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A Philly Special cheesesteak from Grazie Grazie shows off layers of grass-fed beef, Cooper sharp provolone, lettuce, red onion, and tomato on a golden roll
Grazie Grazie’s Philly Special cheesesteak shows off layers of grass-fed beef, Cooper sharp provolone, lettuce, red onion, and tomato on a golden roll.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

13 Cheesesteaks to Try Around D.C. Right Now

The iconic Philly sandwich remains a fan favorite throughout the DMV

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Grazie Grazie’s Philly Special cheesesteak shows off layers of grass-fed beef, Cooper sharp provolone, lettuce, red onion, and tomato on a golden roll.
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The iconic cheesesteak was invented on the streets of South Philadelphia in the 1930s by an Italian hot dog vendor named Pat Olivieri. The simple construction — grilled steak and melted cheese on a hoagie roll — made it an instant favorite that’s evolved into an enduring classic.

Although the appeal of the cheesesteak knows no borders, D.C. is close enough to Philly to embrace this historic dish. Recently, as sandwiches have become a popular play for restaurants adapting to COVID-related restrictions, cheesesteaks seem to be popping up at “ghost kitchens” and other restaurants around town, even taking on vegan forms. Boundary Stone, the Philly-friendly bar in Bloomingdale, will go into hibernation mode November 25, but it’s also known for its cheesesteak.

Here are 13 varieties to sample right now. Fair warning: purists will not sign off on every one of these.

A number of D.C. area restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Casey's Crab Company

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3244 Fort Meade Rd
Laurel, MD 20724
(301) 490-6882
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It’s nothing like a Philly original, but the jumbo lump crab cheesesteak at this seafood shack near Ft. Meade, Maryland, is worth the drive, if only for a hoagie dripping in Old Bay flavors. The crab meat here is well seasoned and comes from the Chesapeake Bay. Each crab cheesesteak is served in a soft sub roll with lettuce, tomato, and melted American cheese. During COVID-19, Casey’s offers contactless pickup.

2. Continental Pizza

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10532 Connecticut Ave
Kensington, MD 20895
(301) 949-9797

This cash-only pizza restaurant on Connecticut Avenue is where Kensington neighbors go for oversized cheesesteaks. Locals know that ordering “large” here entitles carryout customers to not one, but two 8-inch subs for $9. Call in orders for pickup only.

Steak and cheese sandwiches at Continental Pizza.
Chris Thompson/Facebook

3. South Street Steaks

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4856 Cordell Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 215-8333
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Piling bacon on a cheesesteak sounds like a bright idea. As does the “Steel City,” which lines crispy French fries along the bottom of one of South Street’s popular sandwiches. A Man v. Food-like “misteak challenge” involves attempting to polish off five pounds of cheesesteak in return for a gift card and a photo on the Wall of Shame. Regular cheesesteaks (8 or 12 inches) at this Bethesda carryout joint fall under $12. Also available for delivery on GrubHub and Uber Eats.

A cheesessteak wit whiz at South Street Steaks.
South Street Steaks/Facebook

4. Jimmy's Philly Steaks

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5014 Connecticut Ave NW #J
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 890-4995
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This new ghost kitchen inside I’m Eddie Cano serves cheesesteaks that taste like they came from South Street in Philadelphia, where chef James Gee grew up. Options includes a ribeye “wit whiz,” as well as other legendary Philly sub sandwiches like a roast pork with broccoli rabe. Jimmy’s does in-house delivery within a two-mile radius in Chevy Chase (starting at 3 p.m.) or order on DoorDash starting at noon daily.

5. DC Steakholders

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2800 10th St NE
Washington, DC 20017

This sub shop got its start at Tastemakers food hall in Brookland and now operates a brick-and-mortar outpost in Falls Church, Virginia. The menu features a ribeye cheesesteak, as well as a chicken and veggie-friendly option. Order online for curbside pickup.

Grilled fare from DC Steakholders.
DC Steakholders/Facebook

6. Fedwich

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1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

The Feddy cheesesteak is one of the top sellers at Fedwich, a ghost kitchen located in Dupont institution Kramers. This fan favorite layers on the flavors with shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, cheese sauce, cherry pepper aioli, and cherry pepper relish. Order online for pickup or get it delivered via delivery apps.

