Eating + Drinking

The Best Grilled Cheese Sammies—With a Twist!—in NYC

Because a foodie shouldn’t settle for Kraft slices and Wonder Bread. These out of the box versions are the best grilled cheese sandwiches in NYC.

Photo by Liz Clayman/Courtesy of The Water Tower

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classic grilled cheese from our childhoods, slathered in a stick of butter and fried until every last bite is crispy. But sometimes we crave a more grown-up version of our favorite feel-good sammie. These upgraded grilled cheese creations—with delicious twists including truffles, chutney, and smoked bacon—hit the spot.

Belle Cheese’s Mousetrap

The mongers behind this Dekalb Market Hall booth upgrade the classic sandwich with artisanal touches: The fresh sourdough bread comes from their neighbors at Cafe D’Avignon; the Vermont Cheddar is aged and has a bite; and thick pub chutney straight out of Portland, Oregon (made with bold ingredients like stout, molasses, and coffee) coats every last millimeter inside. Dekalb Market Hall, 445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn

Left Bank’s Grilled Cheese

Take it from Murray’s Cheese to assist this West Village gem with making the ultimate comfort food. Chef/owner Laurence Edelman marries two irresistible flavors together to create a lovely springtime sensation: the master mongers’ Cavemaster Reserve Annelies with hints of alpine grass and roasted hazelnuts, and a bounty of garlicky ramps. Pro tip: This sammich pairs well with a bubbly basque or poppin’ prosecco. 117 Perry Street (at Greenwich Street), West Village

Photo courtesy of Left Bank

Astoria Bier and Cheese Broadway’s Truffle Shuffle

What goes better with a brew than molten dairy pressed inside rustic carbs? The hops-heads and curd nerds working at this Queens mainstay would say absolutely nothing. Order a frothy pint of stout to wash down this delicious sandwich, grilled with pungent black truffle Gouda and mozzarella, then balanced with a drizzle of raw honey. 34-14 Broadway, Astoria

Photo by Carolina Ramirez

Raclette’s Croque Americain

The flavors are fairly classic when it comes to the délicieux croque Americain at this Swiss-French haunt—caramelized onions, buttery leek fondue, roasted garlic. The difference is in the perfect execution; sharp English Cheddar oozes decadently beyond the peasant bread crust the moment your plate hits the table. 511 East 12th Street (between Avenues A and B), Alphabet City

Best Grilled Cheese NYC
Raclette’s Croque Americain, photo by Stefano Giovannini

The Water Tower’s White Truffle Grilled Cheese

Only in Brooklyn can you find a glass-wrapped “water tower” speakeasy serving super-luxe grilled cheeses. (Stefon would even be impressed!) Executive chef Nicolas Caicedo is the visionary behind this fancy handful, shaving fresh white truffles on a cheesy trio (comté, smoked gouda, and fontina). The sophisticated blend is then sandwiched in between two slices of fresh brioche made inside the property’s warehouse kitchen, Brooklyn Bread LabThe Williamsburg Hotel, 96 Wythe Avenue

Pilar Cuban Bakery’s Grilled Cheese

Say “¡hola!” to Bed-Stuy’s hot, hot, hot new bakery. The usual suspects remain in the American classic, particularly the cheddar and gruyere from the Hudson Valley melting in between two slices of toasty multi-grain bread. But owner-chef Ricardo Barreras adds a hint of Cuban flair in the form of salty-sweet sliced plantains and a housemade espresso mustard that adds an extra pep in your step. 397 Greene Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Il Bambino’s Mac + Cheese Panini

All of the paninis at this unpretentious Astoria hang are delightful. But you’re guaranteed an eye-rollingly good bite with the mac and cheese iteration that includes plenty of smoked bacon and a generous spreading of truffle oil across every bread cranny. 34-08 31st Avenue, Astoria

Photo by Carolina Ramirez

Houseman’s French Onion Sandwich

Inside his West Village hidden gem, chef Ned Baldwin, a Prune alum, transforms the hearty soup into an even heartier sandwich. Two greased-up slices of bread, replacing the croutons, squeeze together gooey slabs of Gruyère and a heaping helping of buttery caramelized onions. 508 Greenwich Street (between Spring and Canal Streets), West Village

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