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The best grilled cheese in NYC

From classic cheddar to a gooey doughnut grilled cheese, NYC knows how to do this classic sandwich better than anyone

Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Time Out New York contributors and Dan Q Dao |

There are few two-ingredient dishes as simple and satisfying as a grilled cheese. NYC chefs have developed a few tweaks here and there—melting aged curds and toasting oven-fresh buns from some of the city’s best bakeries —to 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 essential fromage-on-bread combos in New York City.

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Best grilled cheese in NYC

Bars, Beer bars

NY State Cheddar at Earl’s Beer and Cheese

East Harlem

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.

Restaurants, Trucks

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. 

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Pimento cheese at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter

East Village

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.

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