San Diego is famous for its gorgeous beaches, fresh seafood, and its up-and-coming food scene. Chefs from Los Angeles have overflowed into San Diego to settle there due to the access to fresh ingredients and the vibrant community. San Diego is a cultural melting pot, with people and cuisines from all around the world. 

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a comfort food staple. Gooey, melty cheese between two slices of crisp toasty bread is always sure to satisfy. The talented chefs of San Diego have taken the classic grilled cheese and elevated it with fresh, local ingredients and flavor combinations inspired by San Diego’s vast and varied cultural cuisine. There are so many amazing grilled cheese sandwiches to try on this list, so be sure to bring your appetite. 

Grilled Cheese Society

We are Grilled Cheese Society, an innovative restaurant developed by Nextbite brands. We serve elevated grilled cheese sandwiches with fresh, flavorful ingredients, and we deliver them directly to your door. We use a cloud kitchen model, meaning our restaurant consists of only a kitchen and no physical space to dine in. Our food is available on your favorite delivery apps so you can order with ease! This model allows for greater focus on the quality of our food and our excellent customer service. 

We worked hard on our menu to make sure we offer elevated, innovative grilled cheese creations that are unique, but still reminiscent of the classic childhood grilled cheese. Our options are vast and totally customizable, so we can provide you with exactly what you’re craving every single time.  

Brunch is a food phenomenon that has swept America, and to capture that magic, we came up with The Regular, which has two fried eggs, bacon, melted American cheese, fresh tomato, and Society Sauce on white bread. We love breakfast foods, and we say they can be enjoyed at any time of the day, whether that’s for brunch, lunch, or diner. 

San Diego loves to honor the classics, with many streets and locations named after classic Hollywood singers and actors, like Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, who frequently visited San Diego for the world-famous racetrack. We know San Diego will love The Usual which has melted American cheese on white bread. As San Diegans will tell you, you can never go wrong with a classic.

Mexican cuisine is hugely popular in San Diego, due in part to its proximity to the Mexican border. Many Mexican chefs have relocated to San Diego, and they’ve brought their delicious cuisine with them. The Special celebrates Mexican food, with chorizo, queso fresco, pepper jack cheese, roasted jalapeños, poblano peppers, red peppers, and Society Sauce on wheat bread. This sandwich captures the bold flavors of classic Mexican dishes and combines them with the comforting, classic grilled cheese. It really is the best of both worlds.

We love San Diego for its fresh cuisine, vibrant culture, and close-knit community. We’re so happy to serve San Diego locals and visitors alike. Check us out on any of your favorite delivery apps, such as UberEats, Postmates, DoorDash, Seamless, and more. 

Our grilled cheeses are the best San Diego has to offer, but there are also some other local places serving up sandwiches that are worth checking out. We’ve broken down some of the most popular below. 

Grater Grilled Cheese Shop

Grater Grilled Cheese Shop began with a food truck and a passion for amazing grilled cheese sandwiches and has expanded to include four restaurants all around Southern California. They’ve aimed to elevate the classic grilled cheese with fresh, gourmet ingredients and “chef-inspired” flavor combinations. They offer ten signature grilled cheese sandwich creations, or they provide the option to build your own. 

Grater’s standard sandwich is the Basic Five Grilled Cheese, which has Colby, swiss, Monterey jack, provolone, and sharp cheddar, with choice of spread, all on sourdough. This Five Grilled Cheese is the basis for all their sandwiches, and from there, they elevate it to creative creations like the Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese, which has fried chicken tenders, french ham, blue cheese, and roasted garlic aioli, and the Cali Grilled Cheese, with arugula, jalapenos, fresh tomato, red bell peppers, caramelized onions & avocado. 

Given San Diegans love for seafood, due to the over 70 miles of coastline, the Lobster Grilled Cheese is a customer favorite. It’s made with butter-fried lobster and their signature pale ale chipotle aioli. If you love seafood as much as we love grilled cheese, this sandwich is definitely a must-try. 

Venissimo Cheese

Venissimo is a cheese shop with three locations throughout the San Diego area. Their Veninis, which is their version of a panini, combine gourmet cheeses with flavorful meats and spreads. Each sandwich comes with a side choice of either fruit or chocolate. 

Many of their Veninis are broken down by flavor profile. If you like sweets, the Sweet panini has brie and fig jam, while the Savory has cheddar and spicy jam, and the Nutty has alpine cheese and red onion confit. They also have paninis influenced by worldly cuisine, like the Italian-inspired Caprese, with mozzarella, tomato, and pesto, and the Bavarian, with mustard cheddar and speck. Their final offering is the cleverly named Gouda Idea, made with sweet gouda and spicy salumi.

Cheesy Express

Cheesy Express is a counter-service restaurant with a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere. They offer 11 signature grilled cheese sandwich melts, along with soups, french fries, and mac and cheese.

One of their most popular menu items is the BBQ and Mac Melt, made with BBQ pulled pork, mac and cheese, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar, and American cheese, all on French bread. They also offer the Korean BBQ-inspired J.D.’s melt, which has Korean BBQ beef, caramelized onions, spicy mayo, bulgogi sauce, pepper jack, and sharp cheddar. Another menu highlight is the Chipotle Roast Beef Melt, served with roast beef, avocado, fresh red onions, chipotle pesto, spicy mayo, and Swiss cheese.

Devilicious Food Truck

Devilicious is a popular, award-winning food truck that’s been operating in San Diego since 2015 and was featured on Season 2 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.” Devilicious serves a variety of grilled cheeses and loaded french fries. They describe their food as “so good, it’s bad.”

Their menu offers a few different grilled cheese creations. One of their most popular selections is the Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Cheese, made with butter-poached lobster, caramelized onions and tomatoes, and jack and cheddar cheeses on sourdough. The buttery lobster melts in your mouth, while the creamy cheeses and caramelized veggies combine into an award-winning combination. 

Other crave-worthy options include the Pork Belly Melt, with smoked pork belly, crispy brussels sprouts, mozzarella, and balsamic glaze on sourdough, and the Short Rib Melt, with red wine braised short rib, cheese curds, and house-made onion jams on a ciabatta roll.

Conclusion

There are so many amazing chefs and restaurants around San Diego that it feels like you could try a new one every day and still never run out of options. The culinary artists of San Diego have taken the simple grilled cheese sandwich and made it their own, each restaurant providing an interpretation based on their unique inspirations and favorite ingredients. 

Next time you’re craving a delicious grilled cheese, try out Grilled Cheese Society or one of these amazing local restaurants. You can find out more about Grilled Cheese Society by visiting us online here

Sources:

THE VOICE OF LOCAL FARMERS | San Diego Farm Bureau.

Bing Crosby | Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society

Best Beaches In San Diego | Trolley Tours

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