Downtown Orlando Restaurant | Orlando Food Truck | Authentic Philly Cheesesteak & Roast Pork | Authentic Chicago Italian Beef & Chicago Hot Dogs

logo Authentic Chicago Italian Beef and Hot Dogs | Philadelphia Cheesesteaks | Orlando Food Truck

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Welcome To Chi Phi

Two friends, both proud of their hometowns of Chicago and Philadelphia, had a craving to share the food and culture of the two famous cities, and from that, Chi Phi was established. Craving a Chicago Hot Dog or how about a Philly Wit' Wiz? Then we invite you to give our entire menu a try, always made with authentic, quality ingredients.

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Downtown Location Closed

Recently, our landlord sold the ChiPhi downtown location. We are presently working on a new home. Please check out our Food Truck schedule so you can still enjoy ChiPhi!

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Chi Phi on Wheels

Check the ChiPhi Food Truck Schedule to see where we are feeding the masses. (Or follow us on Twitter @EatChiPhi)

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Stalk Us

Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for specials, contests and more – and don't forget to hashtag us #EatChiPhi #TeamChi #TeamPhi #ATasteOfTwoCities

The Chi Phi Story

Chicago and Philadelphia are cities that are known for their art, music, sports, and of course, the food.

Two friends who were always very proud of their Hometowns, often craved their cities’ respective foods. In promising to always to keep close to their roots, it was important for them to share this food and culture with their friends.

They decided to create an establishment that would satisfy their cravings for these foods,while sharing their common passion with the world. And so, Chi Phi was born – a rare alliance between the culture-rich cities of Chicago and Philadelphia.

The Chi Phi menu highlights the food that was made famous by these two cities and creates an experience unlike any other. The Chi Phi Promise is to create a high standard of food and service for its loyal patrons. A fresh take on a genuinely inspired menu includes the founders’ special “ChiPhi Touch”.

The style plays off of traditional locations you would see in either of these historic cities. A simple menu, influenced with city-lingo and coupled with quick and friendly service, creates a fun atmosphere that always feels Authentic and Fresh.

FOX 35 News Orlando

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We've Been Featured

We've been featured by the Orlando Sentinel, Fox 35, Central Florida Feature and more! See what they have to say about Chi Phi, the best place in Orlando for Authentic Chicago & Philly Foods.

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The Chi Phi Food Truck Schedule

Public Event List
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**List does NOT include any private events**

Downtown Location Closed

Recently, our landlord sold the ChiPhi downtown location. We are presently working on a new home. Please check out our Food Truck schedule so you can still enjoy ChiPhi!

We're On Instagram @EatChiPhi

Book The Chi Phi Food Truck

Do you have a big event coming up? Want to provide your employees with a 'different' type of lunch break? Or do you just want a delicious and unique way to feed a large group of people? Book the Chi Phi Food Truck and WE will come to YOU.

Chi Phi is a blend of authentic Chicago and Philadelphia foods. Product is shipped in from both cities and recipes are mimicked to provide the closest tastes you can find outside of Chicago and Philadelphia. Cheesesteaks, Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Dogs, Roast Pork, Sausages, and more! Chi Phi has it all!

All we need is just a little information to prepare, and we'll be happy to serve you. Tell us a little about you and your event:

Chi Phi & Food Truck Bazaar in Central Florida Future

The Food Truck Bazaar heads to Knight Library

Chi Phi, owned and operated by UCF alumnus, cooks up Philadelphia inspired food

Smells of BBQ, Philly cheese steaks and chicken and waffles engulfed the air at Knight Library on Friday night, and despite late afternoon showers, more than a hundred locals and students showed up to take part in The Food Truck Bazaar.

With eight food trucks filling up the parking lots surrounding Knight Library, students eyed the variety of foods before them as they walked to the bar.

Early in the evening, a small group of students stopped and talked to the chefs about their food choices.

The Food Truck Bazaar finally made its way to the UCF area. Although the event ran into nasty weather that prevented large crowds from coming out early, people showed up in droves later in the night.