7. CHIKO

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2029 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-3040
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This ChiKo cheesesteak for bulgogi lovers is available for delivery or pickup at the fast-casual Chinese/Korean chain’s Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill locations. The sandwich comes with cheese whiz and sautéed mushrooms and onions for $14. Sandwich orders are available at lunch for pickup or delivery.

8. Oyster Oyster

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1440 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

The sustainability-preaching restaurant in Shaw slathers its vegan mushroom cheesesteak with sunflower seed-based whiz. “It tastes like actual cheese and has the same sort of comfort food [feel],” owner Max Kuller told Eater. Caramelized onions, lettuce, and pickled hot peppers round out chef Rob Rubba’s creation ($16), which can be fancied up with black truffles for $10 more. Prepay for pickup. — Tierney Plumb

A vegan cheesesteak with mushrooms and sunflower seed-based whiz from Oyster Oyster
Oyster Oyster chef and avid baker Rob Rubba makes the roll for his vegan mushroom cheesesteak.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

9. A. Litteri

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517 Morse St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 544-0184
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This classic family-run deli predates the invention of the cheesesteak, but has adapted to the times to cater to homesick Philadelphians as well as fans of grilled steak. There are numerous topping choices and different sizes of soft or hard rolls.

A. Litteri/official photo

10. Ghostburger

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 827-5237
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Espita chef de cuisine Ben Tenner built a Philly cheesesteak ($15) with shaved ribeye, onions caramelized with thyme and sherry vinegar, and mayo with raw and roasted garlic. Find it at their new ghost kitchen, Ghostburger. What separates this sandwich from the pack is the cheese whiz sauce, which is Tenner’s own nacho cheese sauce. Order online for pickup.

11. Bub and Pop's

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1815 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 457-1111
Visit Website

It may be hard to pass up the brisket-filled sub or saucy bolognese at this cult favorite sandwich shop near Dupont Circle, but the Philly natives here also make a solid chicken or beef cheesesteak. The two-handed sandwiches come layered with onions, aged provolone, and a “special sauce” that resembles Thousand Island dressing.

12. In A Minute Cafe

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9244 E Hampton Dr #203
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
(240) 390-7146
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In a Minute Café is a new soul food and sandwich shop in Capitol Heights, Maryland. The Black-owned business serves both traditional ribeye cheesesteaks and extravagant sandwiches, like the “LochMess Monster,” a chicken cheesesteak topped with Old Bay-spiced crab dip. Order for pickup.

13. Grazie Grazie

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85 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 216-2999
Visit Website

Grazie Grazie pays homage to the City of Brotherly Love with an entire section of the menu dedicated to the cheesesteak. Customers can build their own or select from one of three options — traditional, spicy, or vegetarian. Or they can order grilled steak atop cheese fries. The Philly Special, which shares a name with a famous trick play the Eagles used to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, is similar to the ones found on South Street, but fancier, thanks to the inclusion of grass-fed beef and Cooper-brand sharp provolone. Pickup and delivery available.

1. Casey's Crab Company

3244 Fort Meade Rd, Laurel, MD 20724

It’s nothing like a Philly original, but the jumbo lump crab cheesesteak at this seafood shack near Ft. Meade, Maryland, is worth the drive, if only for a hoagie dripping in Old Bay flavors. The crab meat here is well seasoned and comes from the Chesapeake Bay. Each crab cheesesteak is served in a soft sub roll with lettuce, tomato, and melted American cheese. During COVID-19, Casey’s offers contactless pickup.

3244 Fort Meade Rd
Laurel, MD 20724

2. Continental Pizza

10532 Connecticut Ave, Kensington, MD 20895
Steak and cheese sandwiches at Continental Pizza.
Chris Thompson/Facebook

This cash-only pizza restaurant on Connecticut Avenue is where Kensington neighbors go for oversized cheesesteaks. Locals know that ordering “large” here entitles carryout customers to not one, but two 8-inch subs for $9. Call in orders for pickup only.

10532 Connecticut Ave
Kensington, MD 20895

3. South Street Steaks

4856 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
A cheesessteak wit whiz at South Street Steaks.
South Street Steaks/Facebook

Piling bacon on a cheesesteak sounds like a bright idea. As does the “Steel City,” which lines crispy French fries along the bottom of one of South Street’s popular sandwiches. A Man v. Food-like “misteak challenge” involves attempting to polish off five pounds of cheesesteak in return for a gift card and a photo on the Wall of Shame. Regular cheesesteaks (8 or 12 inches) at this Bethesda carryout joint fall under $12. Also available for delivery on GrubHub and Uber Eats.

