There are three major things you need to do while in Philadelphia, and this next stop includes two of them. Philly is famous for cheesesteaks, and in turn for the great cheesesteak debate between two of the oldest and most popular steak eateries in town, Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. This debate has been going strong for four decades and has drawn tons of public attention, becoming an iconic must-stop for tourists and locals alike. Both of these delicious eateries are located on the corners of 9th and Passyunk in South Philly, a famous triangular intersection that is always alive and buzzing with hungry and culinary-curious stomachs.
There are a few staple things that both restaurants have in common: frizzled rib-eye steak, melted cheese, grilled onions, and Italian loaf bread. Aside from the the basic same ingredients, these two sandwiches are very different in presentation, attitude, and overall experience.
At Pat’s King of Steaks you will experience sliced meat sandwiches served quickly across the counter, wide open and ready to devour, unwrapped and messy! Pat’s boasts Cheez Whiz and a more basic sedate brick exterior with interior fluorescent lights. Pat’s has a bit of fame and experience on its side, however, seeing as it first opened in 1930 and has won over Philly’s famed fighter, Rocky, in one of his onsite scenes.
Geno’s Steaks was established in 1966, a bright orange painted and neon-lit eatery full of bright spirits and celebrity photos. This stop serves up neatly wrapped sandwiches with thinly sliced meat and actually suggest provolone as the cheese of choice, making for very subtle, but noticeable differences between here and Pat’s. While these two are the most popular, don’t leave out other options such as Jim’s, Tony Luke’s, or Johnny Hots for more great cheesesteak! We suggest your group tries both Pat’s and Geno’s, or maybe split up and take a vote on the best sandwich afterward!