Trips

Pat’s vs Geno’s Cheesesteak

I must confess that one of the things I was MOST excited about leading up to our trip to Philadelphia was tasting an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Of course, we had to weigh in on the well-known Pat’s vs Geno’s cheesesteak debate.

Philadelphia is the home of the cheesesteak, and there is no shortage of places to try this famous sandwich. However, the battle of the cheesesteaks is the fiercest at the intersection of 9th and Passyunk Ave in Philadelphia. Here is where you’ll find Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks.

Pat’s vs Geno’s Cheesesteak

Pat’s King of Steaks professes to be the inventor of the Philly cheesesteak. In 1930, Pat Olivieri offered a new sandwich at his hot dog stand, and the rest is history.

3 Cheesesteaks from Pat's in wrappers for the taste test on Pat's vs Geno's cheesesteak.

Geno’s Steaks was founded in 1966 by Joey Vento. Today, Joey’s son, Geno, carries on the tradition.

Three cheesesteaks wrapped in paper from Geno's for the taste test on Pat's vs Geno's cheesesteak.

I had grand plans of heading down to Pat’s and Genos for an on-site taste test experience. But we visited Philly in the winter. It was dark and cold by dinner time. Thus, we opted for Door Dash and enjoyed Philly cheesesteaks in our PJs.

As it turns out, the easy way was also cheaper! Our hotel was by Independence Hall, and the Uber one way was about $10. Fortunately, there was no delivery fee for either Geno’s or Pat’s. So even with tip, Door Dash was cheaper.

French fries in a box from Pat's
Fries from Pat’s

We decided to break up the taste test over two nights. That way, we could savor each sandwich one at a time.

First up, Geno’s. I ordered mine “whiz with,” a cheesesteak with cheese whiz and onions. Not surprisingly, my first authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich did not disappoint! YUM!

Open cheesesteak sandwich from Geno's with cheese whiz and onions.
Geno’s Cheesesteak with Cheese Whiz and Onions

Next was Pat’s King of Steaks. For fairness, I ordered my Pat’s cheesesteak the same as the first, “wit whiz.” Pat’s was also delicious.

Open cheesesteak from Pat's with cheese whiz and onions.
Pat’s Cheesesteak with Cheese Whiz and Onions

Note: the ordering instructions are slightly different on Geno’s and Pat’s websites. However, I didn’t have to worry about making a faux pax. Door Dash made it goof-proof.

We were split on which cheesesteak was the best. With one vote for Geno’s and one vote for Pat’s, I was the tiebreaker.

For me, there was not a clear winner. I loved both of them. But if forced to choose, I’d give the edge to Geno’s. Why? The steak at Geno’s seemed more trimmed and had skinner fries.

Cheesesteak in a Geno's wrapper.

You can’t go to Philadelphia without trying a Philly cheesesteak. Whether you try your own Geno’s vs Pat’s cheesesteak taste test or only have time for one, I bet you’ll enjoy this culinary treat! Someday, I hope to have the opportunity to try again and see who wins best 2 out of 3!

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