Is Philly's Best Cheesesteak in Camden, New Jersey, at Donkey's?

Is Philly's Best Cheesesteak in Camden, New Jersey, at Donkey's?

Photo: Jim Pappas

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Best Cheesesteak in CamdenPhiladelphia, PA - The Philadelphia region has several acclaimed cheesesteak destinations, and many locals hold strong opinions about which spot serves the best steak. Whether it's Angelo's Pizzeria, John's Roast Pork, or Dalessandro's Steaks, everyone in Philly has their favorite place; everyone's opinion counts equally!

But what if Philadelphia's best cheesesteak was not from Philadelphia?  But from an off-beat counter and bar joint in Camden, New Jersey? That's precisely what happened on Parts Unknown when Donkey's Place appeared in one of its episodes!

Let's not forget when Barry Goldberg from the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs sets off in search of "the holy grail of Philly cheesesteaks" while on an outing with his father, Murray. They traverse over Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden before heading towards their favorite spot at this historic bar.

So, what's all the hype about? Donkeys stand out from other Philly cheesesteak joints with its signature use of Kaiser rolls - they encase an ample portion of beef to deliver an extra meaty experience. In contrast, its soft roll interior soaks up most juices that run from its steak without becoming soggy and soggy over time.

"The Ben Franklin Bridge Sandwich" itself is simply irresistible! Packed with tender, flavorful beef and thick, sweet fried onions, its satisfying flavors will have you return to Philadelphia once more for more adventures! The flavors will linger long after crossing over Ben Franklin Bridge on your journey back.

While Donkey's Place has become synonymous with the best cheesesteak in Camden, NJ, they have two locations in the city and one in Medford, NJ! The original restaurant was founded in 1943 by boxer Leon Lucas and his wife. The nickname "Donkey" came from his punch, which reportedly could kick like a mule's, a name the family continues to embrace in their bar.

It felt like a long time since I last visited Donkey's Place in Camden, New Jersey. Still, it was worth the trip to this down-home counter & bar joint where you can order cheesesteaks on poppy seed buns with French fries, the best fries in town, I would say.

To get to Donkey's, head south down to 1223 Haddon Ave, in Camden (you might even see a couple of stray dogs). Once there, you'll notice a cluttered bar with an old jukebox and a few showcases featuring Donkey's boxing gloves.

As you walk through the crowded bar, you'll find all sorts of random stuff on display. The bar is an assortment of items the Lucas family has collected over the years, including Donkey's old boxing gloves, a few other bits of merch, and an eclectic selection of vintage beer bottles.

However, Donkey's Place is probably one of the most renowned places in the entire Philly area for serving up some of the best cheesesteaks Philadelphia offers. If it's the best? It is up to you to decide. I will say, though, that it's my favorite New Jersey Cheesesteak.

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