Every year on March 24, the United States pays tribute to one of the all-time classic sandwiches – the cheesesteak. Much like national liberty itself, the cheesesteak is elegant, necessary, pure, and was born in Philadelphia. The cheesesteak rose from humble beginnings in South Philly to the cultural icon it is today: safely secure in the sandwich hall of fame. “Eat (ahem, read) on to celebrate National Cheesecake Day.”
National Cheesesteak Day - History
The Beef Begins
Geno’s Steaks opens right across the streets from Pat’s, fueling a friendly rivalry that rages to this day.
Pat's Steaks Opens
The Oliveris open their now-iconic South Philly restaurant, Pat’s King of Steaks.
A Legend is Born
The Cheesesteak is created by Pat and Harry Oliveri, hot dog vendors who just so happened to put steak on the grill.
National Cheesesteak Day Activities
1. Eat a cheesesteak
This seems obvious, but sometimes the obvious answer is the best. You can roll up your sleeves and craft your own sandwich, or you can pay a professional to do it for you. Just know that if the word Philly is in the name, it may not be the most authentic.
2. Visit the cheesesteak homeland
If you have the time and money, take a pilgrimage to the magical land where it all started. There are a shocking amount of official cheesesteak tours of Philadelphia, or you can go off the beaten path your own if you’re feeling adventurous. Just be sure to stop at Pat’s and Geno’s.
3. Try a vegan cheesesteak
Cheesesteaks may seem like the last thing that could be made vegan, but there are countless, easy to follow recipes online for plant-based cheesesteaks. If you’re in the mood for a kitchen adventure, try a cheesesteak made from mushrooms, vegetables, soy, wheat, nuts, or pretty much anything else imaginable.
Why We Love National Cheesesteak Day
A. Delicious food doesn't have to be fancy
There’s no denying it – cheesesteaks are downright delicious. They prove that you don’t need all kinds of fancy trimmings and trappings to make a delectable sandwich. Sometimes the only ingredients you need are the ones in the name.
B. They’re a huge part of Philly culture
Philly loves Ben Franklin, The Eagles, and cheesesteaks, in that order. Cheesesteaks are such an integral part of the city’s culture that they generate tourism. But, whatever you do, don’t call it a “Philly cheesesteak.” It's just a cheesesteak!
C. It's the one time to use spray cheese
For whatever reason, cheesesteaks are traditionally eaten with Cheese Whiz or some other form of spray cheese. For the sake of tradition, this is allowed. Cheesesteaks, however, are the only way to consume cheese whiz without it looking like a cry for help.