13 of the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Philadelphia
Here's where to get the most comforting sandwich ever.
Food trends might come and go, but the phenomenon of the restaurant grilled cheese is one we hope never falls out of favor. Philly has not one, not two, but three grilled cheese-centric spots (plus a food truck) in addition to diners, pubs, and neighborhood hangouts who put their own spin on the classic comfort food. Here are some of our favorite places to crunch into a grilled cheese in Philly.
Meltkraft, Market East
Nearly the entire menu at this Reading Terminal Market stall is grilled cheese, made with local wheels from New Jersey’s Valley Shepherd Creamery. The Somerset, made with Valley Shepherd’s Gruyère-style along with cured ham, tangy cornichons, and whole-grain mustard, is our go-to.
Little Spoon Cafe, South Street
This cute daytime spot combines one craveworthy food with another: their Bacon Grilled Cheese includes house-made bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, caramelized shallots, and a schmear of tomato-bacon jam on its lunch menu. If that’s not your style, be sure to check the specials board for rotating grilled cheese selections.
High Street on Market, Old City
It takes a lot of confidence to name a sandwich Best Grilled Cheese Ever, but we can’t argue with High Street on this one. Outsized slices of tender roasted potato bread, lots of melty Lancaster County cheddar, and flavorful cultured butter are all you need — except, maybe, for the optional slab of heirloom tomato.
Melt Shop, King of Prussia
Looking for the ultimate comfort foods? In addition to grilled cheese stuffed with truffle oil, Buffalo chicken, or burger patties, you can supplement your sandwich with chicken tenders, tater tots, and milkshakes (plus salad if you feel the need for a little balance).
Joe’s Steaks, Fishtown and Torresdale
Joe’s gets well-deserved attention for its cheesesteaks, but they also go a grilled cheese — your basic version and another that’s stuffed with (wait for it) cheese fries.
South Philly Taproom, Newbold
The gastropub keeps their grilled cheese classic, with a perfect-for-melting blend of three cheeses within, fries and pickles on the side, and a cup of tomato lager soup for dipping and sipping.
Say Cheese, Various locations
Philly’s grilled cheese truck, brought to you by the Revolution Taco folks, doesn’t set up shop at a regular spot any more, but you can find them at special events all over the region.
Milk House, 30th Street Station and Suburban Station
The next time you’ve got time to kill before your train comes, head to this grilled cheese-centric spot for a 30th Street — that’s Brie, caramelized onion, and bacon melted between slices of seven-grain bread.
Middle Child, Washington Square West
Dineresque spot Middle Child does comfort food with its own spin — and what diner menu doesn’t include grilled cheese? Get the kid-style no-frills version, or try it grownup style with pink-hued prosciutto cotto, apple butter, and Crystal-spiked mayo.
Royal Tavern, South Philly
You can get Royal Tavern’s excellent grilled cheese (incorporating creamy goat’s milk chevre, a bold choice) any time — but if you want to start your day off right, get the Breakfast Grilled Cheese off their weekend brunch menu. It’s everything you want in a breakfast — scrambled eggs, meat, potatoes — with the addition of bread, cheddar, and mozzarella.
Mac Mart, Rittenhouse
When you want carbs on your carbs and cheese on your cheese, head to Mac Mart: in addition to topping creamy mac ‘n’ cheese with everything from tater tots to pesto to corn dogs, they’ll also add sliced American and sandwich it between two fat slices of Texas toast.
Mighty Melt, Old City
We love a lot of things about Mighty Melt — how could we not, with the talent behind Mighty Bread and Stargazy at the helm? — but one is that they understand that grilled cheese isn’t just for lunch or dinner. Their menu includes cheese-centric breakfast sandwiches as well as a dessert option. (OK, so the sweet sandwich swaps out the cheese for banana and peanut butter and the usual sourdough for one that’s chocolate-flavored, but we’re still gonna count it.)
Tired Hands Brewcafé, Ardmore
The petite original Tired Hands location famously serves pickles, cheese, charcuterie, and panini to complement its dank craft beers. We love their ultra-local take with Lancaster-sourced smoked white cheddar and sweet beef bologna alongside a pint of HopHands.