The Philadelphia Region Cheesesteak Contenders

The Philadelphia Region Cheesesteak Contenders

The Philadelphia Region Cheesesteak Contenders

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March Cheesesteak Madness Philly RegionMarch Cheesesteak Madness is a bracket-style tournament of cheesesteaks. We have 64 Cheesesteak entries broken into four regions, so Let's have fun and virtually eat cheesesteaks alone together!


imageedit 2 2923580203"I'm Jim Pappas from Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure. I've eaten over 550 different cheesesteaks in the last 22 months. I am hoping to use my new found Cheesesteak knowledge to help fill the void in our lives left by the canceling of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament". - Jim Pappas

Voting Link for The Final Four - Limit on Vote per Day per Match-up

March Cheesesteak Madness | The Final Four

The Philadelphia Region Chesessteak Contenders

  1. Charlie's Roast Pork - 1301 S 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA

Charlie's is the number one seed in the entire tournament, they make a great cheesesteak. With a nod to their name 'roast pork,' they make an excellent broccoli rabe.  It starts with a large-seeded roll, with a good crust, a bit bready but very easy to eat.  You can tell they care about every sandwich, and the one thing that separates Charlie's from the pack is they have plenty of seating. Plus, they are connected to the Pennsport Beer Boutique, which sells hundreds of craft beers.

Great Cheesesteak, great people, and great space. Charlie's is my odds on favorite to win the tournament.

  1. John's Roast Pork - 14 Snyder Ave.Philadelphia, PA

John's is a Philly favorite going on three generations, and the stand has gone threw a few renovations over the years.  They are taken out only, but they do have a covered seating area as well as a delicious cheesesteak, though their meat could be a little bit better.

My complaints about John's are;  1 cash only, common in Philly. 2 closed on Mondays, standard in Philly. 3 make the line move faster. I get that every Cheesesteak is made to order, but everybody does that.  I think there can be some improvements to the customer experience.

  1. Dalessandro's Steaks - 600 Wendover St. Philadelphia, PA

When I started asking people their favorite Cheesesteak place, it felt like every third person said Dalessandro's. I love Dalessandro's meat. Its finely chopped, tasty, and juicy, plus Dalessandro has counter seating, but you'll be lucky if you find a seat.

What I don't like about Dalessandro's is the meat is put on the roll, then any extras you order are added on top of the Cheesesteak. I love my extras and meat to spend time on the grill together.

  1. Del Rossi's Cheesesteak Company - 538 N 4th St. Philadelphia, PA

I am surprised that more people don't talk about Del Rossi's. They have a delicious cheesesteak and a great long-roll, so good that they try to keep the name of the bakery a secrete.  The location has plenty of table seating, great movie memorabilia on the walls, and a bathroom.

Plus, the employees have worked together for many years and get along, making for an excellent overall experience. Maybe if they had parking, they'd get more notoriety.

  1. Mama's Pizzeria - 426 Belmont Ave. Bala Cynwyd, PA

Ok, I thought Bala Cynwyd was in City limits. Still, Mama has a great cheese game, blending three kinds of cheese together on a Conshohocken Bakery roll. This could easily be called a cheese sandwich with steak meat, but the location has plenty of parking and tables.

I felt very much at home when the adult daughter running the cash register started complaining about her sister, to her father. Tip, get here early because after Mama sells the last roll, she closes.

  1. Oh Brother - 206 Market St. Philadelphia, PA

Just walking distance to the Liberty Bell, Oh Brothers roll really stuck out on this Cheesesteak.  It was as like baguette and Amoroso roll had a baby; the outside like a baguette, and the inside a standard Amoroso long roll.

The meat was delicious, a little bit nicer cut of meat, but the cheese was the weak link. Oh, Brother has plenty of seating, and for those not on a liberty bell class trip, it's BYOB.

  1. Tony Luke's - 39 E Oregon Ave. Philadelphia, PA

One of Philadelphia's favorite cheesesteaks. Located under I-95 near the Walt Whitman Bridge, is another take-out spot that offers covered seating.

