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A photo of a vegan Philly cheesesteak, mozzarella sticks, and fries from Buddy’s Steaks
A cheesesteak from Buddy’s Steaks.
Waz Wu/Eater Portland

Where to Find Beefy, Hearty Cheesesteaks in Portland

Philly’s finest sandwich can also be found in Stumptown

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A cheesesteak from Buddy’s Steaks.
| Waz Wu/Eater Portland

This country is blessed with plenty of iconic, regional dishes— Mission burritos, Carolina barbecue, Coney dogs — but the “Philly” in cheesesteak is the most mysteriously redundant. Chicago-style pizza tells us, “I am not New York pizza.” Cincinnati chili announces it is distinct from Texas style. However, there are no “Cleveland style” or “Baltimore style” cheesesteaks to compete with Philadelphia. So why does the “Philly” stubbornly attach itself to “cheesesteak” in our minds? Perhaps because the dish itself is so simple — shaved steak, melted cheese, and optional onions (“wit” or “witout”) on a white bread roll — we yearn to believe in some secret method known only to its brotherly love originators that can make a perfect cheesesteak so heavenly.

In any case, Portland is rich with cheesesteak options, both traditional and iconoclastic. Vegan standouts, lamb-reliant options, and pizza-inspired variants land on menus alongside Amoroso’s rolls filled with nothing but beef and Whiz, available for lunching or late-night needs. For more sandwiches, check out this map.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

The Block

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Downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square has been called Portland’s “living room,” and while the surrounding neighborhood has experienced some dramatic changes in the last 25 years, the Block food cart remains as reliable as a favorite armchair. With the smallest of menus — three sandwiches and two burgers — the Block eliminates workday decision fatigue, focusing on its simple-but-lovingly-prepared sandwiches. The best of the bunch is the cheesesteak: a chewy hoagie roll overflowing with seasoned beef and a generous bounty of grilled onions, mushrooms, and peppers. The small here is hearty, and two adults could easily split the large.

Dr Philly Cheese Steak

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The doctor at this popular Hawthorne Asylum cart is no traditionalist, offering cheesesteak prescriptions featuring lamb and chicken, along with the classic shaved beef. Swiss cheese is an option alongside the orthodox provolone and Cheez Whiz. And diners can skip the hoagie entirely and go for a poutine-style “cheesesteak on fries.” Regardless of alterations, these cheesesteaks go heavy on the meat and cheese, making Dr. Philly an ideal dinner before a night out at the nearby bars.

Taste Tickler

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Offering a decidedly West Coast “Philly,” Broadway’s Taste Tickler is a destination sandwich spot with a huge menu and a tiny indoor dining space. The Tickler’s steak is sautéed in garlic and soy sauce, then topped with house-made teriyaki sauce — perhaps unforgivable sins near the Delaware River but a winning combo a stone’s throw from the Willamette. Expect lines at lunch time. Taste Tickler is open daily.

Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies

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A sister company to the Sellwood stalwart, 13 Virtues Brewing, Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies keeps it simple, with the standard cheesesteak featuring only sliced steak, onions, and melted American on a soft hoagie roll. Provolone is available as a substitute, and other sandwich variations include mushrooms, peppers, and wild cards like pizza sauce. Philadelphia’s pours exclusively 13 Virtues beers, but also has several West Coast wines by the glass. Additional locations can be found in nearby Sellwood and out in Sisters.

Moore Food & Co.

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Owner Tom Amick may cringe at patrons asking for a “Philly” cheesesteak, but Pennsylvania transplants in Rip City flock to the unconventional food cart oasis off Southeast Division for confidently grilled sliced steak on soft, slightly sweet Amoroso’s rolls. Cheese options include American, provolone, Swiss, or Cheez Whiz. Grab a Northwest beer or cider on tap from the main cart, or an espresso drink at the adjoining coffee stand owned by Amick’s son-in-law. The eclectic dining space is covered but open air, with an occasional wood fire burning on colder days.

Buddy’s Steaks

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Cheesesteaks are, etymologically at least, the least vegan menu item in existence. Is it truly possible to parallel the protein and fat heavy textures, the richly flavorful sliced steak, and the decadent melted cheese in an entirely plant-based way? Rose City Park’s Buddy’s Steaks leaps over that bar with a vegan sandwich that goes toe-to-toe on depth of flavor, making it a tempting option even for non-vegans with an active day ahead. On hot days, don’t skip the water ice, a Philadelphia delicacy even harder to find out west.

