Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the World

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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 a good grilled cheese made me wonder if other countries have their own versions of this tasty sandwich. Oh boy, do they ever! Join me in this tour of seven awesome grilled cheese sandwiches around the world. I’m sharing restaurants where you can buy authentic versions plus providing international 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:

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 the Melt Room. 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 La Maison du Croque Monsieur 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 carprese 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 quesadilla 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

If you liked this story, then we bet you’ll love these traditional British foods with funny names.

You might also be interested to discover five surprising reasons to visit McDonald’s around the world.

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

For future reference, be sure to save this list of awesome grilled cheese sandwiches from around the world. Simply pin the image above to Pinterest. We hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

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!

About Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama

Shobha George lives in London, England with her husband, two children (boy/girl twins) and dog. Although she grew up in New York, she has spent most of her adult life as an expat in Asia and Europe, which has been a great help in feeding her travel addiction. She and her family enjoy nice hotels, good food and other creature comforts. She is the author of Just Go Places blog. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @justgoplaces.

  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. I love this post so much! Grilled cheese is my absolute fav food!

  3. Andrew Burton says

    After seeing this post no more wait is possible i am fully hungry for cheese grill sandwich.

  4. Is it safe to say Europe has the best grilled cheeses I see. I would love to try the Italian and French one the most.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      I like all of them except the Aussie one but that’s a personal hatred of vegemite/marmite.

  5. 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.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      oh too funny! we did something similar with my daughter. She thought tuna fish was chicken because no way was she eating anything with the word ‘fish’ in it.

  6. Reesa Lewandowski says

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

  7. Beeb Ashcroft says

    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.

  8. Kita Bryant says

    Wow the rest of the world has so many great ideas for grilled cheese. I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      I didn’t realise until I travelled and had a fussy eater with me that there were so many options for grilled cheese.

  9. Amanda Love says

    Grilled cheese is always welcome in my book! These all look amazing and they’re all worth a try too! I would gladly search for the recipes of these!

  10. I am living in a bubble. I honestly had no idea there was different ways people made it. I just do it the normal way and love it, I need to try some of these recipes! Yum.

  11. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    Wow, what a neat overview of a classic sandwich!
    I really enjoyed this post and plan on saving it to try some of the variations.

  12. I’d like to try vegemite. I don’t really like Velveeta, with the exception of a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s how my mom made them and they’re so melty good that I still like one every now and again today.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      We don’t get Kraft American Cheeses here in England and I agree that processed cheese product really is the best for a traditional grilled cheese sandwich.

  13. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    Oh my goodness. These grilled cheese sandwiches all look so good! I would love to try the croque madame and the Welsh Rarebit. Just looking at the pictures made my mouth water!

  14. Oh my! Cheese is really good. thank you for sharing this..

  15. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    What an amazing list! I wish I can try all these! My kids will sure go crazy! 😀

  16. I will eat grilled cheese any way you give it to me. I’m not too sure about the Vegemite, but I’ll try anything once.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      You might like it! It’s a strong salty taste that lots of people do love – sort of like whether you like anchovies on your pizza.

  17. Janell Poulette says

    Man, i feel like i need to try to make some of these now! I love grilled cheese and the one with the egg on top looks yum!

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      Me too! I cut the egg so the yolk spreads all over sandwich underneath. It’s my favourite breakfast treat.

  18. Nothing beats a good grilled cheese. However, I am curious about the cheese toastie. My friend buttered the inside pieces of the bread when we were kids and it came out tasting terrible lol.

    • Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

      The Brits butter their bread no matter what sandwich they make (or for toast) so I’m not surprised they put butter on their cheese toastie too. When I first got to London, I was shocked when people put butter AND mayonnaise on my sandwich. One or the other I think or it’s so unhealthy!

  19. My favorite of these is the arepa. There’s a great restaurant that serves arepas near me!

  20. It’s such a good combination! I’d love to be able to try all of these variations! The Welsh Rarebit would be a priority!

  21. It’s good comfort food isn’t it? I like all these except for the Vegemite – just can’t deal with the taste because it is so strong

  22. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    This is the best post ever! I love grilled cheese, so I cannot wait to try a few of these variations. Thank you so much!

  23. TravelMeetDate says

    Geat to know about sandwich around in world…Thanks for giving an knowledge.

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