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TallBoy Grilled Cheese
A Cuban style grilled cheese sandwich from TallBoy.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

15 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Fit for Adults

A guide to the meltiest, stretchiest meals around D.C.

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A Cuban style grilled cheese sandwich from TallBoy.
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Grilled cheese is an elementary dish that most at-home cooks can prepare. But it takes a special touch to transform the familiar comfort food into a must-have menu item. At these 15 restaurants, grilled cheese is more than just cheese and bread — it’s a gourmet treat that’s a must-order no matter the time of day.

From a riff on French onion soup at downtown’s go-to grilled cheese bar GCDC to a grilled cheese-centric power lunch at Ris to a dizzying 20-plus selections at Falls Church’s Spacebar, the area has no shortage of gooey options.

Don’t see a personal favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

—Updated by Vinciane Ngomsi

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Room 11

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3234 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 332-3234
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This secret hideaway’s destination grilled cheese combines aged cheddar, fresh mozzarella, spicy marinara, and raclette. To keep things on the lighter side, this meal switches out tomato soup for house salad as a side.

2. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple locations)

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1818 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-8337
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Call it old fashioned, but the tomato soup paired with grilled cheese at homegrown chain Ted’s Bulletin is a match made in heaven. The “deluxe” option folds in braised short rib and mac and cheese.

What’s your snow day craving?

Posted by Ted's Bulletin on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

3. Glen's Garden Market

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2001 S St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-5698
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Dine on a budget at this local market that maintains one location in Dupont. A Colby Jack blend melts on freshly-baked and toasted sourdough bread, which can be split with an 8-ounce cup of soup or chili. Pair the classic with a $4 pint of beer and dinner is served.

Glen’s Garden Market Glen’s Garden Market/official photo

4. The Riggsby

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1731 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 787-1500
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Michael Schlow’s restaurant tucked inside the Carlyle Hotel offers a secret, off-menu grilled cheese. It’s prepared open-faced in a hot buttered pan before hitting the oven.

Riggsby/official photo

5. Cork Wine Bar & Market

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1805 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-2675
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The wine bar’s relocated 14th Street NW digs has a grilled cheese built with a curated selection of artisanal cheese and house jam on award-winning Bread Furst bread.

Get up close and personal on #grilledcheesesandwich night @corkdc. Try the #bluecheese, #comte and #bacon with #roastedshallot comfit. #corkdc #dceats

Posted by Cork Wine Bar and Market on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

6. Stoney's (Multiple locations)

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1433 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 234-1818
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This no-frills watering hole has a whole grilled cheese sandwich menu that can be customized to suit just about any taste. One of the most popular versions is the “super grilled cheese” featuring tomato, bacon, and onions. For an even heartier option, go with a melty meatloaf sandwich.

7. TallBoy

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1239 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 465-4822
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The short food lineup at Shaw’s year-old hub for 16-ounce cans of beer stars six types of grilled cheeses thatserved until late. The Smoked & Stacked, an ode to chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s previous restaurant inside, comes with Swiss, pastrami, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

TallBoy Grilled Cheese
A grilled cheese at TallBoy.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
2275 L St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 730-2500
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Those craving a comforting taste of childhood in an adult setting should venture over to Ris Lacoste’s Foggy Bottom mainstay. The midday “lunch box” special comes with a warm bowl of tomato soup and other comfort foods.

Ris DC interior Ris/official photo

9. Rare Steakhouse and Tavern

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1595 I St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 800-9994
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This Wisconsin-based restaurant group displays its love for cheese with a double-stacked ham and cheese sandwich made with Hook’s three-year cheddar, served with a charred tomato soup for dipping. Order a side of its famed fried cheese curds to double up on dairy.

Customers seated at the downstairs bar at Rare Steakhouse and Tavern.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

10. Stable

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1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 733-4604
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Chef David Fritsche’s Swiss-centric menu features a fondue grilled cheese prepared with three different, semi-soft Swiss cheeses (available at brunch).

The fondue grilled cheese at Stable.
Tim Ebner/Eater DC

11. GCDC

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1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 393-4232
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Downtown diners head to this self-styled “grilled cheese bar” for build-your-own creations and a dizzying list of rotating specials. The “French Onion” features a gruyere blend and caramelized onions on challah bread.

Don't forget about our AMAZING Vegan Menu! You can build your own grilled cheese for lunch or choose between The Vegan...

Posted by GCDC on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

12. Barmini

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501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-4451
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José Andrés’s elite cocktail den is best known for its inventive and over-the-top beverages, but there’s some new bar bites worth trying while sipping drinks. One upscale snack features rectangular strips of grilled cheese featuring gorgonzola, brie, and white cheddar cooked in truffle butter.

13. Spacebar

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709 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 992-0777
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Vegan grilled cheese is an option at this beloved Falls Church eatery, as are dozens of other fillings thanks to the build-your-own menu (starts at $6.50 and increases with each additional topping). Or choose from a dizzying 20 grilled cheese sandwich selections like one with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and sharp cheddar on rye.

14. SER Restaurant

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1110 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 746-9822
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Named after the Mediterranean island where Mahón cheese is made, SER’s lunchtime version of the American classic pairs young Mahón, queso style, with brioche bread. Meat eaters can add a salty bite with bacon for $3 extra.