“We’re gonna try this one time and see how it goes,” The Food Truck Bazaar owner Mark Baratelli said. “Obviously today it’s pouring down rain so we don’t know what’s gonna happen, but were going to try this once and a couple more times and see if UCF supports it. If they do, then we’ll definitely be back.”

This was the first time that this event had ever come near UCF, and it was in large part due to the owners of the food truck Chi Phi and the owners of Knight Library.

“I know the owners of Chi Phi, this awesome food truck, who know the people at Knight Library, and we all put our heads together and came up with this concept, and it just seemed like a perfect fit: food trucks, a bar and college students,” he said.

After a strong turn out, in spite of nasty weather, Baratelli was excited about coming back to the UCF area.

“I want to come back and do it again,” Baratelli said at the end of the night.

James Guerino, a UCF alumnus and one of the owners of Chi Phi, said that the students at UCF would embrace the food truck community.

“You can go to one event and try five to 10 to 15 different tastes of culture, ethnicities and just completely different styles of food, cooking techniques, and you can kind of knock that out in one night,” Guerino said. “We were surprised that there is a huge food truck population in Orlando but none of them come around UCF.

“We feel like that’s a demographic we would like to get, being that we’re both UCF graduates and proud alumni, we would like to bring that UCF demographic into that world.”

The trucks at the UCF event were: Melissa’s Chicken & Waffles, Chi Phi Philly Cheesesteaks, Carobama BBQ, La Empanada, Local Yolk’l, Curbside Chef, Tamale Co, and Charlie’s Bakery.

Locals who follow the food truck community often travel from place to place to continue to try different trucks and everything each truck has to offer.

“My wife and I went to one in Casselberry,” UCF library employee Jonathan Hanie said. “We had some really good tacos here at the last one. It was called Waco Taco, and they were really good.”

Hanie hopes that The Food Truck Bazaar will make it’s way back to the UCF area, saying that it provides a wide variety of food options to the people who go to the events.

“We’re trying the beef brisket truck; we didn’t try that at the last one,” Hanie said. “We like the food trucks, we just basically wanted to sample what we’ve got and what we haven’t tasted.”

Chi Phi Gets Rolling

Chi Phi got started when Guerino and a friend came to the realization that they should be sharing the classic foods that represented the cities they loved so much. For Philadelphia, there is the Philly cheese steak; for Chicago, there is the beef hot dog.

“The first thing he would do when he would go home to Philadelphia was eat a cheese steak, and the first thing I would do when I went home to Chicago was eat a beef,” Guerino said. ”We were like, ‘man, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get something just like home in Orlando,’ and that’s basically where Chi Phi was born.”

Chi Phi is authentic through and through. Their condiments and breads all come from the respective cities: Breads and condiments of Philly-inspired foods come from Philadelphia, and breads and condiments of Chi-Town inspired foods come from Chicago.

The Food Truck Bazaar’s Start

Baratelli started out as a small events blogger for

“I was kind of paying attention to what was going on in the city, what was new, different and fun,” Baratelli said. “I was doing these little events, these little pop up events and art shows — things to kind of make the town a little more exciting — and then I did this thing called The Food Truck Bazaar, which was just eight trucks in a parking lot, and 4,000 people showed up. Then I did it again and more people showed up, I did it again and more trucks came out.”

That was when he got the idea to take this food truck event on the road from town to town. Now, cut to 2014 and they’re in 10 towns a month, every single month.


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Chi Phi Featured on Fox 35 News

FOX 35 News Orlando

ChiPhi was invited to be on Fox 35 News Morning Show in Orlando!


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Chi Phi Food Truck Feeds Knights


Looking for a new take on lunch? Break away from campus cuisine on the first Friday of every month and make a quick trek down University Boulevard.

Carey Sobel and James Guerino, UCF graduates and co-owners of the Chi Phi food truck, are going to bring their truck and others to Food Truck Friday at Knight Library starting Jan. 3 and plan to continue it the first Friday of every month.

Chi Phi features food that comes from Chicago and Philadelphia, which is where the name comes from.

