Best Grilled Cheese in Boston

October 25, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

One of your childhood favorites finally gets the upscale reboot it deserves. Presenting some of the best new-school grilled cheeses in Boston and Cambridge.

Saus Boston
European · Downtown · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.9

“Tasty” dishes “you can't get anywhere else” , mainly of the “unique” street-eat variety (like “excellent” pommes frites with diverse dipping sauces), inspire “lines” at this Belgian-focused “quick-bite” stop in Downtown Crossing’s Faneuil Hall; “cool, modern” surrounds, a team that “seems to really enjoy” working there, oft-changing craft-beer picks available by request and late-night hours Thursday–Saturday also contribute to the “fun aesthetic.”
Island Creek Oyster Bar
Seafood · Fenway/Kenmore · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“The freshness is evident” at this “smart” seafood “must-visit” with an “ideal location” near Fenway Park and a Burlington branch, which offers “imaginative creations” and a “diverse” assortment of “impeccable” shellfish, including selections harvested from a sibling South Shore oyster farm; the “modern” , “open and airy” interior has a “busy, fast-paced” energy, particularly around the “active bar” , though service remains “gracious and at a comfortable pace.”
Beehive Restaurant
Brunch · South End · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.0

The “coolest of the cool” head to this “hip” South End hive of nightly live music, whose “fascinating” bi-level space is equal parts “theater and speakeasy" with “crowded” bistro tables and a cabaret stage; an “excellently executed” Eclectic menu with a globe-trotting “bohemian” spirit is served up by a “friendly” crew alongside “ridiculous” cocktails.
Stephanie's On Newbury
Brunch · Back Bay · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

Regulars keep “coming back over and over again” to these “classy” , “modern” New American bistros for the “sophisticated” takes on comfort food and the “people-watching” ; extras include “trendy” patios at the Back Bay and South End locales and at a wine bar at the Southie spot, and though some say service “can be lacking” , that may due to “packed” houses.
The Friendly Toast
$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.1 · Service 3.9

Regulars drop in for the “creative” , diner-style comfort food but “stay for the atmosphere” at these tchotchke-strewn haunts, where the “wacky” , “kitschy” decor “looks like the inside of your grandmother's house, if grandma was a hoarder with good taste” ; the “tatted-up staff” is “super-friendly” but “moves slowly” , so “be prepared to wait” in “obscenely long” lines for weekend brunch; P.S. the Back Bay branch is open late night.
Aquitaine Boston
French · South End · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

These “quintessential” French bistros “take you to Paris” with “solid” , “inviting” menus dispatched by “accommodating” staffers “without attitude” ; “attractive” settings burnish the “warm” atmospherics, while the “affordable” tabs (especially at the “good-deal brunch” ) belie the overall “luxurious” feel.