pat’s vs. geno’s

tonight dan, clark, and i made the trek out to philly’s dueling cheesesteak joints: pat’s king of steaks and geno’s steaks. apparently pat’s is the oldest, passed down from the original pat olivieri who invented the chopped steak sandwich on a bun back in 1930. geno’s is more recent, started in 1966 right across the street, with flashy neon lights.

after a quick cab ride down, we stopped at pat’s first. i ordered a pepper mushroom cheesesteak wit [onions] and cheez whiz. dan and i split this glorious incarnation of the holy cheesesteak, so that we’d have room to sample the fare at geno’s. i’m almost sad we did—pat’s mushroom pepper cheesesteak was AWESOME.

a mushroom pepper cheesesteak from pat's king of steaks

the meat was chopped fine, the mushroom and sauteed green peppers were excellent, the cheez tangy, the bun warm. perfect on a chilly night.

then we headed over to geno’s palace o’ neon. dan and i each got our own cheesesteak, which was surprisingly different—in particular the meat was thicker and not chopped. clark sat this one out. here’s a geno’s philly cheesesteak.

geno's cheesesteak with provolone

who won this cheesesteak throwdown? pat’s hands down. other than the neon lights, i’m amazed geno’s stays in business, pat’s cheesesteaks are just that good. they have lots of options (though i’m sure geno’s offers the same), they have easy to understand rules, and they win hands down on texture. i’m full, but i can’t wait to go back.

oh yeah, here are the action shots:

clark eating a pat's cheesesteak
dan eating a geno's cheesesteak
justin eating a geno's cheesesteak

rock on!



Hilarious! Now this is what a blog should be – none of that philosophical crap. But is there a reason that Justin eats from the left side, whereas Clark and Dan eat from the right? I didn’t know you were left-handed…


Actually, I think there’s several barbecue blogs out there that do exactly this but for pig pickin’s and sucklike.


Pat’s is definately the winner….thats why genos has the fancy lights, to attract tourists, otherwise they would be out of business.


I’ll agree with drew, Pat’s is for the hardcore cheese steak eater! represent


This could not be more wrong. Geno’s is by far the better choice. You are all mistaken. It’s just not right at all. Geno’s is where it’s at


Yo, Pats is whats up, genos cant hold a candle to them, CHP Represent


CHP.. you guys got it all wrong… Genos.
but whatever right, a southphilly cheesesteak is good no matter were its from.


ok….kristi and wayne = get your tastebuds checked out, b/c normal ones go for pats.


CHP is never wrong.

Editor’s note: disrespectful/flame-provoking profanity removed. Let’s try to keep things civil folks.

pat’s is best. i used to live in south philly and everytime someone came to visit, i pressed them into taste tester mode…..
Pats over genos
60% to 40.


Pat’s all the way!


I went to Philly just to see which one had the best philly cheesesteak. i tried both with the toppings and Pat wins hands down. I am one eater without a bias. My three girl friends all agreed too. PAT’S THE BEST!!


Both of the facilities you mention are nothing more than tourist traps. If you want a great “authentic” Philly Cheesesteak, just walk a few blocks over to 8th and Dickenson where you will find a little corner deli called Cosmi’s. There you will find the Holy Grail of Philly Cheesteaks. No long lines just a great meal. I guarantee, once you try one, you will probably only go to Pat’s or Geno’s when Cosmi’s is closed.

Pat’s? Not a chance. Geno’s. Never.

Those visiting the city are conned into believing they are the places to get a cheesesteak. If visitors stopped going to the shops, I bet both would be out of business very quickly.

I was born and raised here. Want a real cheesesteak? Go to a local shop and get one. The same holds true with a pizza. And try to find a shop using Amoroso rolls.

For my take on the controversy, see a page I posted at

Cheers from Philly.

Scoop, just for the record, I went to a local place downtown called Munchie’s Cafe before hitting Pat’s and Geno’s. Tourist traps that they are, I still thought Pat’s made a pretty good steak sandwich.


I was just back in Philly visiting and took a friend to Pat’s and Geno’s to compare. I have to say I was disappointed in Pat’s. The place was dirty. The workers ignored the guy in front of us and then us. It wasn’t what I remembered growing up in South Philly with Joe and Banana’s running the place. Pat’s really went downhill. I highly recommend Geno’s all of the way. The place was clean, the food was better and the service was fast. I do have to agree with one thing. They are nothing but tourist traps. You can get a great cheesesteak at any corner joint in South Philly.


I can definitely say in my opinion, Genos has it all over Pats. The guys at genos are alot more friendly, its cleaner, the bread is alot better, and the sandwich itself has better flavor. I will stick with Genos!


Pat’s all the way. I was born 2 blocks away and moved but still come to Pat’s every weekend. Geno’s only has the lights and the sports team but Pats’s is where the family is. The steack is chopped so good, and not in clumps like Geno’s. Pat’s was closed on Easter and Geno’s was opened. I sat in front of Pat’s for half an hour deciding whether or not I should get a “misteak” from Geno’s and decided to order pizza and come back the next. If your looking for lights and sports jerseys go to Geno’s But if your looking for quality steaks and family, go to Pat’s.


I just came back from Philly and my friend who is from the area took me to Pat’s. LOVED IT! He is a local so I took his advice on where to get the best, and he says Pat’s. But you have to order it Wit of course and grab a birch beer to wash it down.


This isn’t a fair test. It looks like you got a steak from Geno’s with white cheese… you gotta have it with the whiz! You have to get a regular “whiz wit” from Geno’s and the same from Pat’s to have an equal test. When I visited Philly I did the test, and I was REALLY let down by Pat’s. It’s dirty, the people are rude, the steak was bland and too much of it, and the whole sandwhich just didn’t really have any flavor. Geno’s was my EASY favorite. So much so I ate another from Geno’s the next day!


Oh it’s Pat’s all the way.
Although cleanliness is not really happening over there, there is no misteak about it.
Although Geno’s and Jim’s try to compare, stick with an original. Some good things don’t need to be changed!


Geno’s is the way to go


Definitely GENO’s is the Best. Great Bread and Ribeye and best Fries. The guys at Pat’s are Rude and when they make people get out of line for not ordering correctly, many go over to Geno’s for a REAL Cheese Steak.


No no and no. Geno’s and Pat’s are classic Philly landmarks, but every true Philadelphian knows that those are probably some of the worst places to get cheesesteaks. And with cheese wiz? Bleck. I recommend a Dalessandro’s cheesesteak in Roxborough. Or just go to to a local shop and get one. I can guarantee that it will be better by far.

Care to Comment?

Or if you'd prefer to get in touch privately, please send me an email.


Email (optional)

Blog (optional)