In addition to their meat, which is tender, juicy, and heavenly, I think the porta-potty and parking set them apart from their former sandwich stand competition.

  1. Barclay Prime -  237 S 18th St. Philadelphia, PA

The infamous $125 cheesesteak is not your typical Cheesesteak. It's made with Wagyu beef.  The roll is made specifically for this Cheesesteak, and cheese sauce consists of three different kinds of cheese.

This Cheesesteak is very rich and comes cut in thirds. You really need to take two friends with you because a third of this Cheesesteak is plenty.  Price and richness may keep this Cheesesteak from the finals.

  1. Kitty's Luncheonette - 2721 E Somerset St. Philadelphia, PA

If I lived in Port Richmond, I would be sitting at the counter in Kitty's everyday sharing lies with the other regulars.  Walking into kitties, you feel like your in an old friend's house, anywhere in the world, with kittens taking over.

Delicious Tri-State steak because they really make a good cheesesteak, and you feel like they grilled one up just for you.

  1. McNally's Tavern -  8634 Germantowntown Ave.Philadelphia, PA

Home of the Schmitter!  This is one of my favorite spots on my Cheesesteak eating Adventure. Established in 1921, the best way to describe the "Schmitter" is a cheesesteak with grilled salami and a creamy horseradish sauce on it. With several roll options, I went with the long roll.

A family-owned joint with a sassy sister-in-law stationed behind the bar, and the bathroom is in the basement, and the carrot cake is top-notch.

  1. Woodrow's Sandwich Shop - 630 South St. Philadelphia, PA

Woodrow's is one of the hidden gems of South Street, making cheesesteaks their way, and their approach seems to be a little bit nicer than most other places.  With a small Courtyard out back so you can sit outside in the sun, consider this a date night cheesesteak spot.

Woodrow's makes their own sauces, and they don't seem to draw the craziness of South Street so you can enjoy your company. They add their special touches to all of their sandwiches, and I think that keeps them out of Cheesesteak debates.

  1. Dattilo's Delicatessen - 8000 Horrocks St. Philadelphia, PA

If Dattillos was in a different area, they might be the number one cheesesteak in the city.  An old-school delicatessen complete with high glass meat cases with employees wearing butcher smocks, and I believe they make their own rolls.

While eating my Cheesesteak, the person next to me raved about the rice pudding. So, I had to try some along with the banana pudding, both were awesome.

  1. Saad's Halal House - 4500 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA

A traditional pizza shop style cheesesteak with quality ingredients made very well. It is a beautiful clean little place complete with tables and a bathroom. 

It appeared to be family-run as well as an excellent dining experience. Still, it may not be enough to get far in this competition.

  1. Steve's Prince of Steak - 7200 Bustleton Ave. Philadelphia, PA

Steve is a trendy Philadelphia cheesesteak spot with several locations now; however, I preferred the original store.

I don't know what Steve does with his cheese, but I think it makes him stand above the competition.  Unfortunately, I do not feel his cheese will carry him very far in this competition.

  1. Pat's versus Geno's - 9th & E Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia, PA

The center of the Cheesesteak debate, and one of the few spots every tourist goes to for a baseline cheesesteaks.

I like many am not a fan of Pat's 'know how to order we go to the back of the line' attitude.  I think Gino's has a much better humorous approach to Pat's and Geno's competition. However, I do give the Cheesesteak nod to Pat's.

  1.  Girard Mini Market - 2901 W Girard Ave. Philadelphia, PA

I am from the suburbs, and this is a store I would have never gone into. I have heard them called bodegas, corner stores, and Papi stores.  I now refer to them as Papi stores. I was in one, and they were trying to get my attention and called me, 'Papi.' I cannot believe how much stuff and the range of things they get into these stores. I am really amazed at how good a Cheesesteak I can get for $4.50.  The grill man at Girard Mini Market was phenomenal. He knows how to put brotherly love into his Cheesesteak.

I can't believe how much meat I got $4.50. I would love to see Girard mini-market go far in this competition. Still, unfortunately, I do not see them getting out of the first round.

Back to The Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure | March Madness

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