Boston’s Top Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month with these outrageously good examples topped with everything from Boursin to braised short ribs.
Comfort food doesn’t get much more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich. If you’re not quite ready for the airy frisée salads of spring, instead preferring the belly-warming charms of the grilled cheese sandwich, Boston has plenty of options to choose from. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12), which in fact falls in the middle of National Grilled Cheese Month, we raise a toastie to these 16 specimens of griddled nirvana.
All Star Sandwich Bar
This Inman Square sandwich joint’s got a lofty name to live up to, and boy, do they ever. All Star’s Francophone twist on the grilled cheese is the Croque Monsieur, a grilled concoction of baked ham, Swiss cheese, béchamel, red onion jam, and Dijon mustard.
All Star Sandwich Bar, 1245 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-868-3065, allstarsandwichbar.com.
Ordinarily, it would be folly to try to improve on a form that’s already been perfected, but we’ll make an allowance for adding short rib to grilled cheese. Find a stellar exemplar at Beehive, which pairs its beef with gooey fontina and farmhouse cheddar for its short rib grilled cheese.
Beehive, 541 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-0069, beehiveboston.com.
The South End’s Blunch shares a membership with Smucker’s in the “With a Name Like That It Has to Be Good” club. And especially good is their Meltdown, a pressed sandwich of mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss, shop Boursin, and tomato on sourdough.
Blunch, 59 E Springfield St., Boston, 617-247-8100, eatblunch.com.
Before it was a ubiquitous hipster food accoutrement, bacon was the natural bedfellow of the grilled cheese sandwich. Coda keeps it classic and carnivorous with their bacon grilled cheese on sourdough.
Coda, 329 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-2632, codaboston.com.
If you know anything about Cutty’s, it’s that they make out-of-this-world sandwiches. And their grilled cheese is so good, they don’t even put it on the menu. Cutty’s tells us: “This is our off-menu, secret grilled cheese with housemade Mexican chorizo, made by our sausage maker, Garth Clingingsmith. We use Iggy’s French Pullman bread, Cabot 83 European-style butter, Havarti cheese, and those in the know ask to add chorizo.”
Cutty’s, 284 Washington St., Brookline, 617-505-1844, cuttyfoods.com.
Many things make Delux the South End neighborhood bar mainstay that it is: funky decor, stiff drinks, and (among other much-loved menu items) a dynamite grilled cheese. Just don’t get too attached to the one you scarf down today. Every two months, they change things up. The current grilled cheese features whipped red pepper feta cheese with kalamata olives and arugula on sourdough bread.
Delux Cafe, 100 Chandler St., Boston, 617-338-5258.
There’s more than just world-class cocktails going on at Drink—they’ve also got a mean bar menu. Should you need something to soak up all those bespoke libations, try their grilled cheese featuring cheddar, Gournay, and stone fruit.
Drink, 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-695-1806, drinkfortpoint.com.
You may be tempted by the breakfast-all-day offerings at Friendly Toast, and we wouldn’t blame you. But do yourself a favor, and get their Damned Good Grilled Cheese (or D.G.G.C. for short) sometime. A combination of cheddar and American cheese is sandwiched between cheddar-cayenne bread, smeared with olive-garlic spread, and served alongside Friendly Toast’s divine strawberry-habanero sauce.
Friendly Toast, 1 Kendall Square, #b3101, Cambridge, 617-621-1200, thefriendlytoast.com.
Mike & Patty’s
In Boston’s Bay Village micro-neighborhood, Mike & Patty’s looms large with their superlative sandwiches. If you want to try their current grilled cheese—featuring braised short rib, bacon shallot jam, and alpine Swiss on griddled brioche—do it soon, before they switch over to their spring/summer menu.
Mike & Patty’s, 12 Church St., Boston, 617-423-3447, mikeandpattys.com.
Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese
Nationally recognized for its grilled cheese prowess, Roxy’s food-truck-spawned empire just keeps on rolling, with two new locations expected to open soon. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of scarfing down their Green Muenster (a mighty grilled slab of Muenster, guacamole, and bacon), you’ll know exactly why.
Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, 485 Cambridge St., Allston, roxysgrilledcheese.com.
Saus is Faneuil Hall’s catcher in the rye, perfectly positioned amid the weekend-party bars to fortify revelers with some of the most glorious drunk food you can find at 1 a.m. Though the place is famed for its Belgian frites, you’d do well not to overlook its sandwiches. Try their wild mushroom grilled cheese, featuring mushroom confit and sharp cheddar on Iggy’s stone-ground whole wheat.
Saus, 33 Union St., Boston, 617-248-8835, eatfrites.com.
While it’s not exactly a grilled cheese sandwich, Sportello’s taleggio crostini satisfies all the major requirements of the genre: namely, buttery, crispy, cheesy goodness. It comes astride a hearty bowl of spicy tomato soup. Dunking is not optional.
Sportello, 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-1234, sportelloboston.com.
Trident Booksellers & Café
Need a flood of carb-induced serotonin to get you through finals week? If you’re holed up doing work at the laptop-nomad-friendly Newbury Street stalwart Trident—where the WiFi is free, the outlets are plentiful, and the vibe is invigorating—fuel your frantic studies with their Deluxe Grilled Cheese: provolone cheese, tomato, and a choice of bacon or avocado on grilled challah bread.
Trident Booksellers & Café, 338 Newbury St., Boston, 617-267-8688, tridentbookscafe.com.