Gone are the days of eating mac and cheese from a cardboard box in your college dorm room. Now that we’ve reached #adult status (though tbh, we still keep KD stocked in our cupboards just in case), we need mac and cheese that reminds us of our childhood but with an upscale twist.
From gourmet versions drizzled with truffle oil and chock-full of chorizo, to vegan-friendly options and more traditional takes on our fave pasta dish, the mouthwatering renditions are truly endless. Here are the best spots across Canada to indulge in a gooey, creamy bowl of mac for the next time you’re craving a comfort food fix.
Best Mac and Cheese in Vancouver
Find it: 2420 Main St., thewallflowermoderndiner.com.
The low-down: Vegan mac and cheese lovers, rejoice! This homey diner creates a comfortable experience for all types of eaters, whether you’re vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian.
Varieties: One mac and cheese entrée perf for vegans looking to get their fix. The Baked Mac n’ Cheesy uses vegan cheddar for its sauce and gooey topping.
Find it: 1100 Burrard St. (downtown location), burgoo.ca.
The low-down: Specializing in comfort food, this urban bistro is a go-to spot for those looking for a hearty, feel-good meal.
Cost: $14 or $16.
Varieties: Two dishes inspired by our southern neighbour: a classic with aged white cheddar and a fully-loaded version with onions, peas and bacon, topped off with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.
The Flying Pig
Find it: 102 Water St. (Gastown location), theflyingpigvan.com.
The low-down: This modern Canadian bistro prides itself on the use of fresh, local ingredients and simple, yet bold flavours for its classic dishes.
Cost: $9 (side) or $15 (entrée).
Varieties: Choose from truffle-infused four-cheese mac and cheese to pair with your dinner main or go big with the Beef Stroganoff Baked Macaroni, which is drizzled with a Cabernet mushroom cream.
Find it: 2 Water St., peckinpahbbq.com.
The low-down: This Carolina-style BBQ joint may be known for their fall-off-the-bone ribs, pulled pork and brisket, but their Southern-style mac and cheese is out of this world.
Varieties: One unique cheesy creation—the Baked Mac n’ Cheese: aged cheddar, Bomber ESB beer and grainy dijon mustard for some bite, sprinkled with a bacon-cornmeal crumble (in other words: not even close to the KD you ate as a kid).
Reel Mac and Cheese
Find it: This mac and cheese truck is constantly moving, so keep your eye out at popular Vancity events, or see if you can track them down at reelmacandcheese.com.
The low-down: This gourmet food truck is a one-stop-shop for all things mac and cheese.
Cost: $8 to $12, depending on the dish.
Varieties: Twelve different types, ranging from a Japanese-inspired version with roasted seaweed, teriyaki sauce and mayo to a crispy, cheesy deep-fried mac and cheese ball. Our fave: the The Slumdog Millionaire, with curry, peas and crispy onions.
Best Mac and Cheese in Calgary
Bookers BBQ Grill + Crab Shack
Find it: 316 3 St. SE, bookersbbq.com.
The low-down: We know what you’re thinking: “Mac and cheese at a smokehouse and crab shack?” Fear not, this rustic BBQ spot serves up a spicy, flavourful mac and cheese dish with a side of Southern comfort right in the East Village.
Cost: $10 (half portion) or $15 (full portion).
Varieties: The Baked Mac & Cheese is perfect for those who are looking for some heat: jalapeño and smoked cheddar make this pasta dish anything but basic. Order it at the resto or from their takeout menu, or continue your cheesy carb high with a pint of their signature dish to take home.
Vintage Chophouse & Tavern
Find it: 320 11th Ave. SW, vintagechophouse.com.
The low-down: Not only is this luxe steakhouse known for its award-winning cuts but it is home to some delectable mac and cheese too.
Cost: $16 to $36.
Varieties: Two different mains (we can’t resist the decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese with white truffle oil and cheddar) and a side dish of a truffle-infused version that pairs perfectly with a juicy steak—boujee, right?
4th Spot Kitchen & Bar
Find it: 2620 4 St. NW, 4thspot.com.
The low-down: This cozy resto and lounge offers a little bit of everything (handmade pizzas, burgers, gourmet salads), plus an extensive wine list to pair with their iconic mac and cheese.
Varieties: One standout, fully-loaded main: This Ain’t No Store Bought Mac n’ Cheese,with spicy sausage, tossed in a rich cheese sauce and topped with a panko parm crust—the name truly says it all.
