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We Found The BEST Grilled Cheese in Every US State

a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a table

Cheese heaven

Two slices of bread and some cheese might sound simple but, to many, finding the perfect grilled cheese is an endless (very tasty) mission. There are the purists, who like theirs with handfuls of Cheddar and finished under the grill. Some prefer a sandwich with several types of cheese, while others might want all the loaded extras. Read on for the ooziest, most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches in every state.

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Alabama: Grilled Cheese, Paramount Bar, Birmingham

Paramount is a favorite Birmingham hangout thanks to its well-mixed cocktails, cool industrial décor and fun arcade games. But the most remarkable thing about it, according to many devotees, is its incredible grilled cheese. It’s packed with three types of cheese – Cheddar, goats’ and mozzarella – layered up with a tangy tomato chutney and packed between slices of sourdough. It goes well with a bowl of chili and some have described it as the “best ever.”

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Alaska: Grilled Cheese, Spenard Roadhouse, Anchorage

The grilled cheese at Spenard Roadhouse, a casual local joint in the Anchorage neighborhood of Spenard, has legendary status for many customers. It’s delicious as it comes and can also be pimped up with grilled apples and bacon, additions that are highly recommended. The real secret? A blend of sharp Cheddar and Havarti cheese, which results in a delicious, melt-in-the-mouth snack.

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Arizona: Perfectly Grilled Cheese, Perfect Pear Bistro, Tempe

Perfect Pear Bistro has not one grilled cheese but a whole menu section dedicated to them, which goes some way to showing how seriously they take the toasted sandwich here. There’s a Mushroom Melt; an Italian-inspired sandwich with pesto and tomatoes; and one with bacon and jalapeño. It’s their signature Perfectly Grilled Cheese that gets the most attention, thanks to a blend of four cheeses served with crisp bacon in spiced cinnamon pear bread. There are two locations in Tempe.

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Arkansas: Pig Sooie, Hammontrees Grilled Cheese, Fayetteville

One would hope a place with grilled cheese in its name would have some pretty decent, erm, grilled cheeses, and Hammontrees Grilled Cheese doesn’t let its diners down. A whole host of takes on the classic include one with brie, Gouda and fig jam, and even a blueberry grilled cheese, made with mascarpone and cream cheese and sandwiched in pound cake. They’re all good, but the Pig Sooie, packed with pulled pork, sharp Cheddar and jalapeños, is the standout.

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California: Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, San Francisco

Grilled cheese and craft beer – it’s a winning combination. And, in fact, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has won several awards for its lauded sandwiches. There’s a range of options from a Cubano-inspired grilled cheese with several meats to a kids’ version with milder Cheddar, but how could anyone resist a grilled cheese stuffed with mac ‘n’ cheese? Two American favorites – and double carbs – rolled into one sensational sandwich, with garlic butter to boot.

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Colorado: Grilled Cheese, Steuben’s, Denver

With an Uptown restaurant and a food truck, Steuben’s regularly draws long queues (and waits for tables) thanks, at least partly, to the fact it serves the best grilled cheese around. Some people like it as it comes, with an oozy mix of American and semi-soft muenster cheese, sandwiched in double-thick Texas toast.

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Connecticut: Monger, The Whey Station, Middletown

Grilled cheeses and food trucks go hand-in-hand like grilled cheeses and hungry bellies, and The Whey Station serves one of the best anywhere. Its menu includes the Ella, with brie, prosciutto and fig, and an avocado melt. The signature sandwich is the Monger, with a blend of five – yep, five – cheeses that’s also the basis of the other sandwiches. There’s also a brick-and-mortar restaurant, brilliantly named Whey Stationary.

