Becca Jane St Clair

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The Best Cheesesteaks This Side of Philly

About a week ago I started hearing about a new Philadelphia Cheesesteak restaurant opening up in London. I was skeptical, as previous attempts were not very good, until I read that the owner hails from the same area of New Jersey I do. I was sure this would mean decent and authentic cheesesteaks, and I was not disappointed.

After the debacle at the railway show, Tim and I headed into London specifically to make a pilgrimage to Passyunk Avenue.

Passyunk Avenue can be found on small street in Fitzrovia (80 Cleveland Street), which is super easy to get to from the Warren Street tube stop. The restaurant is small, but I was told they do have a lower floor with additional seating for when it gets busy.

The atmosphere was amazing. All of the staff (that I spoke to) are from Philly or New Jersey, and ironically, all the patrons I spoke to were as well! It was almost like we were back in Center City Philadelphia. And speaking with the patrons who had eaten before us, the food was getting rave reviews for authenticity.

We were given seats in the back corner. My only complaint was the chairs were a bit low for the table, and I wound up sitting on the bench at the back next to Tim, which always makes me feel kinda awkward! But the food….

Sandwich prices were around £10-11. Really not bad. Sides started around £4. Tim and I spent £30 between two cheesesteaks, an order of Old Bay cheese fries, a beer, and a diet coke. Which frankly, we probably would have spent £50 or more going to a different restaurant in London, so I found the prices pretty good. Even a trip to Five Guys or Ed’s Easy Diner (my other two favourite American style places) would have cost us well into the £30-40 mark.

We both ordered Chicken Cheesesteaks. Well, I actually wanted to order Chicken Cheesesteak Hoagies, but I think I confused our server when I said no onions (as in raw) and she assumed I meant not cooked (I’m allergic). It didn’t really matter so we ate what was put in front of us and they were tasty. The bread was softer than you would expect if you were in Philly (or NJ), but decent for the United Kingdom. The homemade wiz is what really makes the sandwich though. Many restaurants that try to serve a Philly Cheesesteak either use sliced cheese or they get confused and use Philadelphia cream cheese (ew!). So while it wasn’t bright orange like traditional Chez Wiz…it was really good!

I absolutely recommend visiting if you’re an ex-pat from PA/NJ missing the tastes of home, or even if you’re curious as to what an authentic Philly cheesesteak tastes like. I know I have a new favourite place to eat in Philly, that’s for sure!

The only thing missing was an ice cold Yuengling!


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