Is there a food that's more iconic than a cheesesteak in Philadelphia?

The bread. The meat. The cheese. The onions. The attitude. The city. It all adds up to a perfect combination.

Now, one could argue that a damn good hoagie from a damn good deli in and around the city is just as good — and it certainly is — but far more people seem to have cheesesteaks as their go-to (but let's be honest here: if you had to make me choose between a cheesesteak and a hoagie, I'm prolly gonna have both).

Cheesesteak - Photo: Canva
Cheesesteak - Photo: Canva

What Makes a Good Philadelphia Cheesesteak?

So, let's start from the beginning.

You can get a cheesesteak in North Dakota or at any number of chain restaurants across the country, but what's so special about a Philly cheesesteak?

Rush hour in North Dakota - Photo: Google Maps
Good luck finding a good cheesesteak in North Dakota

A Philly cheesesteak is made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, grilled onions, and melted cheese, almost always served on a hoagie roll.

Your mass-produced cheesesteaks outside of the city are usually of lower-grade meat on a roll that's been shipped in from who knows where.

Don't Eat This and Don't Eat That, Either

For example, Eat This, Not That! has a list of the 10 best restaurant chains that serve cheesesteaks.

Tops on their list is a place called Charley's that gives you an option to put pickles on your cheesesteak.


They have Chili's in the top 5 and IHOP at #7 (has anyone ever said, "I can't wait to go to IHOP for their Philly cheesesteak?")

IHOP in Philadelphia PA - Photo: Google Maps
IHOP in Philadelphia PA - Photo: Google Maps

22 Best Spots for Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

With that blasphemy out of the way, we recently scoured the internet to find the best spots for cheesesteaks in Philadelphia as picked by people who live and eat in Philadelphia.

We took Reddit comments into account along with Google reviews and chatter on various social media platforms to create a list of 22 spots to try.

But know this first: you will not find Pat's or Geno's on this list. While those places are good and certainly iconic, we did not include them as (a) everyone knows where they are and (b) they are often overloaded with tourists (that's not necessarily a bad thing).

Pat's and Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia PA - Photos: Google Maps/Canva
Pat's and Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia PA - Photos: Google Maps/Canva

The point of this list is to find the spots that locals visit on a regular basis — the true gems in the city.

The best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia? Locals pick these 22 spots!

The best spots for cheesesteaks in Philadelphia as picked by people who live and eat in Philadelphia.

This list is in no particular order with a sample Google review for each eatery.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

21 of the Best Places to Get a Hoagie (or Sub) in South Jersey (Besides Wawa)

From one side of South Jersey to the other, these are some of the best places to grab a hoagie... enjoy!

Best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia PA - John's Roast Pork, Angelo's Pizzeria, Ishkabibble's, Dalessandro's Steaks, Joe's Steaks, Oh Brother, Rocco's Italian Sausages and Philly Cheese Steaks, Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, Cafe Carmela, Sonny's Famous Steaks, Max's, Dattilo's Italian Deli, Steve's Prince of Steaks, Chubby's Steaks, Philly's Steak & Pizza, Woodrow's, Jack's Place, Cleavers, Dagwood's Pub, Gooey Looies, Locust Rendezvous, McNally's Tavern

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