Long a staple of the kids menu, mac and cheese in NYC has grown up, thanks to elegant ingredients like gruyere, duck, and lobster. But this comfort food also comes with hot dogs and hamburger, and even plain, for any purists in the audience. Simply put: there’s a version out there for everyone. By Jessica Allen/ John Friia
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel
145 East 50th Street
New York, NY 10022
Whether it is the sizzling summer or freezing winter, New Yorkers can head to Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel to get their rooftop fix anytime of the year. Boasting stunning views of Midtown and the Chrysler Building, the year-round rooftop lounge serves a mouthwatering Truffled Mac & Cheese. The cheesy dish is made with Swiss and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and is great to pair with one of their signature cocktails while overlooking the skyline.
206 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10026
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The birthplace of Bebop Jazz merged with The Cecil to create Minton’s in Harlem. The upscale jazz club brings an intimate dining and musical experience to the neighborhood while serving up Afro-Asian inspired dishes. While the menu has changed, there is one dish that remains a classic and favorite among the crowd. Their macaroni and cheese is smothered with bits of ham, truffle butter, roasted garlic and topped with a layer of smoked Gouda.
54 Prince Street
New York, NY
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The single-minded devotion to mac and cheese on display at Macbar earns it a spot on this list. In fact, this Nolita restaurant, run by the same folks as the popular Delicatessen next door, loves mac and cheese so much that the interior was designed in shades of yellow and brown to resemble the dish. Among the offerings here is the “Mayan Chipotle,” with chihuahua cheese, green onions, and chicken, or the “Mac Stroganoff,” with stewed mushrooms and braised beef in a sour cream sauce.
Murray’s Cheese Bar
264 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
Murray’s Cheese has been the purveyor of high-quality cheese since 1940. Located in the heart of the West Village, the cheese bar serves their signature Murray’s Classic Mac & Cheese — a creamy dish of their secret four-cheese blend. New Yorkers can also try their seasonal Mac & Cheese, which brings the flavors of the season to the dish and is rotated every few weeks.
91 South 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Tucked in the streets of Williamsburg is Loosie’s Kitchen, the ideal place to find refuge and indulge in delicious food and drinks. Among the Southern-style inspired menu is their mouthwatering Mac & Cheese Carbonara. The irresistible dish is served in a skillet with ham, comté cheese, homemade ricotta and an egg yolk cracked to perfection. While this dish makes for the perfect Instagram post, it is also the perfect comfort dish.
One of America’s first fine dining restaurants serves a decadent Mac & Cheese dish that shows why people continue to make Delmonico’s the restaurant to go. Whether people are heading to the original location downtown or the new outpost in Midtown, they can indulge on the King Crab Mac & Cheese made with Torchio pasta, Parmesan cream and Crucolo cheese.
Beauty & Essex
146 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
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Behind the secret door at a Lower East Side pawn shop is one New York’s most popular restaurants. Beauty & Essex brings the atmosphere of the roaring twenties to modern day and serves a creamy Lobster Mac & Cheese with a little kick. The dish is filled with pieces of lobster, pickled jalapeno, jack cheddar cheese and topped with gremolata bread crumbs.
Heidi’s House By the Side of the Road
308 East 78th Street #3
New York, NY
At Heidi’s House, you can get the macaroni and cheese plain or, for a few extra dollars, with gluten-free pasta made from rice; with bacon, from “properly fed piggies,” according to the menu; with lobster; or with chorizo. No matter what, it’s a cheesy mass of carbs, a dish to fortify you for cold weather, to put meat on your bones and make you go up a size or three in pants. Some might scoff, arguing that mac and cheese should stand on its own, and the housemade, 100% organic spiral pasta definitely does. But bacon makes it better.
173 Montrose Avenue
With multiple locations, Brooklyn MAC wants to be the borough’s go-to for yummy macaroni and cheese. It has our vote. Versions are named for neighborhoods: the Greenpoint, for example, has kielbasa sausage, horseradish, cheddar, and broccoli, while the Carroll Gardens has brie and caramelized apples. Perhaps the real innovation here is the ability to make your own, choosing from such ingredients as mozzarella, grilled chicken, Romano, tomatoes, and hot dog.