The Pat's Vs. Geno's Cheesesteak Debate in Philly

PHILADELPHIA - The Pat and Geno Cheese Steak Debate is one of Philadelphia's biggest culinary rivalries between two South Philadelphia cheesesteaks that could rival the Liberty Bell for cult status: Pat or Geno? Who makes the best cheesesteaks. If you're reading this from out of town, you're probably thinking Pat and Geno's is a cheesesteak shop. However, in fact, these are two rivals located across the street from each other.

The Pat's Vs. Geno's Cheesesteak Debate in Philly

Pat Olivieri had the privilege of creating the iconic cheesesteak in 1930, making Pat's the first cheesesteak in Philadelphia. After 36 years, Geno's has opened a cheesesteak shop across the street and says the sandwich has claimed to become the master of the craft. Pat's Vs. Geno's Philly's Cheesesteak Debate

Pats Vs. Geno The Debate

Pat's and Geno's are open 24/7, except for some holidays. Yes, any local resident considers them "tourist traps"; however, the experience is part of the fun! Many places have specialties: Chicago has deep pizza, New England has clam chowder, Buffalo has spicy wings in New York, Maryland has crab cakes, and New Orleans has gumbo.

But in Philadelphia, the cheesesteak is both a civic symbol, a tourist attraction, and a cultural obsession. And nothing captures the true courage of this working city and speaks to the city's soul better than the corner of 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia.

What is a Cheesesteak?

Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks are 24/7 in this cheesesteak epicenter. So let's take a step back and start with what is a cheesesteak? Cheesesteak is a long crispy roll with sliced ​​and fried ribeye beef and melted cheese. Usually, Cheez Whiz is a favorite cheese, but it is often American and provolone. Other toppings may include fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, and hot or sweet peppers. The art of making a cheesesteak lies in the balance of flavors, textures, and what is often referred to as the "trickle" factor.

The History Behind The Cheesesteaks

Pat Olivieri was a hot dog vendor in South Philadelphia who decided to put some butcher's beef on the grill one day. The next day word of the delicious dinner is said to have spread and taxi drivers from all over town began to come to Olivieri asking for steak sandwiches. The taxi driver noticed the seductive aroma and asked him for a steak sandwich. Shortly after that, Olivieri opened a store at 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, "King of Pat's Steaks," to sell his new creation. In the end, according to legend, he added cheese to the recipe.

Today, Pat Bar & Grill cook 24 hours a day, as does Geno's, a competing store across the street. For 40 years, the two shops have held friendly competitions to win the title of best cheesesteak in town.

Who is Better Pats or Genos?

Geno founder Joe Vento claims that he, not Olivieri, first added cheese to a cheesesteak. So what's the difference? They both use the same bread, yellow cheese pie, and onion; sandwiches are relatively indistinguishable. But the real difference is the steak.

Pat cuts the steak as usual, and Jeno serves it sliced. So, if you have to visit the 9th Street tourist trap in South Philadelphia for a bite to eat, it all comes down to "minced or sliced" meat that follows your stomach or grab one of each.