SER
SER
R. Lopez/Eater DC

15. Cheesetique (Multiple locations)

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2411 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 706-5300
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This local chain with three area outposts prides itself on cooking with cheeses of all shapes and sizes. A heavy favorite is the “Sassy Goat,” a grilled cheese sandwich featuring chèvre, bacon, avocado, roasted tomatoes, and garlic aioli. Add its award-winning side of “Mac ‘N Cheesetique” for $5 extra.

What a perfect morning for walking into town and getting a gooey Raclette Baguette on the Avenue. Wear your jammies. We dare you! (8am til noon today on the patio.)

Posted by Cheesetique Del Ray on Saturday, January 11, 2020

1. Room 11

3234 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20011

This secret hideaway’s destination grilled cheese combines aged cheddar, fresh mozzarella, spicy marinara, and raclette. To keep things on the lighter side, this meal switches out tomato soup for house salad as a side.

3234 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20011

2. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple locations)

1818 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Call it old fashioned, but the tomato soup paired with grilled cheese at homegrown chain Ted’s Bulletin is a match made in heaven. The “deluxe” option folds in braised short rib and mac and cheese.

1818 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. Glen's Garden Market

2001 S St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Glen’s Garden Market Glen’s Garden Market/official photo

Dine on a budget at this local market that maintains one location in Dupont. A Colby Jack blend melts on freshly-baked and toasted sourdough bread, which can be split with an 8-ounce cup of soup or chili. Pair the classic with a $4 pint of beer and dinner is served.

2001 S St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. The Riggsby

1731 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Riggsby/official photo

Michael Schlow’s restaurant tucked inside the Carlyle Hotel offers a secret, off-menu grilled cheese. It’s prepared open-faced in a hot buttered pan before hitting the oven.

1731 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Cork Wine Bar & Market

1805 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

The wine bar’s relocated 14th Street NW digs has a grilled cheese built with a curated selection of artisanal cheese and house jam on award-winning Bread Furst bread.

1805 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Stoney's (Multiple locations)

1433 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005

This no-frills watering hole has a whole grilled cheese sandwich menu that can be customized to suit just about any taste. One of the most popular versions is the “super grilled cheese” featuring tomato, bacon, and onions. For an even heartier option, go with a melty meatloaf sandwich.

1433 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005

7. TallBoy

1239 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
TallBoy Grilled Cheese
A grilled cheese at TallBoy.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The short food lineup at Shaw’s year-old hub for 16-ounce cans of beer stars six types of grilled cheeses thatserved until late. The Smoked & Stacked, an ode to chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s previous restaurant inside, comes with Swiss, pastrami, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing.

1239 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

8. Ris

2275 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Ris DC interior Ris/official photo

Those craving a comforting taste of childhood in an adult setting should venture over to Ris Lacoste’s Foggy Bottom mainstay. The midday “lunch box” special comes with a warm bowl of tomato soup and other comfort foods.

2275 L St NW
Washington, DC 20037

9. Rare Steakhouse and Tavern

1595 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Customers seated at the downstairs bar at Rare Steakhouse and Tavern.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This Wisconsin-based restaurant group displays its love for cheese with a double-stacked ham and cheese sandwich made with Hook’s three-year cheddar, served with a charred tomato soup for dipping. Order a side of its famed fried cheese curds to double up on dairy.

1595 I St NW
Washington, DC 20005

10. Stable

1324 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
The fondue grilled cheese at Stable.
Tim Ebner/Eater DC

Chef David Fritsche’s Swiss-centric menu features a fondue grilled cheese prepared with three different, semi-soft Swiss cheeses (available at brunch).

1324 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

11. GCDC

1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

Downtown diners head to this self-styled “grilled cheese bar” for build-your-own creations and a dizzying list of rotating specials. The “French Onion” features a gruyere blend and caramelized onions on challah bread.

1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006

12. Barmini

501 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

José Andrés’s elite cocktail den is best known for its inventive and over-the-top beverages, but there’s some new bar bites worth trying while sipping drinks. One upscale snack features rectangular strips of grilled cheese featuring gorgonzola, brie, and white cheddar cooked in truffle butter.

501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

13. Spacebar

709 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046

Vegan grilled cheese is an option at this beloved Falls Church eatery, as are dozens of other fillings thanks to the build-your-own menu (starts at $6.50 and increases with each additional topping). Or choose from a dizzying 20 grilled cheese sandwich selections like one with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and sharp cheddar on rye.

709 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046

14. SER Restaurant

1110 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22201
SER
SER
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Named after the Mediterranean island where Mahón cheese is made, SER’s lunchtime version of the American classic pairs young Mahón, queso style, with brioche bread. Meat eaters can add a salty bite with bacon for $3 extra.

1110 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22201

15. Cheesetique (Multiple locations)

2411 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

This local chain with three area outposts prides itself on cooking with cheeses of all shapes and sizes. A heavy favorite is the “Sassy Goat,” a grilled cheese sandwich featuring chèvre, bacon, avocado, roasted tomatoes, and garlic aioli. Add its award-winning side of “Mac ‘N Cheesetique” for $5 extra.

2411 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301

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