Toast City Diner, Asbury Park, Montclair, and Red Bank
Gourmet grilled cheese, with American, Swiss, cheddar, grilled onions, and mushrooms on multigrain bread is a three-cheese masterpiece that’s worth every calorie. The addition of onions and mushrooms is genius and elevates this Toast sandwich to the gourmet status it claims.
Wingcraft, Atlantic City
Wingcraft’s short rib grilled cheese includes braised short rib, cheddar, American, soup onions, and mozzarella. This hearty handful is another grammable sammy. With three different cheeses, a generous portion of tender short ribs and soup onions, make no mistake: This bad boy is no snack. Only the truly hungry need apply.
The Sand Castle Diner, Beachwood
Outrageous and over-the-top versions of grilled cheese may strike my fancy on a whim, but the simple pleasure of perfectly toasted rye bread, Swiss that melted to gooey deliciousness, along with the slightly sweet bite of a sliced tomato will always be #1. Add in a cup of soup on the side (for dipping, of course) and every bite is a perfect bite. You can never go wrong with simple, quality ingredients done right.
The best place to enjoy it? I have been enjoying this classic at the Sand Castle Diner, in Beachwood, for over 20 years. It’s where I go for great food with fast and friendly service and a joke or sports antidote from the owner. The Sand Castle is the perfect spot to enjoy this comfort classic on National Grilled Cheese Day—or any day! —Jennifer Shafer
Tick Tock Diner, Clifton
A grilled cheese sandwich at the Tick Tock Diner, in Clifton—comfort food that’s simply elegant. More than just a quick meal, it’s a statement on Garden State culture and tradition. Crispy, toasty, and tasty. My father used to say, “You can never go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich, wherever you decide to eat.” In other words, it was always a safe choice. However, I’m pretty sure he was referring to diners, cafes, and luncheonettes in New Jersey, and not Le Bernardin, in Manhattan. Whatever.
I always enjoy slices of tomato with my grilled cheese sandwich, but this time I decided to be semiradical and go with bacon. Eat heavy, my friends; eat heavy! —Michael Gabriele
Art of Salad, East Brunswick, Long Branch, Piscataway
State Line Diner, Mahwah
Coffee & Cornbread, Montclair
B2 Bistro + Bar, Toms River (brunch menu)
When you stop by B2 Bistro + Bar, do yourself a favor and order the short rib grilled cheese: short rib, caramelized onions, Gruyère, and American cheese on grilled brioche and served with garlic parmesan fries. This beefy beauty is only available on the weekend brunch menu, so plan accordingly and ask for plenty of napkins.
MooCheeze Food Truck
described gourmet melts, fries, and mac-and-cheese food truck, which can be found at festivals, wineries and other random places throughout the Delaware Valley. The gyro grilled cheese is much of what you would expect in the classic pita version, just not as sloppy, and delivered in grilled cheese form: tender, sliced gyro meat, crisp onions, tangy tomatoes and a fresh, vibrant tzatziki sauce, all held together by melted mozzarella cheese between two pieces of crunchy grilled bread.