There are few things more polarizing than sandwiches, particularly ones made famous by a city or region like cheesesteaks. The basic recipe is a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside hoagie roll–ideally made that morning–chopped steak bits cooked on a griddle with onions and either American, provolone, or Whiz-style cheese. Adding peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise to a cheesesteak can spark some serious opinions and debate!
The upside for sandwich lovers is that every state in the U.S. now offers a version of the cheesesteak—and a lot of them are really amazing. These picks are based on rave reviews and personal experience. What they all have in common is the freshest ingredients, mostly local ownership, great vibes, and a loyal fan base. While all of these spots might not follow the traditional recipe, you won't be disappointed (or hungry) after picking one up.
With those factors in mind, here is the definitive list of the best cheesesteaks, or the closest thing available, that you'll find in every state. Plus, don't miss The Best Fried Chicken in Every State.
ALABAMA: B&W Philly Steak and Seafood in Birmingham
While you probably don't think of 'Bama as cheesesteak country, B&W offers a solid option with a Philly style cheesesteak with peppers, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and mayo if you're craving a fairly traditional version. Or, since you're down South, try the BBQ version with BBQ sauce and shredded cheese.
ALASKA: Straight Out of Philly in Anchorage
Locals rave that this East Coast-style sandwich shop's "Bread-meat-cheese-topping ratio is always spot on," and they offer multiple takes on the classic, including traditional style with just onions and cheese and unique takes with toppings like sundried tomatoes and avocado.
ARIZONA: Forefathers in Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tempe
Not only are the cheesesteaks at Forefathers, "Delicious as always," but according to one reviewer, "Service was quick and the gentleman taking the order was nice. Well worth the money spent!" This local favorite offers a full selection of sandwiches, and has three locations to help you get your fix.
ARKANSAS: Rocky's on Country Club in Sherwood
Opened by native Philadelphians, Rocky's inspired raves for their authentic-style cheesesteaks just outside of Little Rock. After closing and reopening in a new location, they're back to making their delicious mix of cheese, onions, and steak served with a side of marinara.
CALIFORNIA: The Great Western Steak & Hoagie Co. in Venice
This fun and edgy sub shop doesn't look like much, but they serve up some of the best subs with steak west of the Rockies. They've got the classic version, but many love upgrading with mushrooms, peppers, and a little tomato sauce.
COLORADO: Denver Ted's Cheesesteaks in Denver
According to 303 Magazine, Denver Ted's Cheesesteaks is the cheesesteak spot recommended by locals and transplants from Philly. The casual restaurant offers a full bar and open kitchen, so you can watch all the cheese melting onto your sandwich. You can build your own, or try one of the shop's specialty sandwiches, such as the Peyton, which adds pepperoni, marinara, and provolone.
CONNECTICUT: Ray & Mike's Deli in Hamden
People drive across the tiny state for their cheesesteak fix at this tiny takeout deli that offers steak and cheese—with the works or without—or you can try the chicken version, we won't tell.
DELAWARE: Yatz's Subs and Steaks in Wilmington
Close enough to Philly and Jersey to know what a solid cheesesteak is supposed to be all about, Yatz's has a "Very tasty cheesesteak and the people were great. I liked the thin roll because it still had good bread to crust ratio," wrote Jim "The Cheesesteak Guy" on Google.
FLORIDA: Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies in Hollywood
Established in 1958, this no-frills shop was opened by a baker from Philadelphia, "Sonny", Sam Nigro, and has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives twice! You'll find every variety of cheesesteak, a lot of Philly flavor, but be sure to bring cash—plastic is no good here.
GEORGIA: Mr. G's Steakout ATL in Atlanta
With cheesesteak expertise back to the shops opening in 1981, this specialty sandwich shop promises a soulful take on the classic sammie. Their deluxe cheesesteak is packed with 100% Premium USDA Approved beef rib-eye steak and chopped together with onions. You can add mushrooms, and hot or sweet banana peppers if that's your thing.
