Mac & cheese is possibly the South's greatest edible contribution to American culture, and Miami's technically in the South, ergo Miami's got good mac & cheese, right? Riiiight... except as you'll see from our list of Miami's 12 best mac & cheese dishes, the 305's takes on this classic, which are packed with lobster, truffles Gruyère, etc., owe wayyyy more to the fact that this is America's most European city than to the fact that it's also the most "Southern." Feast your eyes...
OTC Mac & Cheese
OTC (address and info)
It changes its mac & cheese dish on the regular, but its current one with cauliflower and its signature cheese sauce is... um, as good as something with cauliflower in it can possibly be?
Mac n’ 3 Cheese
FINKA Table & Tap (address and info)
Macaroni & cheese at a Cuban-ish restaurant? Eso no pasaba en Cuba, chico! Maybe not, but here it comes with carne asada, bacon, scallions, and three (!) cheeses.
Gnocchi a la Parisienne
Brasserie Central (address and info)
Mac & cheese hooked up with a Parisian and came out covered in Béchamel and Gruyère cheese. It could very well be the most decadent thing you’ve had all year, but since it’s French, decadence is a given.
Mac & Cheese
Swine Southern Table & Bar (address and info)
In 50 Eggs land, Yardbird usually takes the cake, er, cheese in the mac category, but we say, move over cause "pig tail" macaroni, bacon, five cheeses, and toasted bread crumbs sounds like stiff competition.
Lobster Mac N’ Cheese
Devon Seafood + Steak (address and info)
You’re probably going to be hungry after all that making out on the outdoor patio. Continue the romantic vibe with a side of Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, which actually comes with a generous amount of the sexy (read: expensive) ingredient.
Ms. Cheezious (address and info)
Mac & cheese meets that other acceptable kid favorite: the almighty grilled cheese. This thing boasts creamy Gouda mac and bacon between two slices of sourdough bread, and... um, somehow still isn't the best sandwich at this truck, not when they're also making Southern Fried Chicken & Waffle Melts.
Mac and Cheese
American Social (address and info)
Last year, we told you about its sister restaurant’s Traditional Mac Skillet, but Brickell takes it up a notch with orecchiette and Vermont cheddar with add-on options like short rib, grilled chicken, rock shrimp, wild boar, and black truffles.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
RED, The Steakhouse (address and info)
Now that LeBron’s gone, Peter Vauthy can go back to being the most famous Clevelander around these parts. His Béchamel, herb, and lobster mac & cheese is still so HOT, it’s managed to make its way onto this list again.
Orzo Mac + Goat Cheese
Vintro Hotel and Kitchen (address and info)
We don’t blame mac & cheese for wanting to change it up now and then, maybe go on vacation. In this case, orzo replaces macaroni and goat cheese reigns supreme. Spinach is also thrown in for healthy measure.
Crab Mac and Cheese
Shula’s 347 Grill (address and info)
No offense steak, but when we’re in a cheesy mood, this crab mac & cheese is the man of the hour with elbow pasta, Boursin cream sauce, lump crab meat, Parmesan, and crushed garlic croutons.
Gratin de Macaroni
Bistro Cassis (address and info)
This new restaurant has been a hit partly due to this little number, which adds some French flavor into an American original with elbow pasta, smoked bacon, green peas, and Parmesan and Gruyère in a light cream sauce.
Gratinée of Mac and Cheese
Meat Market (address and info)
Sometimes, it’s best to not mess with an original. Chef Sean Brasel keeps things simple at his mainstay steakhouse with noodles, cheese, and a quick toasting under the salamander for a crispy exterior.
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1. OTC1250 S Miami Ave, Brickell
2. Finka Table & Tap14690 SW 26th St, Miami, FL 33175, Miami
3. Brasserie Central320 San Lorenzo Ave, Coral Gables
4. Swine Southern Table and Bar2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables
5. Devon Seafood + Steak11715 Sherri Lane, Kendall
6. Ms. Cheezious7418 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
7. American Social690 Southwest 1st Court, Miami
8. Red, The Steakhouse119 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
9. Vintro Hotel & Kitchen2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach
10. Shula's 347 Grill6915 SW 57th Ave, South Miami
11. Meat Market915 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
12. Bistro Cassis118 Buena Vista Blvd, Miami
OTC does it right with fast, order-at-the-counter service and a laid-back Southern Florida atmosphere. There's a progressive menu with a fresh ingredient presence (duh). Also, they're pretty proud of their Indie-rock music selections.
