The 12 Best Grilled Cheeses In America

Whether you grew up loving them or you perfected a simple recipe in college, few foods can bring more simple joy to your life than a grilled cheese sandwich. In its most basic form, you can make grilled cheese with as little as three ingredients: bread, butter, and cheese. But as you grow up and evolve from the grilled cheese your mom used to make when you were home from school sick, you learned just how advanced and intricate a grilled cheese can be. Unique cheeses, sauces, and other ingredients have reinvented the wheel, and grilled cheese can easily be the standout meal on any restaurant menu.

There are many foodie destinations across America that feature the quintessential melted cheese sandwich, from the most basic to the most advanced. These are the kind of restaurants you may want to consider taking a road trip to visit, and plenty of customers will vouch for how these grilled cheese sandwiches changed their lives. Read on to find out what the best grilled cheese sandwiches in America are and where you can find them.

Clementine, Los Angeles, California

In a bustling city such as Los Angeles, it can be easy to get caught up in the eye-catching, big-name, larger-than-life personas that make up the metropolitan area. But tucked into Century City is Clementine, a family-owned bakery that serves up breakfast, salads, sandwiches, and hot meals you can bring home and enjoy later. Clementine is all about its local community, sourcing ingredients from farmers' markets — so you know your grilled cheese is made as fresh as can be — and catering to neighboring attractions like the Hollywood Bowl each year.

Throughout the year, you can build your own grilled cheese sandwich with ingredients like cheddar, gruyere or feta cheese, bacon, roasted chicken, and more. Every April, Clementine observes Grilled Cheese Month, with special sandwiches featured on its menu. Regular customers look forward to the event each year, with one Yelp reviewer noting "You can't miss Grilled Cheese Month. They make an entirely separate menu of 20 to 25 different grilled cheese sandwiches. The combinations are interesting and cater to all tastes, including vegans!" You would not think that a menu filled with gooey grilled cheese sandwiches would cater to vegan diets, but leave it to Los Angeles, California to come up with that solution and show that grilled cheese is for everyone. 

Ms. Cheezeious, Miami, Florida

There are a lot of excellent food trucks driving up and down the streets of America. In fact, according to InsuranceBee, there are over 35,000 food trucks in operation as of 2022. So it has to take something truly special to land on Food Network's list of Top 25 Food Trucks in the Country. Fortunately for Ms. Cheezeious in Miami, Florida, it is all thanks to its signature grilled cheese sandwiches. Since the food truck first rolled out onto the streets of Miami in 2010, a brick-and-mortar location has also opened, with Ms. Cheezeious staking its claim as a go-to foodie destination in South Florida. Its grilled cheese options are plentiful, with sandwiches constructed with goat cheese and prosciutto, short rib, and even s'mores.

One Yelp reviewer had particularly glowing things to say about the short rib, sharing, "I was totally blown away how delicious this sandwich was. It's on sourdough bread with jack cheese with delicious short ribs! It's all meat, no fat at all with some arugula and pickled onions. It was heaven on earth!" Five-star reviews are the norm when you read up on Ms. Cheezeious before your visit, which from the sound of it is something you should plan on doing.

Cheesie's Pub and Grub, Chicago, Illinois

A simple grilled cheese sandwich can be stellar all on its own, but to stand out from the competition, you have to offer ingredients that will leave a lasting impression on your customers. Cheesie's Pub and Grub in Chicago, Illinois certainly make a strong case that it produces a serious grilled cheese that is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, they make the bold assertion on their menu that they serve perfect grilled cheese sandwiches. Those sandwiches include the bare necessities like The OG, as well as The Tenderizer, which includes fried chicken tenders and bacon. They also feature a Grilled Cheese of the Month, so there is always something different for customers to order that perhaps they have not tried before.

Cheesie's seems to have the evidence to back up its "perfect grilled cheese" claims, with one Yelp reviewer commenting that The OG is "the best grilled cheese I've ever had. And I've had a LOT of grilled cheeses." Another grilled cheese aficionado shared on Yelp that Cheesie's is their sandwich shop of choice, noting "I am a huge grilled cheese gal, so Cheesie's is a must for me when I'm craving one." You are definitely doing something right when the grilled cheese connoisseurs single you out as the place to go to get one.