HAWAII: Butcher & Bird in Honolulu
Yes, even on the Hawaiian islands you can find a decent cheesesteak. This butcher shop offers deli sandwiches and sausages, and their USDA Prime Ribeye cheesesteak, topped with provolone, house whiz, and onions is worth the visit.
IDAHO: The Cheesesteak Guy in Boise
This food truck offers a classic Philly style cheesesteak with "real whiz" around the Boise and Meridian areas. They pride themselves on shipping in authentic Amoroso rolls from Philly, so you know these sandwiches are serious. Follow their Facebook page to find out where they're parked!
ILLINOIS: Monti's in Chicago
Head over to the Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago to Monti's if you're craving a classic Philly cheesesteak that combines the best of both cities with rolls from Amoroso in Philly and rib-eye from the Midwest.
INDIANA: Hoagies & Hops in Indianapolis
This brew-friendly spot ships in their rolls from Liscio's in South Jersey serves killer cheesesteaks and hoagies. You'll find cheesesteaks and a selection of Pennsylvania-inspired sandwiches – like the Zern's, with sliced ring bologna and house Red beet pickled egg—and specials every night of the week. And if you want something a smidge healthier, try their cheesesteak inside a whole deli pickle!
IOWA: Pepper Jax Grill, various locations
This small Midwestern "custom made Philly cheesesteak" chain offers solid cheesesteaks, plus bowls and loaded fries at family-friendly prices. With steak, chicken pork—and even veggie options—there's something for everyone.
KANSAS: Celebrity's in Gardner
Look, Kansas is pretty far from cheesesteak country, but cheesesteaks are for everyone and fans swear by this family-owned spot. Every order is given a celebrity name and you get to be the star when your order is ready. They have seven different cheesesteaks on the menu, but the "Star of the Show" is a fan favorite.
KENTUCKY: Barry's Cheese Steaks & More in Louisville
Philly-born owner Barry Washington overcame a lot of obstacles to open up his sandwich shop, and it shows in the "craft and care" put into every order, according to locals.
LOUISIANA: Philly Me Up in Baton Rouge
To be honest, I'd probably pick a muffaletta or po' boy while in Louisiana, but if you're hankering for a cheesesteak in the bayou, locals swear by this local spot that creates "made to order Phillys with the flavor of the South."
MAINE: Bennett's Sandwich Shop in Kennebunkport
This New England-based chain is proud of its "famous" steak and cheese, and with good reason. It's one of the best around, featuring all-natural shaved sirloin, onions, and provolone cheese. Spicy fans should try the "wicked" version made with spicy Sriracha and hots.
MARYLAND: The Real Thing in Towson
According to numerous reviews online, this counter-service spot in Towson is truly the real thing for Philly-style cheesesteaks. They also have other subs, wraps, authentic lamb gyros, and more. Don't pass by this hole-in-the-wall spot if you have the chance.
MASSACHUSETTS: Rondo's Submarine Sandwiches in South Boston
Known locally as simply Rondo's, this old school spot hasn't been updated or changed in decades because when you make big, tasty subs for under $7, you don't need to fix what isn't broken. The cheesesteak is hearty, cheesy, and served on perfect crunchy on the outside soft on the inside bread—you really can't ask for more.
MICHIGAN: Gabriel's Cheese Steak Hoagies in Ypsilanti
The midwest might not be known for cheesesteaks, but they know a good hoagie and this takeout spot has a classic cheesesteak with American or provolone cheese. The lunch meat special with Polish ham is also worth every delicious bite.
MINNESOTA: Frank From Philly & Andrea Pizza in Minneapolis
This takeout joint serves several types of cheesesteaks and a few other sandwiches in the same wheelhouse, and if your. hunger pangs are screaming, you can get a New York-style slice on the side.
MISSISSIPPI: Fat Albert's in Jackson
"Friendly staff, great food. Best Philly cheesesteak in South hands down," is how one local describes this humble counter-service spot on Google. You can also pick up a Polish sausage, and many reviewers note that the portions are not small.