This homey gastropub serves unique Cuban fare with Peruvian and Korean influences. Surprisingly, its mac & cheese is one of the best in Miami with carne asada, bacon, scallions, and three (!) cheeses
Brasserie Central Miami is a long, narrow Parisian-style bistro whose row of barstools seemingly goes on forever. The space is decorated with tin basins of baguettes that stand at attention like flowers in a vase, and lights hang from above in multi-shaped, multicolored glass-blown globes. The menu is served from late morning into the night, meaning you’re sure to find snacks or plates suitable for any time of day (and any type of appetite). French favorites include Coq au Vin Lyonnais, slow cooked in red wine with mushrooms, onions, and bacon, Steak au Poivre, with garlic spinach and a cognac demi-glaze, and Gratin Dauphinois. Top your meal off with a carafe of white, red, or rosé, and you’ll be in haute cuisine heaven.
Bacon is one of the best foods ever - but the rest of the pig isn't so bad either. Especially at Swine, where chefs serve pork with everything from maple butter and grilled apples to beans and barbecue sauce. Swine Souther Table is one of our top favorite places to get BBQ in Miami.
Dwyane Wade is no longer the only Chicago-born star in Miami with the arrival of Devon, a Chi-based meatery bringing its 12yrs of ex-sear-ience to a massive South Miami joint.
One of Miami’s best and most popular food trucks has gone brick-and-mortar, complete with a woodsy back area with games, plus a bar so you to wash down your grilled cheese with a local craft beer. Grilled cheese options go savory with bleu cheese and bacon; pulled pork melts; Frito Pie sandwiches (I know); and build-your-own's; or sweet (think marshmallows, Nutella, and ricotta).
Embracing the hard-working spirit of America, American Social is the ultimate destination for a post-work drink. Bedecked with red, white, and blue furniture and peppered with issues of LIFE magazine on the walls, American Social is a relaxing spot for dinner and drinks. Start off your meal with shared plates like Peekytoe Crab Toast, with red peppers, shallots, mustard, aioli, cucumber, jalapeno and tarragon on a pumpernickel crouton or rock shrimp tacos. The extensive menu encourages you to nibble on burgers and sandwiches, salads, and pub dishes like cheesy fries with pickled jalapeno, ranch, scallions, and proteins like chicken, rock shrimp and short rib. And last -- but certainly not least -- its spectacular waterfront views are enough to (maybe just maybe) restore your faith in the country.
Once voted Sexiest Steakhouse of the Year (by Playboy, no less) and beloved by A-listers, Red delivers on all the swanky fronts. But we suggest you let the food -- from appetizers like seared foie gras and caviar with crème fraiche to the steak and seafood entrées -- do the talking. Throw in a fully-loaded wine list, and the fact that Red is one of the few places in the country to use Miyazaki beef (like Kobe but more marbled), and you've got a steak night to remember.
They've got an extensive raw bar as well as large entrees like lamb chops, forbidden rice with exotic mushrooms and hangar steak frites with salsa verde to share or order all to yourself.
This South Miami spot has some great food, but if you're only going to get one thing, get the Crab Mac and Cheese with elbow pasta, Boursin cream sauce, crab meat, Parmesan, and crushed garlic croutons.
If this list were based on craft cocktails and happy hours alone, Meat Market high-end selections would blow every other place out of the water. This Lincoln Rd steakhouse has managed to have one of the Beach’s longest-running happy hours, complementing its menu of prime meats and filets -- which you can also get in half sizes if your date’s not so big on 12oz steaks. And remember to bring your credit card, because this market's fares will be your once-a-year indulgence.
For a meal that is as authentic as it gets outside the country, hit up this place. Gruff French waiters take your order in an open, airy brassierie, and serve fresh bread before bringing you traditional dishes like coq au van, steak au poivre, and the house-made Boeff Borguignon with root vegetables, tagliatelle pasta and a red wine sauce.