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Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

The cheesesteak is one of the most well-known - and controversial - of sandwiches. The king of hoagies, subs, and sammiches, it truly is a thing of beauty, judged only by it's melty-mess-making ability.

What makes a cheesesteak?

Let us begin with the roll, that chewy Italian bread many out-of-towners will only import from the Amoroso bakery in Philadelphia itself. Then there's the beef: thin-sliced, flavor-griddled ribeye. The finish is up to you -- a pile of grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms or peppers. Last, there's the cheese, the final stand-off between those who choose melty white American or provolone over the infamous Cheez Whiz.

Whether you prefer your beef thin-sliced, or fine-chopped -- Cheez Whiz or provolone, where do you go to find a good, authentic cheesesteak in South Florida? It's a question that sparks heated debates among our New England transplants -- be they permanent or seasonal -- who have a taste of the original Pat's and Geno architypes.

If you've ever wanted to know what makes a Philly cheesesteak different from all the rest, or just want to know where you can find the best in South Florida, keep reading.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

10. Swifty's Market and Deli

It may seem like you're in the wrong place when you pull up to the aging storefront of this corner-store-style market in north Boca Raton, but inside they're serving up some of the best grilled-to-order subs around. They carry Boars Head meats, always have a hot griddle, and use a soft, doughy bread that is pressed just right to keep the food inside your sandwich. But the famous fix they're best known for? Swifty's own version of the Philly cheesesteak hoagie, a melty-hot steak and cheese that comes with your choice of onions and hot peppers. Get the hot peppers. You won't be disappointed.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

9. Big Al's Steaks

The Big Al's restaurant may be a chain, but as far as Philly-style cheesesteaks go, it's still serving up a pretty good cheesesteak -- certainly one of the best -- in Broward and Palm Beach County. The is located in the heart of downtown Delray Beach off Atlantic Avenue, a small storefront that is basically nothing more than standing room to place your order at the walk-up window. Here, you'll get a cheesesteak made with bread shipped in from Philadelphia, the perfect way to propel a heaping portion of sliced rib-eye steak in melty Cheez Whiz into your mouth, then wash it down with a birch beer or cherry soda.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com. 

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

8. The Philly Connection

If you're way out west in Palm Beach County, take a trip to the Philly Connection at the corner of Route 7 and Okeechobee Blvd. Although it's a chain -- five locations in South Florida alone including Royal Palm Beach -- the cheesesteak is all they do, a concept first developed in Atlanta two decades ago. What you'll get: chopped ribeye made-to-order, a special recipe that includes a "special" cut of whole-muscle beef and a secret marinade to sweeten the deal. There are just four sandwiches to choose from, each finished with a helping of melty provolone cheese -- sorry, no Cheez Whiz. But don't expect a big hoagie here. The portion was small, and left us wanting more, but the taste was spot-on. Top your sandwich with anything from the usual onions, mushrooms, peppers and pizza sauce, to banana peppers, jalapeno, lettuce and tomato.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

7. Zio's

Located on the southeast corner of Atlantic Avenue and Military Trail in Delray Beach, Zio's -- a family-run establishment founded in 2004, has become one of the area's favorite sandwich shops. Their secret: everything is a cut above the competition -- no "short cuts." Here, turkey is roasted fresh each morning and carved from the bone, while roast beef is cooke in-house. But the real find is the cheesesteak, thin-sliced ribeye chopped with your choice of onion, mushroom, peppers and your favorite cheese. Yes, they even have Cheez Whiz. If you go, try the house specialty, the cheesesteak "bomb" made with salami on the roll and served with a side of their famous hot sauce.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com. 

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

6. Spanky's Cheesesteak Factory

Referred to as both Spanky's and Spanx - for shoert - one thing is for sure: the cheesesteaks at this Margate establishment are the real deal, and they'll tell you that while, "Philly made them, Spanx perfected them." With a half-pound of meat in each "sammich," you'll get what you pay for. Not too hungry? Try the mini-cheesesteak; it's half the size as the original, but just as good.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

5. Mr. Nick's Sub Shoppe

This small sub and sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale contends it offers the best cheesesteak in the city, and we won't argue it's a damn good specimen. The menu boasts seven steak sandwiches in all, from the famous "full house" with onions, cheese, mushrooms and green peppers to the chili cheesesteak topped with Texas chili, onions and cheddar. We were swayed by the "chizzer" served up with your choice of two different cheeses and grilled onions, then topped with lettuce, tomato, mayo, creamy Italian dressing and shredded pickle chips. What more could you ask for?

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com. 

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

4. Direct From Philly

Deerfield Beach is home to Direct From Philly -- and with a name like that, it has to be good. Right? Right. The place sources its ingredients, including the steak, from Philadelphia-based companies to create an authentic cheesesteak experience. A specialty 9-inch Amoroso roll -- a company with a 100-year-old tradition of making Philly bread -- is stuffed with a half-pound of meat and can be served with a perfect balance of grilled onions, roasted chopped garlic, sweet peppers and chopped pepper relish on the grill. Its finished with melted American cheese for that final "touch." If you're looking for the old location at the gas station -- don't. Their new home is the late-night dive bar, City Pub, where they serve until 1 a.m.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

3. The Cheesesteak Experience

At the corner of A1A and Oakland Park Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale you'll find the Cheesesteak Experience, a family-owned and operated establishment that makes a sandwich that rivals most others in the area. Open since 2006, they're serving some of the best cheesesteaks around, each made with chopped South Philly Brand sirloin steak imported straight from Philadelphia, authentic Amoroso steak rolls brought in daily, and tops with Cheez Whiz. The menu boasts six different steak-based cheesesteaks, and 10 chicken cheesesteaks -- including an onion ring and buffalo chicken version.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com. 

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

2. Famous Phil's Sub Shop

We named them "best" cheesesteak in 2013, and despite the passionate counter claims of many a Philadelphian, Famous Phil's in Plantation proves it is in fact possible to get a real Philly cheesesteak outside of the City of Brotherly Love. Their Steak Bomb is just the thing to order, too, a hefty serving of meat topped with grilled onions, peppers, mushroom, cheese and a little marinara. After more than four decades of business, it's obvious they're doing something right. For less than $10 you get a soft, 12-inch loaded sandwich from current owner Sheila DiPasquale, who worked at Phil's for 35 years before buying it in 2007. She's kept the small cash-only shop the same, including the menu, vendors, and Formica-heavy décor. If Sheila isn't the one making your sandwich, it's her daughter Ramonda Leonard, or daughter-in-law Hope Matthieson.

Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

1. Sonny's Famous Steak Hogies

This Hollywood establishment has been in business since 1958. Owned by John -- whose father was the founding Sam "Sonny" Nigro -- it's safe to say this is the best cheesesteak in Broward and Palm Beach. They make their bread fresh daily between 30 to 50 dozen loaves a day. It's the perfect doughy-toughness to handle hot, butter-griddled meat and loads of gooey cheese. It's also a location for Guy Fieri and Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, signaled out for its iconic hoagie sandwiches. Here, you can get it any way you like: onions, peppers, and cheese all atop boneless ribeye and finished with a dash of salt and pepper. There's four types of steak sandwich, from a plain version to one done pizza-style, loaded with homemade red sauce and melted provolone, and an old family recipe loaded with veggies.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.




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