The Best Cheesesteaks In Philly, Ranked

The 10 best cheesesteaks in the city.
This is a cheesesteak at Circles + Squares in Philly.

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

When someone thinks about Philly food, one of the first things that comes to mind is a mountain of chopped beef and dripping cheese piled on a long roll. We get territorial about cheesesteaks—we argue over cheeses, roll density, and toppings, and when we pass a “Philly Steaks” shop in any other city, we scrutinize it like Olympic judges considering gymnastics routines.

The perfect cheesesteak means something different to everyone, and some can even get pretty wild. But when we’re looking for long, crackly fresh bread, fried onion, melty cheese, and steak that's been chopped into an entirely new form, this is where we go.



Bella Vista

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Taking the first bite into an Angelo's cheesesteak feels like stepping off the plane at the beginning of a vacation. All the problems of daily life fade away. What matters now is shredded steak and melted cooper sharp that’s layered into warm, toasty, and crackly seeded rolls. The Bella Vista cash-only spot can get more packed than Walmart on Black Friday, but since they serve the best cheesesteak (and some of the best pizza) in town, it’s always worth the wait. Try calling ahead to place your order. You just might have to call a few times to reach someone.

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

The pig. The myth. The legend: John’s Roast Pork. At this South Philly spot by the depressing Chuck E. Cheese on Snyder, they make the titular roast pork sandwiches just as well as they make cheesesteaks. Sesame seeds on the crackly roll add to the mound of provolone and expertly diced steak. There's only a handful of seating in John's Roast Pork, but there are more picnic tables outside. Or you can pick up a steak at the window like you’re at a drive-thru. Just bring cash.

When people think of cheesesteaks, they don’t always think of the Northeast. But if you stop by this casual Italian restaurant in a shopping center on Holme Ave., you’ll see a line of people waiting for one like it’s the hottest club in town. The signature here is the Don Cheech’s Steak, an ideal combination of thick-sliced ribeye, melty cooper sharp, and fried onions on a seeded roll. Although there may be a wait to get your hands on one, once you do, you might briefly mistake the Northeast as the center of the universe. 

Before the Pizza Jawn team opened Bar Jawn, we had to light a prayer candle and hope the busy Manayunk pizza place didn’t sell out of cheesesteaks. Now, you can head to their rowdy corner Manayunk bar and order one while watching the Flyers let you down. Thankfully this sandwich—with hunks of ribeye hanging out with melted cooper sharp on a long, crackly seeded roll—won't ever do that.

Jaxx Steaks in Dickinson Narrows offers something most spots on this list don't: a place where you can sit back with a few beers, eat a cheesesteak, and stare at some Philly-themed chalk art. While they do have a few steak options here, including one that’s topped with broccoli rabe like a roast pork hybrid, the regular steak is the best. That’s because of how toasty the bread gets, and the way the blend of onions and super thinly sliced beef complements gooey provolone or American.

The Not-Your-Average Cheesesteak Guide image

PHL Guide

The Not-Your-Average Cheesesteak Guide

South Philly's Nipotina makes a lot of great sandwiches, but it's The Eye that we just can't quit. It’s juicy with ribeye, but the toasted roll never gets soggy. The chopped onions have bite, and work nicely with the rich, melted cooper sharp. You can customize it with about 100 different toppings, and we plan to try them all.

Known for its pizza (get it? Circles and squares?) this Olde Richmond shop also makes cheesesteaks so good we think it should be renamed Circles, Squares, and soft-cornered rectangles. The $13 meaty creation layers thick, house-shaved ribeye and gooey Cooper Sharp on a soft 10-inch seeded Liscio's roll. It’s one of those rich and creamy cheesesteaks that’s almost too good—it’s as if A.I. has been tracking your cheesesteak intake for years and crafted this one just for you. 

When it comes to cheesesteak fame, Jim’s South Street is right up there with Pat’s and Geno’s. While the latter two have no business being on this guide, Jim’s does: their sub-$15 steak layers quality diced ribeye on a long buttery roll, and the melted cooper sharp is just as gooey as orange-y whiz usually gets. When this cash-only spot first reopened after a fire shut them down in 2022, we waited 90 minutes for a cheesesteak. And it was worth it. But maybe bring a beach chair and a friend to pass the time—there's usually a long line on weekends.

Max’s is easy to spot. They have a massive bold neon sign out front and the scent of sizzling beef luring you inside. But it's the foot-long sandwiches with gooey provolone that will keep you coming back. A cheesesteak at the North Philly spot only costs $11, and while they have a few options like pepper steaks, chicken, and mushroom, there’s nothing better than the version loaded with onions and tangy pickles. These things have so much meat, you’ll just have to assume the bread is somewhere in the pile. They're also open until 1am on weekdays and 2am on the weekends, so this is a good move after a night at Lou & Choo's or Clock Bar.

Like all good sandwich shops, this Dickinson Narrows corner spot believes in big portions. So you'll probably only need one or two cheesesteaks for a picnic or tailgate with a few friends. Each one is oozing with American cheese and thick, quality steak. If you want to stray from the classic, top yours with broccoli rabe. Just prepare to eat it on a plate the size of a shield (or deal with a bunch of meat on your shoe).

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Suggested Reading

The Not-Your-Average Cheesesteak Guide image

The Not-Your-Average Cheesesteak Guide

The 12 most creative cheesesteaks in Philly, when you need a break from steak, onions, and cheese.

The Best Hoagies In Philadelphia image

Philly makes a lot of great hoagies. These are the 14 best.

The Best Roast Pork Sandwiches In Philadelphia image

Slow-roasted pork, slightly bitter broccoli rabe, and melted provolone. Who’s hungry?

Where To Eat When You're Visiting Philly image

Yes, you’re going to have a cheesesteak. But there’s so much more to eat and drink in Philadelphia.

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