The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich in Toronto
The best grilled cheese sandwich in Toronto is a matter of taste — and, I'd argue, of nostalgia. So many of us associate a soft, freshly-grilled cheese sandwich with childhood, and as many of us have related rituals. Whether it's dunking it into a warm cup of tomato soup, demanding it be crustless, or eschewing the distinctly adult options of gruyere, chevre or portobello mushrooms in favour of a recognizable, fluorescent orange cheddar--there's no wrong way to do it. Each of the grilled cheese sandwich offerings on this list stand out for both their straightforward cheese sandwiches, as well as some significantly fancier (and in some cases, weirder) options.
Here are the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Toronto.
Any connoisseur of grilled cheese sammies will appreciate the gourmet toppings on offer at this Kensington Market shop. Prices start around the $5 mark for a not-so-basic sandwich with aged cheddar, and top out around $10 for the aptly-named Beast (jalapeno havarti, cheddar, spinach and a hearty blend of bacon and turkey). All sandwiches come halved, served with a pickle and side of salty chips, and you should expect a bit of a wait as these puppies are grilled on the spot. More »
About Cheese has been sating Church-Wellesley’s cheese cravings for a few years, and is best known for its varied selection of gourmet cheeses, and its knowledgeable staff ready to suggest a wine pairing at the drop of a hat. As you’d expect, their grilled cheese sandwich is equally rich and decadent. Frere Jacques (a Quebecois wash-rind cheese) and hand-made mozzarella come together on St. John’s multigrain, and you can opt for either with La Quercia prosciutto (nitrate and sulfate-free) or without for $7.25. They also offer fresh-to-order croissant sandwiches ($6) with the same prosciutto, a raw 2-year-old cheddar and a French triple-cream brie. Yum. More »
You’ll have to wait ‘til the afternoon on weekdays to satisfy your grilled cheese jonesing at this Bloorcourt bar, but it’s well worth it. Don’t let it’s grim ‘n’ dim interior put you off; inside, you’ll find a dive where the staff is friendly, a jukebox, and standout sandwiches. The Grilled Cheeseland sees a triple-hit of cheese (jack, cheddar and goat) and caramelized onions on grainy bread ($12), and served with a side of tomato soup; basically, childhood on a plate. More »
Leslieville Cheese Market is a favourite of its eponymous neighbourhood, in part for its well-schooled staff. Their grilled cheese sandwiches are available in 6 flavours, are all $7.91, and come on their housemade rye. Among their most popular options are the Classic (aged white cheddar, munster, dijon mustard, and a touch of cayenne pepper, which can also be made as a gluten-free option), and their Healthy Option (sundried tomato, artichokes, and chevre). Customization is not on offer here, but you have to trust the experts. More »
Melt Grilled Cheese might be situated on the outskirts of Toronto proper (Etobicoke), but grilled cheese die-hards know it’s worth the trek for the lengthy menu of gluttonous sandwiches. It starts with the Classic ($3.89 for cheddar, mozzarella and free toppings), and goes to the Godfather ($6.49 for a busy mix of mozzarella, crispy chicken, prosciutto and pesto). You can customize with toppings such as pickles or jalapenos, breads like sourdough, multigrain, or asiago red pepper, or even your choice of dipping sauce. More »
Say Cheese is one of this list’s newer entries, having just opened in the Annex. It caters, obviously, to hungry U of T students, but I expect it will soon see a wave of gourmands on a budget for its strange and tasty flavour combinations and refreshingly low prices. Try the Fungi Fixation ($5.50) for its blend of decadent brie, oyster and button mushrooms, and be sure to customize it with bacon ($2), or the Nice Pair (prosciutto and pear team up with brie for just $5.50). If you’re feeling particularly froufrou, you can opt for an upgrade to premium cheeses such as Beemster XO ($2). More »
Yonge and St. Clair has been enjoying Delica Kitchen’s grilled-to-order cheese sandwiches for some time now. The refined, taste-forward menu includes the fairly simple, if somewhat presumptuously named, Best Bacon Grilled Cheese ($8.50 for thick-cut bacon, tomato-onion relish and aged cheddar), and their homage to the land of fromage, the Parisienne ($8.85 for smoked ham, gruyere, pear, dijon mustard and garlic aioli). You can also get all of the above toasted, but that, my friends, is sacrilege. More »
The Swan does many things right in its cozy West Queen West spot, such as its panelled wood and diner-esque interior, a wicked brunch menu, and yes, you guessed it, grilled cheese sandwiches. Sadly, it’s only available at lunch-time, but this deceptively simple blend of three cheeses (smoked mozzarella, swiss, and aged cheddar), pear and watercress on their house-made bread ($9) is an ode to simplicity, and unlike some of the other flashy sandwiches on this list, it lets the cheese itself steal the show. More »
Cool Hand Luc opened up in the summertime, with a heavy focus on ice creams and sorbets. Now that the weather’s turning blustery, they’re turning their attention to a range of 6 soups and a range of 3 (with a rotating 4th) signature sandwiches. You can either opt for something like the Chicken Club ($6.50 for oven-roasted chicken, classic cheddar, and avocado on a brioche), or you can create your own ($5), by choosing your bread, cheese (such as jalapeno cheddar), and 2 toppings. You can also just go for a basic grilled cheese sammie with your choice of cheese ($4), and pair with their vegan tomato and dill soup ($4 for a small). More »
Personally, I love Murray’s on Queen West for its Big Tahuna ($7), and while it boasts an old white cheddar (as well as tuna salad with celery and red peppers on a not-too-soft baguette), it’s not what we’re here to discuss. The Gimme the Keys Grilled Cheese ($7) is an impressive triple-decker sandwich on white bread from Ace, with a weekly rotating featured cheese (such as provolone, swiss or old white cheddar), and the secret is in its light dusting of parmesan cheese on the outside for that post-grilling cheesy crust. You can add bacon ($1), but I’d suggest their soup of the day ($3) for a nice, warm dip. More »
This Bloor West Village cheese shop might be a newer player to the game, but they’re already slinging grilled cheese sammies. Their rotating menu ensures that there’s never a dull lunchtime moment, and showcases their fabulous cheeses first and foremost. From goat cheddar, to pecorino fresco and salsa, to a caprese grilled cheese, all sandwiches are an even $6, and come with homemade pickles and ketchup. More »
Millwood Melt, at Bayview and Leaside, boasts a concise, but highly customizable menu from a husband-and-wife team that stresses local produce and products. Each of their grilled cheese sandwiches arrive on organic sourdough and are $7, and their specialties include the Hamelot (smoked ham, swiss, and honey dijon), and the Green Machine (spiced avocados, arugula, fresh pesto, and monterey jack) or you can make your own ($5) with your choice of cheese and toppings such as tomatoes ($0.50), roasted red peppers ($1), or peameal or strip bacon ($1.50). More »