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Delaware: Cheddar Brie Grilled Cheese, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Rehoboth Beach

Dogfish Head eschews the typical grilled cheese for a different take with Cheddar and brie, melted together on sourdough and topped with bacon, crisply sweet Granny Smith apples, rocket and a drizzle of honey. The balance of textures and flavors is perfect, while some customers say it’s the best grilled cheese they’ve ever tasted and simply to die for.

a half eaten sandwich sitting on top of a piece of paper

Florida: BBQ Pulled Pork Melt, Ms. Cheezious, Miami

The name is fun to say, and the food is fun to eat too. Ms. Cheezious started as a food truck, often named Miami’s best, and now has a restaurant in the city’s MiMo district. The praise is, at least partly, down to this unbelievably delicious BBQ Pulled Pork Melt, which is a sandwich worth traveling thousands of miles for. The BBQ pulled pork is made in-house and is beautifully tender, with the sweetness perfectly balanced by sharp Cheddar and all melted together in one gooey and gorgeous package.

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Georgia: Bikini, Cooks & Soldiers, Atlanta

Cooks & Soldiers may call it the Bikini but others call it the best grilled cheese – ever. The restaurant serves Basque food, with perfect tapas like patatas bravas and grilled octopus. Yet, it’s the Bikini, made with white Cheddar, jamón ibérico and black truffle, that really gets people talking. In fact, these bite-size sandwiches are so good that those who have tried them often can’t stop raving about them. It’s one of the few mainstays on the menu.

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Hawaii: Grilled Cheese, Porky’s Kauai, Waimea

Porky’s, which started as a food truck on the island of Kauai and has a second shop quite some distance away in Lehi, Utah, is famous for its grilled cheeses loaded with extra toppings. At least, it’s famous with anyone who’s ever bitten into one of those sandwiches. Because, once someone has tried the Hawaiian-style grilled cheese with muenster and Havarti cheeses, pulled pork and a choice of pineapple, grilled onions and/or spicy sauces, no other sandwich will ever compare.

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Idaho: Ultimate Meltz, Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese, Coeur d’Alene

Meltz Extreme isn’t only famed for excellent grilled cheese sandwiches – it’s famed for some of the best sandwiches in the USA, period. Often named among the best casual eateries in the country, this spot has cheese and bread down to a fine art. The Ultimate Meltz is a time-perfected blend of six cheeses – white Cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, fontina, goats’ and Gorgonzola. It’s got a satisfyingly strong flavor and is deliciously gooey.

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Illinois: The OG, Cheesie’s Pub and Grub, Chicago

A grilled cheese restaurant. We repeat: a grilled cheese restaurant. Chicagoans are famously ravenous, which is why the city has such a rich and eclectic food scene. Cheesie’s always offers a grilled cheese of the month, while regulars include a mozzarella-based sandwich and one with mac ‘n’ cheese. The OG is, of course, the best. A blend of American and Cheddar cheeses in extra-thick Texas toast and with tomato soup to dip it in, this is comfort food at its most delicious.

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Indiana: 3 cheese, Subito, Indianapolis

It’s hard to work out just how this tiny takeout spot manages to cram so much into such a small space. Pretty much everything at Subito is made in-house, including the sourdough bread that makes the grilled cheese so delicious. The blend of three different cheeses – Cheddar, Swiss and American – is just right. Diners can add soup for dipping (delicious) or bulk up the grilled cheese with added ham (pictured).

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Iowa: rotating specials, Cheese Bar, Des Moines

Everything about Cheese Bar is cheesy, in the best, ooziest, most delicious ways. The popular Des Moines spot is known for its mac ‘n’ cheese and raclette, but the grilled cheese – with rotating specials showcasing different local cheeses and complementary ingredients – is always pretty perfect too. People praise the unique flavor combinations and general tastiness.

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Kansas: The Monte Cristo, The Wheel Barrel, Topeka

The Wheel Barrel has a huge chunk of its menu dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, it makes up roughly half of the food offering, alongside salads, soups and craft beer. Seasonal specials are offered along with a core menu of sandwiches including The Classic, with a choice of two cheeses, and the best of the lot: The Monte Cristo. It’s an unusual but very delicious combo of brie, Swiss cheese, ham, turkey and blackberry jelly, all layered in country white bread dusted with powdered sugar.

a sandwich cut in half on a plate

Kentucky: Brisket, Momma’s Mustard Pickles & BBQ, Louisville

Filling, comforting and packed with smoky, tangy BBQ flavor. That description applies to pretty much everything at Momma’s Mustard Pickles & BBQ, including the grilled cheese. This ever-popular diner stuffs its grilled cheese sandwiches with a choice of meats, including turkey, pulled pork, smoked sausage and even meatloaf. The grilled cheese with brisket is especially delicious, with melt-in-the-mouth meat and gorgeously gooey cheese, from a choice of white Cheddar or Havarti.

