The grilled cheese sandwich was a Depression-era staple. Kraft’s 1916 introduction of processed cheese was topping for inexpensive white bread, popped under the broiler and served as an open-face sandwich. We’ve come a long way from the staple of grilled cheese and tomato soup to a havarti, gruyere, Swiss, cheddar or gorgonzola cheese served on artisan breads topped with chutneys, tapenades or pestos. From the latest innovations of smoking your grilled cheese to a childlike need to put potato chips inside it, the grilled cheese sandwich still remains a favorite with adults and children alike. See who’s cooking up the best ones throughout Baltimore.
Atwater’s at Belvedere Square Market
529 E Belvedere Ave
Baltimore, Md. 21212
Atwater’s is known firstly for being a bakery, acclaimed for its artisan breads that hold toppings for one mean grilled cheese. The menu is a rotating one and you might find grilled Swiss, bacon and balsamic onions on sunflower flax bread, grilled three cheese and bacon sandwich with cheddar, provolone, Swiss and North-country bacon with sliced apples on country white or grilled cheddar and apple with Dijon mustard on peasant white bread. Regardless of which is featured at the time, each variation of the classic is amazing. Chef/owner Ned Atwater is a big proponent of buying local, being organic where possible and working with seasonal ingredients. Be sure to grab a cup of one of the Ploughboy’s soups while you are there, perfect for dipping.
Grilled Cheese & Company
1036 Light St
Baltimore, Md. 21230
How could you go wrong with a restaurant all about grilled cheese sandwiches? With a new location recently opened on Light Street, Grilled Cheese & Company knows this cheesy favorite like the back of its hand. Probably one of its purest renditions is The Fresco: mozzarella and provolone cheese, fire-roasted peppers, basil pesto and a balsamic glaze. Enjoy a salad or soup while dining in or carrying out. Choose from more than 10 specialty grilled cheese sandwiches, all delicious and available for under $8. Check out the kids’ meal for a lighter option – half of an original grilled cheese, applesauce or chips and milk or juice box for $4.99.
GrrChe is on the move in downtown Baltimore at lunchtime, catered events or Baltimore’s weekend food truck gatherings. Keep it simple and choose your cheese and your bread or liven it up with the Lobster Grille: Maine lobster and Monterey jack cheese on Texas toast. Or really get your cheese intake for the day with the Pulled Grill, loaded with cheddar cheese, macaroni and cheese and pulled beef on any type of bread. Soups selections vary daily and all deserve a try as well. Order the combo meal for a perfect soup and salad pairing. The food truck releases its locations on its Twitter account, @GrrChe.
Related: Baltimore’s Food Trucks
227 W 29th St
Baltimore, Md. 21211
The quirky Papermoon Diner, located in the northern section of Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood, boasts a popular Grilled Cheese W/ Mango Chutney sandwich. On sunflower bread, diners can enjoy melted havarti cheese, mango chutney and fresh baby spinach grilled together. Although exceptionally tasty, this isn’t the only option for grilled cheese aficionados dining at the Papermoon. You can also get the Grilled Havarti sandwich with tomato and basil and an optional portobello mushroom to include for a heartier meal. Still not what you’re looking for? Order the California Dream served a bit crunchier with avocado, fresh basil, tomatoes, melted cheddar and Swiss in a tortilla shell.
Rocket to Venus
3360 Chestnut Ave
Baltimore, Md. 21211
This isn’t the first time that the Hampden neighborhood’s Rocket to Venus received kudos for its Grilled Cheese sandwich. Nestled on the corner of 34th Street and Chestnut, this bar/restaurant uses both of its talents by creating a grilled cheese with muenster and Swiss on ciabatta with none other than a bloody mary dipping sauce. This is a genius morphing of two classics that most diners love to indulge in. Order a shot of vodka for a complete meal.
Related: Best Bloody Marys In Maryland
Dara Bunjon has a passion for food – its origins, preparation and consumption. Her culinary endeavors began as a regular cooking personality on early morning news in Baltimore, where she developed a fanbase. She also owns her own company and co-authored a cookbook. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.