Six Pack: Non-Traditional Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

 Cheesesteak Egg Rolls

Ahh, the cheesesteak. The most defining symbol of Philadelphia’s food scene, whether we like it or not. It’s sometimes tacky, xenophobic, touristy and lackluster, and that’s just 9th and Passyunk. But it is uniquely Philadelphia, and we do it better than anyone else.

Here are six spots making non-traditional cheesesteaks, hold the wiz.

Garlic Bread Cheesesteak at Santucci’s

It’s difficult to not order the pizza at Santucci’s Italian Market location. But at least supplement that large rectangular pie with a garlic bread cheesesteak. It’s just what it sounds like, sliced ribeye, house-made provolone whiz and caramelized onions on a toasted garlic-slathered roll. So simple but so delicious. $8

Santucci’s
901 S 10th Street
215-825-5304

The Cheesesteak Spring Rolls at Davio’s

Everyone does cheesesteak spring rolls nowadays. But we give special props to Davio’s whose rendition we first tried during a Rittenhouse Row Festival years back. Served with Sriracha spiked ketchup, these are must-order bar snack for one of the most slept on happy hour deals in the city, complimentary french fries, mini pizzas as well as $5 Martinis and wine and beer special from 5 to 7 p.m. $12

Davio’s
111 South 17th Street
215-563-4810 

Pittsburgh Cheesesteak at American Sardine Bar

For us, the highlight of Chef Scott Schroeder’s sandwich centric menu at American Sardine Bar is the Pittsburgh Cheesesteak. We’ve never had a Primanti Bros. sandwich in Pittsburgh and have to admit that the idea of stuffing a sandwich with french fries and coleslaw kind of grossed us out. But that could just be our hatred for the Pittsburgh Penguins talking. But at American Sardine Bar we’re big fans of the big open-faced cheesesteak piled high with coleslaw and salt and pepper fries. $12

American Sardine Bar
1800 Federal Street
215-334-2337

Parisian Cheesesteak at Caribou Cafe

The cheesesteak goes French at Walnut Street’s francophile Caribou Cafe. A French baguette is slathered with Dijon mustard and then topped with prime rib, pommes frites and for fromage, melted brie of course. $13

Caribou Cafe
1126 Walnut Street
215-625-9535

The Wagyu & Foie Gras Cheesesteak at Barclay Prime

The highfalutin wagyu cheesesteak was an early headline grabber at Stephen Starr’s Barclay Prime. After a several year hiatus it is back on the menu. For $100 you get Wagyu ribeye, topped with foie gras and served with a half-bottle of Perrier-Joet Grand Brut. $100

Barclay Prime
237 South 18th Street
215-732-7560

Lobster Cheesesteak at Chickie’s and Pete’s

We didn’t want to bite into a lobster cheesesteak,it just seemed obnoxious. But several food lovers including a couple of chefs told us it was actually good. So we went for this odd surf and turf on a roll, and you know what, it works. The lobster is buttery which plays well with the bread, the steak was well seasoned and tasty, the cheese sauce, well we’re still just suckers for cheese sauce. $13

Chickie’s and Pete’s
Multiple Locations

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  • Mike H

    Square Peg is doing Cheesesteak Pot Pie

  • http://www.rowhomeeats.com Row Home Eats

    Circles Thai has a pretty bad ass cheesesteak spring roll. Also, FrancoLuigi’s has a cheesesteak pizza that is sinfully delicious.

  • barryg

    Yeah the cheesesteak spring rolls at Circles are really good.

  • KSchwa

    Pastrami & Things on 18th st has a really kickass Korean Cheeseteak (bulgogi). I was thoroughly impressed.

    • http://philadelphia.foobooz.com Foobooz

      KSchwa, is that blogging cheesesteak always on the menu or just an occasional special. I had and enjoyed that too.

  • Cindy

    The best non-traditional cheesesteak in Philly is the trainwreck at Beck’s in RTM. Steak, cheese, onions, chopped salami and andouille sausage, creole mayo. It maintains just enough cheesesteak flavor, but the additional elements take it over the top. It’s awesome.

  • acmestyled

    Truffled cheesesteak empanadas at Good Dog. Mmm.

  • Austin

    Simple variation, but the Lodge Steak at Grey Lodge hits the spot for me. Rib-eye, Genoa salami, roasted pepper mayo, and house cheese sauce.

  • Alea

    No joke, I was literally thinking about a competition for the best deconstructed cheesesteak YESTERDAY. Foobooz, stop reading my mind.

  • http://www.itsacupcake.com Nessa

    “The Philly” a savory cupcake at It’s a CupCake! It’s a spiced tomato cupcake topped with kobe beef and fontina cheese and wasbi ketchup IT”S TO DIE FOR!!

  • Victor Fiorillo

    I would add the crawfish cheesesteak at Chris’ Jazz Cafe. It’s really quite good.

    http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/2011/03/03/eating-the-history-making-crawfish-cheesesteak-with-councilman-bill-green/