Columbus Monthly’s Best New Restaurants 2023: Marlow’s Steaks

GA Benton


Philadelphia cheesesteaks are sold all over Columbus – at specialty cheesesteak chains with production line kitchens, at mainstream restaurants with expansive menus, and at cheffy sandwich shops with quirky recipes. The cheesesteaks from such places are also all over the map. Marlow’s in Gahanna stands out from the pack because the owners are expat Philadelphians who make cheesesteaks the way they love them in the City of Brotherly Love.

Owners Shanika Sheppard and husband Jomar moved out of their beloved hometown in 2018 in search of a fresh start. They would find that at Marlow’s, whose food truck roots blossomed in the space in the Creekside area formerly occupied by Arepazo Tapas and Wine. The unassuming room is now home to a fun mural of Philly celebrities and a small, well-executed menu of cheesesteaks, cheesesteak variations, and must-have steak fries.

A mural featuring famous Philly celebrities at Marlow's in Gahanna

The Classic Wit Wiz is the real Philly deal: thinly sliced, chopped, tender and delicious beef; grilled onions (the “Wit”); a lickable lake of spicy cheese sauce (the “Wiz”); and a roll that does not fall apart due to the weight of the overflowing fillings.

The Chicken Wit Wiz is a worthy alternative with abundant peppery white meat. Go meatless? Marlow’s Vine St. Veggie is a mushroom-and-cheese-laden torpedo that’s also bursting with flavor.