Steakadelphia

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The iconic green Steakadelphia is almost impossible to miss on busy Southeast Powell, but for many Portlanders, it somehow still flies under the radar. It’s worth stopping in to order one of Steakadelphia’s seven cheesesteak variants, including cheddar, pepper jack, and, for the bold at heart, cream cheese — the absorbent hoagies sometimes struggle to stand up. Up to a dozen toppings are entirely free, including mushrooms, pepperoncini, tomato, and peppers. Unique among Portland cheesesteak spots, Steakadelphia also specializes in simple, thick milkshakes, and carries over two dozen beers.

Thatchers

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Thatchers’ outdoor signage boldly claiming it serves “the best cheesesteak in town” might be hyperbole, but it may just offer the best cheesesteak in a neighborhood sports bar. Thin-sliced steak is grilled with onions and then bestowed a blanket of melted white American cheese, all piled on in a traditional Amoroso’s roll. Montavilla denizens looking to catch a Blazers game with a cold one and a cheesesteak, look no further. And for fans of early morning international sports, Thatcher’s is now open at 9 a.m. daily.

Master Philly Cheesesteak

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Closing at 4 a.m. seven days a week, Master Philly Cheesesteak has cornered the market on late, late night comfort food in East Portland. Serving sleepy bargoers, lunching third shifters, and mood-altered munchers, Master Philly could be excused for merely delivering adequacy. It’s a pleasant surprise to first-timers then that this food cart on the outskirts of Portland proper grills up such remarkably tender and well-seasoned meat in its classic cheesesteaks (yes, with Cheez Whiz). And while heretical, the lamb cheesesteak might be even better — and the vegan Philly is top notch, as well.

Philly Bilmos Cheesesteaks

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This east Vancouver strip mall staple is entering its third decade on the strength of its commitment to quality ingredients, simply and reliably prepared. The first place in the region to use Philly’s famous Amoroso’s rolls for its cheesesteaks, Philly Bilmos offers classic cheesesteaks, as well as loaded (with mushrooms and peppers), pizza (with pizza sauce and parm), or “the Bilmo” (with lettuce and tomatoes). While primarily a lunch spot, Bilmos is open until 8 p.m. for those looking to grab a quick dinner on the commute home.

Grant's Philly Cheesesteak

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With a simple menu that declares the cheesesteak is sovereign here, Grant’s has been offering Portlanders a taste of Philadelphia since 2003, in its charming original location on far Northeast Sandy as well a newer outpost in the Alphabet District. Cheesesteak options range from subtle cheese variations to more daring alternatives like the fajita-and-cream-cheese cheesesteak. Unlike some local rivals, the cheese is dealt with a lighter hand, letting the seasoned beef and other toppings sing brighter. For dessert, Grant’s offers Philadelphia’s own TastyKake products, like its Juniors and Kandy Kakes.

A cheesesteak sandwich, with peppers and melted Cheez Whiz, surrounded by chips.
Grant’s Original.
Grant’s Philly Cheese Steaks

The Block

Downtown’s Pioneer Courthouse Square has been called Portland’s “living room,” and while the surrounding neighborhood has experienced some dramatic changes in the last 25 years, the Block food cart remains as reliable as a favorite armchair. With the smallest of menus — three sandwiches and two burgers — the Block eliminates workday decision fatigue, focusing on its simple-but-lovingly-prepared sandwiches. The best of the bunch is the cheesesteak: a chewy hoagie roll overflowing with seasoned beef and a generous bounty of grilled onions, mushrooms, and peppers. The small here is hearty, and two adults could easily split the large.

Dr Philly Cheese Steak

The doctor at this popular Hawthorne Asylum cart is no traditionalist, offering cheesesteak prescriptions featuring lamb and chicken, along with the classic shaved beef. Swiss cheese is an option alongside the orthodox provolone and Cheez Whiz. And diners can skip the hoagie entirely and go for a poutine-style “cheesesteak on fries.” Regardless of alterations, these cheesesteaks go heavy on the meat and cheese, making Dr. Philly an ideal dinner before a night out at the nearby bars.

Taste Tickler

Offering a decidedly West Coast “Philly,” Broadway’s Taste Tickler is a destination sandwich spot with a huge menu and a tiny indoor dining space. The Tickler’s steak is sautéed in garlic and soy sauce, then topped with house-made teriyaki sauce — perhaps unforgivable sins near the Delaware River but a winning combo a stone’s throw from the Willamette. Expect lines at lunch time. Taste Tickler is open daily.

Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies

A sister company to the Sellwood stalwart, 13 Virtues Brewing, Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies keeps it simple, with the standard cheesesteak featuring only sliced steak, onions, and melted American on a soft hoagie roll. Provolone is available as a substitute, and other sandwich variations include mushrooms, peppers, and wild cards like pizza sauce. Philadelphia’s pours exclusively 13 Virtues beers, but also has several West Coast wines by the glass. Additional locations can be found in nearby Sellwood and out in Sisters.

Moore Food & Co.

Owner Tom Amick may cringe at patrons asking for a “Philly” cheesesteak, but Pennsylvania transplants in Rip City flock to the unconventional food cart oasis off Southeast Division for confidently grilled sliced steak on soft, slightly sweet Amoroso’s rolls. Cheese options include American, provolone, Swiss, or Cheez Whiz. Grab a Northwest beer or cider on tap from the main cart, or an espresso drink at the adjoining coffee stand owned by Amick’s son-in-law. The eclectic dining space is covered but open air, with an occasional wood fire burning on colder days.

Buddy’s Steaks

Cheesesteaks are, etymologically at least, the least vegan menu item in existence. Is it truly possible to parallel the protein and fat heavy textures, the richly flavorful sliced steak, and the decadent melted cheese in an entirely plant-based way? Rose City Park’s Buddy’s Steaks leaps over that bar with a vegan sandwich that goes toe-to-toe on depth of flavor, making it a tempting option even for non-vegans with an active day ahead. On hot days, don’t skip the water ice, a Philadelphia delicacy even harder to find out west.

Steakadelphia

The iconic green Steakadelphia is almost impossible to miss on busy Southeast Powell, but for many Portlanders, it somehow still flies under the radar. It’s worth stopping in to order one of Steakadelphia’s seven cheesesteak variants, including cheddar, pepper jack, and, for the bold at heart, cream cheese — the absorbent hoagies sometimes struggle to stand up. Up to a dozen toppings are entirely free, including mushrooms, pepperoncini, tomato, and peppers. Unique among Portland cheesesteak spots, Steakadelphia also specializes in simple, thick milkshakes, and carries over two dozen beers.

Thatchers

Thatchers’ outdoor signage boldly claiming it serves “the best cheesesteak in town” might be hyperbole, but it may just offer the best cheesesteak in a neighborhood sports bar. Thin-sliced steak is grilled with onions and then bestowed a blanket of melted white American cheese, all piled on in a traditional Amoroso’s roll. Montavilla denizens looking to catch a Blazers game with a cold one and a cheesesteak, look no further. And for fans of early morning international sports, Thatcher’s is now open at 9 a.m. daily.

Master Philly Cheesesteak

Closing at 4 a.m. seven days a week, Master Philly Cheesesteak has cornered the market on late, late night comfort food in East Portland. Serving sleepy bargoers, lunching third shifters, and mood-altered munchers, Master Philly could be excused for merely delivering adequacy. It’s a pleasant surprise to first-timers then that this food cart on the outskirts of Portland proper grills up such remarkably tender and well-seasoned meat in its classic cheesesteaks (yes, with Cheez Whiz). And while heretical, the lamb cheesesteak might be even better — and the vegan Philly is top notch, as well.

Philly Bilmos Cheesesteaks

This east Vancouver strip mall staple is entering its third decade on the strength of its commitment to quality ingredients, simply and reliably prepared. The first place in the region to use Philly’s famous Amoroso’s rolls for its cheesesteaks, Philly Bilmos offers classic cheesesteaks, as well as loaded (with mushrooms and peppers), pizza (with pizza sauce and parm), or “the Bilmo” (with lettuce and tomatoes). While primarily a lunch spot, Bilmos is open until 8 p.m. for those looking to grab a quick dinner on the commute home.

Grant's Philly Cheesesteak

With a simple menu that declares the cheesesteak is sovereign here, Grant’s has been offering Portlanders a taste of Philadelphia since 2003, in its charming original location on far Northeast Sandy as well a newer outpost in the Alphabet District. Cheesesteak options range from subtle cheese variations to more daring alternatives like the fajita-and-cream-cheese cheesesteak. Unlike some local rivals, the cheese is dealt with a lighter hand, letting the seasoned beef and other toppings sing brighter. For dessert, Grant’s offers Philadelphia’s own TastyKake products, like its Juniors and Kandy Kakes.

A cheesesteak sandwich, with peppers and melted Cheez Whiz, surrounded by chips.
Grant’s Original.
Grant’s Philly Cheese Steaks

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