America’s Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

by Michael Stern

From pressed-flat, wafer-thin, white-bread-and-Velveeta cooked on a lunch-counter flattop to effulgent bouquets of imported cheese melted between halves of an artisan bun, the best grilled cheese sandwiches have countless personalities.

Some have regional character, such as pimento cheese in the South, the Frenchie of Omaha, the grated hot cheese of Fall River, Massachusetts, and the cheese crisp of southern Arizona (which tests the definition of grilled cheese).

They can be comfort food, health food, or a challenge to the mightiest appetite. Here are 15 favorite Roadfood grilled cheese destinations around the U.S.


Grilled Cheese Grill

From classic grilled cheese to a Cheesus Burger (2 grilled cheese sandwiches replace the bun!), Grilled Cheese Grill reflects Portland’s eclectic cuisine.



Extreme Grilled Cheese is Meltz's motto: a fantastic array of sandwiches that include exotic combos of Asian, Italian, Mexican, and even German ingredients.


Shirley’s Diner

Shirley's is a heartland cafe serving the unique Nebraska cheese frenchee: a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in corn flake batter and deep-fried.


Eden Alley

Kansas City's superb vegetarian restaurant, Eden Alley is a big, open dining room (& outdoor patio) staffed with people for whom The Right Food is a mission.


Zingerman’s Deli

Zingerman's of Ann Arbor is one of America's great delicatessens, serving terrific sandwiches made of world-class ingredients on Zingerman's-baked bread.


Melt Bar & Grilled

Melt's over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches include the "Parmageddon" filled with potato and cheese pierogies, Napa vodka kraut, grilled onions and cheddar.


Camellia Grill

Camellia Grill, a vintage New Orleans diner with style, hosts a mix of locals, tourists & Tulane students. Must eat: butter-grilled pecan pie a la mode.


Betsy’s on the Corner

A bustling Aiken restaurant serving sandwiches, salads, burgers, and square meals, Betsy's also sports a soda fountain with ice cream treats galore.



The theme is grilled cheese, which Toasted of Winter Park, Florida, makes plain and fancy. Also featured: cheeseburgers and a roster of vegan alternatives.


J.J.’s Coney Island

J.J.'s is a top hot dog restaurant of Fall River, Massachusetts, with Coney Island wieners, chourico rolls, stuffed quahogs, and South Coast chow mein.


Rubi’s Coffee & Sandwiches

In back of a cheese shop, Rubi's takes advantage of the fancy products sold at the front of the building. Grilled cheese heaven!


Mi Nidito

Chimichangas at Mi Nidito are the size of yule logs. Don't miss the Tucson specialty Topopo Salad -- a tower of Mexican-accented ingredients.


Feel Good Food Truck

Feel Good Food Truck is a high-spirited enterprise serving spectacular hamburgers, outlandish grilled cheese and beer-battered French fries. Seats outside & in.


Cochon Butcher

House-cured and smoked meats star at this casual New Orleans "Swine Bar" progeny of the original Cochon. Boudin sausage and BBQ pork are featured attractions.