If there is one kind of comfort food that the Twin Cities can't get enough of, it's... hot dish... or maybe Juicy Lucys. But if there's one more kind, it's probably mac & cheese. That's why we scoured MSP for eight places that, instead of serving radioactive orange bowls of elbow "pasta," are dishing out the Mini Apple's best mac & cheese. Feast your eyes...
Northeast Minneapolis If you’re ever looking to get your mac & cheese on down by the river, this is the place for you. Its take on the creamy, cheesy classic comes with a four-cheese sauce and crunchy toasted bread crumbs.
Downtown Minneapolis Just because it has "macaroni" in the name, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options. This Downtown eatery opts for penne instead and dresses the pasta in an Asiago/American cheese sauce. Topped with Parmesan bread crumbs and crispy basil, this bowl of mac & cheese should help keep you away from the stuff in the blue box.
Whittier If you want to pump up your lunch, head over to this South Minneapolis restaurant for mac & cheese done carbonara-style. Served with pancetta and a poached egg, it’s basically a guarantee that you’ll never look at mac & cheese the same way ever again.
North Loop This place is already legendary for its take on mac & cheese, but just in case you’ve had your fingers stuffed in your ears while wearing a blindfold for the past few years, these guys are doing theirs with lobster. While not the originator of the shellfish-infused pasta dish, they’ve gone above and beyond in proving that their rendition is more than worthy of a place in your mouth.
Summit Hill For whatever reason, maybe the fact that they’re owned by a James Beard Award-winning chef, the folks at Brasa can do no wrong, and their mac & cheese follows suit. The best part of the whole thing? There’s absolutely nothing fancy about it. It has macaroni, and it has cheese. The end.
Kingfield South Minneapolis' most recent addition is kicking ass and taking names (although they’re not actually taking names since they don’t currently offer reservations), and while we’re not talking about anything hyper-fancy, we ARE talking about perfectly cooked pasta, creamy cheese sauce, and a buttery bread crumb top. It’s absolutely everything that mac & cheese should be. Nothing more. Nothing less.
North Loop If you ever wanted to know what a “fine dining” version of mac & cheese would look like, look no further than to the folks at HauteDish. It’s an extremely beautiful and elegant interpretation with delicious pasta, a luxurious taleggio-based sauce, chunks of king crab, bread crumbles, and fresh herbs.
Southwest Minneapolis Mac & cheese in a pub setting may not be all that uncommon, but these guys know how to nail it. In preparation, the mac & cheese gets the tomato and bacon treatment, which adds fresh and smoky elements to help brighten up an otherwise rich dish.
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