These Are 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 sandwich is forever. Philly has multiple restaurants dedicated exclusively to the veneration of the grilled cheese, and even more bars, diners and neighborhood joints that do versions that run the gamut from bizarre to sublime.
So for those gray afternoon lunches, those summer nights, those winter evenings when nothing seems more comforting than some gooey cheese on crispy bread, here’s our list of all the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Philadelphia.
The Grilled Cheese Sandwiches You Must Try First
High Street on Market
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. 308 Market Street
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.
Di Bruno Bros., Multiple locations
Who should you trust more to make you a perfect grilled cheese sandwich than the people who control Philly’s Strategic Cheese Reserve? Seriously, check out The House of (Grilled) Cheese at Alimentari in Rittenhouse to see just how good a thoughtful grilled cheese can be.
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Best Grilled Cheese in South Philly and Old City
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.) 111 South Independence Mall
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. 937 East Passyunk Avenue
Cheddar and fontina on thick country bread, served with tomato soup — just the way the Food Gods intended. 700 Chestnut Street
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South Philly Taproom
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. 1509 Mifflin Street
The Best Grilled Cheese in Center City, Rittenhouse and Market East
The next time you’ve got time to kill before your train comes, head to this grilled cheese-centric spot for a 30th Street (Brie, caramelized onion, and bacon melted between slices of seven-grain bread) or a Classic (American cheese on country white bread) with a cup of tomato soup. 30th Street Station and Suburban Station
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–which, strictly speaking, makes it a grilled cheese sandwich. 104 South 18th Street
Good Dog Bar
Mustard-braised brisket and emmenthaler cheese on sourdough bread with hand-cut fries on the side? Yeah, that’s a solid barroom grilled cheese. Wanna up the comfort level? Get an order of the raclette gratin to go with it. 224 South 15th Street
They’ve only got it on the bar menu, but this one is worth searching out: housemade pimento cheese and pickles on Texas toast. It’s just five bucks during happy hour. 1516 South Street
The Best Grilled Cheese in Fishtown and Washington Square West
Joe’s gets well-deserved attention for its cheesesteaks, but they also do a basic grilled cheese, plus another that’s stuffed with (wait for it…) cheese fries. Someone there deserves a Nobel prize for that. 1 West Girard Avenue
The lobster grilled cheese here is fantastic — especially at 1 a.m. 1301 Frankford Avenue
This jumped-up modern luncheonette 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. 248 South 11th Street
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Grilled cheese + tomato soup = lunchtime city wide. Change our minds. Also, come try our new grilled cheese with everything bagel compound butter and cream cheese because ur bubbe got a little too high again and made u a midnight snack. 📸 @ianshiver
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The Best Grilled Cheese in the Suburbs
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). 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia
Tired Hands Brewcafé
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. 16 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore
Railroad Street Bar & Grill
Sure, they’ve got a great (and ever-changing) beer list. And yeah, there’s a whole collection of pinball machines to play. But this place also has an entire section of the menu dedicated to over a dozen different kinds of grilled cheese — from the simplest 3-cheese to brisket, lobster and one with pork roll made with tater tots and honey-chipotle-sriracha sauce (which is just amazing). 36 Railroad Street, Linfield