There’s no shame in ordering mac and cheese from a restaurant, especially if it’s from one of the places on this list!
From creamy rich classics, to over-the-top fusions, here are all the places in NYC with must-try mac and cheese dishes (and a map at the bottom to help find a spot nearest you):
1. Sek’end Sun, Astoria
Sek’end Sun is an Astoria cocktail bar with tons of great cocktails and some of the best mac and cheese in NYC. Add pulled pork to their aged cheddar and parmesan mac for the perfect start to your meal (or as the whole meal, honestly).
📍 32-11 Broadway
2. Murray’s Cheese Bar, Long Island City
Murray’s was on our list of the best grilled cheese in the city, and their mac and cheese delivers just as well. It’s made with cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda, and Scharfe Maxx—a dark, funky, and super melty Swiss cow’s milk cheese. They also have other versions like Truffle Mac, Buffalo Chicken Mac, and Lobster Mac.
📍 28-30 Jackson Ave.
3. The Smith, Multiple Locations
This fabulously cheesy mac goes straight from the oven to table! Seriously, it’s brought to you in the hot skillet it’s made in, which means even when you have to take that halfway break it’ll still be warm when you get back to finishing the dish.
📍 Where: Multiple Locations
4. Jacob’s Pickles, Multiple Locations
Although they have a couple of options, their must-try item is the buffalo chicken mac & cheese…but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. They have regular mac & cheese, too, that’s just as good.
5. Thursday Kitchen, East Village
Although typically known for its Korean food, do not sleep on Thursday Kitchen’s mac and cheese. This fusion restaurant has a unique (and amazing) truffle mac & cheese, which is made with manila clam, fontina, gruyere, and mozzarella.
📍 424 E 9th St.
6. Westville, Multiple Locations
This local mini-chain tosses spiral pastas with their signature smoked Gouda bechamel, and then bakes it until the top is brown and crispy. Bacon is optional, but we highly recommend it.
📍 Multiple Locations
7. Catfish, Bushwick
This Cajun kitchen makes a wonderful baked mac & cheese that’s made with béchamel sauce, gruyere, and white cheddar, scallions, and crumbled zapp’s “cajun crawtator” chips on top! You can even splurge for some bacon or crawfish additions, too.
📍 1433 Bedford Ave.
8. Heidi’s House, UES
You can basically make your own macaroni and cheese here. Their “better than Grandma Lola’s” mac can be made to order with: bacon, chorizo, lobster, spicy chopped jalapeños, roasted organic cauliflower or broccoli, mushrooms, and white truffle oil. The possibilities are endless!
📍 308 E 78th St #3
9. Earl’s Beer and Cheese, UES
There may not be a boatload of menu items to choose from here, but you only need one: mac & cheese. It’s made with giant rigatoni, rosemary, goat cheese, and a touch of cream.
📍 1259 Park Ave.
10. Queens Bully, Forest Hills
Their creamy cheddar mac was voted best in Queens at the Mac & Cheese Smackdown 2018. There are plenty of add ons you can include, but the basic recipe calls for cheese sauce, elbow pasta, parmesan, and toasted breadcrumbs. (We’re dying to try it with shrimp or brisket though!)
📍 113-30 Queens Blvd.
11. S’MAC, East Village
Short for Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese, you can’t beat the mac & cheese here because it’s their specialty! Offering a wide variety of mac & cheese dishes, the menu includes low carb, gluten-free, and vegan options! We recommend the S’mac Sampler to get a little taste of everything!
📍 197 1st Ave.
12. Mac Shack, Clinton Hill
The Mac Shack offers over 15 different mac & cheese options ranging from Alfredo Mac, Curry Mac, and Pizza Mac. You’re sure satiate all of your mac & cheese cravings at this Brooklyn favorite.
📍 901 Fulton St.
13. Mom’s Kitchen & Bar, Multiple Locations
Mom’s has some quirky menu items (like their pancakes covered in fruity pebbles and berries) but one thing you must always order is their Return of the Mac, made with white cheddar, gruyère, gouda, and bacon. We promise you won’t regret it! Their Midtown location even serves Mac & Cheese Pancakes, made with cholula honey and bechamel sauce!
14. Shopsins, LES
Another spot serving up mac & cheese pancakes is Shopsins, the popular Lower East Side brunch joint. Their Chubby Stuffed Pancakes are the star of the show and consist of pancake pockets stuffed with mac and cheese. You can also simply order creamy mac & cheese as a main dish or side dish.
📍 Essex Market Stall #8 – 88 Essex St.
15. Freemans, LES
Freemans Restaurant serves delicious American food at the end of an easy-to-miss alleyway, and their Five Cheese Macaroni, served in a rectangular skillet, will blow your mind with how good it is.
📍 Freemans Alley – off Rivington Street between Chrystie and the Bowery
Also published on Medium.