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Louisiana: Grilled Cheese, St. James Cheese Company, New Orleans

With two locations – in Uptown and the Warehouse District – St. James Cheese Company has become the big cheesy of the Big Easy. The stores sell artisan cheeses and charcuterie, while the attached restaurants serve gooey goodies including the most delectable grilled cheese. It’s the quality of the ingredients that really makes this one standout from the rest. The perfect sourdough is filled with a two-year aged Cheddar and toasted to achieve the optimum crunch.

a cut in half sandwich sitting on top of a cutting board

Maine: Lobster Grilled Cheese, The HighRoller Lobster Co., Portland

This is Maine, after all – so what else would a grilled cheese be elevated by but a load of lovely lobster? The Lobster Grilled Cheese at The HighRoller Lobster Co. is so delicious that those who’ve tried it can’t stop thinking about it. It’s an irresistible combination of Cheddar and Swiss cheese with claw and knuckle meat sandwiched in buttery toasted bread. People describe it as the best lobster in Portland (which is saying something) and “out of this world.”

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Maryland: Crabby Melt, Grilled Cheese & Co., various locations

This small regional chain has locations in Catonsville, Columbia Mall and Waugh Chapel and has bagged itself the domain name “ilovegrilledcheese.com”. They really do love grilled cheese at Grilled Cheese & Co. – and so do its customers. Its specialty is the trademarked Crabby Melt, with a deliciously creamy and moreish house-made crab dip with Monterey Jack cheese.

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Massachusetts: Green Muenster, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Boston

Made with muenster cheese, applewood smoked bacon and house-made guacamole, the Green Muenster is named for the left-field wall at Boston’s baseball field, Fenway Park, which is known as “The Green Monster.” It’s also just a very delicious twist on the typical grilled cheese. Roxy’s serves this and other grilled cheese sandwiches from its roving food truck and two restaurants. The best around, according to fans.

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Michigan: Madtown Grilled Cheese, HopCat, various locations

The Madtown Grilled Cheese at this sports bar chain is so good, some would pick it as their very last meal. It uses a blend of dill Havarti, smoked Gouda and muenster cheeses, sandwiched in sourdough with apple slices, garlic aioli and a drizzle of honey – and it really does live up to the hype. HopCat has several locations in Michigan, including in Detroit and Grand Rapids, and has taken its crave-worthy grilled cheese to other states too.

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Minnesota: Jerk, All Square, Minneapolis

The selection of gourmet grilled cheeses at this cute spot is always on point, with specials often created by staff members. The runaway favorite of the core menu is The Jerk Chicken, which comes layered with Swiss and provolone cheese, plus a little kick from guava jam. Customers love that it has a satisfying hit of heat. All Square is a place with a purpose too: the restaurant is a social non-profit that invests money to help formerly incarcerated people become future leaders.

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Mississippi: Lump Crab Grilled Cheese, Depot Kitchen & Market, Hattiesburg

It turns out that lump crab, provolone cheese and remoulade sauce is a match made in comfort food heaven. That’s how fans of the famous grilled cheese at Depot Kitchen & Market feel anyway, and it’s hard to argue. Specials stuffed with meatloaf and their classic grilled cheese, with choices from Tillamook Cheddar to smoked Gouda, are all pretty good too.

