Don’t eat at either of these consider me having done the experimenting for you philly is a wonderful city but pats and genos were not highlights of our trip to phil.roam the old part of the city and try some other reccomendations as far as cheese steaks… i thought they both stunk ….. the only thing that impressed me was genos hot sauce. it was like the temperature of the sun….that was impressive ….my advice go and try that and in an hour go try paganos we liked their cheese steaks bigtime
Every place is good @ 3am. Chow Jim
Stick to the Terminal,Monks is great, and if business takes you out to my old neighborhood in the Northeast, Steve’s Prince Of Steaks is the place, and Jim’s has a branch 2 blocks away.
Not that my old neighborhood is what it once was…
I agree with WJ and especially Saps. The best cheesesteaks, hands down, are Gaetanos. And Monks on Spruce is one of my top 10 all time favorite restaurants.
Independence Brew Pub – that’s the one in Reading Terminal; I couldn’t think of the name before.
Thanks for the good word on Monk’s – I’ll let you know what I think
… BUT, don’t expect to hail a cab to get out of there. I had to do a pretty long walk before I encountered a cab.
Admittedly it’s been almost 20 yrs but IMHO the best time to hit Pats is around 3am
I love Monk’s. Great burgers and fries, fun bar scene.
For the next four days, I am staying at the Philadelphia Marriott right next to Reading Terminal – attending the American College of Physicians annual meeting at the convention center. Last time I was here was 2000, and we ate lunch daily at the Terminal while others in my group set out for the food court at the Gallery at Market East so they could have "chain food" instead. I’ll never understand it…
Last time I was here we had a very good dinner at Dock Street Brewery, which seems to have disappeared (?) I’m a big microbrew fan, thanks to Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co. We’re trying to decide between a place called Monk’s Cafe (Belgian Beer Emporium and Restaurant) or Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant. I also think there’s a microbrew in the Terminal, but can’t remember the name.
Any other suggestions for Philly would be appreciated. I’ll check back over the next couple days.
If you really want to go to Pat’s or Geno’s…take a cab. You really don’t have to leave the 30th Street Station. Frankie Oliveri’s nephew now has a shop called "Nicks".
I’m so glad to see Holly posting here. Actually you don’t even have to wait until you get to Pat’s to read the sign telling you the proper way to order. Holly has an enlargable photo of it on his excellent site which IS updated frequently.
And he’s right about Steve’s Prince of Steaks being most excellent. It was the favorite of many Roadfooders on our 2004 Philly Cheesesteak Tour.
Take a cab.
Pat’s may not be the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia (my pick is Steve’s Prince of Steaks in the vast, mysterious Northeast), but it is the scariest and the most authentic. Scariest in that you never know what’s going to set off the order taker (a cross between Rhoda from Cheers and the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld). Try asking for your steak sandwich medium rare. Follow that up by ordering a coke from the same person who takes your sandwich order. One or both should do it. Genuine South Philly attitude / abuse. As to authentic – it’s where the cheesesteak started. You’ll be standing in line with 3rd and 4th generation Pat’s steaks eaters. Start at Pat’s and then try the others.
Two of the best hoagies in the City are within a few blocks of Pat’s. Chickie’s Deli on Federal between 10th and 11th and Sarcone’s Deli at 9th and Fitzwater. You’ll walk the Italian Market getting from Pat’s to Sarcone’s.
You can have a little fun reading http://www.bestcheesesteaks.com/ although updates to this site are rare.
While other places may or may not be better, none have the unique street scene and atmosphere of the intersection of 9th, Wharton and Passyunk where Pat’s and Geno’s have faced off for decades. There is no other place you should consider for your first visit or taste.
My order at Pat’s is always "provy wit extra". Geno’s charges 50 cents more for the "extra" onions. No charge at Pat’s. Just remember, you order your sandwich at the first window. Soda and fries at the second window. That is the biggest rookie mistake. And if you forget the lingo, Pat’s has it all written down on a sign that hangs to the right, above the first window.
Having grown up in Philadelphia, and having patronized the Reading Terminal market since the 60s, I think you could eat every meal there during your stay and feel you had missed little.
Pats and Genos are, as other posters have noted, for the tourists.
If you must visit South Street, Tony luke’s or Jims are better options
I think Franks a Lot is one of the merchants that’s being kicked out of the terminal. I feel bad for them. But I have to admit being excited when I read that a Jewish deli would be one of the replacements. It’s about the only thing I’ve felt the Terminal has lacked for years. And I understand one of the owners is from the same family that owns Katz’s deli in New York.
And there is also a cheesesteak place in Reading Terminal. I haven’t tried them, but they do get some long lines. I vaguely remember hearing they’re owned by someone from the Pat’s family too.
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