Your first macaroni and cheese probably came out of a blue box. Most of ours did. And though it was nothing fancy, from that first melty bite, you were probably hooked. Then somewhere along the way you experienced all that mac and cheese could be—with creamy béchamel, a bevy of cheeses, and toppings galore.
After one forkful of the good stuff, you knew that boxed mac would never suffice. When we’re craving that kind of dreamy, layered flavor, we head to one of these 12 places.
1 SOUL FISH CAFE Locations in Tennessee & Arkansas
This chain of upscale diners serves up comfort food with surprising soul. With a sauce-like texture, the melty cheese covers every single noodle.
2 CAPDEVILLE New Orleans, Louisiana
Nothing is ordinary at this New Orleans pub, including their mac and cheese. The addition of truffle oil takes their version over the top.
520 Capdeville St. | 504.371.5161 capdevillenola.com
3 CRAVE KITCHEN & COCKTAILS Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Everything’s tastier in a cast-iron skillet, and this mac is no exception. Make it a meal by topping it with bacon, scallops, or short ribs.
1968 Riviera Dr. | 843.884.1177 cravekitchenandcocktails.com
4 CHEESETIQUE Locations around Virgina
The folks at Cheesetique take their mac and cheese seriously, using three types of cheese—goat gouda, asiago, and Cacao de Roma—in their signature dish, Mac n’ Cheestique.
5 BRICK & SPOON • Locations around Alabama
Who said you can’t have mac and cheese at brunch? This shrimp, tasso, and mornay sauce-topped pasta begs otherwise, complete with toast points.
6 PARKSIDE • Austin, Texas
Austin’s first gastropub bakes their mac and cheese in the cast-iron pot it’s served in, and includes both Gruyère and Cheddar.
301 E. 6th St. | 512.474.9898 parkside-austin.com
7 JOHN’S CITY DINER • Birmingham, Alabama
This Magic City staple serves three types of mac and cheese, but our favorite is the Three Little Pigs, topped with bacon, pulled pork, prosciutto, and fried onion.
112 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. 205.322.6014 | johnscitydiner.com
8 URBAN BREW AND BBQ • St. Petersburg, FL
Ask for your mac and cheese to be made the Baton Rouge way, topped with pulled pork and sweet barbecue sauce.
1939 Central Ave. | 727.822.8919 urbanbrewandbbq.com
9 MOONSHINE PATIO BAR & GRILL • Austin, Texas
Housed in one of Austin’s oldest buildings—this restaurant’s baked mac and cheese wows with pimiento cheese and bacon gratin.
303 Red River St. | 512.236.9599 moonshinegrill.com
10 MIDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE • Locations around North Carolina and South Carolina
This oven-baked pasta has extra large noodles and a thick sauce with a crisp layer of cheese on top.
11 ST. JAMES CHEESE COMPANY New Orleans, Louisiana
Made with a blend of artisan cheeses from creameries such as Sweet Grass Dairy and Meadow Creek Dairy, this cheesy pasta dish is a dairy-lover’s dream.
5004 Prytania St. | 504.899.4737 stjamescheese.com
12 THE PORCH Dallas, Texas
Their dish boasts smoked ham and a breadcrumb topping in addition to multiple cheeses for ultimate mac perfection.
2912 N. Henderson Ave. 214.828.2916 theporchrestaurant.com