Four Fantastic Choices for Grilled Cheese in the Triangle

From basic to elevated, these Triangle restaurants really impress with their grilled cheese sandwiches.
Photo courtesy of Carrie Knighten
A good grilled cheese sandwich can feed your belly and your soul.

The ultimate comfort foods typically have a few commonalities: carbs, cheese and memories of childhood. Grilled cheese sandwiches can be like the earliest ones you ate on the side of that ubiquitous canned tomato soup on a snow or sick day or they can be elevated with other complementary ingredients. Regardless of which kind you enjoy as an adult, these universally-appealing sandwiches are easy to find at restaurants around the Triangle. And at the restaurants listed below, they’re are made with love, too, just the same as you remember.

The Cow and the Oak

This food truck dedicated exclusively to mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches is worth chasing down if you need comfort food. Their belief that scratch made is worth the effort means that their Herb Aioli is made with homemade mayo and their brisket is slow cooked for 12 hours. Most menu items are available as grilled sandwiches or atop a base of homemade creamy mac and cheese. But we’re here for the sandwiches, right? Give their Adult Swim with gruyère, sharp cheddar, swiss-american and fresh herbs a try for the most traditional experience. For a more adventurous treat, the Tipsy Frenchman with smoked ham, slow roasted chicken, bourbon maple syrup, mustard, gruyère and swiss-american. You can even get a sandwich with their mac and cheese on it (pictured)! View the schedule to find where in the Triangle The Cow and the Oak food truck will be next.

Photo courtesy of the cow and the oak

The Daily Planet Café

Don’t underestimate the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ own café – it’s more than people typically expect from an attraction’s snack bar. Featuring products mostly from farms and producers in North Carolina, their kitchen’s version of grilled cheese is impressive. Between the Brie & Bacon Grilled Cheese with apple chutney, the Caprese Panini with tomato, mozzarella, basil and pesto on ciabatta and the 3 Cheese Grilled Cheese with hoop cheddar, brie and provolone, adults in your group are set; and kids in the party who still like to stick with the classic cheese-on-bread version of the sandwich are covered, too. This place is so good, you may find yourself eating here when you aren’t taking a break from touring the museum. 121 West Jones St., Raleigh

photo courtesy of the daily planet café

La Farm Bakery

A place known for their authentic artisanal bread is an obvious inclusion in this list. La Farm’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich includes aged cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses along with tomato, chipotle mayonnaise and mornay sauce. Mornay is a sneaky way to include even more cheese in the sandwich as it’s made by adding gruyère to a béchamel. Since La Farm’s bread is available pretty widely around the Triangle at farmers markets and some grocers, it’s a great way to kick up the sophistication level of your homemade version of the sandwich, too. Three locations in Cary.

Photo courtesy of la farm bakery

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar

“Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese” is an entire section of this Raleigh eatery’s menu. With each sandwich named after its regional influence, picks like The Italian which includes salami, tomato and basil on ciabatta and The Carolinian with pulled pork, slaw and american and pepperjack cheeses on rye are always popular. My next order will likely be The Parisian with its brie, ham and raspberry preserves on ciabatta but my husband, who thinks pimiento cheese goes on literally everything, sticks with The Big Cheese (pictured) every single visit. I don’t think there’s a wrong choice here! 5625 Creedmoor Rd. Raleigh

Photo courtesy of relish craft kitchen & bourbon bar


Categories: Blogs – Final, Food + Fun, Triangle Go-To Guide