Pull apart a toasted sandwich with cheese that stretches and it’s no wonder the humble grilled cheese has been popular for decades.
There’s the bite and zestiness to a good Parmesan cheese and then the subtle sharpness that sets in with a good cheddar. So many cheeses, so little time.
Thankfully, many of the best grilled cheese sandwiches combine various types of cheese. Some of the sandwiches below even come with the ultimate pairing: a piping-hot bowl of tomato soup for dunking.
Here are our picks of well-executed, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches in Tucson.
The friendly staff at 47 Scott adds a slight spin to an ordinary grilled cheese by slicing the sandwich into quarters and stacking them high.
The towering Stack of Grilled Cheese features layers of cheddar and mozzarella on sourdough bread, served with a sweet-yet-spicy dipping sauce. Add mushrooms or bacon if you want to mix things up.
For more information, visit 47scott.com.
Batch is known for whiskey and doughnuts but their grilled cheese game is strong.
With seven unique types of grilled cheese sandwiches (plus a grilled cheese of the month), choices abound.
If you like seafood or are feeling extravagant, try the Knuckle and Claw, which features langostino lobster, creamy mascarpone, provolone, greens, and spicy chili sauce on white bread.
If you’re feeling something sweeter, then check out the Mollie — goat cheese, apricot preserves, honey, and thyme on toasted ciabatta.
For more information, visit batchtucson.com.
Beyond Bread has a Grilled Cheese that uses a generous amount of cheese for a hearty, filling and delicious sandwich.
Choose from provolone, sharp cheddar, or Swiss cheese on dense-yet-airy rustic white bread that has a crunchy golden-brown crust.
The leavened bread is made with wheat flour, water, starter, and sea salt — creating a lighter texture and chew. Their gooey sandwich comes with chips, baby carrots, or an apple.
For more information, visit beyondbread.com.
Bison Witches features a classic grilled cheese sandwich on thinly sliced white bread (or any other of your choice) with lots of melted cheddar and provolone.
The down-to-earth bar and deli displays various U of A memorabilia, which hang from maroon walls, as well as eclectic paintings. While you reminisce, pair your grilled cheese with a beer from their impressive selection.
For more information, visit bisonwitchestucson.com.
Arizona-based Diablo Burger partners with local farmers, ranchers, and cheesemakers to bring quality food and fresh flavors to the restaurant. The small, open-windowed space downtown is inviting and usually packed at lunchtime.
Uncle Dee’s Grilled Cheese features three cheeses, chimichurri, grilled tomato, green chilies, and an optional fried egg served on Village Baker’s rustic pan sourdough with a side of Belgian-style fries. The chimichurri sauce balances vibrant parsley and heat from the garlic.
Now that’s a sandwich!
For more information, visit diabloburger.com.
Two brothers, Mark and Eric Erman, wanted to create a collaborative space for people to enjoy craft beer, wine, and scratch-made food. Thus, Ermanos was born.
Their house Grilled Cheese combines three cheeses with onion jam between slices of challah bread. The soft, sweet bread, caramelized onion, and melted cheese make for a melt-in-your-mouth sandwich.
For more information, visit ermanosbrew.com.
Feast’s Grilled Cheese starts with seared halloumi — a chewy, unripened cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk.
Equal parts cheese, honey-roasted eggplant, and tomato are layered on a French roll with a sprinkle of red onion. The eggplant is tender and sweet, while the onion gives a little crunch.
Served with a side of greens, this grilled cheese makes for a unique bite.
For more information, visit eatatfeast.com.
Why offer one grilled cheese when you can serve up three varieties?
Harvest certainly brings their A-game with grilled cheese sandwiches, using local seasonal ingredients to make them.
The Caprese Grilled Cheese features house-made mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, locally grown organic tomatoes, caramelized onions, and fresh basil. It’s served on local multigrain bread from Sun-Rise Baking Company, providing a nutty taste.
Another option is the Cobb Grilled Cheese. It features all-natural grilled chicken, applewood bacon, locally grown organic tomatoes, an avocado smear, a hard-boiled egg, aged sharp white cheddar, and Gorgonzola aioli served on local multigrain bread.
Lastly, the Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese features house-smoked salmon and cucumber and dill-havarti cheese served on multigrain.
Which would you pick?
For more information, visit harvestov.com.
If you’ve ever tried HUB’s mouth-watering Glory Curds (and if not, try ‘em!) then you know that they knock it out the park with all things cheese.
For The Big Cheese, HUB melts a four-cheese blend between thick slices of Texas toast. The sandwich is smartly-paired with house-made tomato soup, which adds bright flavor you can find lunchtime comfort in.
For more information, visit hubdowntown.com.
