Your Guide to Flavor-Filled Cheesesteaks Around the Main Line

The classic Philly sandwich is no slouch beyond the city limits. Here’s a look at some of the best in the burbs.

Adobe Stock/Susan Stevenson

Philadelphia may be known for the cheesesteak, but these Main Line area shops have perfected the sandwich for locals.

It’s hardly a secret that Philly is known for its stellar cheesesteaks. Here in the Main Line region, however, local shops bring their A-game to craft sandwiches that are just as scrumptious as their city counterparts (if not more so). So, the next time the craving for a savory, mouthwatering cheesesteak strikes, skip the Philly trip and cruise on over to one of these Main Line area shops instead.

Mama’s Pizzeria


Mama’s Pizzeria in Bala Cynwyd is an institution. It’s immediately apparent there’s something special about this place given that it’s a pizzeria that doesn’t serve pizza. It’s also only open 28 hours a week, so if you want to try the legendary Mama’s cheesesteak, plan your visit wisely.

The steak itself is huge, loaded with ribeye on a fresh roll from Conshohocken Italian Bakery, so you’ll certainly have leftovers after this one. The meat is chopped into small pieces and loaded with the secret three-cheese house blend. Melty and flavorful, it features an ample amount of cheese loaded onto tasty ribeye that’s cooked and seasoned to perfection.

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426 Belmont Ave, Bala Cynwyd. (610) 664-4757

Dairy Cottage

 

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Dairy Cottage in Springfield serves a huge steak for a great price. You’ll get your money’s worth at this unassuming roadside diner.

The roll itself is loaded with meat, chopped finely and topped with large chunks of white onions. Though the quantity of cheese inside the steak is less than some of the other sandwiches on this list, the quality is high, making each bite a wonderful experience.

328 W Woodland Ave, Springfield. (610) 328-4875

Joe’s Pizza


Joe’s Pizza in Broomall has one of the most welcoming atmospheres anywhere in the Main Line region. A family-run store for over 40 years, this shop sparks nostalgia and sweet memories as soon as visitors step foot inside.

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Opened by Melvina Higgins and run by her five children, Joe’s exudes a familiar warmth. Its cheesesteak, like the store itself, is quaint. For those with smaller appetites, this sandwich probably won’t leave you any leftovers.

Fun fact: The Higgins family also owns Dairy Cottage, though the cheesesteak recipes at these spots are distinct.

38 S Sproul Rd, Broomall. (610) 356-9848

Drexel Hill Style Pizza


Drexel Hill Style Pizza feels like any good pizza joint should. It features a huge neon sign out front and a myriad of old photos, framed newspaper clippings and awards along the walls. The shop has been around for 56 years; that’s a lot of time to collect memorabilia, and it should be enough time to craft the perfect cheesesteak too, right?

What sets this cheesesteak apart from the competition, owner Nick Siouts touts, are the fresh rolls from Conshohocken Italian Bakery and the flavor of the ribeye that the eatery has been using for the past 50-plus years. The meat is seasoned well and chopped into medium-sized chunks, so it’s not too thick like Geno’s, Oregon or Phillip’s, nor chipped especially thin like Jim’s. The onions are large and present in every bite, while the presence of cheese is lighter, making it perfect for anyone who’s not a fan of too much cheese in their steak.

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2585 West Chester Pike, Broomall. (610) 356-7773

Pepper Mill

Pepper Mill sits in a secluded lot in East Goshens. Its unvarnished wood exterior gives it the look, feel and smell of a summer camp canteen house. Similarly, the childhood joy ones feels when savoring an ice cream pop at camp lives within the gooey cheese and exquisitely cooked onions of the cheesesteak here.

In regard to composition, the provolone melts finely through the meat with no uneven bites. The onions are cooked just right, not too sweet and not too crunchy or raw. These characteristics complement the ribeye, which is only lightly seasoned and supplies the bulk of the sandwich’s flavor. Expect a sandwich that’s packed with fillings and deserving of a repeat visit.

813 N Chester Rd, West Chester. (610) 692-0100

Appetites on Main


Appetites on Main in Exton is a great place to sit down with friends, grab a beer and watch your favorite sports team at the bar with a  cheesesteak in hand. 

Owner Brad Weinstein is very passionate about the construction of his steaks. Oftentimes at lesser establishments you’ll find layered ingredients and unmelted cheese that sits on the bottom of a mediocre sandwich in which each bite has a different taste. That’s not so at Appetites on Main, which ensures each bite of cheese, onions and meat melts together seamlessly.

“Every bite is juicy and delicious,” Weinstein says.

For those more adventurous cheesesteak lovers, Appetites on Main also offers a garlic bread cheesesteak.

286 Main St, Exton. (610) 594-2030

Delco Steaks

 

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Delco Steak stands out…literally. A huge black-and-white checkered storefront makes the building immediately apparent as soon as you drive into Broomall. Make sure to order ahead, because the venue is frequently busy.

With no seating available inside, Delco focuses entirely on steak production, and it shows. The bread is quite distinct from the competition. Coated in sesame seeds and just tough enough, it’s one of the top rolls in the Philadelphia metro area.

2567 West Chester Pike, Broomall. (610) 356-1192

Jim’s Steaks

 

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“Jim’s Steaks? Didn’t that place on South Street burn down?” you ask.

While that is unfortunately correct, it’s also not the only Jim’s Steaks. Another exists in Springfield on Baltimore Pike, serving up steaks that taste just like its more famous twin’s iconic offerings.

In fact, those locations are only two of the four historic restaurants that once existed. The original Jim’s was founded in 1939 and located in West Philly at 62nd Street; another was located in the Northeast until it closed in 2017. Both restaurants are run by different owners due to a split that occurred in 2011. William Proetto and Abner Silver owned both, but when Proetto passed away that year, his son took over the Springfield location while Silver’s son took over the South Street location.

Though the cheesesteak at Jim’s is what you’re used to if you’ve tried the one downtown, the onions at Springfield Jim’s stand out. Browned to perfection, they complement the ribeye served on a classic Amoroso’s roll.

Larry’s Steaks


Any St. Joe’s alum knows that Larry’s Steaks right off City Ave is a tradition.

The well-done meat sits on a soft roll with well-flavored cheese beneath the meat. Plus, Larry’s steak makes an excellent vessel for different condiments. Do you like ketchup, mayo and hot sauce, pickles or any other non-traditional topping on your cheesesteak? If so, Larry’s is the way to go.

2459 N 54th St, Philadelphia. (215) 879-1776

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