With swimsuit season coming to a close we can now turn our attention to bulking up for the winter with delicious comfort foods, namely loads of dairy and carbs. There are infinite ways to enjoy cheese, but melted between two slices of buttered bread may be our favorite, and there are seemingly infinite ways to enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich in this town.

In the interest of highlighting as many excellent grilled cheeses as possible, options from last year's list have not been included so newcomers can take a bow. These are still worthy places to get your cheese on; please patronize them as well! Below, our new favorite grilled cheese spots; as always, leave yours in the comments.

(Scott Lynch/Flickr)

MELT KRAFT: This Philadelphia transplant doesn't believe in the term "keep it simple, stupid," but that's what makes their zany grilled creations so much fun to eat. Take the Valley Thunder ($8.75), which isn't content with a few simple slices of cheddar. No, this baby packs Bubbe's brisket and baked macaroni and cheese, which are bound together with yet more cheddar cheese before being slapped on the grill. Or perhaps the fiery Melter Skelter ($8.50) is more your style, stuffed with a raclette-like, super melty cheese, pickled green tomatoes, jalapenos, BBQ potato chips and oh, sure, why not, some watercress.

If you want to be simple boring, try the Lil' Shepherd—literally dubbed "Kid Sandwich"—with pasteurized yellow cheddar on brioche for $6. It should be noted that this spot's cheese pedigree is excellent, as they're part of the Valley Shepherd Creamery based out of New Jersey.

Melt Kraft is located at 442 9th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Park Slope, (347) 889-6290; website

(via Yelp)

BEECHER'S HANDMADE CHEESE: It's no shocker that a place making its own cheese would know how to put together a killer cheese-based sandwich, and that's definitely true of this Seattle import. While some places employ the Death By Butter approach to grilling up sandwiches, Beecher's lets the cheese be the star supplier of decadent dairy, also ensuring the rustic bread doesn't get soggy or lose its crunch. All the sandwiches employ the Flagship cheese, a 15-month aged cow's milk cheese with a strong, nutty flavor and a texture that holds onto its heft even when put into the sandwich press.

Try it plain ($7) for maximum cheese exposure or dress it up with smoked turkey or ham ($9), figs ($7.50) or their daily changing Big Deal ($10).

Beecher's Handmade Cheese is located at 900 Broadway at 20th Street, (212) 466-3340; website

THE WHEELHOUSE: It's only been open a few months but this Bushwick cheese mecca already has a loyal following for its dedication to quality cheese-stuffed sandwiches. First, their house sandwiches, like the popular Morning Wood ($10.50) with applewood smoked bacon, a fried egg and sharp cheddar on multigrain or the Veggie Patty Melt ($11) stuffed with red onions, tomato and arugula bound together by gruyere and roasted garlic aioli on rustic wheat bread.

But for control freaks with designs in DIY sandwiches, it's to their Build Your Own option you must go. They're offering six types of bread (rye and sourdough included) plus an astounding 15 different cheese options, of which you can select up to two. Add on veggies like caramelized onions, jalapenos, spicy kimchi or proteins including prosciutto, roast beef and honey ham and you're on your way to sandwich nirvana.

The Wheelhouse is located at 165 Wilson Avenue at Hart Street, (718) 483-9970; website

(via Yelp)

THE PULLMAN KITCHEN: This newish Midtown eatery really pushes the boundaries of what can be called grilled cheese, stuffing cheese and chicken between two pieces of waffle, for example. But their standard Pullman Classic ($8.95) won't look unfamiliar to grilled cheese aficionados; for those ready to experiment, opt for An Apple A Day ($12.95), a multi-grain pullman bread sandwich with local apples and baby arugula fused together with melted brie and honey mustard.

For true daredevils, there's probably no greater grilled cheese gauntlet than The Grilled Beast of Midtown East, a $25 monstrosity that boasts fried chicken, bacon and ham with melted pepperjack, cheddar and muenster cheeses. But we're not finished! They also slap some kale, tomatoes and spicy cherry peppers in there, for "health." Remember those waffles? They're here too, drizzled with maple syrup and tucked between two grilled slices of sourdough.

