Somedays nothing quite satisfies like a hot bowl of macaroni and cheese. There's something about the hot cheese, soft noodles and saltiness that just does the spirit good.
While it might have humble roots, many restaurants have dressed it up by using decadent ingredients like crab and truffles. Although it might seem simple to cook up a delicious bowl of mac and cheese, some places manage to pull it off better than others.
Below is our list of restaurants that have the best mac and cheese.
4009 30th Avenue between Steinway and 41st Streets
Perhaps one of the most popular brunch spots around Queens, which makes it hard to get a table during these hours but to those who decide to wait are in for a delicious surprise. Thinking of an amazing mix of bechamel with crispy and salty bacon and fresh green onions all covered with a melted mix of cheddar, parmesan and fontina cheeses, then head here and go for the Bacon Scallion ($14).
There are vegetarian options as well still with a handful of carbs of course. One dish really stands out according to frequent visitors, the Atomic Fire Balls ($8).
345 Smith Street, Brooklyn
Wilma Jean is the epitome of American comfort food. Whether you're in the mood for a burger or some tasty fried chicken you can get it all here. One of the sides you can get with your meal is mac and cheese.
While they don't do anything fancy, this classic is hands down one of the best in New York City. It's made with Vermont white cheddar and topped with toasted, buttered panko for a satisfying crunch. Instead of using bechamel sauce, Wilma Jean adds evaporated milk instead for a more casserole texture. Get it by itself or with a meal and you'll be so stuffed you'll need to take a taxi home.
Earl's Beer and Cheese
1259 Park Avenue
Come for the mac and cheese and stay for the craft beer. This East Harlem joint offers a new spin on mac and cheese. Instead of the traditional cheddar they use a goat cheese, which imparts some tang and creaminess.
A touch of rosemary adds a nice bit of fresh herb flavor to lighten up the heavy cream and cheese. They've also changed up the noodles opting for rigatoni instead of macaroni. Although it's a small amount - its served in a ramekin - it's definitely worth the asking price.
1048 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn
If you don't mind veering from tradition and feel like creating your own mac and cheese blend, you'll definitely want to order from Black Swan. They start off with a tasty base of cheddar cheese and bechamel. From there you can add in things like sun dried tomatoes, jalapeños, bacon or fresh lobster meat.
Of course all of these will cost you extra on top of the base price of the standard mac 'n cheese. If you don't want to spend more money, then the base is suitably creamy and hearty.
254 Bleecker St (at Cornelia St)
Its rated one of the top cheese shops in NYC with an outstanding selection, and as it happens, they do serve amazing mac and cheese as well. Their signature mac and cheese is a combo of Gruyere, cheddar and Scharfe Maxx and tasty, specially made, nicely melted Swiss cow's milk cheese.
Being one of the most recognised dairy dealer, this is a must visit when you are in town, and please go ahead and try other cheese variations as well, you will not get disappointed!
Delaware and Hudson
135 N 5th Street, Brooklyn
Unlike the other restaurants, Delaware and Hudson offers mac and cheese as a course instead of a side. This version by Chef Patti Jackson contains a whole lot of cheddar, a little cream and some tomatoes to counterbalance the salty and creamy. Sprinkles on top are crisp, homemade potato chips instead of panko for a wonderfully salty crunch.
The Elbow Room
267 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn
With a name like The Elbow Room, you know they take their noodles and mac and cheese seriously. This flagship location dresses up their macs with plenty of flavor and ingenuity. There are 12 different flavors to choose from such as a margherita pizza and "brats and beer." And while they do offer the traditional lobster mac, they pair it instead with cream and cognac.
Besides the 12 main flavors, they also offer specials so you can go back almost daily for something new. The best part? They're open until 12am so you can indulges in your late night cravings.
The Queens Kickshaw
4017 Broadway, Astoria
This Astoria cafe, run by Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim, creates their own tasty variation of mac and cheese their hefty cubes of griddles macaroni and cheese. It actually even consist of green beans but they manage to pull it off with some delicious Gruyere and cheddar mixed with tasty smoked mozzarella. There's a hint of tomato sauce to complete the dish which you will come back for once you've dugged in.
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