Downtown Lunch: Champs Makes a Great Steak & Cheese

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)

Downtown Lunch: Champs

While standing in the long ass line last week for the ultimately wait-worthy Picnick BBQ, I met a few downtown worker bees and quizzed them to find out what their favorite lunches were in the Wall Street area. One guy said his favorite sandwich was the steak and cheese at Champs, and knowing my penchant for that particular lunch I was excited to try it out this week.

Although the address of Champs is 71 Broadway, and you can get to it through that entrance , the real entrance is on the corner of Trinity Place and Rector Street, so after circling the building from both blocks like a hunter circling his prey, I went in for the kill.

Downtown Lunch: Champs

I ordered the steak and cheese of course, but had my dining companion go with “The Manhattan”, Champs’ signature sandwich consisting of hot roast beef and mozzarella served on garlic bread.

Downtown Lunch: Champs

While the sandwich was decent, the taste of the roast beef didn’t bring to mind Sunday dinner with the family. It was more like the memory of a steam table at my dorm in college. Despite the interesting use of garlic bread, I wouldn’t eat it again.

Downtown Lunch: Champs

The steak and cheese was outstanding though. They use top sirloin and the proper Philly style hoagie with a bit of a chew to it. The steak cooks up quickly and is chopped with onions and melted American cheese. (An authentic Philly cheesesteak uses cheese wiz but I say American is an ok substitute). The cheese, meat, and onions met together and had a beautiful threesome in that hero roll, for all to enjoy. The cheese liquefying from the heat and sticking to the steak and onions- I totally ignored the half of the roast beef I had been working on and devoted all my attention to the Philly. I realize why that worker dude was so into it.

Downtown Lunch: Champs

It’s also a great deal at $6.50, while the roast beef was a bit more expensive at $7.50. Any sandwich over $6 comes with a small chips, cole slaw, or baby carrots (good idea if you’re eating steak and cheese). Next time I’m having a steak n cheese craving I would definitely head back to Champs.

Champs Gourmet Deli, 71 Broadway (on the corner of Trinity & Rector), 212-363-2100



  • Been there! Love the cheese steak!

  • Ooh, I walk by there all the time (the picture tells me I do anyway). Thanks! Is it safe to assume there’s seating inside (cuz the picture looks like the sandwich is on a tray)?

  • 6.50 for a good cheesesteak is great!
    Though the arrows pointing at the Cleaners sign makes me wonder…

  • In my opinion, there are only TWO sandwiches worth their bread: (1) the Reuben, and (2) the Philly-style Cheesesteak (steak and cheese, as you call it).

    Although I have a “thing” against eating other people’s concoctions, your Champ’s sandwich did look pretty well made and tasty.

    BUT, I still cannot comprehend why you folks are unable to make your own sandwiches at home.

    Oh, and I respectfully DISAGREE with you about the American cheese being an ‘ok substitute’ for Cheese Whiz. It’s not ok.

  • I usually substitute my Cheez Whiz for a hearty mixture of Milk Protein Concentrate, Xantham Gum, and Sodium Phosphate, Corn Syrup and artificial colorings.

    Oh wait…

  • Not all of us sit in our singlewide trailer in our underwear and socks using our stolen PC to harrass the good folks at food blogs all over the country 25 and a half hours a day. Not all of us can therefore waddle the 10 feet from the bedroom to the kitchen at whatever hour lunch is for welfare abusers; and throw onions, bits of yesterday’s roadkill, and some government surplus cheese into a hot pan and deposit the blistered results on some stale generic white bread. The rest of us actually have to settle for real steak with real cheese on freshly baked amoroso style rolls from lunch vendors who sell their ware in or around the general vicinity of our work

    Not that someone like DocChuck could ever be expected to understand this

  • Yes, some folks may prefer the more healthy ‘American cheese’: Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes, Cream, Sodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid (As a Preservative). Colored with Carotenal and Beta Carotene.

    Oh wait …

  • As a fraudelent welfare recipent, DocChuck, your preferences don’t really matter. You eat whatever is on sale, handed out for free by the government, or crushed under the wheels of passing motorists.

  • Hey now Fred, the book “The Shameless Carnivore” convinced me that extremely fresh roadkill can be quite delicious. There’s a reason it’s on the Omnivore’s 100!

  • Well Yvo, which do you prefer – the roadkill cheesesteak with govt cheese on old generic whitebread like DocChuck cooks at home (and wonders why Midtown Lunchers dont cook at home every day), or the cheesesteak on a fresh amoroso style roll made by a professional food vendor? Better still, can you explain to him why you (and other MTLers) dont go home for lunch every day, as he (with his multiple novelty-store PhDs) is having great difficulty grasping this simple concept?

  • Fred, I try not to feed the trolls, so no, I won’t explain to anyone why I no longer go home for lunch every day (there was a point in which I did this… cuz I lived across the street from my office!).

    I don’t understand why you have great difficulty grasping the simple internet concept of not feeding the trolls! Or are you also a troll that I should not be feeding right now?

  • PS I’m technically not a MLer, a DLer actually.

  • well, the concept is essentially the same

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    If I may be so bold to actually comment on the nonstarter article:

    Lovely, akin to Zach doing the chesssteak at D&S.


    Zach pick the spot

    Daniel take the pics

    Mamajama do the words.


  • Maybe me too, Bossman, for the ladies.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    “for the ladies”

    To say nothing of the Tuesday-featured facsimiles, however long a stretch they may be.

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