Are These The 5 Best Cheesesteaks In West Philly?

2014-year-of-the-cheesesteakWest Philly Eats has put together a list of the best cheesesteaks in West Philly, but the list is a bit…underwhelming. I mean, I love the fact that a halal restaurant that I’ve never even heard of makes it into the #1 slot, but there were a lot of frightening inclusions among the other entries. Like how do you make it onto a list of the best of anything with a description like this?

The problem with this cheesesteak is that there were too many frills, and the cheesesteak is essentially a big, dumb, tasty sandwich with no frills. The most upsetting frill was the flaccid lettuce. The cheese was, somehow, unmelted. It was too ketchupy. The tomatoes were hard. I am not a purist, so the various condiments and vegetables did not necessarily bother me. But the frills were not fresh. Everything was slopped together to form a liquidy mush on greaselogged bread.

No, seriously. That was one of the best.

So anyway, the West Philly Eats list included Pasqually’s, Lee’s Deli, Koch’s Deli, Gojjo and Saad’s Halal Restaurant. Each one gets a write-up and its (relative) strengths and weaknesses weighed. But I gotta ask… For those of you out there living in West Philly, is it really such a cheesesteak wasteland? Are there that do better?

The 5 Best Cheesesteaks In West Philly [West Philly Eats]


All Year Of The Cheesesteak coverage [f8b8z]

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  • Kill_the_G_Word

    The fact that Mr. Foobooz has never heard of Saad’s makes me really, really sad. West Philly has two big advantages over other neighborhoods when it comes to food: halal and Ethiopian. Saad’s is the best of the former. Don’t walk, run.

    • Jack Cotter

      Chicken Maroush!!!!

    • Jason Sheehan

      Though I’m not exactly Mr. Foobooz (that would be Art), I’ll take your advice in the spirit in which it was meant and make plans to hit Saad’s.

      • Michael Soo

        Saad’s is a great neighborhood joint. The food is tasty and fresh, there’s always a line of people waiting to order or pick up food and everyone is nice. Just be forewarned. Cash only and they don’t open during Ramadan

  • http://HipHopSince1987.com/ Brandon Wyche

    If Jim’s and Larry’s aren’t on the West Philly Cheesesteak list then this list is not credible at all. Im from West Philadelphia, born & raised and have never heard of the five spots you guys listed. Jims is located on 62nd and Callowhill street. While Larrys is located on 54th and City Line Ave across from St. Joes. Both have been around my entire life and serve great cheesesteaks.

    PhillyMag.com you should be ashamed of yourself for not having them on your West Philly cheesesteak spot list.

    • Guy from west philly

      I agree with you but i’m guessing this blog is UCity focused. also, their top 5 cheese pizza slices list is pretty awful.

    • Jason Sheehan

      This isn’t our list, friend. It’s someone else’s and we were just hoping
      to offer up some more suggestions for good West Philly cheesesteaks. As
      such, thanks for your help with Jim’s and Larry’s.

  • Guy from west philly

    Lee’s Deli makes a pretty good cheesesteak. dunno why they got so many “frills” (mushroom and peppers) on it. I ordered one on saturday and it came with fried onions and provolone. and yeah, Saad’s is something that should really be on the foobooz radar.

    • Teron Manuel

      Lee’s is known for hoagies.

      • Guy from west philly

        Nah Lee’s hoagies closed last year. This is Lee’s deli at 47/bmore. Lees hoagies made awfully dry cheesesteaks

        • Teron Manuel

          I wouldn’t go there for a cheesesteak anyway. It’s places in South Philly I would rather drive to versus going to Lee’s.

  • ucity girl

    Koch’s pastrami sandwich.

  • blkadelphia

    Allegro’s at 40th and Spruce should be on this list. the cheese steak they serve will surprise you how good they are.

    • Teron Manuel

      Allegro’s is known for pizza.

  • Dennis

    What about Abner’s? Citywide it’s not high on the list but as far as west Philly, it’s up there.

    • Teron Manuel

      Abner’s is known for sandwiches.

      • KMCA

        Who cares what they’re known for? That doesn’t mean they can’t also have the best cheesesteaks in the area. The number one on the list was a halal place afterall.

        • Teron Manuel

          They don’t.

      • Ryan Godfrey

        Are you talking about the place at 38th and Chestnut? Because it’s called Abner’s Cheesesteaks, and while I think they have other things on their menu, cheesesteaks are the reason this place exists.

