Your Philly-Focused Culinary Tour Should Begin With A Visit To Our Cheesesteak Shop

Like an army (and like the old saying goes, for that matter) Philly is a city that travels on its stomach. From north to south and east to west, each quadrant lays claim to staple dishes that are all their own. This is a well-known fact to locals, who know that finding a proper cheesesteak shop is much easier in South Philly than, say, the Northeast. Since Philadelphia is known far and wide for its one-of-a-kind take on cheesesteaks, it would behoove readers to check out our advice below when locating the city’s favorite shop. For out-of-towners visiting Philly for the first time and looking to find a fabled Wawa, we can point you in that direction, too.

The One and Only: Anyone worth their “whiz” will know that the proper presentation of a cheesesteak is as follows: Fresh torpedo roll, rib-eye steak, Cheese Whiz and fried onions. Geno’s, which is Philly’s premier cheesesteak shop, lives by this recipe and the payoff (which includes an around-the-clock operation, status as a tourist destination and a constant line of customers to match) speaks volumes. There are indeed a few other ways to correctly prepare a cheesesteak variant, which includes the use of different cheeses and sauce for a pizza steak, mushrooms for a mushroom cheesesteak or fried tomatoes and oregano for a steak milano.

Cornerstore Convenience: While they can’t hold a candle to our cheesesteaks, Wawa certainly does a lot of other things right. It’s why this chain that is primarily based in the Delaware Valley holds a firm grip over our daily travels to work. The chain also lures tourists in by the busload and those who move out of the area lament the loss of their coffee and hoagies. The chain, which began in 1964 and opened its first New Jersey location a year later, marked 50 years of operation in 2014.

For Something Sweet: You’ve got two options when it comes to Philly-centric desserts to try after your visit to our cheesesteak shop: Water ice and Tastykakes. The former, according to Philadelphia Magazine, is “a true Philadelphia institution” brought here by turn-of-the-century Italians “made in all the colors of the rainbow, with a name that confounds outsiders.” Tastykake, which operates a flagship baking facility within the Navy Yard, has been around for more than 100 years and is a go-to for breakfast snacks and after-dinner treats.

As you can see, Philadelphia is both proud of — and passionate about — its culinary offerings. For those who want to try the sandwich that has our city’s name permanently affixed to the front, we suggest visiting our cheesesteak shop for a sample.