The Highroller Lobster Co., Portland, Maine

Many consider Maine to be the lobster capital of the United States. The rocky shores and cooler ocean temperatures found in Maine are ideal for lobster, and the state certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to transforming the crustacean into all kinds of tasty foods, like lobster rolls. The state even has annual food festivals devoted to lobster. So when a restaurant like The Highroller Lobster Co. features a menu item like Lobster Grilled Cheese, you pay close attention. The sandwich is made with a blend of cheddar and Swiss cheese along with lobster claw and knuckle meat, culminating in a truly decadent experience.

One Yelp reviewer had plenty of nice things to say about the Lobster Grilled Cheese, noting that "it was perfection. There was plenty of lobster in the grilled cheese, mixed with just the right amount of cheese, and the bread was grilled perfectly as well." Another visitor bemoaned how their husband did not share enough of the sandwich with them, adding on Yelp "A legit near PERFECT grilled cheese sandwich. They toasted it to heavenly crispness, and the cheese was oozing and hot." Let this be a warning: If you visit The Highroller Lobster Co. the grilled cheese is too good to share so get plenty to go around.

Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Boston, Massachusetts

It does not take much to make a good grilled cheese sandwich but do not underestimate what separates the good from the great. For over a decade, Roxy's Grilled Cheese has been a go-to in Boston for those seeking out true comfort food. What started as a food truck serving excellent grilled cheese sandwiches has grown into a full-scale operation with brick-and-mortar restaurants and an ever-expanding menu. The selection of grilled cheese sandwiches includes the classic variety with a blend of cheddar, muenster, and Monterey jack. Or, you can fancy things up and order a sandwich that comes with goat cheese and fig jam or pulled pork and pickles.

Customers are quick to point out that there is something truly unique about the food served at Roxy's. One Yelp reviewer noted, "Grilled cheese is such a classic, you'd think you couldn't make it any better, but Roxy's just takes it to another level. They are hearty enough to split, but why do that when you can each get a different flavor and then share??" Another reviewer brought up the high expectations they had going into Roxy's for the first time, sharing "The nationally acclaimed grilled cheese food truck did not disappoint. This is how you take a childhood favorite and elevate it next level."

HopCat, Grand Rapids, Michigan

A bar that specializes in craft beer might not be the first place you think to visit when you are in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich. However, the regular customers at HopCat based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan would beg to differ. Its Madtown Grilled Cheese is a long-standing favorite, made with unique ingredients like a blend of dill havarti, smoked gouda, and muenster cheeses. Add to that apple slices, garlic aioli, and honey, and you have the makings of a grilled cheese you will not soon forget.

While the menu at HopCat is quite expansive, it is the grilled cheese that leaves its customers wanting more — if only there was room left in their stomachs. One Yelp reviewer put it quite simply: "Had the best grilled cheese I have ever had!!! You have to get the Madtown Grilled cheese!!!" One customer was so impressed, they shared on Yelp "This is my all-time favorite restaurant. If someone told me to pick my last meal, it'd be the Madtown Grilled Cheese."

The Commodore, Brooklyn, New York

Open for brunch and dinner, The Commodore has been a local favorite spot in Brooklyn since it opened over 10 years ago. Its menu includes its signature fried chicken sandwiches, but it also features a grilled cheese that has been turning heads from day one. The Commodore has what it calls the Adult Cheese, which on the menu sounds innocent enough. It simply reads "gooey spicy grilled special cheese," so what is so adult about it? As it turns out, the Adult Cheese features a blend of bold flavors that redefines what grilled cheese can taste like.

For many, grilled cheese on a menu does not sound like it will be anything memorable, but customers would beg to differ. One Yelp reviewer noted, "The Adult Cheese will change your many different kinds of cheeses! It's heavenly." Another satisfied diner left a review on Yelp saying "It was toasted to perfection and oozing with pimento cheese deliciousness. Creamy and yummy and a tiny bit piquant. Perfect. I think my dining partner may have had a bit of plate envy." New York City is known for a lot of culinary highlights, but when it comes to a grilled cheese sandwich, make sure to add The Commodore to your list of must-visits.

Tupelo Honey Cafe, Charlotte, North Carolina

If you are looking for some classic Southern comfort food, you will want to head to Tupelo Honey Cafe. It has locations all across the country, but it stays true to its made-from-scratch menu no matter where you dine. Over the years, it has featured different kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches for its hungry customers. Varieties have included its Pimento Grilled Cheese with fried green tomatoes, a Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese, as well as its Southern Belle Grilled Cheese with brie and gorgonzola cheeses.