The Pullman Kitchen is located at 959 Second Avenue at 51st Street, (212) 888-7404; website

SAY CHEESE: Flying under the radar of everyone not living nearby, this cute Upper West Side cafe specializes in fun comfort food with an emphasis on dairy. Served in cast iron pans, their grilled cheeses come in flavors like Gruyere and Swiss with French Onion ($9.75); Smoked Gouda and Fig ($9.25); and White Cheddar with Tomato Bacon Marmalade ($9.50). With no sandwich exceeding three ingredients, the cheese gets to be the star, with the minimalist additions simply enhancing the flavor of the cheese. Besides their excellent sandwiches, their special mac & cheeses with bacon or truffles are sure to please cheese lovers of any age.

Say Cheese is located at 142 W 83rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, (212) 799-0080; website

(via Yelp)

HARLEM PUBLIC: This uptown joint specializes in stick-to-your-ribs pub grub like deep fried avocado fries, peanut butter-topped burgers and hearty grilled cheese sandwiches just begging for a cold pint to wash them down. Their regular Grilled Cheese ($8.95) comes packed with New York State cheddar and jalapeno jack cheeses on two thick slabs of buttered Grandaisy sourdough bread, plus bacon for a few extra pennies. This would be decadent enough, but the crowd-pleasing bar takes it to the next level with their Loaded Grilled Cheese ($11.95), a sick stack of cheeses, bacon, guacamole and...Doritos. It is ridiculous, it is delicious, and comes with a 100% nap guarantee.

Harlem Public is located at 3612 Broadway between 148th and 149th Streets, (212) 939-9404; website

(via Yelp)

SWEET AFTON: There's no potato chip-crusted insanity to be found at this darling gastrobpub, and that's just what makes us love it so much. If simplicity is what you seek, you'll find it in their Grilled Cheese ($8), which comes simply griddled on two slices of buttered pullman loaf (a.k.a. classy white bread). Want some New York State Cheddar or Muenster with that? Sure, go ahead. Wanna swap in some Swiss gruyere? Add $1 and go to town, same with Double Smoked Brooklyn Bacon ($1.50) or caramelized onions ($1). Sandwiches are served with a squirt of wholegrain mustard (you want this), pickles and maybe a grilled tomato on the side.

Sweet Afton is located at 30-09 34th Street between 30th and 31st Avenues in Astoria, (718) 777-2570; website

Morris Truck (Don/Foursquare)

MORRIS TRUCK: My love for this superb food truck runs deep, and when they temporarily disappeared from their regular spot in Dumbo, I suffered a deep withdrawal. Luckily, they're back to their regularly scheduled program of delivering top notch cheese sandwiches pressed to a delectable crunch aboard their traveling cheese delivery truck. They change up the menu frequently, though riffs on certain cheeses can often be found. Their Classic ($5.75) made with NY State Cheddar and NH Landaff is a thing of beautiful simplicity, while specials like the BBQ Chicken ($9) with ale cheddar, chicken garlic sausage, pickled onions and peach bourbon BBQ sauce push the grilled cheese envelop a bit.

You can't choose unwisely, so don't stress it too much. They offer a few customizations as well, like swapping in garlic bread, adding bacon and even a gluten-free option, a rarity in the grilled cheese world. Also of note, their excellent dipping sauces like the mouth-searing habanero and the breath-killing onion caper mayo.

Follow Morris Truck on Twitter to see where they'll be parked.

Honorable Mentions: The tiny cafe at the UES outpost of Lucy's Whey rocks a killer fig and Prairie Breeze Cheddar sandwich; both locations of Astoria Bier & Cheese pop out superlative sammies; and for a whiskey bar, Williamsburg's Post Office has made a lot of friends with its bacon grilled cheese.

Check out last year's list for even more cheesy goodness.