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Missouri: Royale Grille, The Fountain On Locust, St. Louis

Pitched as an “adult grilled cheese” and made with a secret blend that includes white Cheddar, mozzarella and sliced apple on wholegrain, the Royal Grille lives up to its rather grand name. In fact this sandwich at The Fountain On Locust has been described as one of the best ever and “to die for.” It pairs well with the soup and, for a truly adult experience, the bar’s well-mixed cocktails.

a sandwich cut in half on a plate

Montana: 1889 Chicken Nacho Grilled Cheese, 1889 Coffee House, Helena

This cozy little coffee shop serves up a sandwich that’s two (or possibly three) comfort foods in one: a Chicken Nacho Grilled Cheese. This ingenious creation at 1889 Coffee House is a tender chicken breast topped with Cheddar, pepper jack and nacho cheeses, with crushed tortilla chips added before it’s perfectly crisped on the grill. No wonder it’s been described as one of the best ever. The portions are generous too.

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Nebraska: Grilled Cheese, Kitchen Table, Omaha

The grilled cheese at Kitchen Table is made with three different varieties of cheese, all melted into deliciously airy and just-so chewy levain sourdough. The bread, especially, is exceptional, and people love the fact everything is freshly made with the best local ingredients. It comes with an equally delicious tomato soup, packed with flavor, and diners can add bacon too.

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Nevada: Not Yo Mama’s Grilled, Truffles N Bacon Cafe, Las Vegas

Perhaps “yo mama” does make a mean grilled cheese, but is it loaded with brisket, bacon jam, sautéed kale, chipotle ranch and Cheddar? Yes? Well, lucky you. For most of us, though, the only place to get a grilled cheese stuffed with all this deliciousness is Truffles N Bacon. It’s described as juicy and packed with flavor, and just phenomenal.

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New Hampshire: BMBC Grilled Cheese, Black Mtn. Burger Co., Lincoln

Black Mtn. Burger Co. clearly takes its grilled cheese seriously – they’ve even named it with the restaurant’s acronym, and they’re right to, because this unusual but ingenious combination works beautifully. The BMBC Grilled Cheese takes a grilled pretzel roll as its base and fills it with crumbled goats’ cheese, Cheddar cheese, hickory smoked bacon pieces and house-made sweet tomato jam.

a sandwich cut in half on a plate

New Jersey: build your own, American Melts, Kenilworth

American Melts is a “build your own” grilled cheese bar and the possibilities are both seemingly endless and definitely delicious. Filling options include classic American cheese, bacon, pesto, pickles, sliced apple and portobello mushroom, and diners can choose from different sandwich bases from country white bread to wholegrain. Customers describe the results as the best sandwiches they’ve ever had, and just a great grilled cheese. There are gluten-free and vegan options too.

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New Mexico: Three Cheese, The Grove Cafe & Market, Albuquerque

The Grove Cafe & Market does a classic grilled cheese with a difference, combining white Cheddar, Havarti and mature provolone and melting it between slices of crisp, chewy sourdough. It’s absolutely delicious and packed with flavor. Diners at this artisanal café recommend the additions too, with caramelized onion, green chile and house-made pickles available to give the grilled cheese extra oomph.

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New York: Simple Pleasure, The Cheese Traveler, Albany

The Cheese Traveler serves up a grilled cheese that really is worth taking a journey for. Its take on the old-school classic is called the Simple Pleasure, and indeed it is, thanks to a glorious gooey blend of Cheddar from Shelburne Farms in Vermont and Havarti from Edelweiss, Wisconsin. The bread, sliced from a freshly baked sandwich loaf, is pretty delicious too, and diners can add extras including bacon and ‘nduja.

a sandwich sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

North Carolina: The Pig Mac, Papi Queso, Charlotte

Papi Queso food truck dishes out the best grilled cheese sandwiches not only in the state, but anywhere. At least, that’s how its many devotees feel. The cleverly named Pig Mac is the top-seller, stuffed with slow-smoked pulled pork, mac ‘n’ cheese and caramelized onions. It’s a firm favorite and we can see why. Other delicious variations include a Bacon Jalapeño and a Mushroom Gruyère grilled cheese. The real secret? Pain de mie, a pillowy soft white bread with a fine crumb that toasts beautifully, especially after being brushed with a mix of butter and mayonnaise.

