Jim’s Steaks

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

We first arrived at Jim’s at two in the afternoon on a weekday and the place was mobbed! A long line of customers was waiting in the tile-paneled room downstairs. The wait is not a bad thing because it gives you time to decide how you like your steak garnished (“wit” or not, regarding onions) and what kind of cheese you want (American, provolone, or the most common, Cheez Whiz). Standing in line also takes you near the back of the room where steak is constantly being cut on a big automatic slicer. It’s appetizing to see — the sliced meat is soft red like rose petals — and it is good to know that Jim’s meat is fresh, not frozen.

The steaks are made by hacking up the meat on the grill (with onions, preferably) so it becomes a kind of steak-‘n’-onion hash. If you get sliced cheese, it is layered in the roll before the meat. Whiz is ladled atop the meat. Pizza sauce and peppers are optional condiments.

The second-oldest cheese steak place in town (after Pat’s), Jim’s has the distinction of being the sharpest looking. There is a kind of modernistic pizzaz to its black-tile front and white-tile interior; and the counter opposite the griddle downstairs as well as the tables upstairs are regularly cleaned of crumbs and debris.

Directions & Hours

11am - 12am
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

What To Eat

cheese steak

DISH

Jim’s Steaks Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Jim’s Steaks?

3 Responses to “Jim’s Steaks”

Kats

May 13th, 2021

Best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia. I wish that they also take debit cards for payment

Reply

John Jacobsen

December 12th, 2007

My buddy and I drove up to Philly from DC to do a hoagie tour. We had cheesesteaks from Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Pat’s, Geno’s, Jim’s, and Tony Luke’s. Jim’s was by far our favorite, and was even better than usual that day.

The steak is much more tender than what is served at its competitors, and tastes like they had chopped up tenderloin on the grill. The onions are plentiful, although I prefer ones that are a bit stronger. The Amoroso roll is great, although not as good as whatever is served at Steve’s Prince of Steaks. Nitpicks aside, Jim’s is the hands-down winner on taste alone. The fact that you can sit down, get a beer with your cheesesteak, and the great South Street location are all just gravy.

I should also note that by the time we got to Jim’s we had already had four hoagies and cheesesteaks each in last eight hours, and were disgustingly full. The fact that we plowed through them is a testament to the quality of the cheesesteak.

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Patricia Beninato

March 22nd, 2006

Of the numerous places one can obtain a cheesesteak in Philadelphia (and being a purist I will NOT eat one outside of the city limits, even if it’s a Philly suburb), I have always found Jim’s to be a unique experience. The crew there is a lot friendlier than the help at most cheesesteak spots (although it can be somewhat amusing to see tourist cheesesteak newbies get chewed out at Geno’s or Pat’s for not knowing to immediately ask for “Whiz wit”).

The longtime grillmaster at Jim’s gently steers the neophyte into proper cheesesteak etiquette and does not make a face if said neophyte commits sacrilege and gets Swiss cheese instead of Cheez Whiz. Also, although Jim’s doesn’t offer fries it is one of the few places in Philly where you can get beer with your cheesesteak.

I always get the same thing at Jim’s – a cheesesteak Whiz wit (Cheese Whiz and grilled onions) and a can of Molson Golden. The meat is fresh, not frozen, and it’s fun to watch the grillmaster hacking away at the pile until it’s in beefy shreds. I must correct Michael and point out that the Whiz actually goes on the roll before the meat and onions, not on top. It blends perfectly into the hash-like filling and makes other condiments unnecessary.

Take your tray to one of the counters that line the walls or to the dining room upstairs, but downstairs offers the better experience. You can either check out the autographs and photos that cover the walls – everyone from local boys Kobe Bryant and Hall and Oates to John Denver, who stated humorously that “I’d be a vegetarian if it weren’t for Jim’s” – or watch the crowd stand in line awaiting their sandwiches and heaping good-natured abuse on anyone who doesn’t order a cheesesteak (which does happen since Jim’s also makes a pretty good hoagie). If you have room after your cheesesteak, top your meal off with that quintessential Philly dessert – Tastykakes, since Jim’s has the full line from Butterscotch Krimpets to Chocolate Juniors.

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