        • Teron Manuel

          A lot of these kids that go to Drexel and UPenn aren’t even from Philly so they’re gonna go to the closest place to get one which is Abner’s. Build an Abner’s next to Pagano’s or Max’s and see if they sell as much as they would in University City. Those kids are getting fooled as we speak. I know some Papi stores that got better cheesesteaks.

  • Teron Manuel

    West Philly’s top 5 in no particular order is 1The Original Jim’s on 62nd & Callowhill not the one on South Street, Larry’s doesn’t count because that’s Wynnfield not West Philly, 2 Pete’s, 3 Sam’s on 63rd & Girard, 4 Accu Pizza on 48th & Spruce and 5 Lebel’s on 56th & Girard

    • westphillydude

      Wynnfield is in West Philly, Teron. And yeah, Larry’s is legit. Also, knowing Elliot(the author of this blog); I would say that the whole concept is “tongue in cheek”

      • Teron Manuel

        Wynnfield is NEXT TO West Phillly. I grew up in West Philly. Once you cross the bridge from Overbrook High School, you’re in Wynnfiled. When the news talks about St. Joseph it doesn’t say West Philadelphia, it says Wynnfield. Overbrook is not IN West Philly. Once you cross 63rd St or Lansdowne Ave., you’re in Overbrook. Larry’s is in Wynnfield. If Larry’s was on the other side of City Line Ave. which is only a few hundred feet, they would be in Bala Cynwyd. So what Bala Cynwyd is West Philly too? Bottom line, it’s called Wynnfield for a reason, otherwise it would just be West Philly.

    • Pappy’s Pizza

      Don’t forget Pappy’s!!!

      • Teron Manuel

        Pappy’s is good too.

  • chris fish

    I can second Allegro’s as having exactly the kind of cheesesteaks I grew up with in Philly and love– chopped up meat, greasy, kind of thin, a good long roll, and american cheese.

  • TheBDV

    Here is a good, general rule: if the shop’s name has the words “deli” or “halal” in them, there is no chance that there is a top 5 West Philly cheesesteak in there. I’m with Wyche on the Jim’s and Larry’s. Jim’s at 62nd is probably the best cheesesteak anywhere, let alone West Philly.

  • Teron Manuel

    How about the top 5 in Philadelphia. In no particular order:
    Pagano’s in West Oak Lane
    Max’s Germantown & Erie
    Gooey Looie’s in South Philly
    Delassandro’s in Roxborough on Henry Ave.
    Ishkabibble’s on South Street

  • Pappy’s Pizza

    You have to dig deeper…There are so many restaurants and pizza joints in West Philly…everyone claims that they have famous or award wining cheesesteaks…I say that’s bull…here we go…My name is George Pantsios and I’m owner, operator and head chef here at Pappy’s Pizza, and I’m here to tell that I’ve been cooking cheesesteaks since 1984. Pappy’s original 2 foot cheesesteaks have been around since the mid 70′s…back then when “Capital” movie theater located on the 1300 block of North 52nd St., was open ( now closed)…my uncles, that “ran” Pappy’s ( it used to be called Papp’s back then…long story) would tell me, along with some older, still customers to this day, the stories about “Gettin’ that 2 footer and sneaking that “bad boy” past the ticket guy into the theater to watch a movie and eat.” To this day we are still known for THE BEST CHEESESTEAK IN WEST PHILLY…we have hundreds of people that will call from out of state to place orders (especially during the summer months) for 10, 15, 20 “2 footers” and we even have a faithful gentleman from South Carolina that will call for 50 every summer during the month of July!!!! I know that might be impressive numbers to some…However for a mom and pop pizzeria that we are those are “big orders”!
    I’m here to tell Phillymag that I will personally challenge any cheesesteak, from any place, anytime…we have the BEST cheesesteaks in West Philly if not the City…I know pretty bold statement but see I’m willing to challenge anyone…and that’s because the difference between us and everyone else is one…WE LOVE CHEESESTEAKS, AND WE LOVE WHAT WE DO. Thank you!!!!

    • Teron Manuel

      I was going there back when you use to have Street Fighter 2 in the store.

      • Pappy’s Pizza

        Wow, that was a long time ago! I’m actually trying to bring it back in…or maybe an NBA Jams, or a pinball machine…Thanks for the love!