I’d like the Mac n’ Cheese Please!
I have written many articles for GRKIDS, but this topic is my wheelhouse. My editor wanted someone to sample all the best mac and cheese dishes in Grand Rapids? SIGN ME UP.
A dozen GRKIDS team members gathered at my editor’s house to try 9 highly-recommend mac n cheese dishes from around Grand Rapids. What would we think of these locally-recommended mac and cheese dishes? Would they measure up to the hype?
We each rated the dishes on categories such as cheesiness, texture, and presentation. There were great conversations and laughs as we evaluated each dish on its individual merits.
We may not be professional food tasters, but I think we did a good job rating the mac n cheeses!
The 8 Most Delicious Adult Mac N Cheese Dishes You’ll Find in GR
Award: Best Mac n Cheese AND Creamiest Mac n Cheese
We’re just going to start with our favorite mac and cheese. Nearly everyone on the team was completely wowed by this dish.
I enjoy a spicy kick to my food, so in my mind this dish was already absolutely perfect. I am also a sucker for skillets – something about cooking with a cast iron skillet makes me feel like the dish comes more alive with flavor.
If the look doesn’t give it away, the smell will! Just looking at the creamiest red macaroni in cheese made me want to smell its inviting aromas. Once I actually took a bite, I pretty much melted. It was beyond creamy, the perfect amount of spiciness, and all the ingredients were impeccably cut to the perfect size. I loved this macaroni and cheese dish, and definitely will be going back to try the two macs on the menu.
Aiming to highlight the community that they love, Westside Social Tavern believes the westside is the best side. With deep roots in the westside, the owners want you to come in, grab a drink, enjoy the patio fireplace, or dine out with your family. Being one of the newer restaurants in town, we couldn’t wait to try their food.
Award: Most Sophisticated Mac n Cheese
The Green Well’s mac and cheese was a delightful departure from the norm. The moment I looked at this dish I knew it was the most sophisticated macaroni and cheese on the table.
The flavor explosion that was going on in my mouth was amazing, and all the ingredients blended so well together. The chicken, ham, bacon, peas, caramelized onions, and mushrooms, all perfectly cooked, and the textures all astoundingly worked so well together. I have never had a meal like this before, and I can’t wait to go back and try it again.
Located in lovely East Hills District, The Greenwell is all about serving honest fayre with local flair. Trying to be as green and localized as possible, they prepare their menus with ingredients from small, local and sustainable farmers for the best-tasting and creative food.
Award: Opposites Attract (Best Meat Lovers & Best Vegetarian Options)
The first mac n’ cheese dish we tried was the whiskey BBQ pork and haystack onions. Right away I knew this would be a meat lover’s go to mac n’ cheese. The different layers of food make your mouth start to water. At the bottom of the dish is the gooey cheese noodle layer, and then a BBQ pulled pork layer is the cohesiveness that holds the enormous haystack onions on top of the dish. The unique flavor of smokiness helps this dish be one of the most creative in town!
The spinach pesto mac was equally unique and delicious. With a mixture of mushrooms, spinach, and pesto, topped perfectly with caramelized mozzarella. This herbaceous dish will certainly be a vegetarian delight at dinner.
Cascade Township’s first brewpub is a community local spot to enjoy original beer, cider, wine and spirits. They have a passion for all things culinary and offer comfort food as good as mom’s cooking, as well as American Classics. They have two choices of macaroni and cheese to choose from and we got try both!
Award: Best Seafood Mac n Cheese
One of the best flavor combinations in town! White cheddar and smoked gouda wrapped around heavenly lumps of crab and macaroni noodles, and then is topped off with bacon and fresh slices of avocado.
Definitely a seafood dish in town you don’t want to miss!
Lowcountry is Southern fare from the coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia with influences from other southern areas, such as New Orleans. The menu highlights some of those amazing flavors using traditional ingredients, heritage grains, and top-quality meats and seafood while adding a little Michigan flare.
Award: Best Shell Mac n Cheese
While HopCat is known for serving the best beer on the planet, and their food is pretty good as well. And of course, they have one of the Top 10 French Fries in America according to Food Network Magazine, so their mac n’ cheese can’t be that far behind, right?!
If you are a fan of creamy cheese and shell noodles, this dish is for you! The noodles are smothered in a cheesy cream sauce, and basil is drizzled on top of this noodle mountain. As you dig in, there are perfectly cooked marinated tomatoes you can sink your teeth into. The next time your family asks for the shell macaroni and cheese from a box, you’ll be dreaming of this mac n’ cheese! Try one of their four combo suggestions to take explore your palette.
Award: Raise a Glass to This Mac n Cheese
The Electric Cheetah’s menu is constantly evolving, but one thing remains the same: they always have exciting mac and cheese dishes to try. There are currently four types of macaroni and cheese dishes you can order, the base to all of them is a yummy seven-cheese blend.
The Wait For it Mac had a perfect amount of bacon chunks and green onions incorporated into the dish. Tiny breadcrumbs layered the baked dish to resemble mom’s homemade mac n cheese, and the dish made me feel like I was at home!
Homestyle American comfort food with an electric twist, is one way to describe The Electric Cheetah’s menu. The constantly changing menu keeps customers coming back for different renditions of their food. Not to mention all the different types of root beer you can try. (Can’t decide which to try? – Go for the Root Beer Flight!)
Award: Most Creative Mac N Cheese
Right away you are wowed by this parmesan crisp sitting upright on a bed of cavatappi noodles. The you bite into a wonderful blend of veggies, grilled chicken, and bacon. The creativity of this plate will keep you coming back!
Twisted Rooster is committed to the Mitten! Their culinary team combines the freshest local ingredients and bold flavors to serve our guests a tasty twist on classic American fare.
No Matter Which of These Dishes You Choose, You’re in for a Treat
Bon appétit, Grand Rapids!