Food & Drink

The 11 Best Bowls of Mac & Cheese in Portland Right Now

Published On 05/20/2015 Published On 05/20/2015
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
Flickr/Francis Storr
The Old Gold
Wikimedia/Visitor7
The Driftwood Room
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
Wikimedia/Visitor7
Miss Delta 
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
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1. Dig A Pony 720 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Pony was conceived after the owner's band stopped performing and a pal suggested opening a bar, which just opened at Morrison and Grand with a windowed wedge concealing a surprisingly huge riverboat saloon interior with a massive 60ft-long horseshoe bar, original 1917 mosaic tiling, and a "minimal if non-Beatles feel"...wait, so this is a Beatles bar or something?

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2. Swift Lounge 1932 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232 (Lloyd District)

Swift Lounge has got a weekly line up of shows, a "Hangover Brunch" on Saturdays and Sundays, plus cocktails like the Diesel, which's made with bourbon, root beer liqueur, and walnut bitters. Stop by for a sissy or fatty cocktail (small or large), served in one of Swift's widely-appreciate mason jars.

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3. Screen Door 2337 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Kerns)

Screen Door knows Southern cookin', modeling their menu off of such spots as South Carolina Lowcountry and Cajun flavors from New Orleans. What's more, their meals are made with local organic produce and meats to ensure you appreciate the food as much as they do.

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4. The Old Gold 2105 North Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97201 (Overlook)

The Old Gold in North Portland is somewhere between a neighborhood bar and a hip cocktail joint. It prides itself on having one of the largest whiskey collections in Portland, and though the stock is always changing, it's full of bourbon, rye, and whiskey from Japan, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland. Custom whiskey flights and pairings are available, as are house-made picklebacks. The bar also serves standout pub fare like smoked gouda grilled cheese, elk burgers, and caramelized onion-topped mac & cheese.

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5. Herb's Mac & Cheese 3221 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202

From a guy who owned a burrito joint and a shaved ice stand in Florida before Hurricane Charlie ruined everyone's good time, Herb's is a bullet-like mac 'n cheese cart in the D-Street Noshery pod towed 3000 miles from its Sunshine State home after a few visits proved Portland was a "culture of yes", meaning apparently he'd seen all good people.

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6. Driftwood Room 729 SW 15th Ave, Portland, OR (Downtown)

Sure, 007 is cool, but he could use a bit more adventurous drink order, don't you think? How about "shaken, then hit with a piece of rum-soaked fruit that's set on fire?" Well that's exactly the kind of thing that you can get at this Hollywood-themed bar in Downtown Portland, where they're serving up a number of delicious cocktails, bottled & draft beers, PNW wines, and bar bites that include crab cakes, BBQ pork sandwiches, and wings.

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7. Little Bird 219 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204 (Downtown)

From the accolade-bagging dudes behind Le Pigeon, Little Bird plays to the strengths of their Eastside bistro with a simple menu of gourmet-level poultry and seafood dishes like chicken-fried trout and seared duck breast at super affordable prices. The swanky bi-level restaurant stays open until midnight, making it an ideal spot to camp out on the weekends with a large glass of vintage or valley wine or a craft cocktail.

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8. Tapalaya 28 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

A contemporary Cajun and Creole restaurant, Tapalaya has found success under Executive Chef Anh Luu, who’s bringing a Vietnamese palette to the bayou. The changes have been subtle tweaks, but there’s certainly something special about the blue crab-stuffed, panko-crusted baked mac & cheese.

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9. Miss Delta 3950 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227 (Overlook)

Miss Delta’s Trashy Mac can be done three ways: meatloaf, gumbo, or creole sauce stewed tomatoes and okra with chicken & pesto. And at only eight bucks during happy hour, there’s no reason not to bring some friends and try them all.

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10. Grassa 1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205 (Downtown)

From the same team that brought you Lardo, Grassa's an Italian resto that dishes out house-made pastas like radiatori, chitarra, and strozzapreti with delicious Boot-inspired sauces and toppings.

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11. Le Bistro Montage 301 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

Le Bistro Montage is located in what once was the home of the Royal Hotel. Be sure to try its famous macaroni, or if you're feeling more adventurous go for the frog legs or gator bites.