The Ten: Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

By Nevin Martell

Photo by Elizabeth Parker

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

We’ve started digging out our sweaters and using the briskness as a talking point during conversational lulls, so we want something hearty and heartwarming when we go out to eat. Nothing is more universally comforting on a chilly autumn day than a good grilled cheese sandwich. So we rounded up 10 favorites that are a perfect panacea for shivers and S.A.D.

Founding Farmers

The triple threat at this cradle of comfort food with locations in Foggy Bottom and Park Potomac is packed with Muenster, white cheddar and Gruyere. It comes with a cup of roasted tomato soup that’s perfect for dipping.


The Swiss Bank Account at this Cleveland Park wine bar is the 1% of grilled cheeses. That’s because translucently thin prosciutto and creamy, cellar-aged Challerhocker cheese are slathered with truffle butter before the sandwich is grilled golden brown.


Bryan Voltaggio forgoes the molecular gastronomy of Volt and keeps it simple at his canalside grab ‘n’ go in Frederick. For his grilled cheese, thick slices of Tilamook cheddar are bookended between fresh slices white bread. Just like Dad used to make when he was in charge of dinner.

The Big Cheese

It’s a truck that sells nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches – genius! Our favorite is the Cherry Glen, which uses creamy chèvre from its namesake then spreads on a sweet, citrusy lemon fig jam.

Grilled Cheese & Co.

The Sweetest Thing at this Catonsville hot spot will convince you that grilled cheese can be dessert. Golden-griddled triangles of thick white bread hold together creamy mascarpone cheese, raspberry preserves and gooey melted chocolate chips, which nicely offset a thick layer of funky brie.


Chef-owner Ris Lacoste tweaks the grilled cheese daily, so you never know what your sandwich might hold (a recent favorite was packed with chilies). No matter what, it comes with a bowl of steamy, silky cream of tomato soup.


The Spanish Grilled Cheese at José Andrés’ mobile homage to his favorite childhood sandwiches is brimming with Manchego, goat cheese, herby and herbaceous Murcia, veiny blue Valdeón, and a thin layer of quince membrillo.

Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop

Head out to this Arlington fromagerie for the Grown Up Grilled Cheese. Creamy camembert, a swipe of Dijon, thick beefsteak tomato rounds and a few argula leaves are pressed between layers of rustic sourdough.

Cork Wine Bar

This 14th Street favorite serves a haute breakfast sandwich that won our hearts over in a single bite. The Pan-Crisped Brioche Sandwich features Fontina, some slender slices of prosciutto, and a sunny-side up egg. Has the power to turn even a dreary afternoon into a good morning.


The Pappa Pomodoro at chef-owner Fabio Trabocchi’s much-lauded Penn Quarter trattoria is named after the rustic Tuscan tomato soup that stars in this stellar starter. However, it comes with several tea-sized grilled cheeses with buffalo mozzarella and basil that make this dish worth ordering even if you’re allergic to tomatoes.


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  • StinkyChees

    Stoney’s, Stoney’s, Stoney’s, Stoney’s, Stoney’s. Are you nuts?

  • MDFoodie24

    Not including Stoney’s on this list is a travesty! Clearly the author didn’t try the best grilled cheese in DC.

  • Scofield

    False. Stoney’s has the best, what foolishness this is, person probably just googled some yelp reviews and slapped together this tripe

    • morgan c

      Bahahaha, I was thinking the exact same thing. Of course, they wouldn’t put a regular bar restaurant on this list (not trendy enough), but ya dude, Stoney’s really is the best!

  • Gabriel Bayley

    What about Spacebar which has an entire menu of grilled cheese sandwiches?

  • ROCK STAR Realty

    Space Bar IS grilled cheese, and serves nothing but an amazing variety of grilled cheese combinations with tater tots!!!

  • Roy Heintzelman

    Got to agree with the rest of the comments… what about Stoneys?!?!

  • AC

    Disagree with Stoney’s – I was not impressed by their grilled cheese even a little bit. Guess I am alone in this among posters. That’s ok. :-) I will look for the rest of these awesome sounding sandwiches!

  • Tess

    Clearly you didn’t try Firefly. Founding Farmer’s can’t come close to theirs.

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