These Are the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Philadelphia

Here's where to get the most comforting sandwich ever.

Grilled Cheese at Middle Child | Photo provided

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. (Restaurants that are currently open are marked with a star.)

The Grilled Cheese We’re Eating Right Now

*High Street on Market
When High Street relocated, they changed their grilled cheese from The Best Grilled Cheese Ever to The Noble Grilled Cheese, but we still remember its roots. 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. 101 S. 9th Street.


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*Baker Street Bread
Baker Street’s grilled cheese includes super-sharp cheddar, plus dijon and caramelized onions, which are simple but elegant additions to their classic sandwich. Multiple locations.


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*Watkins Drinkery
There’s not much that goes with drinking better than cheese and carbs, which is why it’s not surprising that Watkins Drinkery has not just an excellent grilled cheese sandwich, but one that constantly rotates, from garlic cheddar and butternut squash to blue cheese and pears. 1712 S. 10th Street.


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Best Grilled Cheese in South Philly and Old City

Mighty MeltOld 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

grilled cheese philadelphia old city

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*Royal Tavern
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

Milk House
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

*Say CheeseVarious 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.

*Mac Mart
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

*Rex 1516
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

*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.

The Best Grilled Cheese in Fishtown and Washington Square West

Joe’s Steaks
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

Fishtown Tavern
The lobster grilled cheese here is fantastic — especially at 1 a.m. 1301 Frankford Avenue

*Middle Child
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

Melt Shop
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