We Found Out Who Makes The Best Grilled Cheese In NYC

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Few foods are more comforting than grilled cheese, and the simple classic is getting its due in New York these days. With the recent rise in establishments cooking up new and refined versions of the “cheese dream,” the question of who serves the best one in town has also come up. This past weekend, the folks at Openhouse Gallery set out to answer it with “The Big Cheesy”—a grilled cheese cook-off.Six establishments competed, some that focus exclusively on the grilled cheese, and others that are full restaurants with a good grilled cheese option. The event attracted around 1,200 people, 1,115 of whom voted for their favourite. 

Click here to go right to the competition >
The contestants at The Big Cheesy came from all over the city and represented all types, from gastronomic gourmands to greasy griddlers:

  • Little Muenster – “Super fancy grilled cheese” at 100 Stanton Street
  • Big Daddy’s – A throwback diner with three locations in NY, the original is at 239 Park Avenue South
  • Melt Shop – “Hand crafted extra cheesy super delicious comfort food” 601 Lexington Avenue
  • Murray’s – “New York’s oldest cheese shop” has its flagship location at 254 Bleecker Street
  • Tartinery – A “casual and contemporary Parisian bistro” also serves up a mean grilled cheese or croque monsieur at 209 Mulberry Street
  • Lucy’s Whey – An “American artisanal cheese” purveyor who dabbles in the sandwich world and can be found at 75 Ninth Avenue
  • Casellula – “Cheese and wine cafe” at 401 W. 52nd Street

So who has the best grilled cheese in town?

The outside was kept simple. This was an adults-only event: no kids allowed. Admission tickets included a beer.

Inside it was really packed as people moved around trying different sandwiches.

Tartinery with their Croque Monsieur / Madame (cooked ham, chiffonade, Gruyere cheese, and bechamel / with an egg on top if it is the Madame).

In last with 87 votes, the open faced sandwich was good, but apparently not good enough.

Murray's had a nice table.

Their entry, the Atomic Bomb, had a lot of ingredients.

But it came in sixth with 92 votes.

Casellula didn't just tell people what was in their sandwich, they even provided cooking directions.

At fifth with 95 votes, the pickled pepper relish was a tasty touch but not enough for victory.

Over at Big Daddy's it was all fun and food.

In fourth with 119 votes, their massive sandwich includes mac'n'cheese, bacon, multiple kinds of cheese and as a more refined touch, some truffle oil.

Lucy's Whey kept it simple with cheddar, fig jam, and olive oil.

And simplicity got them into third with 172 votes.

Little Muenster's took a great blend of cheese and added some artisanal ingredients like membrillo (an Argentine quince paste) and prosciutto.

The combo was killer and these small guys packed a big punch, coming in second with 208 votes.

They also offered their patrons a small cup of tomato soup. After all, nothing goes better with grilled cheese.

Next to Little Muenster were the guys from Melt Shop.

They had three sandwich options.

Here is the fontina and goat cheese. Are you drooling right now? Because you should be.

These guys clinched the title with 342 votes! And you can see why...here is their blue and cheddar with bacon.

Want to find some more comfort food in New York?

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