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This day is celebrated in honor of this delectable sandwich that originated in the US but is now enjoyed all over the world! 

History of National Cheesesteak Day

Cheesesteak sandwiches are almost a hundred years old, getting their start in 1930 in the city of Philadelphia. Pat Olivieri was a street hot dog vender on the and he was just making his own lunch by slicing up some beef and throwing it on an Italian bun with some grilled onions. A regular patron stopped by and asked to have what Pat was eating, and then suggested that he start selling them. And they were a hit.

A few years later, Pat Olivieri eventually turned his hot dog stand into a more substantial restaurant, and the corner shop with neon signs continues to please customers with their cheesesteak sandwiches to this day. Other competitor sandwich shops cropped up in the 1930s and 1940s, including Geno’s across the street, and Jim’s Steaks which was run by “Jim and Millie” for many years.

Eventually the idea to add a slice of provolone cheese surfaced, and the popularity of the sandwich grew from there. The sandwich has changed a bit over the years, subject to interpretations such as adding grilled peppers or mushrooms, or switching up the type of meat. But its essence still remains the same, and the cheesesteak sandwich is a delight for all who have the pleasure of encountering it!

Since their creation, cheesesteaks have often been associated with the city of Philadelphia as that’s where they seem to have originated. In fact, many people refer to them as Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, lending even more credibility to the name.

National Cheesesteak Day is here to offer a specific opportunity to pay respect and honor to this venerable sandwich that has been a favorite for almost a full century. So get ready to enjoy a delicious treat on National Cheesesteak Day!

National Cheesesteak Day Timeline


Philadelphia is founded

William Penn founds this city in the English province of Pennsylvania, some 250 years before the cheesesteak will be invented in this city. [1]


Philly Beefsteak is created

The story goes that the “Philly beefsteak” is created by a hot dog vendor who put beef on the grill to make a sandwich. [2]


Cheese is added to the Philly sandwich

At Pat’s King of Steaks in Philly, the cheese makes its way onto the sandwich and the name evolves to the Cheesesteak sandwich. [3]


First Charley’s Philly Steaks opens

The first cheesesteak store opened by Charley Shin is located in Columbus, Ohio, near the Ohio State University Campus.[4]

How to Celebrate National Cheesesteak Day

Days that honor food bring some of the best opportunities to celebrate! And National Cheesesteak Day is no different. Keep it simple or just go all out on this delightful day by implementing some of these fun ideas:

Order Up a Cheesesteak Sandwich

Isn’t it obvious that the best way to celebrate this day is with a hot, delicious, freshly grilled cheesesteak sandwich?! Charley’s Philly Steaks is a chain of around 700 different restaurant locations serving customers in 46 U.S. states as well as 17 countries throughout the globe. So hop over to a Charley’s, or another delicious cheesesteak eatery, and order up a tasty sandwich in honor of National Cheesesteak Day.

Make Cheesesteaks at Home

Those who are up for a little culinary adventure in the kitchen might want to consider making their own sandwiches in honor of National Cheesesteak Day. Start with some tender ribeye steak and slice it super finely against the grain. (Pro tip: freeze the steak for 30-40 minutes to make it easier to cut). Or ask the butcher to do it for you.

Saute some sliced onions on a flat cooktop or griddle. Saute the beef and then mix in the onions at the end. Divide into portions and top with slices of provolone cheese, then scrape onto a sliced and butter hoagie bun. Yum!

Get a Cheesesteak in Philly

Of course, one of the best ways to celebrate National Cheesesteak Day is to make a trip to the city where it all began: Philadelphia. It is arguably the best place in the world to eat and enjoy a cheesesteak sandwich. Several different famous cheesesteak restaurants can be found here and this would be the ideal day to check them out. And while there, don’t forget to see some amazing American sights, like the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House, Independence Hall and so much more!

Here are a few of the top recommended cheesesteak places in Philadelphia:

  • Pat’s King of Steaks. The original place where the cheesesteak sandwich was created, Pat’s is an icon in the city of Philly and is still owned and operated by the original Olivieri family.
  • Max’s Cheesesteaks. With their massive neon sign out front, Max’s is easy to find in Philadelphia. Walk in and grab a table or order takeout, for lunch or late at night, with sizzling steak and gooey provolone.
  • Geno’s Steaks. This one dates back to the 1960s when the owner, Joey Vento, started a business with two boxes of steaks and some hot dogs. Now, it’s an iconic cheesesteak place in Philly.
  • Jim’s Steaks. One of the originals in the city, Jim’s dates back to the 1930s when the proprietors sold sandwiches out of their house and then opened a restaurant on the same spot.

Get Creative with Cheesesteaks

Those who love a classic might simply enjoy keeping it super basic in celebration of National Cheesesteak Day. On the other hand, it might be fun to get a little wild and adventurous on this day when such innovation (like making a new kind of sandwich at a hot dog stand) is celebrated and appreciated!

Consider trying out some new and creative ways of enjoying the cheesesteak sandwich, like these:

  • Philly Taco. This is an almost ridiculous blend of a couple of different types of food that somehow go together. A “Philly Taco” is actually a slice of pizza that is piled with cheesesteak filling and rolled up into a taco shape. Wow!
  • Cheesesteak Poutine. A nod in honor of those neighbors to the north, this dish blends the concept of Canadian poutine but piles the fries high with Philly cheesesteak toppings instead.
  • Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers. Those who are looking for a low carb or keto options for celebrating might want to consider using the cheesesteak meat and grilled onion, but stuffing them inside of green peppers, topping them with cheese and then baking. 

National Cheesesteak Day FAQs

What meat is in a Philly cheesesteak?

Traditional philly cheesesteak is made with very thinly sliced ribeye steak.

What does cheesesteak taste like?

A cheesesteak sandwich has a very tender, meaty taste with the flavor of sweet grilled onions and gooey cheese. [1]

Is cheesesteak one word?

Yes! Cheesesteak is just one word. [2]

When was the Philly cheesesteak invented?

The Philly cheesesteak was invented in 1930.[3]

What kind of cheese goes on a cheesesteak?

Philly cheesesteak is typically made with provolone cheese.

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