Food & Drink

The 7 best mac and cheese dishes in Chicago

Published On 01/15/2014 Published On 01/15/2014
Smoke Daddy chi
Kailley Lindman
Kuma's Corner
The Southern
Kailley Lindman
Table Fifty-Two
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Lillie's Q
Old Town Social
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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 (Old Town)

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.