food, we found the best grilled cheese in every us state

North Dakota: Teddy’s Tavern & Comfort Dining, Mother Martha’s Home Grilled Cheese, Fargo

A Theodore Roosevelt-themed eatery in Downtown Fargo, Teddy’s Tavern is all about warming, satisfying comfort food – and there’s nothing more comforting than Mother Martha’s Home Grilled Cheese. It’s a classic recipe: sharp Wisconsin Cheddar, toasted sourdough and a crispy pickle, partnered with tomato and basil soup for dipping. Diners love the “ooey-gooeyness” of the cheese.

a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a table

Ohio: Mighty Macaroni, Melt Bar & Grilled, Cleveland

The people at Melt Bar & Grilled don’t approach grilled cheeses the traditional way. Instead, they stuff as much deliciousness in as the bread will take before toasting it all to golden, gooey perfection. There’s a breakfast version with bacon and eggs, one with chorizo and potato, and – best of all – the Mighty Macaroni. Homemade mac ‘n’ cheese is battered and deep-fried before being layered with a cheese sauce and extra melted cheese on top. Yep.

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Oklahoma: Macaroni Pony, The Mule, Oklahoma City

The Mule specializes in Moscow mules and grilled cheese sandwiches. For many people, that’s basically all they need. Alongside rotating specials, its core menu of “sandies” includes the Macaroni Pony, basically a grilled cheese with macaroni stuffed in. That’s not all: it also has chipotle BBQ pulled pork and pickles and comes sandwiched between slices of jalapeño cornbread. It also uses three different cheeses in the mac, giving it a satisfying sharpness.

a close up of a sandwich

Oregon: vegan, DITTO, Portland

A vegan grilled cheese isn’t easy to get right but DITTO manages to serve up a sandwich that isn’t just fine – it’s the best that can be found anywhere. So say the many fans of this food truck, anyway. The menu rotates regularly but favorites include The Teddy, pictured, with vegan Cheddar, mozzarella and provolone melted in white bread, and the spicier Lilith, which has hot pepper cheese, spring onion cream cheese, vegan bacon and a zingy avocado cream.

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Pennsylvania: Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Huda, Philadelphia

Philadelphia may be known for another meat and cheese sandwich, the Philly cheesesteak, but fans of the Short Rib Grilled Cheese at Huda reckon it holds its own. The meat is beautifully tender, the pepper jack cheese wonderfully oozy and the sourdough bread grilled to perfection. This Rittenhouse spot opened in September 2020 and already has a devoted following.

a sandwich cut in half on a plate

Rhode Island: Gourmet, Scratch Kitchen & Catering, Newport

The “from scratch” ethos of this comfort-food spot means that there isn’t one particular grilled cheese that gets customers’ pulses racing – it’s just any grilled cheese that happens to be on that day’s menu. The rotating “Gourmet” grilled cheese at Scratch Kitchen ranges from classic melted cheese with ham to chicken parm and duck confit, described as simply “incredible” by those who have tried them.

a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a pile of fries

South Carolina: The CrabMelt, The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co., Murrells Inlet

Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co. is all about pairing grilled cheese with seafood, and we’re down with that. Customers are too, raving about The CrabMelt sandwich: a crab cake squished between two thick slabs of Texas toast with Monterey Jack cheese and slices of tomato. It’s the perfect sandwich and pairs wonderfully with the fries seasoned with Old Bay.

a close up of a sandwich and fries on a plate

South Dakota: Twin Cam, Sickies Garage, various locations

Sickies Garage specializes in burgers with a difference – and the twist with the Twin Cam is that it’s sandwiched between two grilled cheeses rather than a bun. The patty is also topped with peppered bacon and nacho cheese, and it’s generally excellent. There are two South Dakota locations – in Rapid City and Sioux Falls – plus a handful in other states.

