The deep freeze has set in and one of the best ways to cure the winter blues is with a comforting bowl of mac and cheese. This simple yet indulgent classic American dish comes in many forms—from home-style recipes that evoke memories of childhood comfort to creative offerings made with the finest ingredients—and you’ll find them scattered all around Chicago. Hats and gloves are necessities in winter, but a cheesy blanket of goodness definitely isn’t far behind.
As is to be expected, several barbecue restaurants are highlighted on this list because they show their meats and sides equal amounts of love. Other places, like Kuma’s Corner and Hot Chocolate, have long been renowned for their prowess with cheese and noodles and will never let you down. So put down that Kraft box and check out the map below to find the best spots for some tantalizing (and powder-free) mac and cheeses.
The winter weather might be quite dreadful but Lettuce Entertain You’s barbecue restaurant is comforting cold Chicagoans with the sounds and flavors of the South. Jam out to country tunes, throw back a few whiskey shots and soak up the alcohol with creamy, drool-worthy mac and cheeses. Purists can stick with the no-frills “Phoebe’s Classic” while carnivores can opt to top it off with pork or spicy chipotle-brisket.
The elegant River North steakhouse isn’t all about the beef. The menu also offers an elevated mac and cheese that’s an aromatic blend of housemade pasta, white cheddar, fontina, truffled butter, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and Hobbs Farm bacon. Top it off with grated breadcrumbs and you’ve got the perfect, decadent dish to complement the mouth-watering steaks.