If you ask a South Philly local to direct you to a solid steak and their instructions feature any combination of the phrases “near Ikea,” “line out the door” or “anthropomorphized pig in a bib,” they’re trying to get you to John’s. A Delaware riverfront institution since 1930, John Bucci Jr.’s operation preps each of its steaks—12 hefty ounces of meat stuffed into chewy Carangi rolls—to order, so waits are a little longer than at some of his turn-and-burn counterparts. It’s worth it. Use the time wisely and familiarize yourself with the roast pork, the local specialty John’s is actually named after—it’s a juicy, garlicky triumph accessorized bitter spinach and gooey provolone. As for whether to order one of these or a steak? Always. Get. Both.
Those who come to Philadelphia usually arrive with a few specific goals in mind: the Liberty Bell, the Rocky Statue and losing their face in the best Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. While mainstays like Pat’s and Geno’s aka “Cheesesteak Vegas” are among the Philadelphia attractions that aren’t to be missed, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a cheesesteak there. Below are 10 of the best renditions of sliced-up beef with queso and/or onions you’re going to find in a city overrun with cheesesteak options. And while you’re eating your way through the city, keep your eyes peeled for some of the best bakeries Philadelphia has to offer. Our Italian desserts are out of this world.
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