If there’s a National Talk Like a Pirate Day (and there is, it’s 19 September) then National Grilled Cheese Day is fair do’s if you ask us. Here’s eight places (some market stalls and pop-ups, others standalone cafés and restaurants) where you can get a truly awesome grill cheese on 12 April.
The street food grillers…
“The best toasted cheese sandwich in the history of the world” (and also “very good raclettes”) inspire love (and long queues) for the Borough Market stall of this Bermondsey dairy (which itself opens on Saturdays).
Just try saying “Grill My Cheese” in anything other than Alan Partridge’s dulcet Norfolk tones (“Ah ha!”). Then, once you’re tired of that, try one of their sandwiches. You’ll find them at Leather Lane Market (Clerkenwell Road side) every Tue-Fri from noon-2 pm.
Home of the Macbeth haggis toast. Need we say more? Well, yes, actually. This street food favourite opened a standalone café in Leyton in October last year, but you’ll still find the team out at London’s marketplaces – Chatsworth Road, Clapton (Sundays); Broadway Market, Hackney (Saturdays); and St Katherine Docks on Fridays.
Unfortunately this excellent little pop-up grill cheese shack isn’t actually open on National Grill Cheese Day (12 April) as it’s only open on Saturdays at Hackney’s Netil House. However we’re including it anyway – like we need a prescribed day to eat melted cheese sandwiched between toasty bread!
The standalone specialist…
Single concept restaurants are all the rage, and Soho’s Melt Room is no exception – a restaurant dedicated to the art of the cheese toast! Staples include a Salted Beef Melt, a Pulled Port Shoulder Melt and the Mac n Cheese Melt (served plain or with your choice of chorizo or bacon). There’s also a range of sweet melts on offer.
Restaurants serving toasty cheese delights…
Angela Hartnett’s “superbly buzzy and attractive” Shoreditch two-year-old – complete with large open kitchen – continues to draw enthusiastic praise for its “relaxed” vibe and “unpretentious and delicious” (if sometimes “variable”) cooking. Top Tip – superior quick bites in the front bar (including toasted three cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread).
A “brilliant vibe” has been captured by this “energetic” and impressively executed concept – a growing chain of Mumbai-inspired Parsi cafés; “vibrant street-food” (including a great “brunch Bombay-style”) is served in its “stunningly designed” outlets; “shame you can’t book”. Go for the Kejriwal – two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast (£5.50). A favourite of the well-to-do Willingdon Club, the first such Bombay institution to admit natives; the dish is reputedly named for the member who kept asking for it.
“Go mainly for the extraordinary views” to this 24/7, 40th-floor hang out; “the signature dish (confit duck with a fried egg, waffle and syrup) is better than it sounds”, but opinions are mixed on the “mainly meaty, high cholesterol” fare and you pay “City boys’ drinks prices”. Go late at night for the ultimate midnight snack – ox cheek grilled cheese onion jam, fried organic hen’s egg, Sriracha (£13).
And coming soon…
After the arrival of grilled cheese sandwich café Melt Room, Soho is due to gain another venue specialising in sourdough bread, vintage cheddar and dill pickle. It was slated to open last year but now we hear the venue will launch in May.