Pat's vs. Geno's: Two Iconic South Philly Cheesesteak Joints

PHILADELPHIA -  Pat's and Geno's, two iconic South Philly cheesesteak joints located across the street from each other, attract visitors from all over the world to debate who makes the best cheesesteak. Pat's, established in 1930 by Pat Olivieri, is credited with creating the first cheesesteak in Philly. Geno's, on the other hand, opened its doors 36 years later, claiming to have mastered the art of making the perfect sandwich. While both establishments are often labeled as "tourist traps" by locals, they continue to remain popular and open 24/7.
Photo: Pats VS Genos

Pat's Vs. Geno's - The Cheesesteak Debate!

The cheesesteak holds significant cultural importance in Philadelphia and is considered a symbol of the city's true grit. At the corner of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, Pat's and Geno's face off, attracting locals and tourists eager to experience this famous culinary rivalry.

A classic cheesesteak consists of a soft and crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef, along with melted cheese. While the traditional choice of cheese is Cheez Whiz, American and provolone are also commonly used. Additional toppings include fried onions, mushrooms, ketchup, and peppers. The perfect cheesesteak requires a delicate balance of flavors and textures, with the "drip" factor playing a crucial role in its overall enjoyment.

Despite the similarities in bread, cheese, and onions, the main distinction between Pat's and Geno's lies in how they prepare their steak. Pat's is known for their chopped steak, which creates a more finely textured filling, while Geno's serves theirs sliced, providing a slightly different mouthfeel. If you find yourself at this famous tourist trap, you can choose between the two styles - chopped or sliced - or even try both to determine which one suits your taste buds better.

Ultimately, the choice between Pat's and Geno's comes down to personal preference. Each establishment has its loyal following, with passionate arguments made for both sides of the cheesesteak debate. Whether you prefer the history and tradition of Pat's or the contemporary appeal of Geno's, indulging in a South Philly cheesesteak from either of these institutions promises a delicious and memorable experience.