What started out as an innocent lunch sandwich, grilled cheese has turned into culinary delight. The grilled cheese sandwich had a simple start, it has changed into a stand-alone dinner item. Restaurants are paying homage to this delightful dish. Its simplicity and complexity will challenge even the greatest restaurateur. If grilled cheese is your favorite food, then hurry over to the number eateries in Cleveland making a masterpiece of the grilled cheese sandwich.

The Lockview
207 S. Main St.
Akron, OH 44308
(330) 252-5128

The Lockview in Akron is a pilgrimage you must take if you’re a grilled cheese lover. It’s a restaurant built for cheese featuring grilled cheese, mac and cheese, “Lockview Croquettes” which are mashed potatoes filled with cheese and fried to a golden brown. Save the appetite for a grilled cheese sandwich though. Whether you like yours with sautéed jalapeños on cheddar cheese sourdough bread or made with whole milk mozzarella, grilled Portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers and basil there has to be a Lockview grilled cheese you’ll enjoy. There’s thirteen different options more than enough for a return visit or two.

Tommy’s Coventry
1824 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 321-7757

If it’s grilled cheese you’re after then Tommy’s Restaurant in Coventry is your restaurant. The “Totasted Cheese” section on the menu has 11 different varieties for you to choose from. The classic toasted cheese is prepared with Munster cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and green peppers served with pita bread. The most interesting toasted cheese has to be the “Quinn” made with five cheeses, house-made peanut butter, lettuce, tomato and green peppers. That extra protein from the peanut butter is sure to fill you up, but save room for dessert. Tommy’s is known for its milkshakes too.

Lola’s Bistro
2058 E. 4th St.
Cleveland, Oh 44115
(216) 621-5652

Don’t be surprised that the famous Lola Bistro on East 4th serves grilled cheese sandwiches. Would you expect anything less from Michael Symon, the Cleveland native who loves to create fantastic menus and dishes from unassuming ingredients? It’s possible that the grilled cheese and soup combination from Lola Bistro is prefect for lunch. A grilled cheese with spicy tomato bisque and small side salad will leave you with plenty of room for walking the divine street of East 4th or dancing away at the House of Blues.

Related: Best Burgers In Cleveland

Melt Bar And Grilled
14718 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, Oh 44107
(216) 226-3699

You can’t talk about grilled cheese sandwiches without mentioning Melt Bar and Grilled. If you haven’t been there try one of their “Classics” with or with meat protein, vegetarian, or vegan option. A favorite is the peanut butter and banana grilled cheese-made with caramelized bananas, house made peanut butter, berry preserves and candied peanuts-you’ll never look at peanut butter and jelly the same way again. Or how about trying a seafood selection? The “Rising Sun” made with shrimp, slaw, sweet Thai chili aioli and Munster cheese is a taste combination you’ll never forget. Melt Bar and Grilled is a restaurant worth waiting for. The wait list for a table is always impressive.

Cleveland Pickle
850 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Oh 44114
(216) 575-1111

Here at Cleveland Pickle the lunch rush is serious, the sandwiches are pressed and the pickles are impressive. If you’re looking for a simple grilled cheese this is your spot. Waiting under the kids menu as the “Little Pickle” filled with provolone cheese, chihuahua cheese (perfect for that spicy kick) and a few pickles. It’s great for the kiddos or the adults who need a break from the heaviness of deli meats. The Chihuahua cheese sounds spicy, but it’s actually perfect for melting in sandwiches and melting your resistance to grilled cheeses.

Related: Best Sandwiches In Cleveland

Marissa Burke is a happily adventurous wife, mother and runner. Living in Lakewood, Ohio she searches neighboring communities for exciting food and drinks that are good and good for you in the Cleveland area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.