A grilled cheese sandwich is among the most basic dishes an adult can make. Still, not everyone can manage to whip up the kind of magic that leaves you wanting more and more of this wonderful comfort food. There are plenty of fancy combinations one could try to make it more tasty, and the option to add fruits, meats, vegetables, and breads, based on what they know their tastes to be. However, a lot of people prefer the classic recipe that uses just white bread and cheddar.
Eating a grilled cheese sandwich is one of those few things that can take you back to a happy childhood and the way it made you feel, but it makes sense if you also want to try out different combinations to see what flavors and textures you like even better. Following are 11 restaurants where the chef clearly understands that this food is not just about mixing bread and cheese together. These establishments cater to people looking for the most appealing, even gourmet versions of what is essentially a staple for many youngsters and adults.
Throwing a Spanish-inspired twist on one of America’s favorite cheese foods, Tico transforms the traditional Spanish-Style Grilled Bread into a grilled cheese sandwich with cured Spanish ham. This definitely gets you a much tastier fare than what you would ordinarily order.
This place is famous for its tomato soup with grill cheese. This particular iteration of the classic sandwich has fries and chunky tomato soup, as well as “deluxe” options such as short rib, mac and cheese, and bacon.
Cork Wine Bar & Market
Recently set up in its new location, Cork now has a bigger seating area as well as an expanded menu covering a weekly special and no less than four grilled cheese options. Foie gras, shallot marmalade, and brie; cheddar with grilled onions and meatloaf; Parmesan and fontanel with cured tomatoes and pesto; and gorgonzola and comte with applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized shallots. The first time around, this variety may overwhelm you and make it hard to pick one, but you could pick blind and still end up eating a delicious sandwich.
This no-frills bar has a menu for grilled cheese sandwiches, which you can customize with respect to almost any kind of taste. The “super grilled cheese” is among the most popular versions at this eatery, made up with bacon, tomato, and onions.
Ooey Gooey Crispy
This was originally a venture by the Union Market retailer Righteous Cheese, who even though they up and left to Charlottesville, Va., left this blessed grilled cheese counter behind. Ooey Gooey Crispy makes eight different grilled cheese variations, and that includes a brie sandwich with truffle butter and potato chips.
Rare Steakhouse and Tavern
Part of a Wisconsin-based restaurant group that is loud about its love for most things cheese, Rare Steakhouse and Tavern is famous for its double-stacked sandwich that pairs the grilled cheese with a superb charred tomato soup that serves as a dip. The best experience comes from ordering fried curds on the side, so that you can revel in blissful dairy goodness, especially after a Washington Monument tour.
Mainly serving a Swiss-centric menu, this establishment run by Chef David Fritsche recently had a unique fondue grilled cheese added to its roster of items. This dish is made with three distinct Swiss cheeses of the semi-soft variety.
Downtown diners would definitely not want to miss their share of the “grilled cheese bar” experience at GCDC. You get to build your own grilled cheese sandwich, as well as throw in as many of the rotating specials as you wish. Spaghetti and meatball stuffing is understandably popular, and so are basil, mozzarella, and parmesan crisps.
Cocktail den Barmini, best known for its inventive list of overblown beverages, is also a place where you can get some seriously delicious bites to go with the drinks you order. Among the upscale snacks featured here are rectangular grilled cheese strips with brie, white cheddar, and gorgonzola cooked into the form of truffle butter.
Located in Falls Church and famous in a radius of several blocks, Spacebar serves vegan grilled cheese, as well as several other options you can pick and choose from, while building your own sandwiches. There are 20 preset options to pick from if you want something fast, and that includes fried shallots, sharp cheddar, and barbecue pork on rye bread.
A homegrown chain that has three area locations, Cheesetique works out of Mosaic District shopping complex’s fourth shop. Diners ready to try out the food here really should try out the more quirky offerings, such as the “Sassy Goat”, which features bacon, chèvre, roasted tomatoes, avocado, and garlic aioli.