Philly May ‘Own’ the Cheesesteak, but Montco Versions Hold Up, Gaining Top Spot in Recent Rating


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Which cheesesteak is No. 1?

Many Montgomery County spots made a 2020 list of 60 Philly cheesesteak favorites in the Philadelphia region, writes Jeff Belonger for The list, ranked highest to lowest, resulted from a part of a seven-day tour in 2020 to find the ultimate Philly cheesesteak.

The research covered the city itself, its surrounding counties, and parts of New Jersey.

Reviewing, and eating their way through 60 different places and versions of the area’s signature sammy, participants whittled away the lesser entries before finding the number one edition — from Montgomery County.

The My Philly Alive rating system used a 5.0 to 10.0 scale.

Its low point — “Barely on the radar as a sandwich” — received scores in the 5.0–5.9 range. Hardly napkin-worthy.

But the panel agreed to crown its pinnacle cheesesteak a 10.0 (if/when they found one), as “The Immaculate Reception,” named for an infamous play between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders in 1972.

Judges based their ratings on ultimate Philly cheesesteaks using American cheese and no onions to ensure no partiality and to keep the meat from being overwhelmed by add-ons.

Number 1, with a 8.97 average rating, was Mama’s Pizzeria, located in Bala Cynwyd.

It benefits from a 10-inch roll crafted at Conshohocken Italian Bakery, use of more than a pound of ribeye steak, and plenty of gooey cheese (a proprietary secret of blends). It is so tasty, it has become the site’s signature sandwich, a craft it has been honing since 1958.

Goomba’s Pizzaria in Colmar had a rating of 8.37, earning it sixth place.         

Tonelli’s Pizza Pub in Horsham scored 8.28. Using Liscio’s Italian Bakery bread with Ribeye steaks, came in eighth.     

Giuliano’s Deli in Lansdale tied with two others shops at 19th, place with a rating of 7.9. It uses Collegeville Italian Bakery bread along with chopped ribeye.

Ray’s Pizza in Lansdale was tied with three others with a 7.8 score. Its version also uses Conshohocken Italian Bakery bread and a ribeye-porterhouse meat blend. Via Marconi’s Pizza Pub in Hatfield, shared that 7.8 rating and the No. 27 finish.           

Pudge’s Steaks in Blue Bell rated 7.6 to tie at No. 41.                 

Find out more about the tour at


Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on MONTCO Today in February of 2022.

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