An important note re: “grilled cheese” vs “toastie”: The Guardian explains that “a grilled cheese sandwich is buttered on the outside and cooked in a pan, and the toastie is buttered on the inside and, well, toasted.” For the purposes of this article, we’ll cover both toasties and grilled cheeses.
2. Grill My Cheese, Clerkenwell
This grilled cheese will knock your socks off – not least because of the combination of oozing cheese and a silky bechamel sauce. If you want to take it up a level try the “Baby Got Mac” – it’s got pulled pork AND mac n’ cheese.
Nearest station: Farringdon
3. The Gun, Homerton
A wonderful local craft beer pub with a range of toasties. The cheese toastie is great, but if you wanted to push the boat out, they do a really good soy mushroom and cheese one too. The nicest bit? Each sandwich is served with a side of homemade pickles.
Nearest station: Homerton
6. Sager and Wilde, Hackney
This friendly wine bar has not only a great selection of drinks (sherry and tonic, anyone?) but also a nice range of toasties. Obvi the cheese one is delicious, but if you wanted to go further afield, the artichoke, pecorino and romesco sandwich is a delight.
Nearest station: Hoxton
7. Frank’s Café, Southwark
Sourdough three-cheese grilled cheeses may come and go. But you’ll always want a good toastie. Frank’s is a great local caff, where you’ll be hard pushed to pay over £1.50 for a fantastic toastie bursting with cheese. (You may have a favourite local caff that you’d like to mention. Let us know in the comments!)
Nearest station: Southwark
8. Loves Company, Old Street
A cocktail bar that also serves cheese toasties? What more could you want? Note that the toasties come with Branston Pickle, which might be a step too far for some purist palettes.
Nearest station: Old Street
10. The Old George, Bethnal Green
The grilled cheese at the Old George is so intense (chutney! chives! mustard!) that the best option is to split it with a friend. One of you gets the cheese one, the other gets the bacon one (above). Half and half, job’s a good ‘un.
Nearest station: Bethnal Green
11. Deeney’s, Broadway Market
We can make a special exception for this toastie, which features endless cheddar, as well as haggis. Too delicious to exist. Must be eaten.
Nearest station: London Fields
13. Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn
The toasties at the Mitre aren’t fancy, but sometimes all you want is some cheese on white bread. Especially when you’ve got a pint on the go. Bonus, they’re pretty affordable (under £2) so you can have as many rounds as you like.
Nearest station: Farringdon
14. Melt Room, Soho
This grilled-cheese only restaurant opens May 26, and most excitingly, will deliver locally. In terms of sandwiches, the above is “The Classic” – sourdough and cheddar – but if you’re more adventurous, maybe look out for the “Slow and Low Lamb Shoulder” – with “mustard dressed greens and melted Swiss”. Can’t wait.
Nearest station: Oxford Circus
15. An honourable mention for Spuntino, Soho
Spuntino’s cheese and truffle toast with an egg is like a mega-glam Croque Madame. Look at all the oozing fontina. You can forgive it not being a closed sandwich when the cheese looks like that.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus