Pat's King of Steaks
“You comin’ to the fight?”
This Philly restaurant staple has been beloved by cheesesteak fans since 1930 and since 1976 has been a culinary highlight for hungry Rocky fans.
This bustling, real-life eatery is where loan shark Tony Gazzo brought Rocky to grab a bite to eat in the original Rocky. Pat’s is still going strong today – is open 24/7 – and even boasts a plaque on the cement which reads “On this spot stood Sylvester Stallone filming the great motion picture Rocky. Nov. 21, 1975”.
While filming here in 1975, Sly may have also sampled one of Pat’s Philly cheesesteaks. We know for a fact he had a drink at Pat’s while in costume as Rocky, cause we’ve got photos of Stallone relaxing between takes.
Pat’s King of Steaks enjoys a healthy rivalry between its next-door-neighbor and number one Philly cheesesteak competitor, Geno’s Cheesesteaks (established later than Pat’s in 1966.) Philly locals have their favorites, but if Pat’s is Rocky’s place, then it’s our favorite, too.
Wit or Widdout
If you’re on a Rocky tour visiting Philadelphia for the first time, you may be faced with the age-old cheesesteak question … Wit or Widdout? Here’s a crash course on ordering steaks in the City of Brotherly Love.
If you’re not American and have never even heard of a cheesesteak outside of Rocky, here’s the deal. A cheesesteak is a juicy sandwich, stuffed with thinly sliced or chopped steak on a long bun. Depending on which cheesesteak joint you visit, you’ll either add melted cheese over the top, or opt for no cheese. Some traditionalists say you should never put cheese on your steak, others will fight you for it. Usual options for cheese are American, Provolone or Cheese Whiz. (If you don’t know, Cheese Whiz is synthetic looking orange cheese. In a can. That is literally sprayed onto your sandwich.)
Now – do you want onions on that? If so, you’d order “wit” (instead of “with”) because, well, you gotta use a Philly accent. No onions? Say “widdout” (“without”).
Robert Plazek’s Travel Tip: “For the out-of-towners, Pat’s have put together a step by step guide on ‘how to order a steak’ situated above the ordering counter. Take a minute to read it before placing an order as there is system to abide by. You can even stand in the spot where Balboa stood while eating your Philly cheesesteak sandwich.
Parking here may be difficult as Pat’s is very popular and there are always long lines of customers waiting for their cheesesteaks. Across the street is Geno’s, the competitor of Pat’s, so it may take some circling to find a parking space as this area is very busy 24/7.