Mac’n’cheese – that humble dish you associate with being a child, probably eaten on a Friday night, perhaps followed by Angel Delight and Top of the Pops. Now, thanks to a food revolution, you’ll find it topped with pulled pork and fried then grilled between slices of bread. Whether you’re eating it straight from a street stall or sitting down to a bowl of lobster mac’n’cheese, it’s one dish that we’ll always make room for. Here are 8 of the best:
What: Gourmet Mac'n'Cheese
Why: Tom’s Kitchen doesn’t just have any mac and cheese – they have truffle mac and cheese. It’s like the Rolls Royce of Mac ‘n’cheese and you’ll find it on their a la carte menu and you can have it for either a starter or a main – or do as we will and order it for both. Sometimes too much is never enough.
Where: Tom's Kitchen Canary Wharf, Westferry Circus, London
What: Pimped up Mac'n'Cheese
Why: Human curiosity leads us to understand that a queue is a sign of a good thing and Anna Mae’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese truck proves this. A staple at any festival, the truck is like a beacon of light at the end of a long day raving in a muddy field. Funky macs like the Kanye Western (beef hotdog with BBQ sauce) and The Don Macaroni (with basil oil, fresh basil and bacon) are served from the HUGE pan in their trailer, aka Cheesus Loves You, in a field or street kerb near you.
Where: Various - check the website
What: Posh Mac'n'Cheese
Why: French/New York inspired all-day brasserie, Balthazar, have a baked macaroni au gratin with healthy (or unhealthy, depending how you look at it) amounts of melted gruyere and the option to add bacon, although that’s no question really. The best news is that you can have it all day long – find it on the brunch, lunch and dinner menus.
Where: 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
What: Extra cheesy Mac'n'Cheese
Why: You probably know The Cheese Truck for their insane grilled cheese toasties – image the stringiest meltiest ooziest cheese and that’s what you’ll get. When such Gods of cheese turn their hands to macaroni you know it’ll be extra cheesy – these guys make theirs with Keen’s Cheddar and Montgomery’s Ogleshield for a double whammy. Find their stall at Maltby Street Market on weekends but check their website for up to date truck whereabouts (and to see if mac is on the menu).
Where: Various - check the website
What: The Mac Daddy
Why: As far as burgers go this sounds pretty delicious to us, 6oz burger, pulled beef ribs and DB BBQ sauce, but Dirty Bones don’t just want pretty delicious they want it to be epic which is why they’ve topped it with mac’n’cheese. Melting, cheesy pasta just dripping enticingly over the pulled beef…it’s dirty.. it’s the Mac Daddy.
Where: 20 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4EP
What: Up in Your Grill
Why: If you work near Leather Lane Market then you must have heard of Grill My Cheese, if you haven’t get ready for a game changer. Open Tuesday to Friday these guys make grilled cheese sandwiches with classic names like Jay Cheese and Bean Once but it’s the Baby Got Mac that has our hearts in a flutter. Take two pieces of sourdough stuff it with cheese, mac’n’cheese, add in pulled pork and bbq sauce and you have a taste of heaven. You’ll be happy and so will your Instagram. #Phoneeatsfirst.
Where: Leather Lane Market, EC1N 7RJ
What: Lobster Mac'n'cheese
Why: Meat aficionados Hawksmoor have also turned their hands to creating serving up mac’n’cheese, sure you can have standard dish but you know what you could also have? You could also have mac’n’cheese that’s been pimped out with lobster – taking something humble and comforting and giving it the 5* treatment.
What: Truffle Mac'n'Cheese
Why: The folks at The Jones Family Project understand that there really is no such thing as too much when it comes to mac and cheese. That’s why you can customise your dish to satisfy whatever level of cheesy cravings you may be having as the restaurant offers it both as a main with a salad at lunch or as a side a la carte. If you decide to dig in and make it a meal, choose from yummy toppings such as Ginger Pig bacon and chicken, or just keep it plain because, let’s face it, it’s delicious just as it is.
Where: 78 Great Eastern Street Shoreditch EC2A 3JL