By Elizabeth SanFilippo
Forget what you think you know about grilled cheese around Chicago; it’s about a lot more than just melted cheese between bread. From greasy, late-night food to gourmet, cheesy goodness at restaurants, this isn’t your mom’s grilled cheese from when you were a kid. See how these Chicago restaurants have put a twist on the classic.
Bangers & Lace
1670 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
Wicker Park’s Bangers and Lace may be known for its craft beers and sausages, but it also grills up a mean cheese sandwich. Like the pub’s other menu items, this isn’t your average sandwich. Its high-class grilled cheese clocks in at $7 and comes with black truffle, raclette, taleggio and Irish white cheddar — a mouth-watering combination — with a side of roasted garlic gazpacho. Wash the deliciousness down with any of the 32 beers on tap.
Cheesie’s Pub & Grub
958 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Just as the name implies, Cheesie’s is all about the cheese in this recently renovated Lakeview establishment. While its menu includes some chili and fried sides, it’s the greasy, gooey grilled cheese that has people coming back for more. Get a classic cheese sandwich for just $6.95, or mix it up and grab a mac and cheese sandwich for $5.45. There are nine cheese sandwich variations to choose from including The Classic, The Melt, The Tradicion, The Tenderizer, The Popper, The Napoleon, The Mac, The Frenchie and The Caprese. An added plus: Cheesie’s offers all its drinks, both beers and well drinks, for just $4 each.
Related: Best Sandwiches in Chicago
Four Moon Tavern
1847 W Roscoe St
Chicago, IL 60657
Roscoe Village’s Four Moon Tavern may look like a dive bar from the outside, but it’s got some of the best bar food in the city – and that includes its amazing grilled cheese. After placing your song selections in the tavern’s juke box, grab a seat and choose your toppings to go alongside that melty cheese. These toppings rotate, but patrons can often request avocado, bacon, ham, mushroom, tomato and even pepperoni in between the two slices of bread. Get creative and build your own unique cheesy sandwich.
1638 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
If the TVs at every table aren’t enough to draw you in, perhaps the Southwestern-inspired cuisine will be. That cuisine includes a massive 16-inch grilled cheese sandwich, appropriately named the Clydesdale. Between two big slices of toasted and buttered wheat Pullman bread is the perfect amount of American and cheddar cheeses. Other insides can be added for a couple more bucks, including bacon, tomato, jalapeño and house-smoked ham. No matter which additions you decide to add, the Clydesdale also comes with a tame, but delicious tomato-basil dipping sauce. The best day to grab a Clydesdale is Friday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m, when all appetizers (and sandwiches) are half off.
The Scout Waterhouse and Kitchen
1301 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
This South Loop locale features American classics and offers three grilled cheese options to satisfy your melted cheese craving. All measure a foot long too, making these sandwiches perfect for sharing. While all three come on a brioche bun, the insides vary. The “Triple Cheese” gets you loads of cheese, as the name implies, and for an additional few dollars, add a topping of applewood-smoked bacon. The “Wolff” ups the game by including both the bacon and fresh jalapeños. Last but not least is “The Grown Up Grilled Cheese,” which includes Swiss, brie and fresh mozzarella as the melt, as well as red-onion jam and bacon. A mouthwatering tomato-basil dip can – and should – be ordered as a side for all of these options.
Related: Best Mac ‘N’ Cheese in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.