April is National Grilled Cheese Month, so it’s the perfect time to see what Philadelphia has to offer when it comes to the favorite gooey comfort food. While just about anyone can make the simple classic with bread, cheese and butter, these Philly spots are taking grilled cheese to a whole new level. With a multitude of cheeses, breads, spreads and toppings, these grilled cheeses are grown-up versions of the childhood staple.

For a look at past CBS lists of best grilled cheeses click here and here.

DiBruno Bros.
Rittenhouse Square
1730 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-9220

Danny and Joe Di Bruno came from Italy to Philadelphia through Ellis Island in the 1930s to pursue the American Dream. They opened their first Di Bruno Bros. Grocery Store in the Italian Market in 1939. Since then, the family business has expanded to include several locations, with select locations offering freshly prepared food and cafe service in addition to the gourmet Italian groceries. In September 2014, The Franklin Market, Rittenhouse Square store and Ardmore Farmers Market added a selection of delicious grilled cheese sandwiches to the menu. The drool-worthy sandwiches come with tomato soup for dipping and pickle chips. The “Spicy Italian” is a standout favorite made with hot soppressata, capicola, house-aged provolone cheese and abbruzze cheese spread on a grilled seeded roll. There are also monthly grilled cheese specials available to keep things fresh and new.

Related: Best Sandwiches In Philadelphia


1225 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-FUEL

Fuel is dedicated to offering Philadelphians healthy (and tasty!) quick-service options with low-calorie wraps, sandwiches, panini and salads that are under 500 calories. Not only are the ingredients 100% organic, but they’re also produced locally – many are even grown in Fuel’s greenhouse right in Philadelphia. You might not think of grilled cheese as a health food, but the high-protein grilled cheese is one you can feel good about eating. It’s made with mozzarella, provolone and a unique fresh lemon cream cheese, and packed with spinach and tomato. Served on white, rye, wheat or gluten-free bread, this guilt-free sandwich costs $6.95.

MeltKraft by Valley Shepherd Creamery
Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 639-3309

Reading Terminal Market is home to dozens of unique vendors and delicious dining options. MeltKraft is one of those spots, with a menu entirely dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches (and two of the non-grilled variety as a bonus). New Jersey’s Valley Shepherd Creamery is the dairy farm behind the farm-to-table shop, with all of the cheese used made and aged in the laboratory at Reading Terminal or on the farm in Long Valley. There are over half a dozen grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu, but the “Valley Thunder” is the most famous. The impressive sammie features cloth-bound sharp cheddar, Jewish-style braised brisket (also made in-house), a little mozzarella and a layer of baked mac and cheese. Priced at $8.75, it comes with a side of kettle chips. For an additional charge, you can have your sandwich cooked in bacon or duck fat instead of butter and add toppings such as bacon, tomatoes or ham.

Plenty Café
1710 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA
(267) 909-8033

Anthony and Damon Mascieri started out as brothers with a dream. This dream was fulfilled with the opening of the first Plenty Cafe, located on Passyunk Avenue, in 2012. In just the few years since, they opened a second location in the Rittenhouse neighborhood and are slated to open a third spot (in Queen Village) this summer. Using only organic, local and natural ingredients, the quick-service cafe has become a popular spot for breakfast and lunch. The specialty coffee bar is another big draw. Sandwiches are all made to order here and include a side salad. The grilled cheese features gruyere and fontina cheeses, caramelized onions and roasted butternut squash on Metropolitan multi-grain bread for $8.25. The menu changes seasonally though, so be sure to check out the latest offerings.

REX 1516
1516 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(267) 319-1366

Chef Justin Swain offers updated Southern comfort food at South Street’s REX 1516. During Happy Hour, you can score a killer grilled cheese sandwich with smoky pimento cheese that’s made in-house. This sandwich features sourdough bread and is served with pickles for just $5 on the bar bites menu. Come back on the weekend during brunch for the brisket grilled cheese. Priced at $12, the hearty brisket sandwich is made with Memphis BBQ sauce, pimento cheese and white onion and served on sourdough bread. It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Related: Top Spots For Comfort Food In Philadelphia

Pub & Kitchen
1946 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 545-0350

Offering local craft brews on tap, contemporary seasonal fare and tasty bar snacks, Pub & Kitchen is a neighborhood gastropub with a bit of gourmet flair. Executive Chef Eli Collins offers a grilled cheese on the brunch menu available on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The melty favorite is made with Lawrenceville jack cheese and broccoli rabe on country white bread for $12. Pair it with a spicy bloody mary to get your day going.

Say Cheese Philadelphia
(484) 324-8729

Say Cheese is a family-run cheese shop on wheels, serving gourmet grilled cheeses, steaks and other assorted cheesy delicacies. Because the location and menu is always changing, you’ll want to take a look at the Twitter or Facebook page to see what’s going on that day. Buffalo chicken, meatballs and sauteed pears are just a few of the creative grilled cheese sandwiches offered in the past. But if you want to go for the classic, order the $5 “Say Cheese” sandwich. Served on grilled Italian bread and featuring tomato compote and a blend of cheeses, it’s a step up from your traditional grilled cheese. For just $1 more, you can also add bacon.

Related: Best Sandwiches In Philadelphia

Wedge + Fig
160 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(267) 603-3090

Old City’s Wedge + Fig considers itself a “cheese bistro” with just about the entire menu incorporating cheese in some way.  While you can choose from a wide variety of creative sandwiches, healthy salads and hot soups, the grilled cheese bar is your opportunity to build your own sandwich just the way you want it. Pick your bread (white, wheat or pumpernickel) and then choose from the list of delicious cheeses including cheddar, havarti, mozzarella, fontina or brie. From there, you can add even more cheese from the case and go wild with toppings like truffled honey, apple, pesto, bacon or fried jalapenos. Finish it off with a smear of mayo, mustard or even Sriracha. With so many choices, you can create a new masterpiece every visit.

Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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