I'd be willing to bet Pat's Place also does a good one, based on my sandwiches from there, but I've never tried one (now I have to!)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DrMag

                        By the way, I don't think its advertised on the menu at Pat's, but you can order a 'steak bomb' to have mushrooms, onions, and peppers added.

                        1. re: rlee21

                          Good to know you can order a bomb at Pat's. They do have a good steak and cheese there. I still haven't tried Carl's, but the fact that it sounds more like a loose meat sandwich, rather than a steak and cheese doesn't make me want to rush out there.

                      2. Bob's, technically in Medford, but close to Somerville does a good steak and cheese. Its about as good, if not better, as any I have had in the area.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ebone

                          Reasonably recently I have tried Bob's (S Medford), Amici's (W Medford), and Boyle's (E Arlington). Bob's was my least favorite and Boyle's my favorite. Both of them were on the lean side, but Boyle's was better made. Boyle's sandwich had fallen out of favor with me for a while and its not at all like a Philly steak, but I was pretty happy. I also enjoy a steak from Pinocchio's and Mangia Mangia but neither is that convenient for me these days.

                          Has anyone tried the steak from Dino's in the North End?

                          1. re: itaunas

                            I have had the Dino's version. It is gigantic, which is nice if you are trying to chase away a big hangover, but I find it to be generally kind of stringy (at least last time I had it, which was over a year ago). Its not my favorite sandwich there.

                        2. Little embarrassed about this...my guilty secret pleasure. My wife doesn't know I still visit about 4 times a year now when she has a girls night out kind of event.

                          The Half Shell on Mass Ave just before Porter coming from Harvard. It maybe "sense memory" as my friend got a job there during high school and we are just about 40 now so I have been eating their steak bomb for decades. The cheese and veggies are really well integrated into the meat, which I think is why I like it. It is not the largest, but up there in size and greasiness. They happen to have possibly the worst pizza in the area, but they do an ok breakfast.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: coolaugustmoon

                            That's a coincidence. My daughter goes to an art class one block up from there and I walked by the other day and ordered how it was. I'll have to try it.

                            1. re: Gabatta

                              If you are a connoisseur of steak and cheese it is worth trying. Hope it's the older Greek guy who makes your food. He and his wife own it and he has been feeding these to Cambridge cops (probably the largest customer base) and EMTs for a long time. I have them add hots and a bit of extra s+p.

                          2. i know this will be deleted [chain and....bla bla bla]

                            Papa Ginos has the best cheesesteak in the industry.

                            As for Carls, they suck. the meat is precooked and held in a half/deep hotel pan and then reheated to order

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Locutus

                              Let me try to make it a bit more local (with a real question): Are there specific Papa Gino's locations that you find to have super good sandwiches? I find their pizza quality to vary a fair amount from location to location...

                              1. re: maillard

                                Papas in Watertown mall
                                and the one in Newton thats closest to Wtown

                                1. re: Locutus

                                  I used to swear by Papa Gino's chicken parm pockets in college. I haven't been there in a loooong time. I'm skeptical but suppose someone could verify this while waiting at the Watertown RMV. Gotta kill time somehow...

                              2. re: Locutus

                                I have to say yes to Locutus' assessment....Papa's makes a shockingly good cheesesteak.

                                1. re: Locutus

                                  Yes, Carl's does precook the meat. About every 30 minutes they lay what looks to be about 25 pounds of meat onto the grill and then they cook it, stick it in a tub and then use it for the orders which follow. The meat doesn't sit for very long, so I certainly don't view this as a problem. The turnover at Carl's is pretty awesome...as I note above, they have business throughout the year.

                                2. I don't like much from there, but the steak & cheese at Cinderellas always had a good place in my heart. Make sure they put mayo on it though.

                                  1. My vote is for Joe's Famous in Dudley. They also make a mean chicken cheese steak.

                                    1. If your ever in the Merrimack Valley Stacheys makes a nice steak bomb.

                                      1. Does anyone remember JG's Sub shop in Watertown, Mass They had the best steak & cheese subs ever made. It was the Seasoning they used. If so do you know what was in it.

                                        1. If you're ever heading up Route 1 North in Peabody, Brothers Kouzina has a great steak and cheese sub. For some reason they call it a steak tip sub but it's your classic steak and cheese served with carmalized onions, roasted peppers, mushrooms and gooey cheese. Heaven !