Grilled Cheese at Bouchon Bakery
This grilled cheese sandwich is so good, Ed named it one of the 22 sandwiches that will change your life. It's made on great bread, with Gruyère and fontina cheeses, and it's so golden brown it's almost (but not quite) too beautiful to eat. It comes with tomato soup, which, though not nearly as delicious, provides an excellent dipping liquid for the sandwich (if you happen to be a dipper).
Grilled Cheese at Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop
Made with cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, and options of onion and/or tomato, it walks the line between fancy grilled cheese and totally craveable I need to eat this all right now grilled cheese. Multigrain bread adds nutty notes against the the rich flood of dairy.
Grilled Kimcheese at Porsena Extra Bar
The thick-cut griddled pullman bread is soft and buttery, the filling a mix of puréed kimchi that adds bright heat to nutty aged cheddar and creamy mayo. The cheese-meets-mayo mix sure is rich, but gets balanced by that kimchi tang to keep this from becoming a cheesy gut-bomb.
Cheddar and Mozzarella at Queens Kickshaw
A diad of sharp and gooey cheeses encased between burnished slabs of tender brioche. It's served with tomato soup, little more than a warm, slightly chunky bowl of tomato: resplendent in tomato flavor, and perfect for dipping.
All American at Murray's Cheese Shop
Melted among the meat is gooey and warm cheddar cheese, and on the other side there's caramelized onions and a house-made root beer mustard. These additions give the sandwich just a touch of sweetness, but it's by no means overwhelming.
Classic Melt at Murray's Cheese Bar
Formidable enough to share but excellent enough to hoard. Gruyere, Tickler, and buffalo mozzarella cheeses flood from thick-cut white bread with a shellacked crust, extra slick and buttery, to give a well-made grilled cheese the textural contrast it so deserves. A smoky, creamy-but-light tomato soup is slurpable, bowl-lickable—with what's that?—cumin on the finish, beguiling and totally appropriate all at once.
Asiago, Muenster, Parmesan, Butternut Squash at Little Muenster
The grilled cheese is a tempting combination of Asiago, Muenster, and Parmesan, which is melted deliciously between two thick, toasty slices of peasant bread. There are subtle undertones of the sage brown butter that just peek through. The mildly sweet and smooth spread of butternut squash purée provides an ideal accompaniment to the intensity of the cheese trio, balancing out the flavors nicely.
Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomato at Westville West
The sandwich comes on a base of what Westville refers to as a "Portuguese muffin," basically an English muffin that has traded in its chewy texture for one softer, lighter, and ultimately more bready. Its mix of cheddar and gouda is rich without feeling fancified. The bacon is thick-cut and smoky, echoing the char on the muffin's edges.
Grilled Cheese at Dominique Ansel Bakery
What amounts to a French onion soup grilled cheese: it oozes everywhere, nutty and rich, with caramelized onions for sweetness and a crisp, corrugated crust for extra crunch. It's a beautiful grilled cheese.
Grilled Cheese at The Spotted Pig
It's made on filone from Sullivan Street Bakery; Fontina, Taleggio, and goat cheese melt into a single fresh, funky core, hot and molten against the crunch of the bread—which is itself encrusted in Parmesan, adding that salty, savory contrast. An onion marmalade and mustard on the side help cut through that overwhelming richness.
Gouda Grilled Cheese at Queens Kickshaw in Astoria
Nutty gouda is reinforced by an earthy black bean spread and sweetened by guava jam, all piled on well-crisped brioche. It'd be an overbearing combination, save for the ample sprinkle of pickled jalapenos, a reprieve of sour and spice to pop in each bite. This is sandwich architecture at its finest: powerful flavors, well balanced, delivered in the perfect package.
Imperial Grilled Cheese at 61 Local
The aromatic and creamy cheese melts like a dream and stands up beautifully to the other strong flavors with which it shares the plate. The thick-cut country bread from local bakery Bien Cuit is grilled to crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside perfection and features a parmesan crust for a bonus hit of cheese.
The Green Table's Grilled Cheese
Everything about this sandwich is well-balanced. The cheese to bread ratio is perfect. The sourdough soaks up the butter, preventing the grilled cheese from being overly greasy, yet it still maintains that rich, grilled bread taste that only a hefty helping of butter can bring. The cheese oozes delectably, and the chutney gives it that sophisticated touch.
The Green Table: The Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York NY 10011 (map); 212-741-6623;
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque at Slightly Oliver
The grilled cheese itself is a study in buttery sandwich decadence: sharp, pungent cheddar is melted between thick slices of rich brioche that flakes apart with every bite. An added bonus is the sizable bowl of tomato bisque—it's got a good, creamy, smoky flavor on its own, but (of course), is even better when used as a dip for the sandwich.
Grilled Cheese with Chorizo and Bacon at Eggs Travaganza
Chorizo and bacon? It may sound like overkill, but when you take a crazy-buttery bite with melty cheese, crunchy nubs of chorizo, and crisp-tender bacon, you won't mind in the slightest.
Eggs Travaganza: NE Corner of 52nd Street and Park Avenue, New York NY 10022 (map); 917-657-0987;
Taleggio sandwich at Murray's Cheese Shop
Fig and Cheese at Beecher's Handmade Cheese
It's a thin spread of fig jam that meets Beecher's own Flagship cheese, melty like Cheddar but a little nuttier and tangier, along with Just Jack to add a little extra mild creaminess to the whole thing. On crusty oiled-and-pressed bread, it's good for those days when you want a good old grilled cheese that's just a little dressed up.