MISSOURI: Philly Time in Kansas City
This sandwich shop also ships in the famous Amoroso rolls that are a key component to an authentic Philly-style cheesesteak, and the menu starts with a naked cheesesteak (literally just steak and cheese) and ends with creative options like Teriyaki and blackened styles.
MONTANA: The Pickle Barrel in Billings, Bozeman and Livingston
This locally loved chain (one reviewer said "the cheesesteak is the best sandwich on the planet") has a mile-long menu of specialty sandwiches, including some out West-style cheesesteaks—additions include Jack cheese and BBQ sauce.
NEBRASKA: CheeseSteak Grille in Lincoln
While Nebraska is probably known for big slabs of steak, this simple grill is serving up some of the best cheesesteaks in the Midwest. They started out selling their well-seasoned beef and chicken sandwiches at the state fair and opened this location in 2010. You can pick from one of their sauces—like atomic, bbq and Thai—to customize your hoagie.
NEVADA: Pop's Philly Steaks
You can score about anything you want in Las Vegas, and Philly-style cheesesteaks are no exception. This Vegas institution serves a variety of Philly cheesesteaks including simple varieties with whiz, American, or provolone, and creative creations featuring bacon and Swiss and pepperoni pizza toppings. You can also order an Italian ice!
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bennett's Sandwich Shop in Portsmouth
This New England-based chain serves one of the best traditional hoagies around, featuring all-natural shaved sirloin, onions, and provolone cheese. Try the Buffalo chicken-style if you're craving something different.
NEW JERSEY: Donkey's Place in Camden
With the close proximity to Philly, New Jersey has some of the best (some say better than Philly) cheesesteaks in the country. It's hard to choose a favorite, but we're going with Anthony Bourdain on this one. Order at the register at Donkey's Place and sit at the bar waiting for your slab chopped beef on a poppy seed roll topped with a big handful of onions.
NEW MEXICO: Alicea's NY Bagels & Subs in Rio Rancho
This modest sub shop serves New York-style bagels and hoagies all the way out in New Mexico, and if locals are to be believed, you'll get a solid cheesesteak served with a smile. "Bread was nice and soft too. Best cheesesteak I have had in New Mexico," wrote one on Google.
NEW YORK: Federoff's Roast Pork in Brooklyn
Federoff's has won praise and accolades for years for having the best cheesesteak in New York, and has been featured on numerous food television shows. The counter-service spot serves up loaded hoagies piled with steak and cheese perfectly mixed. Don't sleep on the roast pork sandwich either.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Stanley in Charlotte
A great cheesesteak in North Carolina takes a little work, but it's worth it. The Stanley's James Beard-nominated Chef Paul Verica debuted a cheesesteak pop-up last year and they've been selling out ever since. You can get the Philly native's take on the sandwich, but only if they have the right bread delivered. Follow their social media, or call to find out when you can get your next fix.
NORTH DAKOTA: Magic City Hoagies in Minot
This warm, jovial sub shop offers all your hoagie faves, like a classic Italian or a turkey/bacon/swiss, but their loaded, well-priced Philly style cheesesteak is why we're visiting—that and the friendly staff.
OHIO: M&S Drive-thru in Mansfield
Fact: Some of the best quick meals in the U.S. are available at convenience stores. The cheesesteak at M&S is no exception. What you lose in ambiance you get in a fantastic sandwich packed high with hickory-smoked beef bacon, cheese, mayo, peppers, mushrooms, and seasoned, grilled onions.
OKLAHOMA: Hobby's Hoagies
Self-described as "a slice of Philadelphia," this family-owned restaurant serves up cheesesteaks, Italian hoagies, East Coast pizza, and more. They bake their Italian bread fresh in-house, and ship in hot cherry peppers from back East, so you know they're serious about their sandwiches.
