The ultimate guide to Philly cheesesteaks

Amanda Brecher

There will always be Pat’s, Geno’s, and Delessandros, but including these in a round-up would infuriate any true Philadelphian – and we aren’t here to make anyone mad, but rather to give you a list of Philly cheesesteaks, both new and old, that will have you falling in love with the city’s staple all over again. Don’t worry; we didn’t forgo all of the classics – only the ones that aren’t worth your time. 

Here is your ultimate guide to Philly cheesesteaks:

Shay’s Steaks owner Scott DiClaudio is pictured.Amanda Brecher

Shay’s Steaks

As one of the newest and hottest players in the cheesesteak game, Shay’s is beginning to make a name for itself in Center City. Its high-quality meats and wide selection of seasoning options sets this small corner spot apart from its competitors – with food so fresh there isn’t even a freezer in the place, said owner Scott DiClaudio, who will talk your ear off from the minute you arrive.

All good things of course, from his history and his passion to an explanation of the map on the wall which displays the corners of the world from which people traveled to visit his establishment. DiClaudio is living out his true best-of-both-worlds, serving as a Philadelphia judge by day and cheesesteak connoisseur by night.

With higher quality comes higher prices, but this steak makes every penny worth it. If you are willing to splurge, order the American Wagyu cheesesteak with copper sharp and black truffle and garlic seasoning – trust me, you won’t regret it. 

200 N. 16th Street, 267-804-7731

Woodrow’s is located on South Street.Amanda Brecher


You certainly won’t leave hungry from Woodrow’s, where only a few bites of their Woodrow’s Whiz Wit sandwich just may have you in a food coma. Popularized by their housemade truffle wiz, this cheesesteak is an elevated classic you don’t want to miss. Woodrow’s is located on South Street, just a few blocks away from Angelo’s Pizzeria on S. 9th Street.

Featured on Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive Ins and Dives’ for its Coffee BBQ Brisket sandwich, be sure to bring enough mouths to feed to venture past just the cheesesteak, and after ordering off of a QR code, take a peak over the counter to watch your food be prepared while you wait. 

630 South Street,

Gooey Looies has been serving up sandwiches for almost 40 years.Amanda Brecher

Gooey Looie’s

Don’t be fooled by the deli’s facade; this cheesesteak is sneakily delicious. In the back of a convenience store tucked in a shopping center courtyard sits Gooey Looies, a small operation, serving overstuffed sandwiches at good prices for almost 40 years.

For $14, it’s an undeniable bang-for-your-buck option – not necessarily because it’s cheaper than other places, but because its servings are easily twice the size. Take this steak to go, or grab a seat in the shop on a heart-shaped chair while you indulge in what seems like nearly a pound of meat in the sturdiest soggy bun you’ll ever bite into.

231 McClellan Street, 215-334-7668

Nipotina is located on the corner of S. 21st and Wolf streets.Amanda Brecher


From the owners of P’unk Burger and SliCE Pizza comes their newest brainchild: Nipotina. Translating to “Granddaughter” in Italian, Marlo Dinlks aims to recreate the sandwiches that are reminiscent of her grandmother’s creations – with everything from your classic cheesesteak to cutlets of every variety. On the corner of S. 21st and Wolf Streets sits this rustic, modern, fast-casual spot that is sure to impress.

For something more traditional, try “The Eye”, or turn your attention towards something more creative like the “P’unk”, which is ribeye steak, onion rings, gouda cheese and P’UNK Signature Sauce served on a long roll. Nipotina is a good option for meat lovers and vegans alike, with extensive vegan-friendly options to satisfy even those who may not have thought cheesesteaks to be an option. 

2238 S. 21st Street,

Oh Brother distinguishes itself with its toasted seeded bun.Amanda Brecher

Oh Brother

On a block that’s stocked with popular cheesesteak spots, Oh Brother distinguishes itself from its neighbors with its toasted seeded bun, which holds together fresh sliced ribeye and the cheese of your choosing. The Seeded Coop sandwich serves as their classic option, possessing the perfect meat-to-cheese ratio with fried onions all throughout.

