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

There's nothing better than reading this list of the 11 best bowls of mac & cheese in Portland, except maybe reading a list of the PDX's most important restaurants... or um, eating said bowls of mac & cheese. But other than those things, this list is pretty much it. Feast your eyes...
 

Dig A Pony

Southeast Portland
​What you're getting: Macaroni & Cheese
DAP is still serving a seriously sweet mac (even though it raised the price a buck to $6 during happy hour) with a blend of four cheeses, including Face Rock Monterey Jack, plus caramelized onions, jalapeños, and breadcrumbs, and it pairs perfectly with a beer and a seat looking onto SE Grand.
 

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Swift Lounge

Irvington
What you're getting: Bacon macaroni & cheese
Gooey cheddar and bleu cheese-based macaroni topped with house-cured bacon, shallot, and -- for an extra $1-- homemade kimchi. Hell, you can even get some fried chicken on it if you want!

Flickr/Francis Storr

Screen Door

Kerns
What you're getting: House mac & cheese
The thick crust is expertly designed to trap heat while maintaining a crispy exterior, which means you can concentrate on all but sucking the marrow from SD's excellent fried chicken until you're ready for the exemplary rendition of Southern-style mac & cheese.

The Old Gold

The Old Gold

Overlook
What you're getting: Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese
This popular neighborhood hangout is good at more than just burgers. Its Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese is a secret favorite (oops, not any more) in NoPo and even comes with a small side salad to make you feel like you’re eating healthy.

Wikimedia/Visitor7

Herb's Mac and Cheese

Sunnyside
What you're getting: A double helping of something
This spiffed up food cart in the Good Food Here pod off of Belmont is made to look like a '50s diner, and it has been serving some of the city’s best macaroni & cheese for almost four years now. All macs start with penne in its secret cheese blend and begin at $5 for regular or $7 for double. After that go hog wild on various meat, vegetable, and cheese toppings.

The Driftwood Room

Driftwood Room

Goose Hollow
What you're getting: Driftwood Mac & Cheese
This simple but elegant homage to the golden age of Hollywood may have recently lost its charming bartender, but the cocktail program remains intact, and so does the absurdly affordable happy hour food menu and its filling, no nonsense $7 mac & cheese -- a hearty bowl of velvety noodles that never disappoints.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Little Bird Bistro

Downtown
What you're getting: Macaroni Gratin
Okay, so Gabriel Rucker’s Downtown French bistro calls it Macaroni Gratin, but we know what it really is. And sure, it’s got a three cheese blend of Tillamook white cheddar, Emmi Gruyère, and whatever chef’s in the mood for, but we also know that it’s going to be delicious. Haven’t you had the burger?

Wikimedia/Visitor7

Tapalaya

Laurelhurst
What you're getting: Crabby Mac
This contemporary Cajun and Creole restaurant has recently found success under new Executive Chef Anh Luu, who’s bringing a Vietnamese palette to the bayou. Most of the changes have been subtle tweaks, but there’s certainly something special about the blue crab-stuffed, baked mac & cheese.

Miss Delta 

Miss Delta

Overlook
What you're getting: Trashy Mac
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.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Grassa

Downtown
What you're getting: Pork Belly Mac & Cheese
If one of our favorite pork belly dishes is mac & cheese you better believe it’s going to find its way onto this list. Grassa’s handmade pasta comes with a sweet barbecue pork belly, jalapeños, and crispy cornbread crumbs.
 

Le Bistro Montage

Southeast Portland
What you're getting: One of nine (!) mac & cheeses
It was a divisive decision to leave this off of our last round-up. Most of y’all jumped into the comments to tell us how stupid we were but, at the time, Montage’s game was slipping. We’re happy to report that its back to its old self again.

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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.

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