Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World

Is there anything more comforting than a good grilled cheese sandwich? Definitely not, in my humble opinion. As a kid growing up in the U.S., nothing could beat the melty goodness of Kraft American cheese nestled between two pan-fried slices of white bread slathered with butter. My love of this sandwich sent me on a journey to discover the best grilled cheese sandwiches around the world. Below are international restaurants where you can buy authentic versions of grilled cheese as well as global grilled cheese recipes so you can make these delicious sandwiches at home.

A toastie is the English version of grilled cheese
A toastie is the English version of grilled cheese (Photo credit:

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1. Cheese Toastie in England

In England, the cheese toastie is king. While its American cousin is slathered with butter on the outside, the toastie has butter spread on the insides of the bread. Then the sandwich is filled with cheddar cheese before being grilled. The next time you’re in London, get your cheese toastie fix at Pistachio & Pickle Dairy. Want to make your own cheese toastie? Take a look at this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Welsh Rarebit
Welsh Rarebit is an interesting variation of a grilled cheese sandwich (Photo credit:

2. Welsh Rarebit in Wales

The Welsh rarebit (said like the animal’s name rabbit) cuts down on the carbohydrates by using only one piece of bread. A cheese sauce is spread over this lonesome slice of bread, enveloping it in a comforting broiled hug. The sauce is usually made with beer and mustard for a gentle kick.

While the origins of Welsh rarebit are unclear, one English joke goes that the Welsh were so poor that they pretended cheese was meat (rabbit). I recommend the Welsh rarebit at Wrights Food Emporium in Carmarthen, Wales. Make Welsh rarebit yourself with this Andrew Zimmern recipe.

A croque madame is served with a fried egg on top ~ Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World
A croque madame is served with a fried egg on top (Photo credit: Shobha George)

3. Croque Monsieur in France

The French make a fancy grilled cheese variation called the croque monsieur, a ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich topped with even more cheese and often béchamel sauce. The sandwich is broiled so that the crust is firm, but the inside is all gooey deliciousness. The croque monsieur’s even more elaborate lady friend, the croque madame, comes with a fried on egg on top.

Although no one knows the exact origins of this sandwich, the croque monsieur started appearing in Parisian restaurants in the early 20th century. Get your fill of these sandwiches at Fric-Frac in Paris. Follow this Bon Appétit croque monsieur recipe to bring these French flavors into your home.

A grilled caprese panini is the Italian equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich ~ Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World
A grilled caprese panini is the Italian equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich (Photo credit: Ericro,

4. Panini in Italy

The grilled panini sandwich has been popular in Italy since the 16th century. This sandwich consists of two pieces of bread with cheese and meat or vegetables. The closest to the standard American grilled cheese sandwich is the popular caprese panini, a delightful combination of mozzarella, tomato and basil.

According to TripAdvisor, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Pane & Vino for paninis of all sorts in Rome. This Caprese panini recipe gets five out of five stars on

chicken quesadilla
A quesadilla is a grilled cheese sandwich that will make your taste buds say, “Ole!” (Photo credit:

5. Cheese Quesadilla in Mexico

The cheese quesadilla is Mexico’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich, with a folded flour tortilla taking the place of bread. In addition to cheese, many people choose to add other fillings to their quesadillas, like chicken, peppers, and beans.

Quesadillas Maria Isabel gets high marks for their plethora of quesadillas in Mexico City. Take a look at these quesadilla recipes from

Arepa de Queso
An Arepa de Queso is grilled sandwich made with corn bread and shredded cheese (Photo credit:

6. Arepa de Queso in Venezuela

An arepa de queso is a split, grilled arepa filled with shredded cheese. Arepa, a type of corn masa bread, has long been a staple of indigenous tribes in Venezuela.

For an authentic tasting of Venezuelan comfort food, head to Arepas de Los Armanos in Porlamar, Venezuela. Epicurious shares their recipe for arepas de queso.

Aussies love vegemite with everything, including grilled cheese sandwiches ~ Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World
Aussies love vegemite with everything, including grilled cheese sandwiches (Photo credit: jabiru,

7. Tiger Toast in Australia

The Australians prefer their grilled cheese with a layer of Vegemite. This variation, called tiger toast, is not surprising considering how much Aussies love their Vegemite — a dark brown spread made from yeast extract. It’s got a pungent taste that people either love or hate.

Willing to give it a go? Here’s Vegemite’s own cheese toastie recipe. This is a more casual at-home dish than something you’ll find on Aussie menus. But, adventurous eaters can taste cheese and Vegemite ice cream at Dumbo Gelato in Scarborough, Australia.

Grilled cheese goodness
Grilled cheese goodness (Photo credit: robynmac,

Get More Grilled Cheese Goodness

It’s obvious that grilled cheese transcends continents and cultures. Although preparations vary, the blend of melted cheese with a carb-y coating brings comfort across nations.

Do you love grilled cheese as much as I do? Expand your grilled cheese horizons with Grilled Cheese Kitchen: Bread + Cheese + Everything in Between.

Or, if you like might like your grilled cheese paired with a tasty beer, (and who wouldn’t?!), get yourself a copy of Grilled Cheese & Beer: Recipes for the Finer Things in Life.

Taste More

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Barbecuers will want to add some zest between two buns with these tailgate burger bar recipes.

Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World

Save these International Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

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What’s the best grilled cheese sandwich you’ve ever eaten? Have you tried any of these grilled cheese sandwiches from around the world? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Interesting blog! I am also an expat, and we go to Italy every year. Mainly we get panini’s at the roadside Autogrill stops, which are great. Where else in the world can you get a great cup of coffee and really nice grilled cheese sandwich in a roadside stop? I live in London, but had never heard of the melted cheese cafe – although specialty eateries are all the rage at the moment.
    Thanks for sharing the info!

  2. MY oldest is the pickiest eater. Always has been. When she was little we told her they were called “Girl Cheese” and she was sold. Loved them ever since.

  3. Can you believe I have never had anything but traditional grilled cheese??? I need to try some of these!

  4. Grilled cheese is an old favorite of mine. It is really interesting seeing some of the awesome variances on such a simple recipe. I can’t wait to try some of them for myself.