Looking for Florida’s Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches? Look No More!

mackenzie smith jeremy johnston

Last week, the bf and I headed out on a 3 day road trip all around the sunshine state to hunt down the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Florida. After spending too many a few hours online, I became overwhelmed by all the grilled cheese goodness that our beautiful state had to offer. So I did what any blogger girl with 34,000 followers would do and went straight to social media for a little help. After receiving dozens of awesome and unexpected recommendations, Jerm and I compiled our master list, packed our bathing suits (and stretchy shorts), filled up the ole’ Subaru, and headed South to get our cheese on.

Oh oh, and before we begin on this delicious adventure – Please keep in mind that this list is not ordered from best to worst or anything like that. In fact, it’s listed in the order in which we completed our food tour in hopes that you can one day repeat the #FLgrilledcheeseTour if you dare! TBH, I tried to rank them but that sort of hurt my heart. It felt like I was a mom and I had to choose one child over the other or something like that and I just couldn’t. But alas, if you must know which ones reigned supreme, keep reading and I’ll fill you in on our favorites.

Backwater Deep Fried Grilled Cheese

1904 Municipal Ln, Melbourne, FL 32901

Our adventure started at Backwater in downtown Melbourne Beach, Florida. This cutesy old-Florida inspired restaurant is known for their super fun DIY pancake tables, but from my perspective, this is the second most exciting thing happening here. Once you get a little bite of their deep fried Bourbon Revival grilled cheese, you will probably want to find me and kiss me (or Jerm.. or both?) on the lips because it is THAT good. Stacked high with piping hot layers of melted swiss, turkey, ham, and cheddar, this spin on a Monte Cristo is deep fried in the crunchiest beer batter around and is served with a sweet bourbon melba dipping sauce that is oh-so-good. Don’t mind me though, I’ll just be here, drooling over my memories.

