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Philadelphia's Choice Cheese Steaks

Rating and ranking cheese steaks is a Philadelphia obsession, made all the more interesting because styles of steak differ dramatically. Traditional versions are made with thin flaps of meat; a popular alternative is to hack the meat into hash along with onions on the griddle. Then there's the cheese issue: Whiz or provolone? Wit' or wit'out? (onions) And there always are a wide variety of pickles, peppers, and hot sauces to serve as condiments. One of the most satisfying of all urban Roadfood eating tours is a cheese-steak tasting of Philadelphia and environs. This tour includes 9 of the best.

Steve's Prince of Steaks
Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop
Mama's Pizzeria
Jim's Steaks
Lorenzo's Pizza
Pat's King of Steaks
Tony Luke's
John's Roast Pork
Steve's Prince of Steaks - Philadelphia , PA
Street food par excellence! Read the menus posted on the wall, place your order at two different windows (one for sandwiches, the other for fries and drinks, each paid for separately), then dine at the easy-wipe silver counter that runs along the wall. Steve's thin-sliced beef is a protein tsunami. Combine that with a load of Cheese Whiz and a heap of fried-soft, sweet onions all piled into a chewy tube of fresh bread and you've got a picture of cheese steak perfection.
Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop - Philadelphia , PA
Joe's is a small neighborhood sandwich shop that serves classic Philly cheese steaks along with ultrathick malts.
Dalessandro's - Philadelphia , PA
Dalessandro's is a humble diner that is among Philadelphia's top-tier cheese steak sources.
Mama's Pizzeria - Bala Cynwyd , PA
Mama's is a humble, out-of-the-way eatery that serves cheese steaks and Italian hoagies that set the standard for all others. There are none better than what you will eat there.
Jim's Steaks - Philadelphia , PA
One of Philly's most hallowed cheese steak emporia, Jim's is notable for its art deco decor and for a sandwich line that takes you past the slicers that cut the meat just before it gets grilled.
Lorenzo's Pizza - Philadelphia , PA
It's called Lorenzo's PIZZA, but the main attraction at this corner eatery is its excellent cheese steak sandwiches, the meat hacked up on the grill to a succulent hash and liberally adorned with melty cheese.
Pat's King of Steaks - Philadelphia , PA
Pat Olivieri invented the cheese steak in 1930. His family continues to operate his restaurant, and while connoisseurs enjoy debating the merits of the city’s many cheese steak sources (some operated by renegades from Pat’s own family), this joint’s shaved-beef-and-cheese sandwiches on serious Italian bread have stood for over half a century as the benchmark.
Tony Luke's - Philadelphia , PA
Tony Luke's is one of Philadelphia's top sandwich shops, its cheese steak excellent, its roast pork sandwich sensational. The latter adds garlicky broccoli rabe to the mixt to become one of the great sandwiches anywhere.
John's Roast Pork - Philadelphia , PA
John's is a humble sandwich shop serving some of the best roast pork sandwiches and cheese steaks in Philadelphia, ergo in the world.

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