Guerino said the two headliners of the menu are the Phillycheesesteak for Philadelphia and the Italian beef sandwich for Chicago.

“We didn’t feel like there was a good place for cheesesteaks or Italian beef in Orlando, or even really in Florida,” Guerino said. “So why don’t we create this concept where there’s two cities kind of battling it out for the rights to the customers’ hearts?”

The idea first came about in June of last year, Sobel said, and in addition to the food truck, he opened up The Basement, a bar in downtown Orlando, in June of this year.

Both opened within a few weeks of each other, and the bar also serves Chi Phi food.

There’s no need to worry about authenticity, either.

Sobel is from Philadelphia and Guerino is from Chicago, and both are passionate about their cities — and the food.

“I’ve always wanted to start a cheesesteak place since I moved from Philadelphia when I was 18. Being pretty passionate about my city and the fact that you can’t get a good cheesesteak outside of around the city of Philadelphia,” Sobel said. “I actually learned through [Guerino] that the Chicago Italian beef sandwich is to a Chicagoan as a Philadelphia cheesesteak is to a Philadelphian.”

Their first Food Truck Friday event, which was held in November, didn’t turn out as successful as they hoped it would — but they aren’t letting that slow them down.

“We got 100 people last time. If we can do 400, 500 people, the next one will multiply by three, that’s just the way these shows work,” Sobel said. “Once you get a couple hundred people out there, that’s it. That’s all you need to do.”

Guerino said the turnout was less-than-ideal simply because they didn’t market it enough in time for the event, but the partners are working to create more of a presence both in the area and online.

Fliers, signs, a stronger social media presence and simple word of mouth are all part of their plans to bring more awareness of the event to people in the area.

“UCF is a pretty tight-knit community so there’s no reason why UCF shouldn’t have a food truck,” Sobel said. “I think it’ll be a great thing to start around the UCF community with the food truck hype that’s going on right now.”

Knight Library was, therefore, an ideal place for the UCF community to come together for Food Truck Friday and try out Chi Phi’s food.

“It just made sense … and it could be a mutually beneficial thing where people eat and then they go have a couple drinks inside of Knight Library,” Guerino said.

Their relationship with Knight Library began in 2005 when Sobel started working there as a disc jockey.

After some time, he stopped DJing and instead headed Library’s marketing efforts by performing tasks such as producing a newsletter and maintaining an online presence.

When the popular bar relocated last year, a unique partnership bloomed.

Because the new location didn’t have a kitchen, the management at Knight Library decided to partner up with Sobel and Guerino to use the equipment in their truck to make food.

Food service is only offered when the truck is there, which typically includes weekends and game days, Knight Library general manager Cabot Brown said.

“They handle the complete food side of it,” Brown said, noting that none of Knight Library’s employees are cooks and that the focus is instead on alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and the indoor seating. “It’s a completely separate entity. We just kind of teamed up so people think of us as a food destination as well.”

Sobel and Guerino decided not to do Food Truck Friday in December for two reasons: to have more time to market it better and because many students will either be heading home or taking finals around that time.

“We really want to promote it and do it the right way when we start this up in January,” Guerino said.


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Chicago Meets Philadelphia – in an Orlando Kitchen

July 11, 2013 • A.D. Thompson

Florida Keys natives are called “conchs,” but after seven years, transplants are permitted to call themselves “freshwater conchs.” It’s a fun custom, one that could work in Orlando (if natives had a cutesy nickname) as many people who settle here were raised elsewhere. Case in point: 2009 UCF grads Jim Guerino – hometown: Chicago – and Philadelphian Carey Sobel. A commonality between the cities? They’re big sandwich towns.

“The cheesesteak is to a Philadelphian as the Italian beef sandwich is to a Chicagoan,” Sobel explains.

And so Philly and Chi transplants – or anyone looking for city-centric eats on a sinfully soggy roll – are welcome to taste how their new venture, Chi Phi, measures up. Along with cheesesteaks (recommended “Wiz wit’”) and Italian beef, diners will find Chicago-style dogs and sausage and another Philly fave, the roast pork (with provolone and broccoli rabe). Packers fans get a nod, too; cheese curds are an offered side item. “Yeah, they’re from Wisconsin,” Guerino acknowledges, “but they’ve migrated into Illinois, too.”