This sandwich won’t leave you feeling gross when you finish, a risk anyone and everyone takes when they set out for a cheesesteak. Oh Brother’s rendition isn’t too heavy or oily, making it the perfect first stop on a cheesesteak tour down Market Street. If you manage to find room in your stomach, head two doors down to Wood Fired Pizza by Oh Brother for an alternative cheesy bite. 

206 Market Street, 

Campo’s ‘The Heater’ is the official cheesesteak of the Philadelphia Phillies.Amanda Brecher


The next stop on your Market Street cheesesteak tour is Campo’s. Serving up cheesesteaks and other specialty sandwiches since 1947, Campo’s renders itself a classic. You can’t miss with a standard cheesesteak, but Campo’s ‘The Heater’ is the official cheesesteak of the Philadelphia Phillies, making it the perfect option to devour while you root for the home team. Order at their location in Old City or grab it at Citizens Bank Park. 

214 Market Street,

Sonny’s was listed among the best dining destinations in the United States by Trip Advisor.Amanda Brecher


The final stop on your Market Street cheesesteak tour is Sonny’s. The Sonny’s, Campo’s and Oh Brother rivalry is one that may prove itself more fruitful than the classic Pat’s vs. Geno’s showdown, with all spots more worth the visit than the latter and arguably more famous. Sonny’s was listed among the best dining destinations in the United States by Trip Advisor in 2022 and 2023, providing this spot the jurisdiction to claim it’s serving one of the best cheesesteaks in Philly. 

228 Market Street,

Angelo’s Pizzeria

Pack yourself a lawn chair and head on over to this takeout-only pizza place in South Philly. Best enjoyed out of the trunk of your car or perched on a neighboring stoop, this cheesesteak should be at the top of your list. Done right, Angelo’s has concocted a sandwich that builds regulars out of first time visitors – just one steak will never be enough.

You won’t see Angelo’s empty unless it’s closed, with a clientele visiting not only for the incredible cheesesteak, but also for the best pizza in the area. Don’t miss the Upside Down – a square pan pizza notable for its crispy crust and unbeatable sauce. Angelo’s is cash-only, so don’t forget to hit an ATM on your way over. 

736 S. 9th Street,

SQ Phillips 

They’re doing things a bit differently here at SQ Phillip’s Steaks. Of all the places on this list, SQ Phillips was the only to have slices of meat instead of shaved or chopped, and boy is it delicious. The sandwich holds up nicer than most, with less scraps on your plate by the time you get to the end of the roll. This spot in Passyunk is pretty hard to miss, with its red and white checkered walls able to be seen from a mile away. 

2234 W. Passyunk Ave., #3318, 215-755-4820

Circles and Squares is located at 2513 Tulip Street.Amanda Brecher

Circles and Squares 

Now this is a real Philly cheesesteak. Gooey, soggy, messy, with a miracle bun that can keep it all in check. Shaved meat and Cooper Sharp on a seeded roll will forever be the way to go, and Circles and Squares has done just that. Similarly to Angelo’s, you are drawn to this take-out-only spot for its pizza.

As the name implies, you can get a 16-inch round or a 10-inch square, each with its own kind of crispy, cheesy crust so good you savor every last bite. Pair the cheesesteak with the UNCLE GUTT CIRCLE for the perfect meal. Come for the pizza, but stay for the cheesesteak and devour it all as you sit at a picnic table shaded by a yellow-striped awning. No frills, just good food. 

2513 Tulip Street,

Joe’s Steak and Soda Shop is a Fishtown favorite.Amanda Brecher

Joe’s Steak and Soda Shop 

Easily the most animated option on our list, Joe’s Steak and Soda Shop has that retro diner feel that modern foodies crave. Its bright-blue painted brick walls sit perpendicular to a row of booths, all occupied by satisfied customers with cheesesteaks in hand. The meat on this sandwich is what sets it apart, seasoned to perfection with crispy yet tender bits in every bite. Add a few toppings, and choose your cheese — if you haven’t caught on to the pattern already, Cooper Sharp is the best option — and behold: Fishtown’s best cheesesteak. A side of their Old Bay crinkle-cut fries and a milkshake-of-the-month, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged Philly comfort meal. 

1 W. Girard Ave.,