Cheese deserves to be celebrated, so honor it with some of the best cheese dishes Philadelphia has to offer. Whether it’s plain, spicy, fried or melted, served as an appetizer or even as dessert, there’s something here for every cheese lover.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
1426 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Sure, Del Frisco’s is known for its award-winning steaks and impressive 40-foot wine tower. But the lobster mac and cheese has earned a cult following all its own. Decadent and creamy, the dish is made with elbow macaroni mixed with asiago and parmesan cheese, a rich cream sauce and large pieces of lobster meat. Though technically a side dish, the lobster mac is a good size, and at $18, it could also be eaten solo.
1516 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Taking inspiration from Southern traditions, REX 1516’s Chef Justin Swain has added new menu items to the spring menu, including a housemade pimento cheese. This smoky cheese is creamy with a kick of spice from pimento peppers. The new pimento cheeseburger takes an 8-ounce patty of ground brisket, deckle and filet tip and tops it with crispy fried onions, smoked bacon and Bibb lettuce on a brioche bun. It’s then smothered in the pimento cheese and served with fries or a salad for $12. Top it with an egg for an extra $2.
After the burger created an incredible buzz in the city, Chef Swain also added a pimento grilled cheese sandwich to the bar bites menu. For just $5, enjoy this incredible cheese on grilled sourdough with pickles.
1311 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
After opening in the winter of 2011, Opa quickly proved itself to be a top Philadelphia restaurant. Recently, its modern Greek cuisine and vibrant atmosphere earned the restaurant a spot in Details Magazine as one of the “Best New Greek Restaurants in America.” Start your meal with appetizers (mezedes) such as grilled octopus with a chickpea fondue or the delicious saganaki. At $9, the saganaki is a fried cheese dish consisting of seared kaseri cheese (similar to mozzarella) and metaxa, a amber Greek spirit that’s made from wine, Mediterranean herbs and rose petals.
227 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Parc is as close as you’re going to get to Paris in Philadelphia, and it’s no surprise that the cheese plate is delicious. While many Americans still think of cheese as an appetizer, the French tend to eat their cheese after the main meal, so be sure to check the dessert menu. The cheese plate is available as a choice of three ($15), five ($25) or seven ($35) cheeses, all served with the wonderful bread that Parc is known for. Have a seat inside where the soaring ceilings and décor will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different country and time. Or, if the weather’s nice, grab a table outside to sip some wine, eat cheese and people-watch in Rittenhouse Square.
Related: Top Bistros in Philadelphia
937 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
It’s tough to beat the grilled cheese at Royal Tavern. The melty trio of cheeses (smoked gouda, sharp provolone and goat cheese) is just about as thick as the grilled French boule bread it’s served between. A bit of truffle adds a subtly unique flavor. For $8, you can enjoy the tunes on the juke box while feasting on this favorite sandwich served alongside hand-cut fries with malted vinegar aioli. For just $3 more, add a cup of soup. There are typically at least four listed on the blackboard behind the bar.
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Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.