Notable Dishes

DC's Best for Grilled Cheese

One of your childhood favorites finally gets the upscale reboot it deserves. Presenting some of the best new-school grilled cheeses in Washington, DC.

  • Central Michel Richard
    • French
    • Penn Quarter/Chinatown
    Food
    26
    Decor
    22
    Service
    24
    Cost
    $50

    The restauranteur uses the mushroom’s natural meatiness to its advantage in his version of the grilled cheese. The sandwich, served in four wedges, includes a mushroom blend of cremini and shiitakes roasted with garlic and Vidalia onions and paired off with Gruyere. If you need an extra punch of cheese, a four-cheese bechamel is served on the side for dipping.

  • Lincoln
    • American
    • Downtown
    Food
    24
    Decor
    25
    Service
    23
    Cost
    $31

    Honest Abe decided to make a Seasonal Grilled Cheese and give the butternut squash and Bartlett pear their time in the sun by marrying them with a melted havarti and arugula pesto.

  • Jaleo
    • Spanish
    • Penn Quarter/Chinatown
    Food
    24
    Decor
    22
    Service
    22
    Cost
    $42

    Celebrity chef Jose Andres may be serving upscale Latin American cuisine to the masses, but the man appreciates a solid grilled cheese. His version, the Tostada De Queso, includes three kinds of Spanish cheeses (manchego, murcia, and valdeon) and truffle oil, and is served alongside a honey aioli.

  • Cedar
    • American
    • Penn Quarter/Chinatown
    Food
    23
    Decor
    20
    Service
    23
    Cost
    $41

    The addition of lobster takes grilled cheese to a sophisticated new level. This take includes the crustacean poached in butter and a milky Camembert with a tomato soup chaser, so the $22 price tag is well worth it.

  • Domku Bar & Cafe
    • Scandinavian
    • Petworth
    Food
    23
    Decor
    24
    Service
    18
    Cost
    $25

    If you can handle the heat, dare to try this cafe’s Spicy Grilled Cheese. Paired with a white cheddar, its chili peppers are bound to knock your socks off.

  • Ripple
    • American
    • Cleveland Park
    Food
    23
    Decor
    18
    Service
    23
    Cost
    $59

    At the bar, you can make your own grilled cheese (starting at $7) with an eclectic selection of underrated cheeses (Ossau Iraty, Morbier, Toma Primavera) and housemade spreads (seasonal jams and garlic aioli). If you’d rather leave the work to the professionals, the French Onion Dip includes a heaping serving of caramelized onions and P’tit Basque made out of sheep’s milk.

  • Firefly
    • American
    • Dupont Circle
    Food
    20
    Decor
    20
    Service
    19
    Cost
    $40

    Just like the grilled cheese, the Cadillac is an American icon. This ingredient-driven eatery combines the two into one satisfying lunch staple ($12). The sandwich includes a rich bechamel, two types of cheeses (Gruyere and cheddar), and garlic-herb butter.

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