Notably, Chi Phi’s home is inside another newcomer to downtown: The Basement, a bar in which Sobel is also a partner. “We felt the laid-back style of Chi Phi fit perfectly with the Basement,” which he describes as a “Prohibition era­-style neighborhood pub … a great bar with strong drinks.”

Customers can sit on either side. Order, pay, get a number and the server shows up with food cooked-to-order. Chi Phi is open for the business-crowd lunch and will be adding a window for sidewalk orders. And the bar crowd? That’s a no-brainer. They plan on serving well into the wee hours on weekends, filling the bellies of revelers in need of soak-up grub.

Locals can look for entertainment and sports events before long, with discounts for Chicago or Philadelphia team wins. And when the cities face off? “There will be some type of party, I can promise you that.”


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Pine Street Panorama

July 18, 2018 • Tod Caviness

(Begin excerpt) And if you’re just looking for a casual night out? Revelers have a new option in a familiar space just a few blocks east, at the old home of Pine St. Bar & Grill. New owners Carey Sobel, Brandon Geers and Logan Berkowitz have reopened the spot as The Basement, and I’m glad to see that it is settling into the neighborhood niche of the original tenants.

The Basement serves as a low-key sister bar to The Attic, Geers and Berkowitz’s upstairs nightclub. If you enjoyed the jeans-and-sneakers ethic of the old Pine St. Bar, you’ll be happy to see that The Basement has kept the wooden booths, the patio tables and (yes!) the table tennis. There’s new decor on the walls along with some Prohibition-era photos, but you won’t find complicated cocktails or snobbery here. This is still one of the few spots in downtown that doesn’t mind being called a dive bar.

To that end, The Basement boasts drink specials that include select $3 shots every night, plus $3 Bloody Marys (with a buffet of premium toppings) on Sunday. There is never a cover, and the side room offers some filling pub grub from the former food-truck foodies of Chi Phi. That moniker may sound vaguely Asian, but it’s actually shorthand for the eatery’s menu of Chicago and Philadelphia-inspired cuisine, including cheesesteak, Polish sausage and cheese curds.


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Chi Phi Blends Chicago & Philly Into One Tasty Menu

July 18, 2013 • W2H Blog

Authenticity and passion! These are the two main points I took away from speaking with Carey Sobel and Jim Guerino, the creators and owners of Chi Phi: A Taste of Two Cities. These guys keep it simple and DO IT RIGHT! I had the opportunity to sit down with the two owners, learn about the passion for their business, and eat GREAT food from two iconic cities. Chi Phi (pronounced shy-fi) is a new restaurant in downtown Orlando that combines the classic foods of both Chicago and Philadelphia that really make you feel at home.

Carey and Jim started with an idea a year ago and began it with a Chi Phi food truck, which they now have in addition to this new, growing restaurant. The pair really put in the hard yards to build their business from the ground up and make it true to their roots. They’ve traveled to and from their beloved cities and back to their childhood favorites, to bring their passions and love for food here to Orlando. They import their breads and condiments straight from the cities themselves and made sure their recipes are as good, if not better than the originals. These guys have really done their homework and have even thrown in a few of grandma’s old recipes for good measure. Once you come in and taste the food for yourself, you’ll understand how much passion goes into the restaurant and how something with such simple ingredients can be so delicious!

They pull out all the punches with classics like; The Philly Cheesesteak “Wit Wiz”, Chicago Italian Beef with the Vienna imported Giardiniera (you’ll want to get it “Wet” trust me!), Polish Sausage with traditional spicy mustard, Chi-Town Hotdog with all the bells and whistles, and a few delicious twists that will definitely leave your taste buds begging for more. And if you can’t decide on what to get, then try the Taste of Two Cities Combo and experience the best of both worlds. Come discover your new favorites, from both the Windy City and The City of Brotherly Love.  The Chi Phi restaurant shares the same location as The Basement Bar Orlando, located at 68 East Pine St. Orlando, FL 32801. You can also find The Chi Phi Team whipping up the classics in their food truck, at Food Truck rallys all over the state, Fridays through Sundays. Have fun and eat well. Cheers!


