With a salad or a hearty bowl of soup, grilled cheese is aimed to please — children and adults
Who knew there were so many options to get a great grilled cheese (or is it a cheese toastie?) in Champaign-Urbana?
Maybe your kids are stuck in a rut or you are secretly on the hunt for a tasty bite, but grilled cheese is a perfect option on any day that ends in Y. When paired with a salad or a bowl of your favorite soup, grilled cheese can become the lunch of your dreams.
We asked our readers to help us come up with some of Champaign-Urbana’s best grilled cheese sandwiches, and your recommendations did not disappoint.
As with all of our food trail posts, we focus on locally owned restaurants around Champaign-Urbana and beyond. (This list is in alphabetical order.)
Baldarotta’s Porketta & Sicilian Sausage, Urbana: “Try the pesto grilled cheese. It is outstanding.”
Billy Barooz Pub & Grill, Champaign: “You have to try Billy’s gourmet grilled cheese.” “THE BEST.”
Common Ground Food Co-op Cafe, Urbana: Kids will love the toasted cheese with sourdough bread and cheddar cheese. Adults will love the grown-up toasted cheese with avocado, tomato, and ciabatta bread. “It’s seriously the best I have ever had—the bread, the cheese combo, and the right amount of butter—you need to try it!!”
Cracked on Green, Champaign: While fans were disappointed to learn that the Cracked food truck would be leaving Champaign-Urbana, we can still rest easy knowing that we can order grilled cheese at their restaurant on campus. Fans said that they have the best grilled cheese “HANDS DOWN!!!” Whether you are feeling the need for a plain grilled cheese or feeling more adventurous by adding ghost pepper cheese or rosemary aioli, there are many options for cheese lovers here.
Crane Alley, Urbana: features a grilled cheese with sharp cheddar, roasted red pepper, spinach, and pesto. Patrons can add ham, turkey, or bacon if they wish. “Crane Alley has excellent grilled cheese sandwiches! Great with soup or sweet potato fries, yum!”
Esquire Lounge, Champaign: “Their crispy bread, melty cheese, nothing else…my daughter likes them with fries. I like them with fried mushrooms.”
Guidos Bar and Grill, Champaign: Ordered as a full-size or half-sandwich, readers agreed that Guidos has a great sandwich. They offer a traditional grilled cheese sandwich along with a California grilled cheese which comes with onion and pesto. “I love the red pepper mayo with their grilled cheese and eggplant fries.”
Harvest Market Farmhouse Restaurant, Champaign: “Try their ultimate grilled cheese. It has Boursin, which makes it decadent.” They occasionally offer grilled cheese tasting events where patrons can try unique and tasty combos.
Hopscotch Bakery + Market, Champaign: “Their grilled cheese sandwich is my favorite with apple and fig jam. I usually sneak a salted caramel brownie with my order, too!”
Lovin Cup Food Truck, Danville: A food truck dedicated to gourmet grilled cheese. “Their Italian beef grilled cheese is my favorite, but I also love to get their classic with the tomato orange basil soup.”
Merry Ann’s Diner, Champaign: Open 24 hours a day, “Merry Ann’s Diner has an amazing grilled cheese. Not fancy. Just delicious.”
Piato To Go Food Truck: “The Big Kid’s grilled cheese at Piato food truck is awesome! It’s made with cheddar, swiss, brie and tomato on grilled sourdough. You can also add bacon, or spinach and onion!”
Seven Saints, Champaign: “My kids love Seven Saints grilled cheese sandwich. We love the tomato & pesto gourmet grilled cheese. Win-win. Everyone’s happy.” We love to eat it with sweet potato fries! Delish!!”
Sun Singer Restaurant, Champaign: “Their grilled cheese is the best grown up grilled cheese in CU! The combo of cheeses they use is truly spectacular… the apple adds the perfect complement to the cheeses too. It makes me want to make fancy grilled cheese at home any time we have it!” “Sunsinger – their fig jam and apples make it savory and sweet.” “Sunsinger – hands down!”
The Bread Company, Urbana – “The #12 Gruyere Cheese for me.” “The Bread Company is my favorite grilled cheese with tapinade.”
The Courier Cafe, Urbana: Featuring a grilled Swiss and pesto sandwich on your choice of bread, “you truly have to try it.” They also feature a gluten free bread.
The Original Pancake House, Champaign: “Their grown up grilled cheese is my favorite! I always have to get in the mindset that I’m not going to Original to eat their pancakes, though, but you have to try their grilled cheese. It is delicious.”
Did you think of someone we missed? Let us know what you love about their grilled cheese sandwiches and email us.
Looking for more food trails around Champaign-Urbana?
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