NYC's Best Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and when you’re visiting New York City, it’s one that you should definitely track down during your stay. All seven of the following restaurants, wine bars, and foodie shacks will not disappoint you in the mac 'n' cheese department. Whether you’re looking for a blend of ingredients that will leave you feeling like you just stepped into your mother’s kitchen or something a little more on the exotic end of things, the city that never sleeps has your cravings covered.

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: S’Mac (East Village)


S’Mac only serves macaroni and cheese, so you can be assured that they’ve perfected their recipes. Mediterranean (goat cheese, sautéed spinach, kalamata olives, roasted garlic), Cajun (cheddar, pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, green pepper, onions, celery, garlic), and Buffalo Chicken (boneless chicken pieces, buffalo wing sauce, and crumbled blue cheese) will change your traditional view of the dish. The best part of all? It’s served up in a personal sized cast-iron skillet. 345 E 12th St., 212-358-7917,

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Earl’s Beer and Cheese (East Harlem) 

With both “beer” and “cheese” in its name, can anyone really be that surprised that Earl’s Beer and Cheese is the place to go for anything queso-related? There’s only one type of mac and cheese served here, and it’s made with goat cheese and crispy rosemary. Also, you can forget the traditional macaroni pasta, because it’s only served with jumbo rigatoni shells at this little snack shack. 1259 Park Ave., 212-289-1581,

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Elbow Room (Brooklyn)

Elbow Room  

A quick detour to Brooklyn is totally worth it for some of Elbow Room’s Chicken Tinga Mac (shredded chipotle chicken, monterey jack, avocado, pickled red onion). If you’re more of a veggie-lover, the Mushroom Mac (crimini mushroom, spinach, Vermont gruyere, crisp shallots) is the way to go here. As for those looking for an adventurous mac and cheese, the Jamaican Jerk Mac (Scotch Bonnet marinated chicken, grilled pineapple, toasted coconut) won’t let you down. 267 Flatbush Ave, 718-622-2224,

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Heidi’s House (Upper East Side) 

Heidi’s House is predominantly a wine bar. In fact, it actually doesn’t even really have much of a kitchen, so to speak. But all that isn’t stopping it from having some of the best macaroni and cheese in town. Squeeze on in and get your order in ASAP (this macaroni and cheese can take up to 25 minutes to make, which is a lot, considering it’s one of only four items on their menu). Top it with bacon, chorizo sausage, or lobster to get the job done right. 308 E. 78th St., 212-249-0069,

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Westville (West Village)

You’ll want to shift your attention to the appetizer menu when dining at any of the Westville locations because the Smoky Mac & Cheese is where it’s at. This local mini-chain uses smoked gouda béchamel to make a cheesy dish that’s beyond satisfying. It comes out of the oven with a little bit of burnt noodles on top, adding to the already smoky flavor. We also have to endorse the additional bacon topping, because, well…why not? Additional locations in Chelsea, further south in the West Village, and East Village. 210 W. 10th St., 212-741-7971, 

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Shopsin’s (Lower East Side)

If you thought regular mac and cheese was as good as it gets, it’s time to think again. Nestled in the Essex Street Market is Shopsin’s, which has a menu packed with just about every dish imaginable. So what should you be ordering? Their Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Served with sides of hot sauce and maple syrup, you get your fair share of both sweet and savory in one meal. 120 Essex St., 212-924-5160,

Best of NYC Mac & Cheese: Murray’s Cheese Bar (West Village)

 Murray's Cheese

If you haven’t been to Murray’s Cheese Bar yet, you had better add that to your foodie bucket list immediately. It’s a cheese bar, after all. Murray’s Classic Mac & Cheese uses a secret blend of four cheeses that melt perfectly in your mouth. The Seasonal Mac & Cheese is just as tempting. It will be delicious. No matter what sesason. 264 Bleecker St., 646-476-8882,

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