OREGON: Grant's Philly Cheesesteaks in Portland
With two locations, these takeout spots are known for the most authentic cheesesteaks in town. They ship buns and peppers in from Philadelphia, and most always have Whiz on hand.
PENNSYLVANIA: Max's Steaks in Philadelphia
Honestly, if you're heading to Philly, you owe it to yourself to do a cheesesteak crawl with a few friends. But after you've stood on the street at Pat's or Genos, head to this spot, made famous in the film Creed (Tessa Thompson shows Michael B. Jordan exactly how to eat the city's favorite sandwich). Get a huge sirloin shave steak on an Italian roll and congratulate yourself for making good choices.
RHODE ISLAND: Sax's Steak and Pizza in Providence
This easy-going spot has a little something for everyone—hoagies, pizza—but it's the steak subs that stand out. With fifteen topping combos, from steak and onion to mushroom, chili and onions, you're sure to find just the right gut-busting sandwich. Don't skip the crispy onion rings!
SOUTH CAROLINA: Geo's Philly Steak Grill in Conway
Piled sky high with shaved steak, locals rave about the sandwiches at Geo's Philly Steak Grill. "The cheesesteaks here are absolutely amazing! French fries are always cooked to perfection," wrote one.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Mama's Phried & Phillys in Sioux Falls
This spot does a few things, and they do them well, according to local reviewers. "Can't recommend this place enough! Cheesesteak is excellent, tons of flavor and the perfect amount of meat," wrote one.
TENNESSEE: Gyro & Philly Steak in Hermitage
This casual gyro spot is a hidden gem, according to locals. You can get your Greek specialties, but the menu also boasts a nine-inch Philly with tender beef sliced thin, grilled with onions and peppers, and topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.
TEXAS: R&B's Steak & Fries in Austin and El Paso
While Texas is a long way from Philly, we're not surprised at the quality of the cheesesteaks at this food truck. The cheesesteaks are served with perfectly grilled Texas ribeye on a fresh Amoroso roll topped with deliciously melted cheese.
UTAH: DP's Cheesesteak, multiple locations
A local counter chain with a modern vibe, this cheesesteak restaurant offers a deep menu of creative options, such as the cream cheese cheesesteak and the cravable Philly blue, which is a classic style sandwich with bleu cheese sauce and gorgonzola crumbles.
VERMONT: Al's French Fry in South Burlington
Foodies on review sites and Reddit swear by this cool retro spot serving burgers, fries, and most importantly, a killer-loaded cheesesteak. Piled high with pepper, onions, and mushrooms – add jalapenos for some heat – this sandwich is so satisfying.
VIRGINIA: Iggles Cheesesteaks & Burgers in Virginia Beach
Philly natives will get the reference in this cheesesteak shop's name, and everyone else will when they head into this Eagles-themed space. "I haven't found a good cheesesteak since moving here two years ago, the wait is finally over," wrote one local foodie.
WASHINGTON: Tres House of Cheesesteaks in Seattle
Chef and owner Tremain Battle brought a taste of Philly out West with a food truck that serves an old-school cheesesteak, creative takes like the pizza steak, as well as burgers and loaded fries.
WEST VIRGINIA: Philly Cheese Steak Plus in Hedgesville
Since 1993, this homey spot has created cheesesteaks for using delicious Amoroso bread from Philadelphia and growing fresh vegetables in their onsite garden.
WISCONSIN: Cheesesteak Rebellion in Green Bay
If you're in Milwaukee, you're pretty much guaranteed a great, meaty sandwich. Cheesesteak Rebellion lives up to its name with really unique takes on the Philly classic like the Cajun surf and turf cheesesteak and more. Bring quarters, this place is packed with vintage arcade games!
WYOMING: Miazgas in Jackson Hole
This Tripadvisor-loved American restaurant serves up a classic style cheesesteak with a full ¼ of shaved steak, mixed with American cheese and grilled onions. Like the restaurant's Friday-only lobster roll, it's a solid, satisfying sandwich.
A previous version of this article was originally published on January 23, 2022.