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Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities

March 31, 2011 12:40 PM

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My policy for good mac and cheese is quite simple — it’s gotta stick out in your mind and stick to your hips. Let’s be honest, healthy mac and cheese cannot be good mac and cheese. You need the butter, it’s gotta have lots of ooey, gooey cheese and cream is essential. It’s comfort food to the max. Take cheese, blend with more cheese, maybe sprinkle in some breadcrumbs and if you’re lucky, top with some crispy bacon or pancetta. By the time you’re done with your meal, if you’re not in a deep food coma, you’ve done something wrong.

Luckily the Twin Cities is bursting with plenty of perfect plates of mac and cheese — from mom’s classic homemade to the highbrow twist. Chalk it up to our fabulous dairy farms or the fact that we’re experts when it comes to melting a good cheddar — whatever the reason, the Twin Cities have more than enough options for satisfying a good ol mac and cheese craving. Here’s just a few that make my list.

macandcheese hautedish Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities



119 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-8484

When it comes to mac and cheese with a touch of sophistication, look no further than HauteDish. Made with king crab, thick rigatoni-like noodles and topped with truffle oil, this mac and cheese will knock your socks off. The texture leans more towards rich and creamy than ooey-gooey but the velvety result still has that same comforting effect. Order up a dish, but don’t be surprised if you don’t have room for desert.

macandcheese yum Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities



4000 Minnetonka Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 922-4000

The name really says it all. If you’re looking for that classic plate of cheesy pasta, Yum will deliver every time. Choose from the small offering (for those youngsters) or the large, for bigger appetites and don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple dish. This bowl is packed with flavor. Looking for a little kick? Try the buffalo chicken mac and cheese.

bowtie noodles Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Kings Wine Bar

4555 Grand Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 354-7928

You want to know the dirty little secret about mac and cheese? Many of the best don’t even use macaroni, because so many other noodle shapes hold that sauce even better. Take the delectable “mac” and cheese to be had at King’s Wine Bar in south Minneapolis, which at current writing uses those bowtie-shaped farfalle noodles but rotates a number of other options on what we’ll call a seasonal basis. My fingers are crossed they’ll reintroduce shells. Nothing I’ve ever had held those rich reservoirs of cheddar and gruyere-laced gooey béchamel like they did.

macncheese elis Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities


Eli’s Food & Cocktails

1225 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 332-9997

Eli’s mac and cheese is a scrumptious mix of parmesan, mozzarella, Asiago and American cheese, topped with Panko bread crumbs and baked until nice and golden and bubbly. But the best part, perhaps? You can order it until 1 a.m. daily. Personally, my mac and cheese cravings have been known to pop up at all hours of the night. And that’s when Eli’s says, “C’mon over.”

mccoys Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities


McCoy’s Public House Restaurant

3801 Grand Way
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 224-9494

If you’re looking for the old classic that mom used to make, McCoy’s has you covered — it’s even called, “Mom’s Mac & Cheese.” This Minneapolis public house credits their mac and cheese abilities as a key reason for their success. They take shell pasta, four different cheeses, toss in some Tuscan breadcrumbs and bake it until perfection. Diners can also add chicken or broccolini for an extra charge.

Muffuletta Café

2260 Como Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55108
(651) 644-9116

Just add bacon and you’ve got my attention. Muffuletta’s mac and cheese combines penne pasta, a signature four cheese sauce and tops it all off with smoky bacon. The result? A rich and filling combo that goes far beyond what your mother used to make. It’s enough to split but with the incredible flavor and oh-my-goodness smells wafting from this pasta plate, you won’t want to.


800 S Cleveland Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55116
(651) 699-1154
(And two locations in Minneapolis — check the website)

Chatterbox puts the decision-making of its baked mac and cheese up to you to perfect. Take their classic base of creamy cheddar cheese tossed with spiral macaroni, then add up to three of your favorite toppings — broccoli, bacon, lemon pepper basil chicken, ham, garlic-infused mushrooms, Italian sausage, spinach and artichoke dip, chili, black olives or grilled peppers and onions. Mix and match as you please and create different concoctions with every visit.

stpaul grill Best Mac & Cheese In The Twin Cities


St. Paul Grill

350 Market Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-7455

Offered only as a side, the baked Mac and Cheese at the St. Paul Grill is made with elbow macaroni, Tillamook cheddar and bacon and offers a perfect pairing to almost any entrée. The cheese sauce has a rich, sharp, full flavor and the bacon offers the perfect amount of salty goodness.

View Comments
  • johnjohn

    Try the Mac & Cheese at Rock Bottom. It has chicken in it and a little bit of a kick. Very Good!

  • GemmaK

    Agreed – HauteDish is incredible. One other to recommend: the Mac & Cheese at Lola’s Lakehouse is hard to beat!! Thick cheeses, tomatoes, and asparagus – it’s worth the extra drive.

  • justin

    lola lakehouse has the worst food for such a nice venue. They could do a lot better.

  • Phil

    In my opinion, the best Mac & Cheese is at Macs Industrial at University and Central just north of downtown MPLS.

  • Me, not you

    Kraft is awesome and you can bring it home from the store!

  • linda

    Best mac-n-cheese I’ve tasted is the one at Panera. It’s almost exactly like my grandma’s, and I haven’t had that in years, since she passed away.

  • Candy Ellman Johannes

    Hilarious that you say just like mom made. Ours was always Kraft. So much for homemade. But my daughter makes some awesome mac and cheese! It’s not something I would order at a restaurant.

  • Brian

    How did you miss the Mac N Cheese at Mac’s Industrial? It is the quintessential Mac n Cheese, in my opinion.

  • Joe

    The Lexington on Grand Ave has the best Mac and Cheese in St. Paul

  • Karl

    David Olson a recent graduate from the school of Le Cordon Bleu and from my opinion makes the BEST MAC AND CHEESE IN THE PRECINCT.

  • Lynn

    The lobster mac and cheese at the Boulevard Restaurant in Minnetonka is the most unique and most delicious m/c dish I’ve ever tasted. Rich, flavorful and generously sized, I had enough for three meals.

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