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Retro Roadmap’s Cheese Steak Pick: Joe’s on Torresdale! Philadelphia's Famous Sandwich in an Old School Location

Posted on: April 7, 2016


  • Joe's Steaks + Soda Shop: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • address: 6030 Torresdale Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19135
  • phone: (215) 535-9405
  • website: http://joessteaks.com/

Whenever we have out of town visitors we’re often asked, “where should I go for the best Philly Cheese Steak?” and  finally now I have a recommendation for the Retro Roadmap types – Joe’s Steaks on Torresdale Ave.

It’s not centrally located, and parking can be a bit of a hassle since it’s all street parking, but the old school style and tasty steak sandwiches make the trip worth it.
Joe's Steak Shop Torresdale Ave Philadelphia PA Retro RoadmapJoe’s has been on my list for a long time, but the only time we usually indulge in a cheese steak is as a celebratory meal when we’ve been away and are returning to Philly via plane. (Full disclaimer – when we’re coming back from traveling, our eating habits have turned so bad and we’re so distended from vacation eating that we figure it’s a last hurrah before heading home to get back on the treadmill!)

But seriously these sandwiches, grilled in the front window of the shop that has been open since 1949 are delish. Retro Roadhusband can’t wait to dive in:

Joe's Steak Shop Torresdale Ave Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap

That’s my petite small with American in front of his “Whiz Wit” large. Nom!

Joe’s used to be called by another name, but that was changed in 2013, and they’ve also now opened a 2nd location across from Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. They did do a nice job with the “retro” aspect of that location (and Mod B digs the aqua/orange color combo, naturally) but to me nothing beats Authentic Vintage Charm.
Joe's Steak Shop Torresdale Ave Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap
What do I mean by that? Things like:

  • The feel that this place has been around forever, and has history
  • Counter seating at an old formica counter
  • Small wooden booths
  • Wall Box Jukeboxes (tho I’m not sure if they work or not)
  • Rotary Pay Phone with Police Log atop
  • Tiny bathroom that looks like it belongs in your grandmother’s house, replete with over the top floral wallpaper, gold flecked vintage vanity and jade green sink!

Joe's Steak Shop Torresdale Ave Philadelphia PA Retro Roadmap
They also serve milkshakes too, made with local Turkey Hill ice cream, but we were too full for one of those!

So while there are a lot more famous Cheese Steak Shops in the Philly area, and loads of unfamous ones, if you’re wanting your steak wit (onions) and whiz (cheese whiz) and a legitimately retro vibe – eat at Joe’s (on Torresdale.)

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  • SusieQT

    The remote wallbox jukeboxes won’t work if there isn’t a mother ship (floor model jukebox) hooked up. I don’t see one and the wall boxes are not on, so, probably not.

    • Suz – yep, they usually would have one in the basement or sometimes on the floor. They were listening to the radio or someone’s ipod when we were there. Still love seeing this particular style of jukebox out in the wild!

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