New York City restaurants can seem to have infinite cheesy offerings, from simple cheese plates to luxurious cheese soufflés. While most cheese dishes are worth indulging in, sometimes you’re on the hunt for the cream of the crop. Check out these restaurants for NYC’s best mac and cheese, fondue, grilled cheese and more.
Murray’s Cheese Bar: Buffalo Cheese Curds
264 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
Murray’s Cheese Bar opened in 2012 to better serve selections from the vast underground cheese caves shared with neighboring Murray’s Cheese. The menu rotates heavily around – surprise! – cheese dishes. Cheese flights, for instance, offer perfect sampling opportunities like It’s All Gouda (Ewephoria, 2 Sisters Isabella and Aged Goat Gouda). But Murray’s Buffalo Cheese Curds, $10, are a star on the menu. Fried Wisconsin Cheddar curds are doused in tangy hot sauce and served with Black River Blue Cheese dressing and celery.
Little Muenster: Grilled Cheese
100 Stanton St
New York, NY 10002
Grilled cheese is front and center at Little Muenster, a tiny Lower East Side eatery. Little Muenster’s menu is small, including less than 10 grilled cheese sandwiches and a few sides. But each sandwich is a cheesy, buttery hit. The menu rotates seasonally, and uses unique flavor combos like Gouda with shaved pork belly and caramelized onions (the Pig Belly, $11) or sharp white cheddar with avocado, lemon and herbs (the Veggie, $9). If you’re looking for a classic reminder of your childhood, The Classic, $7, combines white American cheese, tomato and bacon.
Bourgeois Pig: Fondue
111 E. 7th St
New York, NY 10009
This East Village eatery offers a fondue-heavy menu in an over-the-top setting: think deep red walls and plush, throne-like chairs. Each of the Bourgeois Pig’s fondues is a hit, from the Lobster Bisque Fondue (shrimp and lobster stock with white cheddar) to the French Onion Fondue (gruyere, caramelized onions, beef broth and thyme). But the Rarebit Fondue, $24, best strikes the balance between classic and funky, with Cheddar, dark beer and “grains of paradise.” All fondues are served with roasted potatoes, toasted baguettes, roasted vegetables and seasonal fruits. Added bonus: get your cheese fix on a Monday or Tuesday for half-priced bottles of wine after 5 p.m.
Casaville: Baked Brie
633 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016
This Murray Hill tapas spot focuses primarily on Middle Eastern cuisine. Stick to the small dishes, all of which are perfect to share, like Lamb Sliders with figs and Gorgonzola or Merguez Sausage Skewers with tomato and cilantro. The Warm Brie Cheese, $8, features a hunk of Brie fried until thoroughly gooey. Served with fried grapes, honey and toasts, this cheese dish hits the sweet/savory nail on the head.
Artisanal: Mac And Cheese
2 Park Ave
New York, NY 10016
Artisanal is essentially a cheese lover’s trifecta. The Park Avenue bistro is also home to a large cheese cave and a retail cheese counter, where you can bring home one (or three) of the hundreds of offerings. Come for lunch or dinner to experience Artisanal’s Mac and Cheese, offered as an $11.50 side or $21.50 main course. Penne pasta nestles into a sauce heavy on the Gruyere and Parmesan, with a toasted panko Parmesan topping.
Adrienne Smith manages Lifestyle & Entertainment content for CBS Local. Follow her on Twitter.