This is not merely a compilation of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in America. Instead, it is a compilation of America’s most over-the-top, indulgent and glorious grilled cheese sandwiches. And I assure you, everything here is worth the calorie overload. Also, perhaps the best hangover cures ever.
1. The Cheesus at The Grilled Cheese Grill, Portland, OR
This behemoth grilled cheeseburger replaces the traditional burger buns with two grilled cheese sandwiches instead. One grilled cheese sandwich includes pickles and American cheese while the other includes grilled onions and Colby jack.
If that’s not enough, this gigantic sandwich comes with a bag of chips on the side, or you could top it up with more bacon. But as The Grilled Cheese Grill says itself, “You won’t need to eat again for two days.”
2. The Gouda at The Queens Kickshaw, Queens, NY
Inspired by the ethnic diversity of the area, The Queens Kickshaw offers a wide range of sandwiches influenced by flavors from all over the world. But the unique offering here would be The Gouda sandwich. It’s stuffed with nutty, smoked gouda cheese, sweet guava jam, earthy black bean hummus and pickled jalapeños in between soft brioche buns. Powerful flavors, but all well-balanced.
3. Cheesy Mac & Rib Sandwich at The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles, CA
This Cheesy Mac & Rib Sandwich is a winning combination of sharp cheddar cheese, rich, house-smoked BBQ pulled pork, creamy Southern macaroni and cheese, and sweet caramelized onions. All stuffed in between heavily-buttered French bread, this sandwich is a carbohydrate, protein and sensory overload.
4. Buttermilk-Fried Chicken Grilled Cheese at The Melt Shop, New York City, NY
This is not only one of the most cheesy indulgence grilled cheese sandwiches, it is also one of the most unique fried chicken offerings ever. Combine them together into one innovative sandwich, what’s not to love?
5. Grilled Cheese Donuts at Tom + Chee, Cincinnati, OH
The real kicker here would definitely be their decadent grilled cheese donuts. Try the Blueberry Blue sandwich that was featured on Adam Richman’s “Man vs Food.” Another good pick is the Barbara Blue sandwich which features sweet, tangy blueberry compote, creamy melted Brie, and savory ham in between two perfectly grilled glazed donuts.
6. Crabby Melt at Grilled Cheese & Co., Catonsville, MD
Highlighting regional flavors, the Crabby Melt combines melted Monterey Jack cheese with a slightly sweet, homemade crab dip. The result is literally an overflowing mess, but a delicious creamy goodness.
7. Short Rib Grilled Cheese at Saltbox, San Diego, CA
This Short Rib Grilled Cheese sandwich emphasizes the perfect flavor union between fatty, juicy short rib and creamy, tasty Manchego cheese. Finished with a New Orleans-style piquant sauce made with olive oil, tomatoes and peppers, this excessively-filled sandwich is sure to knock you out for the rest of the afternoon.
8. Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Jaleo, Washington, DC
At Jaleo, acclaimed Chef José Andrés takes a haute approach to recreating a simple grilled cheese sandwich. The lavish combination of Manchego, Murcia, Valdeón, goat cheese and truffle oil results in a sandwich that is not only especially gooey and creamy but aromatic as well.
9. Mac Daddy at The Melt, San Francisco, CA
Another great American comfort food mash-up. Nothing beats creamy mac and cheese and crunchy, toasted white bread – starch on starch – all tied together with aged white cheddar cheese.
10. Croque Madame at Burro Cheese Kitchen, Austin, TX
This hearty breakfast sandwich includes getting smoky Serrano ham, gooey Gruyère cheese, a fried egg that oozes out when you bite into it, and a duo of delicious sauces – a Pesto-aioli and a sweet Dulce de Leche – all stuffed in between two slices of perfectly grilled sourdough bread. Breakfast can’t get any better than this.
11. Shoo Grilled Cheese, Have Mercy at Tupelo Honey Café, Charlotte, NC
This sandwich is pretty much mind blowing. Nestled within homemade sourdough wheat bread, you’ll get caramelized onions, maple-peppered bacon, smoked ham, fried green tomatoes and fresh basil all covered in melted Havarti and pimento cheeses.
Apparently the owners say that this sandwich is so delicious and filling that it makes diners explain, “Shoo mercy!” (and hence the name). We’re definitely inclined to believe them.
12. Raclette Grilled Cheese at Bell Book & Candle, New York City, NY
This creation has got to be one of the most sophisticated and divine grilled cheese sandwiches ever. As if thick slices of melted raclette cheese and white truffle shavings aren’t enough, this grilled cheese sandwich is topped with a perfectly slow poached egg that, when broken, spreads all over the sandwich to provide a creamy and luscious finish.
13. The Tenderizer at Cheesies, Chicago, IL
Readers of Esquire Magazine voted Cheesie’s as the best place in the country to get your grilled cheese sandwich fix, and it’s easy to understand why. The Tenderizer sandwich features two thick slices of Texas toast stuffed with crispy chicken tenders, melted mozzarella and cheddar, smoky bacon, hot sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.
And if you really really love grilled cheese, sign up for the Cheesie’s Challenge: an 8-pound stack of grilled cheese sandwiches in 45 minutes.
14. Redonkadonk at Brunch Box, Portland, OR
Trust me, this grilled cheeseburger combination is worth all that calories. A grilled burger patty, ham, bacon, cheese, egg and spam in between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with extra thick Texas Toast, you can’t get more of a killer combination than this.
15. The Parmageddon at Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland, OH
Imagine tender, pillowy potato and onion-filled Polish pierogis stuffed in between two huge slices of bread. If that wasn’t starchy and hearty enough, the sandwich is also stuffed with grilled onions, sharp cheddar cheese and fresh Napa vodka kraut. This is the ultimate comfort food.
16. Southern Fried Chicken & Waffle Melt at Ms. Cheezious, Miami, FL
Fried chicken and cheddar in between two housemade buttermilk waffles, topped with house country gravy and maple syrup, it’s everything awesome in a sandwich.
17. Jalapeño Popper at The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, San Francisco, CA
This has got to be one of the most innovative grilled cheese sandwiches ever. The creative combination of creamy and tangy chèvre and Monterey jack cheese with sweet and spicy apricot-jalapeño relish and smoky bacon is sure to transport you to a whole new world of flavors.
Note that chef and owner Heidi Gibson has an engineering degree from MIT and is also a seven-time winner of the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which explains why her grilled cheese sandwiches are amazingly transcendent.
18. Melter Skater at MeltKraft, Philadelphia, PA
What’s not to love when your favorite junk food is integrated into your favorite comfort food? Melter Skater features a three-month-aged raclette cheese, pickled green tomatoes, jalapeños, watercress, and the best part: BBQ potato chips mashed right in the middle.
19. Mighty Rib Melt at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Boston, MA
Winner of The Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race,” Roxy’s dishes out absolutely infallible grilled cheese sandwiches. But the essential one to try would definitely be the Mighty Rib Melt which combines fontina, braised short rib and caramelized onions.