Philly Cheesesteak Excellence Outside Philly: Five Montco Sandwich Shops That Are a Must

one of a number of recommended Philly cheesesteaks
Image via iStock.

Although it may be easy to assume that the best Philly cheesesteaks require a trek to Philly itself, that’s not necessarily so. A staff item in Philly Bite Magazine found five standout cheesesteak whizzes right here in Montgomery County.

According to a FOX News report, Philadelphian Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor, invented the sublime sandwich in the 1930s.

The story (legend?) is that it was somewhat of an accident.

Having grilled some shaved beef, Olivieri sought somewhere quick to put it and almost absentmindedly chose a nearby split roll. A customer smelled the result and asked to buy the sandwich.

Olivieri soon had hoards of fans lined up.

Cheese became part of the mix in the 1940s (the specific genius who added it is often disputed), by which time Olivieri was running Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.

Here in Montgomery County, cheesesteak excellence can be found at:

  • Ambler Pizza. Its menu covers both traditional versions plus several varieties that have been kicked up a notch to gourmet level
  • Ray’s Pizzeria & Steaks, Lansdale. This family-run operation can be found in an unassuming strip mall, but the cheesesteaks produced here are anything but common
  • Lou’s Sandwich Shop, Norristown. Lou’s opened in 1941 serving primarily breakfast. But the menu expansion to cheesesteaks solidified its reputation ever since.
  • Tony G’s South Philly Style Pub and Eatery, Norristown. With two Norristown entries, it’s possible to do a side-by-side comparison. Tony G’s secret? Grilling the bread before loading it.
  • Rocco’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, Collegeville. The Rocco’s menu yes, has cheesesteaks front and center. It’s also got a number of Italian dishes and is great for catering.

More mouthwatering details on Montgomery County’s best cheesesteaks is at Philly Bite Magazine.


Bon Appétit web editor Alex Delraney challenged himself to eat his way through Philly’s cheesesteak elites, consuming 16 versions in 12 hours.

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