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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The very best mac and cheese in NYC

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl full of gooey, cheesy carbs? Here's the best mac and cheese in NYC.

By Céline Bossart and Time Out contributors

Just like most other great things in NYC, it’s tough to narrow down the best of the best, but when it comes to mac and cheese, the clear winners sit a cut above the rest. So for those who can handle both dairy and gluten, go forth! There are classic comfort food dishes at soul food restaurants along with a few elevated twists and funky variations along the way. And for the vegan and vegetarian restaurant lovers out there, we’ve sprinkled in a few allergen-friendly picks for good measure.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best mac and cheese in NYC

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

1. Alaskan King Crab Mac & Cheese at Delmonico’s

Restaurants American Financial District

Since its opening in 1837, Delmonico’s Downtown location has maintained its status as a New York icon with a menu that does its standard of excellence justice. The Alaskan crab mac and cheese is no exception: It’s made with torchio pasta, Parmesan cream, Crucolo cheese and, of course, a generous amount of Alaskan crab. The dish is also available at Delmonico’s Kitchen in Midtown.

Primal Cut
Photograph: Courtesy Primal Cut

2. Lobster Truffle Five Cheese Macaroni at Primal Cut

Restaurants Steakhouse Lenox Hill

The aptly named Primal Cut takes steakhouses to the next level. From the “Indulgent Sides” menu, the lobster truffle five-cheese macaroni is worth the trip uptown all on its own—Vermont cheddar, American cheese, Monterey Jack, Parmesan and Swiss cheese cloak a truffle-infused ménage of half a lobster tail and panko-Parmesan encrusted pasta.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Kashif K.

3. Mac and Cheese pancakes at Shopsin’s

Restaurants Diners Lower East Side

The legendary eatery has relocated from the West Village to the LES, but still churns out kitchen-sink dishes for a 12-year-old’s palate, such as pumpkin-pistachio–peanut-butter–cinnamon pancakes and chicken-burrito soup. Diners marvel at the wacky fare on a 200-item menu and then bide their time to try the kitchen's bizarro brilliance found in salty, toothsome macaroni-and-cheese pancakes.

Photograph: Courtesy by CHLOE.

4. Vegan Mac N’ Cheese at by CHLOE.

Restaurants Vegan Greenwich Village

As promised, we’re coming through with a full-on vegan masterpiece from health-forward favorite by CHLOE. Now serving up its famed mac and cheese (with sweet potato and cashew magically subbing in for the latter) at five NYC locations and counting, it makes the vegan lifestyle both accessible and enjoyable, not to mention photogenic.

The Cellar at Beecher's
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sarah C.

5. “World's Best” Mac & Cheese at The Cellar at Beecher’s

Shopping Cheesemongers Flatiron

Beecher’s knows mac and cheese like no other, especially considering the cheese itself is its specialty. The “World’s Best” iteration lives up to its name and is known and loved across the city and beyond for its simplicity with a kick. It combines the house Flagship and Just Jack cheeses with butter, flour, milk, salt, chipotle chili powder and garlic powder over penne pasta, all baked to perfection.

Photograph: Courtesy Schnippers

8. Baked Mac & Cheese at Schnippers

Restaurants American Flatiron

Schnippers’ five NYC locations are known for one thing above all: comfort food. Burgers, fries and shakes are obligatory; however, the no-frills four-cheese baked mac is not to be ignored. Be sure to save room.

Queens Comfort
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jess O.

9. Atomic Fire Balls at Queens Comfort

Restaurants American Astoria

If you’re in the mood for burgers, sandwiches and all things fried, you’ve come to the right place. Queens Comfort in Astoria serves up a menu full of ooey, gooey brunch offerings. Think bacon-scallion mac and cheese and Atomic Fire Balls of deep-fried mac & cheese with Sriracha and ranch.

Photograph: Courtesy Harding's

10. Lobster Mac & Cheese at Harding’s

Restaurants Contemporary American Flatiron

Speaking of perfect pairings, the decadent lobster mac and cheese at Harding’s comes with a view of a stately black walnut bar sourced from Bucks County, Pennsylvania—homage to the American spirit of the cozy Flatiron watering hole. Béchamel and gruyère over orecchiette pasta together serve as a creamy bed for an entire lobster tail, so needless to say, it’s not for the faint of heart.

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