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Tennessee: Pimento Mac & Cheese, The Grilled Cheeserie, Nashville

The Grilled Cheeserie has three Nashville restaurants and a food truck, and all of them serve up some of the most inventive and flavorful grilled cheese sandwiches around. There’s a Pizza Melt on rosemary garlic bread baked with a Parmesan crust, or diners can build their own. The customer favorite is the Pimento Mac & Cheese, which combines the comfort-food favorite with bacon bits on country white bread. Wonderfully indulgent.

a close up of a sandwich on a plate

Texas: Barbacoa, Barrio Barista, San Antonio

It stands to reason that the best grilled cheese in Texas should be beefed up with some good old barbecue. Barrio Barista uses tender chipotle-infused barbacoa and layers it up in (of course) thick-sliced Texas toast with avocado and cheese. Diners should be prepared to crave more as soon as they’re finished, because it really is that good – and goes perfectly with the tomato soup.

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Utah: Grilled Monte Cristo, Cravings Bistro, Pleasant Grove

Cravings Bistro has a tempting array of grilled cheese fillings including the ever-popular Mac ‘n’ Cheese and its Monte Cristo, which has turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard and house-made mayonnaise on French bread. It’s grilled to the most beautiful golden crisp and comes with raspberry jam, which may sound odd but takes the taste to another level.

a sandwich and fries on a plate

Vermont: Custom Grilled Cheese, Hyde Away Inn, Waitsfield

Vermont is famous for great cheese, so you’d expect to find some gorgeously gooey creations. The perfectly cooked grilled cheese at the tucked-away Hyde Away Inn doesn’t disappoint. It’s made with sharp Cheddar cheese from Cabot, melted between braided challah bread. Diners can order it as it comes or bulk it up with any number of additions, from avocado to other regional cheeses.

a close up of a sandwich on a plate

Virginia: Wine Country, Food For Thought, Williamsburg

Food For Thought has four signature grilled cheeses including The Coastline with lump crab; Tuscany with mozzarella, basil and tomato; and the All-American, which has tomato, bacon and avocado. The Wine Country is a customer favorite thanks to its unusual but delicious combination of flavors and textures. Creamy brie is layered with crisp apples, strawberries, red onion and honey mustard.

a close up of a sandwich on a plate

Washington: Flagship Cheese, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Seattle

It really is the cheese that makes the sandwiches doled out at Beecher’s, in Seattle’s waterfront Pike Place Market, such a rare treat. Its grilled cheese is made with its very own flagship cheese, made with a blend of Cheddar and Gruyère cultures for a unique nutty flavor. It’s all grilled to a glorious golden gooeyness in crisp artisanal bread, and it’s utterly delicious. There’s also a location at the airport and one in New York’s Flatiron District (that’s how legendary their grilled cheeses have become).

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West Virginia: build your own, Cheese Louise, Morgantown

It all begins with a classic grilled cheese, and it can happily end there, for purists. Or you can build and build until one ends up with a sandwich that’s more of a tower, with delicious additions like pepperoni, avocado, buffalo chicken or cheese steak. Customers at Cheese Louise food truck can add on what they like or choose from the revolving specials. Really, though, they’re all tasty, thanks to a melted blend of American and muenster cheese.

a sandwich on a plate

Wisconsin: Stuffed Grilled Cheese, Alchemy, Madison

The Stuffed Grilled Cheese sandwich at Alchemy comes filled with broccoli, roasted carrots, red onion and a cilantro pesto. It’s highly recommended and is described by diners as “amazing.” The Wisconsin cheese – Swiss cheese and Cheddar – is what makes it so delicious, along with the perfectly baked and toasted sourdough bread.

a plate with a sandwich and a cup of coffee

Wyoming: Grilled Cheese, Café Genevieve, Jackson

This elegant Jackson spot is loved for its large outdoor patio and also for serving the best grilled cheese ever. That’s what many customers reckon, anyway. Café Genevieve makes its with white Cheddar and basil, sandwiched wheat bread that’s buttered for a perfect crisp. It comes with a comforting cup of tomato soup too, and diners can add bacon, tomato and/or avocado.

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