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 (click here for address and deets)
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 (click here for address and deets)
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.
Smoke Daddy (click here for address and deets)
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 (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.
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.
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.
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."
This beautifully decorated resto's got traditional American fare (get the mac and cheese!) with delicious, cozy cocktails as well.
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.
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.
Old Town Social is setting out to seamlessly infuse turn-of-the-century elegance into its classic neighborhood bar confines. The upscale, spacious, high-ceiling'ed gastropub is as good a place to watch the game as it is to enjoy a nice dinner out on the town. Nestle up to the marble bar top for front row seats to the flat screens, cozy into the front room's fireplace and sip on signature cocktails, gather a group and dine on a slew of contemporary American share plates (don't skip the mac 'n cheese), and stop by the vintage shoe shine station on your way out, of course.