Mac & Cheese is everyone’s favorite comfort food (unless you don’t eat cheese, and in that case, please disregard). While most people think of the neon orange stuff straight from the navy blue Kraft box (which is undoubtedly delicious), mac & cheese can actually be quite the gourmet delicacy. In fact, New York City is a hotbed of great mac & cheese dishes. Restaurants throughout the whole city – from the fanciest five star cafes to the diviest of diners – offer New Yorkers their own unique and delicious takes on the food, which rival any fancy pasta dishes in the world. Want to know where you can get some great mac and cheese in the city? Check out 9 of the best dishes below.
1. Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese – The Mac Truck
The Mac Truck is New York City’s official food truck devoted solely to Mac and Cheese. Their whole menu is full of great mac & cheese options, but the Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese is a real treat. Diners can feast on a cup of rich and cheesy mac topped with sweet pulled barbecue pork. To make this one extra special, you can choose to top it with sriracha mayo!
2. Mo’Betta 2 – Shopsin’s
Shopsin’s is a well-known sandwich spot in Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. One of the dishes that made chef Kenny Shopsin famous is his mac ‘n cheese pancakes, which he serves alone or as the “bread” of a sandwich. In the Mo’Betta 2, Shopsin combines two mac & cheese pancakes (cheese and pasta are cooked in the pancake batter), scrambled eggs, and maple sausage.
3. Smoky Mac ‘n Cheese – Westville
At Westville in the West Village, diners rave about the Smoky Mac ‘n Cheese. Westville’s mac has a rich and creamy béchamel. But what makes it stand out is that it has tons of bacon chunks mixed in, which gives it and intense and rich flavor. Best pair this one with a salad or something light.
4. Mac and Cheese – Blue Smoke
Mac and Cheese is a southern staple. So at southern BBQ spot Blue Smoke Battery Park, they serve up some of the best mac and cheese in the whole city. The mac is incredibly creamy here, it’s hard to eat a whole serving. But they make it how real mac and cheese is supposed to be made, and it’ll taste like eating in someone’s grandma’s kitchen.
5. Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese – S’MAC
Mac and Cheese restaurant S’MAC has two outposts in NYC. They both serve a ton of great mac dishes, but the best is the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, which combines cheddar, American, boneless chicken pieces and buffalo wing sauce. If you’re feeling extra daring, you can even top it off with bleu cheese crumbles.
6. Fried Mac and Cheese – Dram Shop
What is better than taking something that is already bad for you and making it even better? At Dram Shop in Park Slope, you can order fried mac and cheese, which come in bite sized nuggets with a spicy ketchup dipping sauce. The mac and cheese is made with Wisconsin cheddar and it’s super rich, and you don’t even need to use a fork to eat it.
7. Mac Lobsta’ – MacBar
At MacBar in Soho, there exists a fancy mac and cheese dish to rival any in the world – Mac Lobsta’. Mac Lobsta’ is made with fresh lobster, cognac, tarragon, and mascarpone. The light lobster pairs really well with the heavy cheese, and the cognac gives it a little extra kick. This one is the most expensive on the mac and cheese joint’s menu, going for $17.99 for the largest serving.
8. Dumac and Cheese – DuMont Burger
Dumont is a classic for comfort staples in Williamsburg. Diners there can find Dumac and Cheese, a straightforward but incredibly delicious serving of mac and cheese. The Dumac and Cheese has some bacon bits mixed in, but the flavor is subtle, lending the dish just the complexity it needs to make it one of the city’s best.
9. Greenpoint – Brooklyn Mac
Brooklyn Mac is a mac and cheese shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Each dish is inspired by a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and one of the spot’s best is the Greenpoint, which reflects the area’s Polish heritage. The Green Point mac features cheddar, broccoli, horseradish and smoked kielbasa sausage. This one has a kick, and it’s not like any other mac and cheese you’ll ever have tasted before.
Got other favorites? Share them in the comments!