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Alumni Bring Flavor to Downtown Party Scene

July 24, 2013 • Ana Cuello

A friendly competition between two die-hard sports fans has evolved into downtown Orlando’s newest eatery.

Former Knights Carey Sobel and James Guerino have been close friends for ages, and the passionate Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears fans often got together to watch their respective teams take the field against each other.

“I always used to talk about the food from Philly and Jim always used to talk about the food from Chicago,” Sobel said. “I traveled to Chicago with him and he traveled to Philly with me and we took each other to different eating spots and it kind of just evolved from there.”

From there, Chi Phi was born. Fusing together the culture-rich cities of Philadelphia and Chicago, Chi Phi’s menu boasts iconic culinary items such as the classic Philly cheesesteak and Chicago Italian beef sandwich.

“One of the first things [Carey and I] would do when we’d go back to visit our families is that he’d grab acheesesteak and I’d go grab an Italian beef,” Guerino said. “No one does it to our expectations down here.

“It was a unique opportunity for us to bring a little taste of our cultures and homes to Orlando,” he said.

For Guerino and Sobel, the food from the speedy sandwich shop brings together their old roots with their new roots in Orlando. Chi Phi imports all of their condiments and bread directly from Chicago and Philadelphia, bringing an authenticity to the cuisine that only a “Chi Phi” native would detect.

“I got out of my car and a guy said, ‘Hey, you guys work at Chi Phi, you work at Basement,’” Sobel said. “I said, ‘It’s actually my concept. Have you been there? Do you know about it?’

“He just ranted and raved about how great the food was and how he’s from Chicago,” he said.

The rivalry still hasn’t ended between Sobel and Guerino. The restaurant also features a Chi Phi meal, where you can take half-portions of the sandwiches from each city and make it into one.

“It’s a taste of two cities. It’s a friendly competition of two cities,” Guerino said. “We want people to take sides with their sandwiches.”

Sobel and Guerino aren’t the only UCF alumni occupying 68 E. Pine St.

Three years ago, Brandon Geers and Logan Berkowitz opened up The Attic, a VIP-treatment lounge that sits atop the former Pine Street Bar and Grill.

This past month, the UCF graduates, along with Sobel, hosted their grand opening of The Basement, Orlando’s newest prohibition-style dive bar that opened up in collaboration with Chi Phi.

“We wanted something a little more relaxed for people that don’t want to go up there and dance the night away,” Geers said. “We get anyone from the 21-year-old college kid to the 60-year-old business worker for lunch.

“Our main goal is to be the neighborhood pub, something really approachable,” Geers said.

The previous owners of Pine Street Bar and Grill sold the location to The Basement, and the site already featured an open kitchen concept. Geers reached out to Sobel and Guerino in an attempt to get Chi Phi established at a permanent location.

“Logan and I didn’t want anything to do with food,” Geers said. “For these guys to come in and really take over every aspect of it, from managing the kitchen to expediting the food, really just took a weight off [our] shoulders.”

The owners agree that the most rewarding part of the business has been public acceptance of the bar-eatery concept within the community.

“Everyone seems to think that the concepts go together and work really well together and they’re accepting of the idea that it’s one entity,” Guerino said.

“We don’t really say that one side is one or the other. The Basement and Chi Phi are one in the same,” Geers said.

Chi Phi is growing, with inquiries coming from as far away as New York for a location to open up in Manhattan. Sobel is adamant about opening up a Chi Phi near every major university in the state of Florida, and UCF students looking to get Chicago- and Philadelphia-style cuisine might have something to look forward to.

“I want to get as involved with UCF as possible,” Sobel said. “Everybody that is involved is UCF alumni.

“We love giving back to UCF,” he said.


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