Grilled Cheese Gallery Florida

430 Northwood Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33407
As we headed down the coast a little more, we stopped at The Grilled Cheese Gallery in West Palm Beach. As you might know from following my recipes, I have a slight obsession with grilled mac and cheese sandwiches so I was super stoked to see that they were adding this gem to the menu! Packed full of nutty gruyere, creamy mac n cheese, crispy chunks of salty fried chicken, and a perfectly spicy chipotle aioli, this Southern grilled cheese encompassed everything that I identify with. Is it my spirit grilled cheese? Um, definitely.
melt boynton beach grilled cheese
1880 Congress Ave Suite 108, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
After a few more ~awesome~ dance songs on Jeremy’s playlist, we arrived at Melt Crafted Grilled Cheese in Boynton Beach. This place was sort of like the Mellow Mushroom of the grilled cheese world. The walls were lined with paintings of oozy drippy cheese, mythical wizards, and magical beings and they had about a million of variations of this childhood classic.
After nearly having a panic attack while trying to decide which one would be the tastiest, Jerm calmed me down and recommended that we get the loaded potato grilled cheese because it sounded super dreamy. Their perfectly buttery grilled country white bread was packed full of melted American cheese, crispy waffle fries, crumbled bacon, scallions, and ranch dressing. You’re hungry now, right? Oh and if you’ve got kids, bring ’em along! This spot offers free grilled cheese for all little ones from 4-9PM every single day!
Ny Grilled Cheese Brooklyn Porkster
2207 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 
After another 45 minutes of being way too full and wanting to take my seatbelt off, we arrived at New York Grilled Cheese’s location in Wilton Manors (right above Fort Lauderdale). NYGC automatically had a special place in my heart because of my time spent in the Big Apple and it was where I birthed this website. I couldn’t not represent my ole stomping grounds so I ordered the Brooklyn Porkster which was the freakin’ bomb.com.
Two thick slices of country white bread stuffed full of slow roasted barbecue pulled pork, cheddar and American cheese, crunchy dill pickles and sweet and savory caramelized onions is then waffled into grilled cheese perfection. Not only were the flavors perfect, but eating an NYC GC in Florida felt completely serendipitous.
Also, you must remember this if you go – do yourself a favor and get the sweet potato waffle fries with marshmallow dipping sauce. It was truly genius and it changed our lives forever.
ms cheezious frito pie melt
7418 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138
A little later on, we finally made it to the Southernmost point on our tour – Miami! This food truck turned brick and mortar was perfect. And here I go again with the full disclosure bit but Ms. Cheezious was Jerm’s favorite grilled cheese. Not sure that it was the grilled cheese itself or the fact that walking tacos are his favorite food but whatever the case, Ms. Cheezious’s grilled cheese creations were awesome. This GC was loaded with their very own house made chili, American cheese, jalapeños, onions and fritos. It was all perfectly grilled together between two slices of ultra crispy sourdough and it stayed completely intact until the very last bite. It def fits my criteria for being a perfect sandwich and for that, you must go try one.
tom + cheese donut grilled cheese
34231, 5231 University Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34201 (multiple locations available)
(941) 351-4800
After Miami, we headed up and across the state to Sarasota where we visited one of the Tom + Chee locations. You might have seen this grilled cheese empire on Shark Tank a few years ago and let me assure you, they’re doing it right! There’s a little something for everyone and this strawberry lemonade donut grilled cheese had my name all over it. Instead of regular bread, this sandwich is made with an inside out donut and filled with fresh cut strawberries, candied lemon peel, mozzarella and mascarpone cheese. It was like the unicorn of grilled cheese desserts and I think you should all treat yo’self to one (or 80) or however many makes you feel good about yourself.
pompoms tea house orlando grilled cheese thanksgiving
2950 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Later on after we hit the Tom + Chee chain, I wanted to get a little more local so we headed to Pom Pom’s in St. Pete (there’s also one in Orlando!) for their uber fun fusion grilled cheese sandwiches. I was instantly attracted to Mama Ling Ling’s Thanksgiving grilled cheese, which was stacked high with gouda, cream cheese, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, ginger cranberry chutney and a side of gravy for good measure of course. You might have even seen that ridiculous gravy drip video that I posted on Instagram… if not, you need to click here and see it right now. You also need to get in your car, drive to a Pom Pom’s, order this sandwich, and lick your plate clean.
 1945 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792
We then headed East towards Orlando to try Toasted, which was one of the most mentioned places when I asked on social media. I was in the mood for something spicy and since I had heard such wonderful things about their buffalo chicken grilled cheese, I ordered it right away. The rumors were true, this GC was packed full of creamy spicy goodness that was definitely a winner. I especially liked the use of Muenster cheese, as it’s my personal favorite melting cheese. It’s rich, buttery, and melts like heaven – making it the perfect balance to the spicy buffalo chicken component. Oh, and I’m still dreaming about the ranch dressing if that gives you any insight to how spot-on the tastes were. Definitely loved this sandwich and would highly recommend it. If you want to make one at home,  you can click [HERE] to get my recipe.
Community loaves jacksonville
1120 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205
After we conquered Central Florida, we drove North to Jacksonville to continue our #FLgrilledcheeseTour. Our first stop was at Community Loaves, which is a super cute bakery that uses all the righteously good stuff they can find. And not that the other sandwiches weren’t amazing, but this grilled cheese was my absolute favorite! Eeeeeee! Made on their very own freshly baked sourdough bread and paired with Sweet Grass Dairy’s green hill cheese from Georgia, local peaches and fresh basil. This sandwich was rich, creamy, crunchy, sweet, and savory and most importantly fresh. I don’t know why I didn’t buy all the bread that they had because I would do anything to have another one right now.  Honestly, eating this sandwich was like a beautiful dream come true.
happy grilled cheese smores sandwich
location varies as this is a food truck in Jacksonville, FL
We then ended our tour in downtown Jacksonville at The Happy Grilled Cheese food truck. We were greeted by their lovely and smart staff and a few of their awesome menu items. I absolutely loved their fancy schmancy grilled cheese, pulled pork mac n cheese, housemate potato chips and most of all the s’mores grilled cheese! Loaded with marshmallow fluff, graham crackers, and chocolate, this sweet treat was the perfect ending to our #FLgrilledcheeseTour. After all, what kind of food tour would this be if it didn’t end on a sweet note?!
black dolphin inn breakfast grilled cheese sandwich
916 South Riverside Drive
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Also, for the sake of nepotism, I must include one of my own creations on the list because I think I know a thing or two after all these years of blogging about my grilled cheese recipes. This is one of my favorite breakfast grilled cheese to make and the recipe is right [HERE] so you can make it yourself! It’s loaded with scrambled eggs, Wisconsin cheese, avocado and Sriracha between two perfect slices of wheat bread. I make it at Black Dolphin Inn on the reg so you should probably get over here so we can share one and talk about cheese and life and stuff.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA. The opinions and text are all mine.

Tasty Summer Sandwiches for Grillin’ + Chillin’

Compensation for this post was provided by Cobblestone Bread Co.™ and Big Green Egg® via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Cobblestone Bread Co.™, Big Green Egg®, or AOL.

copycat crib sandwich 1

I won’t deny that at the time, summers in NYC seemed like the best thing ever. It probably had to do with the fact that we all appreciated it so much more after coming out of almost 6 terrible months of potential frostbite. But that’s not to say that the rest of the country isn’t scoring big off of the shifting seasons. You see, there are a few things that New Yorkers are missing out on that are far more awesome than a really good Instagram shot of a hotdog positioned in front of the city’s skyline.