Looking for a touch of sweetness to lift the richness?
Try the Fig Grilled Cheese, which balances sweet and savory flavors from the Mission fig jam and caramelized onions along with the creamy textures from the Swiss, mozzarella, and chipotle mayo on marble rye.
Although grilled cheese sandwiches are often heavy, the lightness of this bite was a pleasant surprise.
Head to La Cocina’s open patio on a cool spring day and give it a try.
For more information, visit lacocinatucson.com.
Vegan cheese (think brands like Daiya and Treeline) have an interesting reputation. After all, they are made from a tapioca base or cashew base and are not actually milk-derived cheese (so it’s hard to get the melty factor).
However, vegan restaurant Lovin Spoonfuls pulls out the stops with their smooth, gooey sandwich. Yes, gooey. They use branded Daiya cheese to get the melt.
Plus, the sandwich uses locally baked sourdough from La Baguette Parisienne.
For more information, visit lovinspoonfuls.com.
By combining multiple cheeses in their grilled cheese, Maynard’s Market creates a symphony of creamy textures with the American cheese, buttery havarti, and sharp provolone.
In addition, Parmesan is sprinkled on top of the melted cheeses and sandwiched between layers of sourdough before the sandwich is pressed in a panini press to crisp it up.
The modern market has plenty of seating, with views of the mountains and downtown scene, to enjoy your cheesy sandwich.
For more information, visit maynardstucson.com/market.
Prep & Pastry’s innovative take on the classic grilled cheese brings smoky flavors to a rich, creamy filling.
The sandwich features tea-smoked tomato, white cheddar, brie, and arugula pesto on Asiago bread with freshly shaved Parmesan. The full-flavored sandwich is served with tomato bisque.
For more information, visit prepandpastry.com.
A classic with an Italian twist!
Renee’s takes on the grilled cheese with the addition of pesto to cut through the creamy mozzarella and sharp Parmesan (and then there’s that indulgent mozzarella-crusted bread).
It’s available from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.
For more information, visit reneesorganicoven.com.
The Grilled Cheese at Sauce combines cheddar, mozzarella, and fontina to create a nutty, creamy sandwich. Fontina, a semi-hard smooth Italian cheese, tastes smoky and buttery.
The panini-style grilled cheese makes a great vegetarian option.
For more information, visit saucepizzaandwine.com.
Serial Grillers started as a food truck in 2012 and grew into its first brick-and-mortar location after only a year. The menu items reference Horror-movies, giving a theatrical theme to the food without compromising taste.
Their Se7en Grilled Cheese is made from buttered and toasted sourdough bread and oozing melted cheddar — go for a cheese pull and you’ll kill it!
For more information, visit serialgrillersaz.com.
Ten55 has been open for less than a year, yet they’ve already impressed the downtown scene with their cold beer, sausage varieties, and a lively atmosphere.
Their House Grilled Cheese sandwich features pimento and tomato. Pimento, which means “cherry pepper”, is folded into a mix of cream cheese and cheddar. Tomato adds a brightness to the dish.
In addition to the More Grilled Cheese — with Muenster, bacon, and apple on Barrio Bread — they offer a rotating grilled cheese special each week (keep on the lookout for the French Onion Grilled Cheese).
For more information, visit 1055brewing.com.
Imagine Vermont white cheddar on house brioche, lightly fried until the bread is crisp, oozing melted cheese on a plate — that’s what you’ll get at Time Market.
Pair the sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup and grab a spot on the outdoor patio to enjoy it.
For more information, visit timemarket.xyz.
Walk into this refurbished diner just outside of downtown and you’ll be greeted by a light-filled space and pops of color as you take your seat.
The Grilled Cheese at Welcome Diner oozes with Muenster, smoked Gouda, and cheddar with the subtle sweetness of the savory jam. Sandwich that between two slices of Time Market’s rustic sourdough and you have yourself a party in your mouth.
If you’re keeping it simple, keep the organic baby greens side salad. If you really want to take things to the next level, up your game to include a side of Brussels.
For more information, visit welcomediner.net/broadway.
As a licensed charcuterie restaurant, Zona 78 prides itself in cheese — mozzarella is made fresh in house and you’ll find fontina and brie cheeses, too.
The family owned and operated restaurant brings fresh ingredients to the table, including the goat cheese, which is delivered once every three days from local farm Fiore di Capra.
The classic Grilled Cheese uses house-made mozzarella, which has a clean, milky flavor. You have the option of adding fresh fruit, a side salad, pasta salad, or hummus and veggies to your sandwich order.
For more information, visit zona78.com.
Have a grilled cheese sandwich you can’t resist? Let us know in the comments.