The Philly Cheesesteak: Ordering a Mighty Sandwich

Credit: Photo by J. Varney for Visit Philadelphia™
Credit: Photo by J. Varney for Visit Philadelphia™

(originally published 1.6.15. updated 1.19.18)

The Philly Cheesesteak is a civic icon, tourist draw and cultural obsession! You could easily make a mess of things when ordering the city of brotherly love’s most treasured food.  So if you don’t want to be a total tourist about it heed the advice of the locals in these two videos sent to us by VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and UWISHUKNEWPHILADELPHIA Learn the art and lingo before you get in line for this flavorful sandwich in four simple steps.  The easy part: eat and enjoy.

Here’s a tip:

Ordering a Philly Cheesesteak is serious business. Know what you want before you get to the counter and be quick about it!  

Cheez Whiz with fried onions–that’s a Whiz With.  

Provolone without fried onions ask for a Provolone Without.

How To Order A Philly Cheesesteak:

Philly Cheesesteak 101:

Best Places To Find A Cheesesteak:

Nearly every pizza shop on any corner of every neighborhood in the city serves up the mouth-watering delicacy. Here are a few notable Center City and South Philadelphia spots, many of which are featured in the two videos:

  • Cosmi’s Deli is a relative newcomer among the cheesesteak contenders, winning recent accolades from Philadelphia magazine.
  • It may be across the street from the oldest cheesesteak joint in town, but Geno’s Steaks is a formidable competitor going roll for roll with Pat’s for nearly five decades.
  • The brisket cheesesteak at Jake’s Sandwich Board can be adorned with either mild provolone and caramelized onions or, less conventionally, wasabi spread and crunchy onions.
  • Jim’s Steaks has multiple locations, but the classic smell of fried onions wafting from 400 South Street makes that outpost a memorable one.
  • A small shack amidst shopping plazas, John’s Roast Pork is frequently cited as one of the city’s top steak spots. Its secret weapon? A crusty seeded roll.
  • The original home of the cheesesteak, Pat’s King of Steaks is still owned and operated by the Olivieri family.
  • With rolls from Conshohocken bakery, a plethora of cheese choices and daily-cut sirloin, Spot Burger’s food cart has been repeatedly named a favorite among cheesesteak lovers. Locations vary. You can also order online at Grubhub.
  • Every sandwich at the award-winning Tony Luke’s is worth ordering, and the deliciousness now spans multiple locations across state lines.

Photo (above): Jim’s South Street – Philly’s Best Cheesesteak

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