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The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches In Los Angeles

Grilled cheese sandwiches are delightfully retro and make us feel nostalgic. And although they can seem simple to make—it's just bread, cheese, butter and heat—a truly great grilled cheese is a piece of art.

Though the Grilled Cheese Invitational is sadly no longer around, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your beloved childhood dish in L.A. Here are our favorites. As always, let us know yours in the comments.

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Photo courtesy of the Melt

The Melt

This Bay Area-based grilled cheese chain is the brainchild of Jonathan Kaplan, who was behind the little hand-held Flip video camera, and San Francisco celeb chef Michael Mina, who serves as a consultant on the project. They serve everything from classics like aged sharp cheddar on white bread to the crazy, like the Ballpark Melt, which is made with aged sharp cheddar and all-beef frank with mustard on San Francisco sourdough.

The Melt is located at 161 Caruso Ave., Glendale, (213) 344-4903

Greenspan's Grilled Cheese

Ever since winning the Grilled Cheese Invitational, Eric Greenspan has sort of become our city's de facto grilled cheese guru. He's opened up a sammie-centric shop next door to the former Foundry space on Melrose Avenue, where he serves the likes of his bread-winning recipe made with tallegio on raisin-walnut bread with apricot caper puree. There are also old school McDonalds apple pies, so come hungry.

Greenspan's Grilled Cheese is located at 7461 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 591-0177

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Photo courtesy of the Grilled Cheese Truck on Facebook

The Grilled Cheese Truck

The Grilled Cheese Truck manages to pile short ribs, mac and cheese, and even more cheese on their signature sandwich. It's a gut bomb to be sure, but it's so worth it. There are countless ripoffs around town, but the OG is number one in our book.

Grilled Cheese Truck roves throughout Los Angeles. Check their whereabouts on Twitter.

Lucques

Suzanne Goin's farmers market haven is hardly where you'd expect to find a fantastic grilled cheese. But alas, her rendition made with caramelized shallots and melted cantal cheese on white bread is served with an apple and arugula salad that totally hits the spot, especially when eaten with a side of rosé on the patio.

Lucques is located at 8474 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6277

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Photo courtesy of Grub on Facebook

Grub

At chef Betty Fraser's Hollywood restaurant there's a dish called the After School Special, which is basically a grilled cheese made with cheddar and swiss on sourdough basted with dill butter. It comes with a side of creamy tomato soup. It can be made vegan if you'd like, or if you want to sway in a completely different direction, add their "crack bacon" on top.

Grub is located at 911 Seward St, Los Angeles, (323) 461-3663

Joan's On Third

Dear god, this grilled cheese is indulgent. There's certainly no shortage of creamy cheddar or butter on Joan's grilled cheese, which is served with a side of her famous pickles to cut through the heaviness. It's definitely one of the closest to what your mom gave you back in the day, where carb counting and dairy guilt weren't an issue. Embrace the decadence and deal with it later.

Joan's on Third is located at 8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285

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Photo via Heywood on Facebook

Heywood — Closed

We might be a little biased towards Heywood simply because one of their sandwiches features our favorite cheese in all the land: creamy and supple Fromage d'Affinois. It's layered with an English cheddar aged two years, bread from a local baker, fig jam, olive oil, and honey. Some other winners are the eponymous Heywood (English cheddar with caramelized onion confit) or the Muy Caliente (Fontina and spicy Jack with jalapeños on sourdough). All come with a complimentary cup of tomato soup. If that wasn't enough, there's a build-your-own option, as well as vegan choices for your meat-free buddies.

Heywood is located at 3337 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 667-1522

Clementine's

If it's options you're after, then Clem's build-your-own grilled cheese bar will hit the spot. Start with your choice of bread (either country white, country wheat, or whole grain), then build on that with a selection of Tillamook yellow cheddar, extra sharp white cheddar, gruyere, feta or provolone cheese. You can stack it high with veggies or toppings, but if you keep it simple we suggest the simple yellow cheddar. Don't mess with the classics.

Clementine's is located at 9346 Civic Center Dr, Beverly Hills, (310) 461-0600

Honorable Mentions:

Food Lab

Apple Pan

City Tavern

Local

Bread Lounge