Food & Drink

The 7 best mac and cheese dishes in Chicago

Sean Cooley Published On 01/15/2014 Published On 01/15/2014
Smoke Daddy chi
Kailley Lindman

There are very few things in life more rewarding than reading a list of the seven best mac and cheese dishes in Chicago. Okay, maaaaaybe something about the Worst People on the CTA, but really, other than that, the mac and cheese thing is kinda it. So without further, cheesy ado...

Kuma's Corner

Kuma's Corner (click here for address and deets)
Avondale
In addition to their legendary burgers, Kuma’s also does a build-your-own mac and cheese that first sautees the noodles in butter and cream, melts a blend of Monterey jack, Gouda, and cheddar, and then lets you go crazy with additions (like bacon, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapenos, and roasted red peppers).

The Southern

The Southern (click here for address and deets)
Wicker Park
Their food truck has been known to play with specialty flavor combos, like mushroom-truffle with white cheddar and chorizo, and spinach-artichoke with chili and cheddar Sloppy Joe. But what you actually wanna order is their brick-and-mortar's standard dish.

Kailley Lindman

Smoke Daddy (click here for address and deets)
Wicker Park
Baked and breadcrumb-coated, Smoke Daddy’s mac and cheese comes in a thick, creamy, house-made cheese sauce (and an adorbs little pot!). Pair it with their smoking Bloody Mary mix.

Table Fifty-Two

Table Fifty-Two (click here for address and deets)
Near North Side
Get the bowl of molten, bubbly, three-cheese macaroni with aged cheddar, white cheddar, and Parmesan, because "molten, bubbly, three-cheese", and also because it's cooked like THIS.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken (click here for address and deets)
Avondale 
Throw a dart at HBFC’s menu and you’ll likely land upon some sort of buttery goodness, but preferably this pimento mac and c with Brunkow sharp cheddar, fusilli pasta, and garlic-butter breadcrumbs.

Lillie's Q

Lillie’s Q  (click here for address and deets)
Wicker Park
Chef Charlie McKenna’s well-rounded BBQ menu (might we suggest smoked, fried chicken with Tupelo honey paired with a moonshine cocktail??) features a crunchy, breadcrumb-topped mac and queso with corkscrew noodles.

Old Town Social

Old Town Social (click here for address and deets)
Near North Side
This Southern-style bar uses stinky Stilton blue cheese on a mac platter that also comes with cheddar, Gruyere, and (if you’re smart enough to ask [You are! You totally are!]) smoked brisket or pork belly.

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1. The Southern 1840 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Setting up shop in the former Chaise Lounge space, TS aims to be more of a down-home, laid-back boozer than its coastally inspired predecessor, with a long timber bar surrounded by wood-planked high-top tables that contribute a classy picnic vibe, but thankfully no picnic baskets, or that silly Yogi Bear would mess up EVERYTHING.

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2. The Smoke Daddy 1804 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

Smoke Daddy is a BBQ emporium in Wicker Park serving up sauce-slathered eats like ribs and brisket, while also showing its more delicate side with brunch that includes something called a "Big Daddy Breakfast."

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3. Table Fifty-Two 52 W Elm St, Chicago, IL 60610 (Near North Side)

This beautifully decorated resto's got traditional American fare (get the mac and cheese!) with delicious, cozy cocktails as well.

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4. Honey Butter Fried Chicken 3361 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

This Avondale quick-serve is a fried chicken lover's mecca that's doing great things for fast-casual dining and antibiotic-free, cage-free, humanely-raised chicken. The menu includes stellar sandwiches complemented with toppings like jalapeño mayo, Thai green curry, and the namesake honey butter; plus two, four, and eight-piece fried chicken plates served with corn muffins. There are quintessential Southern sides (we see you, pimento mac & cheese), plus dump cake for dessert. A balanced meal indeed.

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5. Lillie's Q 131 N Clinton St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Lillie's Q is expanding beyond Bucktown, bringing along its award-winning pulled pork to the Chicago French Market, supplemented with new eats like housemade kettle chips dusted in powdered pimento cheese or Carolina Dirt, which Coach K would love to get on the Tar Heels.

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6. Old Town Social 455 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610 (Chicago)

Setting out to seamlessly infuse some turn-of-the-century elegance into your classic neighborhood bar, OTS mixes luxurious touches like marble bartops, a fireplace, and a vintage shoe shine station with a menu crafted by a Blackbird vet.

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