Grilled Cheese, Please: Our favorite Columbus spots for the nostalgic sandwich
You can pretend to have outgrown the grilled cheese—everyone’s childhood favorite sandwich—but you won’t fool us.
The grilled cheese can be your simplest meal, or it can feature everything from fried chicken to spicy pepper jam. Aside from versatility, for so many of us, it offers a taste of childhood, embodying the term comfort food in more ways than one. And while there are so many great grilled cheese spots in Columbus (including some not featured here), we whittled our favorites down to the list below.
When you think of Bodega in Italian Village, your first thought is probably craft beer, as this High Street spot boasts over 150 different brews. Why they’re on this list though, is for their $1 grilled cheese on Mondays, making them by far the best deal in the city for a quality grilled cheese. And the best part about it? This sandwich is actually quality—featuring a blend of cheddar, swiss, monterey jack, tomato aioli, and arugula—despite its price.
The tagline for this SoHud eatery, displayed in bold green font across the top of their homepage, is “Grilled Cheese & Anarchy,” so you know it’s going to be good. With punk-themed options like the Crowdsurfer (Maine lobster, fontina cheese, celery scallions, and citrus aioli), the Blitzkrieg Chop (chopped BBQ brisket, smoked gouda, and horseradish mayo), and the Dirty Bird (double-battered chicken, mozzarella, lettuce, red pepper relish, and mayo), Punk Pigs offers a plethora of sandwiches while perfectly toeing the line between culinary and approachable.
When I think of Katalina’s, I think of comfort food with a gourmet flair. And with iconic menu items like their filled pancake balls and souped-up (pun intended) grilled cheese, you should too. This one looks deceptively simple at first glance, but it’s hearty and well balanced with some spice to boot. The sandwich features local Amish cheddar on sourdough toast, accented with Cooper’s Mill Peach-Habañero Jam for a kick of sweet and spicy.
Your favorite nostalgic sandwich has officially hit the road. But don’t think because Cheesy Truck operates out of a vehicle that it’s any less well-done or delicious than the other standouts on this list. With a wide range of options like the decadent Royale (housemade pulled pork with cheddar and five-cheese mac and cheese served on grilled Texas toast) and the culinary Sweet Goat (a goat cheese and cream cheese blend, sun-dried tomato, Italian seasoning, and olive oil, all topped with a honey drizzle on sourdough bread), there’s going to be something for everyone. If you need help locating Cheesy Truck (or any other food truck for that matter), check out Street Food Finder.
We know. It’s technically from Cleveland. But that doesn’t stop Melt—now with two Columbus-area locations (one in Italian Village and the other at Easton Town Center)—from making this list. Something of a pioneer in the relatively new scene of gourmet grilled cheese, Melt should be your go-to if you want a truly indulgent sandwich. Their enormous menu features everything from a chicken and waffles grilled cheese to a sandwich with real pizza rolls. Then there’s the Lake Erie Monster, which manages to stuff a panko-breaded fish fillet with jalapeno tartar sauce into a grilled cheese.
Come for the fried chicken, stay for the amazing grilled cheese. That’s what they say, right? Well it should be, because apart from serving up some truly great chicken (with a massive beer selection), The Eagle is also home to one of our favorite grilled cheese sandwiches. This food hall-style restaurant (which adds a fun twist) features a grilled cheese plucked straight out of a country farm, featuring apricot preserves and granny smith apples served with a three-cheese blend on rustic bread.
Where’s your favorite place to get a grilled cheese sandwich, Columbus? Share it with us in the comments below.
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