Down here in the South (and everywhere else that’s not surrounded by skyscrapers) we have yards! Yards that can be filled with awesome cooking equipment without the fear of it falling 10 stories to its demise. Instead of climbing up sketchy fire escapes or wasting time on DIY levees to help transport your $30 no-name grill up to the rooftop, I now rejoice with my feet safely on the ground, which just so happens to be manicured and solely dedicated to grilling and growing. And I totally am bragging right now but I have to say that my summers outside the city are so much better because of my new fav cooking tool – the Big Green Egg®!

Big Green Egg Updated

If you’ve never heard of a Big Green Egg®, let me give you some background. The Big Green Egg® (aka EGG) is like the king of summertime. Not only is it a grill, but it’s also a smoker, a slow cooker, a pizza oven and probably a lot more things that I don’t even know about yet! And if you know me or have read this blog before, you’re probably well aware that I have to make everything into a sandwich. So that leads me to my next point – what do I do with all this new fun stuff that my boyfriend and I have been making in my EGG? Throw it between two slices of Cobblestone Bread Co.™ bread, of course!

copycat mcrib

Outdoor grilling season calls for some seriously good bread. And if you want to know the best bread to use for all your summertime grilling projects, you definitely need to get your sauce-covered fingers onto some Cobblestone Bread Co. products. Their buns are consistently delicious and are light and fluffy yet hearty enough to stuff full of all the tasty meats you’re cookin’ up in your EGG.

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Now let’s talk about what I made with my EGG and Cobblestone Bread Co.™ bread. This first sandwich that I want to share might look familiar to you but you must know that it’s about one hundred times better than this particular seasonal American iconic sandwiches. Instead of going to McDonalds and shamefully ordering the McRib. I’ve decided to make my own deluxe version!

By doing this yourself, you can swap out the questionable processed meat patty for some home cooked fall-off-the-bone goodness. If you click the link below, you’ll score the secrets for our own special Big Green Egg® slow cooked ribs recipe which fall right off the bone and right into a Cobblestone Bread Co. Spud Dog Bun. This amazing bundle of mouthwatering meat is then topped off with delicious bbq sauce, chopped vidalia onions + a crisp dill pickle spear. It is not to be missed.

Click [HERE] to get the recipe for my Ultimate Rib Sandwich.

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This next grill season sandwich is perfect for utilizing leftovers and stretching those summertime feels into a weeklong summer food fest! All you have to do is fire up your EGG, smoke some chicken breasts then let them cool. After you’ve waited a few hours, roughly chop your delicious smoked chicken into chunks, mix it with grilled corn, sweet n spicy peppadews, and a fragrant chimichurri infused mayo then pack it into one of Cobblestone’s Toasted Onion Rolls!

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If you can avoid eating it all at once, simply wrap it up tightly in cling wrap and voila! You can enjoy summertime fare all week long. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your desk, on the road, or chilling’ at the beach, because as long as this sandwich is stored correctly, the Cobblestone bread can sit with the smoked chicken salad for up to 4 days without getting soggy! Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Want more bright ideas on how to use Cobblestone Bread Co.™? Click [HERE] for the chimichurri chicken salad sandwich or [HERE] for more recipes! 


Pineapple Upside-Down Baked Brie – The Perfectly Cheesy Retro Tiki Appetizer

Pineapple Upside-Down Baked Brie - the perfect retro tiki appetizer full of delicious cheese!

A few months ago, I had a food tour grilled cheese pop-up in Chicago for About.com. Besides making about 700 grilled cheese sandwiches for lots of hungry ad agents, the boyfriend and I also ate and drank our weight in the deliciousness that Chi-town had to offer. One of the nights my dearest pal Joanna Miller, from Wisconsin Cheese, took us out and showed us how a real mid-westerner did the city. So like big city people, we uber’d out to Logan Square to begin our adventure! to meet her at Bang Bang Pie where we had… you guessed it… PIE!

Having started our eating tour on a sweet note at Bang Bang Pie, where we had two pies and a grilled cheese (whoops), we then headed out to get our salt on with some ice cold margaritas and a never ending supply of tacos at Big Star. After that, we then somehow made it across the street for too many super strong cocktails at The Violet Hour. And because I don’t really drink anymore and because I find that it nearly impossible to imbibe without finishing on a full belly of food (you know to help with the hangover of course), we headed to Lost Lake to get found. This was my favorite bar by far. Tiki drinks, cutie pie waitresses dressed as Polynesian princesses, and a super tasteful spunky retro asian food menu that paired perfectly with all the coconut and pineapple liquors that we were downing. Continue reading