4856 Cordell Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

4. Jimmy's Philly Steaks

5014 Connecticut Ave NW #J, Washington, DC 20008

This new ghost kitchen inside I’m Eddie Cano serves cheesesteaks that taste like they came from South Street in Philadelphia, where chef James Gee grew up. Options includes a ribeye “wit whiz,” as well as other legendary Philly sub sandwiches like a roast pork with broccoli rabe. Jimmy’s does in-house delivery within a two-mile radius in Chevy Chase (starting at 3 p.m.) or order on DoorDash starting at noon daily.

5014 Connecticut Ave NW #J
Washington, DC 20008

5. DC Steakholders

2800 10th St NE, Washington, DC 20017
Grilled fare from DC Steakholders.
DC Steakholders/Facebook

This sub shop got its start at Tastemakers food hall in Brookland and now operates a brick-and-mortar outpost in Falls Church, Virginia. The menu features a ribeye cheesesteak, as well as a chicken and veggie-friendly option. Order online for curbside pickup.

2800 10th St NE
Washington, DC 20017

6. Fedwich

1517 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

The Feddy cheesesteak is one of the top sellers at Fedwich, a ghost kitchen located in Dupont institution Kramers. This fan favorite layers on the flavors with shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, cheese sauce, cherry pepper aioli, and cherry pepper relish. Order online for pickup or get it delivered via delivery apps.

1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. CHIKO

2029 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

This ChiKo cheesesteak for bulgogi lovers is available for delivery or pickup at the fast-casual Chinese/Korean chain’s Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill locations. The sandwich comes with cheese whiz and sautéed mushrooms and onions for $14. Sandwich orders are available at lunch for pickup or delivery.

2029 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036

8. Oyster Oyster

1440 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A vegan cheesesteak with mushrooms and sunflower seed-based whiz from Oyster Oyster
Oyster Oyster chef and avid baker Rob Rubba makes the roll for his vegan mushroom cheesesteak.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The sustainability-preaching restaurant in Shaw slathers its vegan mushroom cheesesteak with sunflower seed-based whiz. “It tastes like actual cheese and has the same sort of comfort food [feel],” owner Max Kuller told Eater. Caramelized onions, lettuce, and pickled hot peppers round out chef Rob Rubba’s creation ($16), which can be fancied up with black truffles for $10 more. Prepay for pickup. — Tierney Plumb

1440 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. A. Litteri

517 Morse St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
A. Litteri/official photo

This classic family-run deli predates the invention of the cheesesteak, but has adapted to the times to cater to homesick Philadelphians as well as fans of grilled steak. There are numerous topping choices and different sizes of soft or hard rolls.

517 Morse St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

10. Ghostburger

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Espita chef de cuisine Ben Tenner built a Philly cheesesteak ($15) with shaved ribeye, onions caramelized with thyme and sherry vinegar, and mayo with raw and roasted garlic. Find it at their new ghost kitchen, Ghostburger. What separates this sandwich from the pack is the cheese whiz sauce, which is Tenner’s own nacho cheese sauce. Order online for pickup.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

11. Bub and Pop's

1815 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

It may be hard to pass up the brisket-filled sub or saucy bolognese at this cult favorite sandwich shop near Dupont Circle, but the Philly natives here also make a solid chicken or beef cheesesteak. The two-handed sandwiches come layered with onions, aged provolone, and a “special sauce” that resembles Thousand Island dressing.

1815 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

12. In A Minute Cafe

9244 E Hampton Dr #203, Capitol Heights, MD 20743

In a Minute Café is a new soul food and sandwich shop in Capitol Heights, Maryland. The Black-owned business serves both traditional ribeye cheesesteaks and extravagant sandwiches, like the “LochMess Monster,” a chicken cheesesteak topped with Old Bay-spiced crab dip. Order for pickup.

9244 E Hampton Dr #203
Capitol Heights, MD 20743

13. Grazie Grazie

85 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024

Grazie Grazie pays homage to the City of Brotherly Love with an entire section of the menu dedicated to the cheesesteak. Customers can build their own or select from one of three options — traditional, spicy, or vegetarian. Or they can order grilled steak atop cheese fries. The Philly Special, which shares a name with a famous trick play the Eagles used to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, is similar to the ones found on South Street, but fancier, thanks to the inclusion of grass-fed beef and Cooper-brand sharp provolone. Pickup and delivery available.

85 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024

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