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Hometown Highlights: Cheesesteak Roundup

Anybody even remotely familiar with the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania knows that we’re famous for the cheesesteak. In our town, there are lots of people making cheesesteaks, with more than a few claiming to be the best.

So, the million-dollar question…

Who is it??

Well, as Philadelphians, we’re obligated to inform you that that is a dangerous question. Everyone has their favorite cheesesteak, and no one can quite agree on who’s the best. Sometimes the debate gets more than a little heated.

That said, we figured we’d weigh in…

Dalessandro’s Steaks and Hoagies

The LodeStar team favorite is actually a shop a little ways off the beaten path of downtown Philly. Dalessandro’s, a Roxborough staple, is—in our not-so-humble opinion—well worth the 20-minute Uber ride from the Convention Center. Just trust us.

Like a lot of these shops, Dalessandro’s is a cash-only business, so keep that in mind. Also, if there’s a line and long wait, don’t worry! Just remember the cheesesteak-shaped light at the end of the tunnel. It’s worth it!

Sonny’s Famous Steaks

Sonny’s is another great Philly shop, located in Old City, about a 20-minute walk from the Convention Center. Old City is a quiet, historic neighborhood with lots of notable landmarks, great shops and cafes, and waterfront sights. Some hardcore locals aren’t a big fan of this “touristy” locale, but we’re big fans of the area.


Looking for some extra heat with your cheesesteak? Another Old City spot, Campo’s offers a pepper-loaded take on the Philly cheesesteak called the Heater. But if you want to stick with the classic, Campo’s has a great take on that as well. As a small, local business ourselves, we find it pretty cool that Campo’s has been around since ’47, and is still family-run today.

Pat’s King of Steaks

Oh, Pat’s. These guys are almost too classic to be included in the running, since they have staked their claim (uncontested, as far as we’re aware) to being the inventors of the Philly cheesesteak. They’ve been slinging steaks since 1930, and they still only accept cash to this day. If you want the OG, and you don’t mind the line, check ‘em out. Open 24/7!

Geno’s Steaks

Meet Pat’s lifelong rival. Also open 24/7, Geno’s is our second almost-too-classic-to-compete cheesesteak shop on this list. They claim to be the first to add cheese to Pat’s steak sandwich. The Pat’s/Geno’s rivalry is an undying tradition of Philly culture, so far be it from us to declare a winner between the two. Some things are just too sacred…


Well, that should about do it. As we said, the cheesesteak is a hallowed institution of Philadelphia culture, easily as sacred as the Liberty Bell, the Art Museum, or the Franklin Institute. Wherever you choose to go, whether it’s at one of our recommended spots or somewhere else, be sure to enjoy your Philly cheesesteak! Because where else will you ever consume cheese whiz on purpose…