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8 Great Grilled Cheeses in DC

By Rina Rapuano
November 6, 2013

As the weather cools, we inevitably start craving comfort foods. And what could possibly be more comforting than a gooey, buttery grilled cheese sandwich? We’ve rounded up eight local takes that range from traditional to creative to just plain decadent.

  • Ripple

    You know a place is dedicated to the art of the grilled cheese when they have a whole bar dedicated to the childhood staple. Such is the case at Ripple, where happy hour and late-night hours bring options like the Rich E Rich melted with hand-sliced prosciutto, Caciocavallo and truffle butter or the Infidel composed of pork rillettes, Surryano ham, Mahón and pickles.

    3417 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-244-7995

  • Firefly

    This version of the classic American sandwich is appropriately named The Cadillac - and, like the car, you need to take it for a spit to truly appreciate it. This grilled cheese is gussied up with Gruyère, cheddar, béchamel and garlic-herb butter on white bread.

    310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-861-1310

  • Central

    At Central Michel Richard, the grilled cheese served at lunch is a study in more is more. The kitchen presses a rich mushroom duxelle with roasted Vidalia onion and garlic between Swiss cheese and serves it with a four-cheese dipping sauce.

    1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-626-0015

  • Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

    Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery smartly employs New Orleans native chef-owner David Guas’ pimento cheese for his Southern-style grilled cheese. For it, he blends domestic sharp Cheddars with housemade cream cheese and bookends it all with buttery Texas toast.

    1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington, VA; 703-243-2410

  • Tryst

    This Adams Morgan mainstay gives us a healthy spin on the grilled cheese with the Linda - a layering of mozzarella, pesto, spinach, goat cheese and avocado on multigrain bread. But don’t worry, it’s still plenty cheesy even with all those veggies.

    2459 18th St. NW; 202-232-5500

  • Del Frisco’s Grille

    Here, you’ll find a farmhouse grilled cheese made with cheddar and Gruyère gilded with mornay sauce. Add a sidecar of roasted tomato bisque, and you’ve got yourself a pretty homey, satisfying lunch.

    1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-450-4686

  • Society Fair

    Chef Cathal Armstrong keeps it simple with The Classic: Prairie Breeze cheese grilled between slices of Armstrong’s favorite Irish batch-loaf bread. The tomato soup it’s served with takes takes its inspiration from Italy with the additions of garlic and Calabrian chile peppers.

    277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247

  • Jaleo

    José Andrés’ tostada de queso has little in common with what your mother served you as a kid. A mixture of Manchego, Murcia, Valdeón and goat cheeses, it’s further dressed up with truffle oil and honey aioli all served on rustic bread. It’s as if someone put a tuxedo on the humble original.

    480 Seventh St NW, 202-628-7949; 7271 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-913-0003; 2250 Crystal Dr., Arlington, 703-413-8181

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Places Mentioned

Jaleo

Spanish • Arlington

Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$39
 
 
 
Jaleo

Spanish • Bethesda

Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$39
 
 
 
Jaleo

Spanish • Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$39
 
 
 
Bayou Bakery

Southern American • Arlington

Food22 Decor18 Service19 Cost$17
 
 
 
Ripple

Cleveland Park

Food23 Decor20 Service23 Cost$49
 
 
 
Firefly

American • Dupont Circle

Food23 Decor23 Service21 Cost$42
 
 
 
Society Fair

Alexandria

Food24 Decor26 Service25 Cost$33
 
 
 
Tryst

Coffee Shop • Adams Morgan

Food21 Decor22 Service19 Cost$17
 
 
 
Central Michel Richard

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food26 Decor21 Service23 Cost$54
 
 
 
 
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