One reviewer on TripAdvisor mentioned that " I had the grilled cheese which was unlike any other grilled cheese I've had before." Another impressed TripAdvisor reviewer shared that they had somewhat tempered expectations of how good a restaurant grilled cheese could be, sharing "Actually only had a grilled cheese with add ons, but the best grilled cheese I have ever had when eating out." Whichever version of the grilled cheese you happen to come across on Tupelo Honey Cafe's menu, previous customers would tell you that you surely will not be disappointed.

Grilled Cheese Grill, Portland, Oregon

For many, grilled cheese sandwiches were a go-to lunch or dinner order growing up. The Grilled Cheese Grill in Portland, Oregon promises to deliver on the nostalgia when you order one of their sandwiches. It recently moved out of its former school bus found-space into its new home at The Knock Back, a cocktail bar in downtown Portland. The menu is, unsurprisingly, heavily devoted to the grilled cheese sandwich and its many iterations. You can kick it old school and order the grilled cheese of your youth: The Kindergartender, made with american cheese on French white bread. Or you can take it to the next level with a sandwich like The French Onion, made with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese.

Over on Yelp, one customer shared their experience in how The Grilled Cheese Grill delivered: "Grilled cheese is already good no matter what and this place brings it to another level with all the different combinations and cheese options. We got the Cheesus, the Hot Brie, and the Jaime. All were delicious." Another Yelp reviewer had a similar observation: "Who knew you could pack that much flavor into a grilled cheese!" Simply put, you do not want to underestimate even the simplest of grilled cheese sandwiches, especially those made at The Grilled Cheese Grill.

The Grilled Cheeserie, Nashville, Tennessee

In Nashville, you will find a husband and wife team heading up The Grilled Cheeserie, a restaurant that is no stranger to accolades recognizing its signature menu item. From appearing on numerous television programs to being featured on multiple top-pick roundups, The Grilled Cheeserie is known well beyond Nashville's city limits. What started as a successful food truck operation grew into its brick-and-mortar location in Hillsboro Village. Customers can either choose from specialty grilled cheese sandwiches with pre-set ingredients, or they can opt to build theirs from scratch.

While its customers are fully aware that grilled cheese is not exactly the epitome of healthy, they would gladly go back time and time again. As one Yelp reviewer put it, The Grilled Cheeserie is "1000% worth the calories. I would fly/drive back to Nashville for their grilled cheese alone." Another Yelp reviewer shared that the melts served here are "Not the grilled cheese sandwich I had as a kid. Nope, it's the grilled cheese sandwich on steroids!" Its other menu items, particularly its soups to dip your grilled cheese in, were also highlighted frequently among happy customers.

24 Diner, Austin, Texas

A diner seems like a no-brainer when it comes to places you will likely find a grilled cheese sandwich on the menu. But at 24 Diner in Austin, Texas, the concept of a diner grilled cheese is amplified. It is that same philosophy that can be seen throughout the entire restaurant: It takes what you know about old-school diners and infuses a unique Austin twist. On the menu it seems fairly unassuming: M's Grilled Cheese is made with a cheddar and havarti blend with roasted tomato on sourdough bread.

Many customers who have passed through 24 Diner are in agreement that its grilled cheese sandwich is not to be missed, with one Yelp reviewer emphasizing that it could take any other grilled cheese out there to task. Another customer shared on Yelp how they were not quick enough to try a bite of their husband's grilled cheese sandwich before it was gone in an instant, but they were able to pass along that "He declared it to be phenomenal and ate every bit of it." You can take his word for it, or you can head to Austin, Texas to try 24 Diner out for yourself.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Seattle, Washington

If you are in Seattle and are in need of some high-quality cheeses, you can head over to Beecher's Handmade Cheese to see what they have in stock. The cheese shop specializes in selling all kinds of products from blocks of cheese to prepared meals like lasagna and macaroni and cheese. But Beecher's also has a few cafe locations throughout Seattle that sell sandwiches, soups, and more. Its grilled cheese sandwiches are top-tier, according to happy customers who have dined there in the past.

One of the hallmarks of Beecher's that seems to reflect strongly in the quality of the grilled cheese sandwiches is the fresh ingredients used. As one Yelp reviewer shared, "They have the best grilled cheese! I think one of the main reasons is their freshly made cheese. It's also fun to watch the live cheese-making process." If the taste alone does not win you over, you will certainly fall in love with a sandwich that uses freshly-made cheese.