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The best grilled cheese in NYC

From cheddar to kimchi, these not-so-average sammies are Gotham’s best grilled cheese combos

There are few two-ingredient dishes as simple and satisfying as a no-frills grilled cheese. Yet, a few tweaks here and there—melting aged curds and toasting oven-fresh buns from some of the city’s best bakeries—help rank this classic childhood favorite among Gotham’s leading comfort-food dishes. From a fried fowl counter dishing out pimento sammies with collard greens to a plancha-seared two-cheese kicker from one of the best Queens restaurants, these are the ten essential fromage-on-bread combos in New York City.

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Pimento cheese and vegetarian collards sandwich at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
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Pimento cheese and vegetarian collards sandwich at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter

Blue Smoke alum Amanda Beame dishes out Southern classics updated with sustainable ingredients at this 17-seat, homestyle eatery in Alphabet City. Her grilled cheese folds blanched Hudson Valley collard greens into a zesty house-made red-pepper pimento, all on Orwasher’s sourdough. $7

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East Village
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The classics at Gorilla Cheese NYC
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The classics at Gorilla Cheese NYC

Seven versions of classic grilled cheeses are available at this roving truck, with a choice of bread (white or whole wheat pullman loaf) and cheese (American, smoked mozzarella, Asiago). Each sandwich takes a trip to the electric press at 550°F for a crisp brown crust and are available to dip in sauces ranging from honey Dijon to sweet Thai chili. $4.75–$6

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Downtown
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NY State Cheddar at Earl’s Beer and Cheese
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NY State Cheddar at Earl’s Beer and Cheese

Sop up wallet-friendly brews with a locally-sourced grilled cheese at this East Harlem watering hole, where New York State cheddar holds together braised pork belly, a fried egg and house-made kimchi on griddled sourdough bread. $8

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East Harlem
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Classic at Little Muenster
Photograph: Adam Schneider
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Classic at Little Muenster

Husband-wife duo Adam and Vanessa Schneider issue a pitch-perfect rendition of the comfort food at their flagship shop at Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place and a takeout counter in Dumbo. Slices of white cheddar or American are snugged between fluffy pillows of thick-cut, local pullman bread—coated in a secret cooking spread and finished on a flattop grill for a golden-brown outer crust. $6.50

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Lower East Side
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Cheddar and mozzarella at The Queens Kickshaw
Photograph: Donald Yip
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Cheddar and mozzarella at The Queens Kickshaw

Chunks of mozz add texture to an otherwise smooth spread of sliced white cheddar bookended by plancha-fired Balthazar brioche buns. Dip the oozing sandwich into a cool, tangy gazpacho during warmer months, and a piping hot tomato soup when it gets colder. $9

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Astoria
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Classic at Morris Sandwich Shop
Photograph: Jolie Ruben
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Classic at Morris Sandwich Shop

After issuing out gooey grilled cheeses from a truck, Glady's owner Michael Jacober gave his grilled cheesery a brick-and-mortar overhaul, where he offers a classic pairing of New York State-sourced cheddar and sweet, semi-hard Landaff from New Hampshire. $5

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Crown Heights
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Classic at Melt Shop
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Classic at Melt Shop

All locations of this grilled cheese chainlet turn out a classic combo of melted American cheese blanketed over Orwasher’s white bread and fired on a flattop grill. $5.05

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Midtown East
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Grilled cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
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Grilled cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

Celebrated Seattle cheese-maker Beecher's operates this 3,000-square-foot complex where you can watch vats of local milk being converted into artisan curds for the retail and restaurant arms of the operation. Its Flagship (cheddar, Gruyère) and Just Jack cheese get sandwiched between unbuttered, whole wheat bread on a panini grill for its house grilled cheese. $7

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Flatiron
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Shepherd Classic at Meltkraft
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Shepherd Classic at Meltkraft

This 20-seat shop—from artisanal-cheese maker Valley Shepherd Creamery in New Jersey—slings a classic three-cheese sammie with three-month-aged cheddar, Gruyère and Swiss, along with more gussied-up varieties like a brisket-and-macaroni number and raclette with jalapeños and pickled tomatoes. $6.95

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Park Slope
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Murray’s Melt at Murray’s Cheese Bar
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Murray’s Melt at Murray’s Cheese Bar

You guessed it: Cheese is the main attraction at this sit-down extension of the nearly 80-year-old Bleecker Street fromagerie. The namesake Murray’s Melt sandwiches a secret blend of three curds—some fresh from Murray’s cheese caves in Long Island City—on a pan-baked pullman loaf. $12

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West Village

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