“Never underestimate the power of a grilled cheese sandwich.” ~ Unknown
Oh the simplicity and comfort of a grilled cheese sandwich! Am I right? Soo much happiness can stem from this glorious combination of bread, cheese, and butter. But somewhere in the last five years or so, grilled cheese went from being a toasted Wonder Bread and processed American cheese sandwich with a steaming bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup to a growing trend of gourmet grilled cheese.
This contemporary take on a classic has entrepreneurs dedicating catering companies, food trucks, and brick and mortar to these oooey gooey handfuls of deliciousness! Let’s get cheesy and dive into some of San Diego’s BEST grilled cheese sandwiches! Warning: San Diego Food Girl is not responsible for the imminent drooling and excessive hunger.
The Most Savory Grilled Cheese
California Tap Room in North Park specializes in beer and pretzels, but they’ve recently stepped up their pretzel game. What pairs best with pretzels and cold beer? Cheese! The Grilled Cheese Pretzellini is stuffed with provolone and smoked gouda on a soft pretzel roll, and it’s paired with chips and a pickle.
The Cheesiest Grilled Cheese
Cheesy Express is located near Belmont Park in Mission Beach, a San Diego staple. From BBQ’n’Mac (YES, mac’n’cheese IN a grilled cheese!) to JD’s Melt, these sandwiches will cure that grilled cheese craving. The menu is certainly delicious, but I also loved building my own grilled cheese now known as the San Diego Food Girl special (you should try it!) on sourdough bread with turkey, pepper jack cheese, spinach, and fresh tomato. Be sure to save room for dessert because the S’mores Melt will satisfy that end of meal sweet tooth!
The Most Unique Grilled Cheese
West Coast Tavern, also in the heart of North Park, is known for having great cocktails, but they also have amazing food. So naturally, I was pleased to see a Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese on their menu. This sandwich is made on sourdough with mozzarella cheese, plus spinach and artichoke dip and is served with a side of tomato soup, a pickle, and seasoned fries (on a side note, these are literally the best seasoned fries I’ve ever had).
The Meatiest Grilled Cheese
Bread and Cheese Catering is on the move to share their grilled cheese creations with you at festivals, farmer’s markets, breweries, and more. They have a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, including a couple personal favorites like the Mucho Queso and The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger…a cheeseburger sandwiched between two grilled cheese! Be sure to add their rich and flavorful Coconut Curry Tomato soup to really complete your experience with them.
The Seasonal Grilled Cheese
Stacked is known for their food customization of burgers, pizzas, salads, and more. I was already a big fan, but when I got their email about the Fall menu items, I knew I had to try their BBQ Brisket Grilled Cheese. This sourdough beauty is full of tender brisket tossed with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce (my personal favorite!), paired with smoked gouda cheese and caramelized onions.
The Most Colorful Grilled Cheese
Simply Fresh food truck is a new discovery for me and they’re serving up the most colorful grilled cheese I’ve ever had. The Diego Grilled Cheese has melted cheddar and mozzarella, tomato, homemade coleslaw, and a house made thousand island dressing on freshly sliced sourdough. It’s bright in color and packed with a flavor punch. But the cheesiness doesn’t stop there, they also have Grilled Cheese Bites served with their delicious tomato basil soup and an incredible Parm Panini oozing with melted cheese.
The Unexpected Grilled Cheese
The Melt has a new location in La Jolla, and I was not about to overlook a new place to find some melty goodness. Their menu has an array of sandwiches including the delicious Egg-in-a-Hole. This three-cheese grilled cheese has an egg cooked in the middle. To make it extra yummy, I customized my breakfast grilled cheese by adding bacon and spinach!
The Flavor-Packed Grilled Cheese
Grater’s Grilled Cheese is a growing chain in the Southern California area and it’s probably because of their flavored-packed combinations like the Caprese Grilled Cheese with tomato, fresh basil, balsamic glaze, and pesto aioli with a pickle. Other favorites include the Chicago Style Grilled Cheese and the Avocado Grilled Cheese. Be sure to add some Pomme Frites too!
So which grilled cheese are you salivating over the most? It was a tough job to do all this research for you, but someone had to do it! So whether you’re adding bacon or avocado, spinach or mac’n’cheese, I hope you have a super cheesy time finding your new favorite grilled cheese sandwich. Sound off in the comments and let me know where you’re headed for your next grilled cheese. Stay cheesy San Diego!