Grilled cheese and tomato soup...for most, this evokes fond childhood memories and feelings of nostalgia. Growing up Cuban, my mom and I didn't eat this classic American combo, so we are living those dreams out now as adults. We elevate it just a bit with our favorite Vermont sharp cheddar cheese and replace the classic tomato with tomato basil soup for a bit of sophistication. With my flexible college schedule, I love finding time to spend with her, and this soup is just one of our little traditions we love. Obviously, this is usually accompanied with watching something on TV or Netflix.

Since my mom and I are such big fans of this combination, whenever we see it on a menu somewhere, we try it to see if it stacks up to her homemade version. Here are my top 5 favorite restaurants that have tomato basil soup on their menu, ranked.

1. Cupcake World

Marissa Rodriguez

We stumbled upon this adorable cafe while walking around after eating at a restaurant close by. At first glance, this Parisian-inspired cafe seems to be little more than a cupcake shop, but they have a full crepe menu, complete with daily specials. Wednesday's special is the grilled cheese and tomato soup, and the grilled cheese here is just next-level delicious. They use thick-sliced garlic bread and orange and white cheddar cheese. When you hold the sandwich, the cheese is melty and oozing out, and is like something you'd see on those foodie social medias. The soup is really good, too; it has a thin layer of Parmesan cheese that sits on top, and you can see the bits of basil on top and throughout the soup.

2. Corner Bakery 

This cute cafe has everything from paninis, to pastas, along with great salads and sandwiches, not to mention the many breakfast options. Their soup is called "Roasted Tomato Basil soup" and is topped with homemade spicy croutons. For me, texture in a soup is important, and even though I usually prefer a smooth, creamy soup, the pieces of tomato in this soup are a welcoming change. This gives it a homemade and rustic touch, and I really enjoy that.

3. Panera

Recently, I wrote an article about how excited I am that Panera is coming to our campus, and there, I wrote how much I love the Winter Squash soup from the winter menu. When that menu is not in season, their tomato soup is something else I will order to satisfy my cravings. The description from the Panera website says it is made from "vine-ripened pear tomatoes pureed with fresh cream for a for a velvety smooth flavor accented by hints of red pepper and oregano and topped with black pepper focaccia croutons." This soup also has a homemade touch since it still has small pieces of tomato here and there.

4. Barnes and Noble Cafe 

Our Barnes and Noble Cafe on campus has a rotating menu of soups, but when I see the Tomato Basil on the menu and I happen to be in the mood for one, I get it. I went on the website, and their description for the soup is "Fresh, ripe tomatoes, basil and onions with a hint of ground white pepper. A touch of heavy cream gives this soup a smooth, rich finish that lingers on the palate".  Yum!

5. C'est Bon

bread, vegetable, parsley, cream, soup, butternut squash soup, bisque, spoon
Julia Gilman

I went here recently with a friend from high school, and I was about to pay, when next to the register I saw a small menu with their featured soups. As soon as I saw that it was tomato basil, I knew I wanted to try it. It had bits of tomato as well, but was a little more watery that I would like, since I love soups that are thick and smooth. That said, it is not a bad soup, and I think I might just be a tough critic!

Overall, tomato soup is a childhood classic for most, but for me, it's an adult treat that nods to the nostalgia and childhood for many. My search for my favorite tomato soups is far from over, and I'm not sure it will ever come to an end. Until then, I shall continue scouring the city for the best takes on the childhood classic, and I encourage you to do the same.