Slices of melted cheese between perfectly crunchy grilled bread is quite possibly the most comforting sandwich ever invented. In honor of this simple yet decadent masterpiece, here’s a roundup of our favorite spots for you to sink your teeth into, whether it’s on National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12), or any of the other 364 days in a year.
No place has offered up a grilled cheese menu as vast and delicious as this downtown speakeasy-themed pub that specializes in the ultimate comfort food with about a dozen gourmet grilled cheeses on the menu. Favorites include: the Volstead Act, packed with barbecue marinated grilled chicken, Cabot cheddar, bacon and tomato; The Repeal, a zesty number stuffed with sweet sausage, mozzarella and marinara; the sweet and savory Funky Apple, combining gorgonzola, green apple, caramelized onion and drizzled in balsamic reduction; and for the all the goodfellas out there, the Organized Crime is locked and loaded with shaved rib eye steak, gorgonzola, roasted garlic mayo and fried onion rings.
280 Central St., Lowell | 978-454-7600 | thirstyfirstma.com
A landmark institution in Lowell’s Acre neighborhood since 1915, this family owned and operated bakery is famous for its fresh breads baked in-house daily. Now run by third-generation owner Alethia Papanastassiou, the cozy Broadway Street shop still draws lines out the door at lunch time, especially for their simple grilled ham and cheese, and cheese and tomato sandwiches served on “Mega Toast” bread — a delicious deal for under $5.
214 Broadway St., Lowell | 978-452-3366| olymposbakery.com
Gibbet Hill Grill
Besides being located smack in the middle of rolling, cow-dotted hills and quaint New England countryside, this restaurant specializing in organic culinary fare sourced from local farms serves up a grilled cheese appetizer that feels as good as a warm blanket and a hug. Artisan breads are carefully selected to compliment the assortment of local cheeses, and, the best part — they come with a thick and hearty tomato soup for dipping.
61 Lowell Rd., Groton | 978-448-2900 | gibbethillgrill.com
A worthy place to get your cheese on, UTEC’s airy and cheerful cafe makes a simple sandwich with your choice of swiss or cheddar melted and pressed between two slices of warm sourdough for $5. Add bacon, tomato, ham or all three for a little extra.
41 Warren St., Lowell | 978-441-9949 | cafeutec.org
Coffee and Cotton
Our favorite place to sit, ponder, and sink our teeth into a gooey cheddar-filled grilled cheese. This farm-to-table cafe inside a converted mill filled with unique retail shops and an indie movie theater serves up tasty comfort food. We reccomend spinach, feta, tomato and cheddar on pepper jack bread. Add a smattering of Sriracha mayo to turn up the heat.
250 Jackson St., 4th floor |978-656-1828| coffeeandcotton.co