April is a special time—oh sure, there's the first full month of spring and the beginning of baseball season, but they pale in comparison to the fact that April is National Grilled Cheese Month! Our friends at Yelp Chicago have rounded up the best of the bread, the cheesiest of cheesy, the most delight in every bite grilled cheese sandwiches for you to devour….
Think grilled cheese needs to only come on bread? MAD Social chef Mariela Bolanos has created... waffle grilled cheese! This crazy-good concoction is stuffed with roasted pork, sour pickled onions, creamy tamarind slaw, fontina and white cheddar cheeses, sunny side eggs, shaved grana Padano, and served with fries. 1140 W. Madison St., 312-243-2097
We have three words for you: Truffled grilled cheese. 3 Arts Club Café, located inside the incredible RH building, offers up a delicacy that boasts truffle butter and cheddar cheese on house-made sourdough bread. 1300 N. Dearborn Pkwy., 312-475-9116
Little Goat’s grilled cheese exceeds any expectations with a sandwich that combines gouda and Montamore cheeses, plus pork guanciale and smoked tomato. Be still our bleating heart. 820 W. Randolph St., 312-888-3455
If there are two sandwiches that truly take us back to childhood, it has to be grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly, which is why Hopleaf combined them and made them artisanal! We dare you not to enjoy the blend of housemade cashew butter, fig jam, and raclette cheese on sourdough bread—we double dog dare you. 5148 N. Clark St., 773-334-9851
The Fat Shallot has catapulted its grilled cheese to top-of-the-menu status. As the menu says, this signature sandwich combines, "muenster cheese melted between slices of sourdough with sautéed spinach and caramelized onions." 125 S. Clark St., 773-893-0826
This fourth-generation, family-owned Italian grocery store in Chicago's West Loop is the oldest Italian market in the city. Yes, they are known for their subs, but if you've never tried their cheese focaccia sandwiches, then you've never really experienced true bliss. It's that perfect ratio of crispy bread to gooey cheese, and if you combine it with one of their soups to dip it in, you won't quite know what hit you. 901 W. Randolph St., 312-666-4587
So first, the basics: This upscale bar has four different types of grilled cheese. You've got one with triple cheese, another with double-smoked bacon and jalapenos, a third stuffed with short rib, and a Cuban grilled cheese with ham-off the-bone and smoked gouda—all served on brioche bread and alongside a tomato basil dipping sauce, Oh, and did we mention that they're all a foot long? 1301 S. Wabash Ave., 312-705-0595
Toasty Cheese has one motto: "We don’t make sandwiches. We build them." They make the proud claim that they specialize in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, and they are not wrong as they have 10 different types of amazing cheese and bread combinations. Our rec: The Chef’s Choice, which features duck bacon, provolone, fresh spinach, and baby arugula with Sicilian cherry tomatoes and aïoli on a panini. Or make it a Chicago's Best, which is the same as The Chef's Choice, but with extra duck bacon and red onion. 951 W. Wise Road, Schaumburg, 847-278-7953
Jerry is a sandwich master, and his takes on grilled cheese prove that. The store has six different varieties—all delicious, all different. We love The Nutball, which boasts cashew butter, applewood bacon, Swiss, provolone, cheddar, and arugula on multigrain bread, served with a mango-chipotle chutney dip. 4739 N. Lincoln Ave., 872-208-6264
Alex Shebar is the Sr. Community Director for Yelp in Chicago. Helping businesses get the most out of the site is his passion. He also curates local events intended to spread positive word of mouth for the many local businesses that dot the Chicago culinary landscape. Follow @YelpChicago on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And use the hashtag #YelpChicago when posting your food p0rn around the web.
photography via yelp.com user Sarah S. on Yelp.com/3 Arts Club Cafe; via yelp.com user Elyse L. on Yelp.com/Little Goat Diner; via yelp.com user Richie D. on Yelp.com/Hopleaf Chicago; via yelp.com user Diana J. on Yelp.com/The Scout; via yelp.com user Tor C. on yelp.com/Jerry's Chicago; via yelp.com user Linh N. on yelp.com/The Fat Shallot; via facebook.com/jpgrazianogroceryco; yelp.com user Kristyn B. via yelp.com/Toasty Cheese