Counting down St. Pete’s top 5 grilled cheese sandwiches

smith and associates

It’s summer time in St. Pete and we are counting down our 5 favorite grilled cheese sandwiches in area. Time to melt with I Love the ‘Burg.

It’s 12pm; lunch hour is around the corner and you’re ravenous.

You begin to dissociate behind your Zoom screen, noticing your mind slowly wandering to a land of warm, melted cheese and crisp, buttery bread. Sure, you may have spent the morning “adulting,” but—at this point—your inner child is screaming. A salad from that new vegan spot downstairs simply isn’t going to cut it: you definitely want a grilled cheese.

If you commonly find yourself in this scenario, you are not alone. Millions of Americans whip up this lunchtime sandwich staple on the daily. But before you pull out Wonder Bread, grease spray, and a pan, remember that you are not like “most Americans.” You’re from St. Pete; an unassuming, unexpected grilled cheese destination—as long as you know where to look. Luckily for you, however, I’ve already searched far and wide for the Burg’s finest.

After sampling over 30 of the St. Pete’s best cheese and carb combinations, I have compiled an official list of my favorites. I release the top 5 below, in hopes that my fellow human cheese vacuums will find something tasty to devour.

The List:

“Not Your Momma’s Grilled Cheese” – The Mill

Offered daily on The Mill’s lunch and brunch menu, this sandwich is precisely what you’d expect from its name. With four cheeses (including a stellar whipped feta), crunchy fried shallots, and a delicious sweet pepper jam loaded between two hearty slices of marble rye, this grilled cheese is definitely one for an elevated palette.

200 Central Ave, Unit 100  

“7-Grain Grilled Cheese” – The Galley

I’ve always found The Galley to be an exceptional example of a vibrant, late-night tavern that actually has good food. And, every time I order their 7-grain grilled cheese, my faith in the humble pub is reaffirmed.

Featuring globs of house-made fresh mozzarella, havarti, arugula, and avocado on decadently buttered multigrain bread, The Galley’s grilled cheese is sloppy and delicious—while also being packed with nutritional value.

27 4th St. N

Anything on the Menu – The Lure Ono

When former DTSP grilled cheese powerhouse, Central Melt, shut its doors, The Lure owner, Tom Golden, quickly snagged the space (as well as former Melt chef, Tarina Abraham) to help keep its legacy alive. Today, the new restaurant operates as “The Lure Ono,” and features a menu that mixes Tom’s refined taste with Tarina’s crowd-pleasing cooking techniques.

Though literally every grilled cheese on the menu is fantastic, the team notes the “Rich Ono” (pineapple pork, pepperjack, Munster), “Krabby Paddie” (Maryland crab cake, cheddar, pepperjack), and the “Green Jeans” (avocado, mozzarella, and bacon) to be their most popular sandwiches.

685 Central Ave

“Three Grilled Cheese” – Brooklyn South

With a devoted, professional cheese monger running the show, it’s no surprise that Brooklyn South turns out some of the greatest cheesy sandwiches in the ‘Burg. I will admit, however, that they are a bit untraditional—but in the absolute best way possible.

For example, their “Three Grilled Cheese” features a blend of 3 artisan cheeses, rather than just one, and is panini pressed, instead of grilled, to crunchy perfection. There is only one bread option (fresh-baked rustic Italian), but it is a complete showstopper. If you’re looking for the highest quality, top-tier grilled cheese, Brooklyn South is definitely the place for you.

1437 Central Ave

“Triple O.G.” – Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz

With an entire restaurant devoted to the art of melting cheese between bread, Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz is hands-down St. Pete’s top grilled cheese destination. Run by Food Network alumni, Robert Hesse, the restaurant boasts “artisan style, gourmet grilled cheeses with street edge,” and draws block-sized hordes of fans hungry for a taste of the Burg’s most Instagram-worthy sandwiches.

Each night, the menu features at least 13 over-the-top grilled cheeses with everything from mac and cheese to Korean short ribs stuffed between two massive slices of sourdough. My go-to order, however, is the classic “Triple O.G.”—but not without loading it full of green chile mayo and crispy fried onions.

6305 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach

Looking for more guides?

Now that we’ve covered the main course, perhaps you’re hungry for some dessert? How about some ice cream? Or maybe you’re already wondering where to find brunch tomorrow…

Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’re ready to help. Drop your cravings in the comments below, and we’ll go find them.

Kara VanDooijeweert is a current journalism student at Rutgers University. If you can't find her in the Bay's best restaurants, she's probably off exploring the wilderness. Catch her on Instagram, @karanicolev.