Philadelphia may be known to some as the City of Brotherly Love, but to food lovers, it is also known as the City of Divine Cheesesteaks. These sandwiches, made from sliced steak and served with molten cheese atop a soft roll (other add-ons, like onions, mushrooms, and peppers, often depend on personal preference) are part of the city’s culinary lore. We’ve found the most popular cheesesteaks in and around Philadelphia on Caviar, and we’re bringing the list to you. Read on for the top sandos.
The Woodrow’s Whiz Wit is the way to go at this zeitgeisty South Street spot where the artwork is also part of the scene. The so-called Woody Style sando offers shaved rib-eye steak, truffle whiz, cherry pepper mayo, and caramelized onions. It’s a new take on an old classic, and Philadelphians are definitely here for it.
Long established as a cheesesteak manufacturing business in Philadelphia, Cleavers is now known, too, for its gourmet sandwiches. The key to this classic sandwich lies in thinly sliced rib-eye steak and, naturally, the cheese. Choose between American, Cheez Whiz, mild provolone, or white cheddar sauce on the classic sando, though other iterations are also available.
Don’t let this Ardmore pizza joint fool you. Inside, one of the area’s most popular cheesesteaks awaits. Steak sandwiches — 12 ounces of meat in every one, so says the restaurant — come a variety of ways. Try the pizza steak, cheesesteak, plain steak, chicken cheesesteak, or the cheesesteak hoagie. You can add mushrooms, green peppers, hot peppers, jalapeños, sweet peppers, and extra cheese for a few bucks more.
Center City’s Top Tomato Bar & Pizza serves up one of Caviar’s most popular cheesesteaks in all of Philly. Served on the restaurant’s homemade panino, there is no mistaking the quality of this delicious sandwich. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are five variations on the traditional cheesesteak on the menu here, too, including the Philly pizza steak.
South Philadelphia is home to cheesesteak royalty. Pat’s King of Steaks, which opened in 1930, remains one of the most-discussed cheesesteak haunts anywhere in the United States, let alone Philadelphia. The oniony, Cheez Whiz-covered cheesesteak is one option. The mushroom-smothered version is a worthy competitor. Caviar devotees agree: You can’t go wrong with a steak from Pat’s.
Northeast Philly is home to Frank’s Steaks & Burgers, a casual joint that claims to have the best cheesesteaks in town. The restaurant certainly does sell some of the city’s most popular, with 10 steak sandwiches on the menu, ranging from the classic cheesesteak to the pizza steak to the buffalo chicken cheesesteak.
For over 40 years, Pudge’s Steaks & Hoagies has served up much-beloved cheesesteaks. Started by the late Frank “Pudge” Carbone in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, sandwiches come in two sizes (foot-long and 20-inch) and can be adorned with everything from mushrooms to pepperoni.
This neighborhood pizza joint also serves some of the best cheesesteaks around—just ask the loyal customers who keep coming back for more. Ever-popular cheesesteaks come with expertly melted American cheese, although the restaurant serves pizza steaks, regular steaks, and cheesesteak hoagies, to boot.
Lee’s Hoagie House has been a Pennsylvania institution since 1953. And although cheesesteaks are not the only sandwich on the menu at Lee’s, they are among the most popular. Choose from the steak, cheesesteak, chicken cheesesteak, buffalo chicken cheesesteak, mushroom cheesesteak, and chicken steak.
To accompany your 20-ounce, hand-dipped milkshake (they come in 10 flavors), opt for one of this hot spot’s cheesesteaks — there are 20 variations on the menu. The outrageous Villagio Special Steak is a can’t-miss. It comes with sausage, sauce, mushrooms, cheese, onions, green peppers, and, naturally, pepperoni.
We don’t talk about Bruno, but we do talk about Bruno’s Pizza, where locals know that the steaks are to die for. The Bruno’s Special Steak can come with up to 36 add-ons, including hots, pepperoni, fried onions, buffalo sauce, and even blue cheese.
In addition to the classic iteration, this crowd-favorite restaurant also serves up a host of variations on a theme, like the insanely delicious bacon ranch cheesesteak and the towering Loaded cheesesteak, which comes packed with grilled onions, bell peppers, and your choice of cheese. Maybe that’s why Philadelphians love this Caviar classic so very much.
In 1976, Jim’s South St. began selling cheesesteaks to an area of Philly that was in the middle of a cultural renaissance. Over four decades later, Ken Silver, the restaurant’s second-generation owner, continues to sell superlative steaks on one of the area’s coolest streets, South Street, topped with either American cheese, Cheez Whiz, or provolone.
Samuel “Chink” Sherman opened Chink’s Steaks in 1949 in Northeast Philadelphia, which is where Joe Groh — the Joe behind Joe’s Steaks — cut his teeth. Groh purchased the business from Sherman in 1999 and changed its name in 2013, but the restaurant continues the tradition of excellent steaks in a historic location.
This grocery store and butcher shop — the brainchild of Ambrose and Rose Campo — began serving cheesesteaks to thankful Philly patrons way back in 1947. In terms of the sandwiches themselves, not much has changed in 75 years. Locally baked bread is still the host of an overstuffed sandwich filled with sliced meat and more (order The Works, which comes with rib eye, bell peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms, and provolone).
Since 1979, Ishkabibble’s has been known for their half lemonade, half grape drink concoction known as the Gremlin. But they’re also famous for their chicken cheesesteaks and traditional cheesesteaks, served right on South Street. The Ishka Cheesesteak, a house favorite, comes with mushrooms, American cheese, sweet peppers, pizza sauce, and onions.