Find it: 200 8 Ave. SW, theguildrestaurant.com.
The low-down: Although Alberta’s premium cuts are the main culinary attraction at this high-end, ultra modern eatery, their mac and cheese starter is ideal for those looking for a filling snack.
Varieties: For a fancy weekend brunch with your gals or a late-night nibble at the bar, the Deep Fried Mac & Cheese app drizzled with truffle ranch dressing is equal parts creamy, crunchy and cheesy.
Find it: 1126 Kensington Rd. NW, highergroundcafe.ca.
The low-down: Specializing in fair trade, organic coffee, this environmentally friendly café is all about going green and cooking up food that makes you feel good too.
Varieties: One customizable mac and cheese with a blend of four cheeses—add bacon or roasted veggies—an excellent pick-me-up during a café work sesh
Best Mac and Cheese in Edmonton
Blue Plate Diner
Find it: 10145 104 St. NW, blueplatediner.ca.
The low-down: Paintings by local artists line the walls of this colourful, old-school diner but it’s the classic all-day eats that really make this place a hometown favourite.
Cost: $13 to $19.
Varieties: Their house mac and cheese is loaded with rich béchamel sauce, aged cheddar and mozza, topped with fresh tomatoes. For you meat lovers out there, add some diced chicken or sausage to really take it to the next level.
Find it: 8440 109 St., noorish.ca.
The low-down: This yoga-studio-meets-vegetarian-eatery dedicates itself to promoting a conscious and balanced lifestyle starting with nourishing, good-for-you food.
Cost: $16 (lunch) or $18 (dinner).
Varieties: One fully vegan Truffle Mac n’ Cheese with brown rice pasta, a lobster mushroom “cheese” sauce, finished with truffle oil and coconut “bacon”—perf to treat yourself to after a sweaty yoga sesh.
The Next Act
Find it: 8224 104 St. NW nextactpub.com.
The low-down: This 25-year-old establishment in Old Strathcona is a go-to after-hours spot for a casual dinner and drinks—wash down your mac and cheese with a brew from the pub’s extensive bevvie menu.
Cost: $14 or $16.
Varieties: Two different versions depending on your mood: a classic dish or the baked mac and cheese with bacon and jalapeños for a burst of smokey and spicy flavour.
Find it: 10704 124 St. NW, northernchickenyeg.com.
The low-down: Head chefs (and BFFs) Matt Phillips and Andrew Cowan took their passion for music, food and booze and turned it into an inviting spot that brings modern Southern soul food to Edmonton.
Cost: $6 (small) to $10 (large).
Varieties: One only, but it’s a memorable one: the quirky Dorito Mac and Cheese is a creamy bowl of mac sprinkled with crushed Dorito crumbs—a pairing we never knew we needed.
Best Mac and Cheese in Saskatoon
The Burning Beard
Find it: 731 Broadway Ave., thebeardonbroadway.com.
The low-down: Known for its comfort food, this up-and-coming family-run biz serves up gourmet pub grub, like their house-breaded burgers, meaty calzones and, of course, gooey mac and cheese.
Cost: $8 to $16, depending on the type and the portion size.
Varieties: With three different mains and a side, you can choose between a smoky, spicy or simple version of your fave feel-good dish. We recommend the version with sautéed mushrooms, smoked bacon and a housemade garlic cream sauce.
Congress Beer House
Find it: 215 2 Ave. S, congressbeerhouse.com.
The low-down: For the beer enthusiast looking for a joint that offers local cuisine and brews (32 beers on tap to be exact), this gastropub on 2nd Ave. is for you.
Varieties: One bowl of creamy mac for your dinner main, with a blend of three cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar and Grana Padano ), chopped tomatoes, garlic and caramelized shallots—pair it with a pint from the beer houses’ menu for the ultimate flavour combo.
The Rook & Raven Pub
Find it: 154 2 Ave. S, therookandravenpub.com.
The low-down: This cozy pub in the heart of downtown is a great gathering place because of its comfortable, dimly lit atmosphere and gourmet pub eats paired with condiments, bread, pickles and more all made in-house.
Varieties: To satisfy all of your meat, cheese and carb cravings in one go, sample the Pork Belly Mac & Cheese: a decadent combo of housemade chorizo and pork belly with a three-cheese mustard cream sauce, maple and panko bread crumbs.
Best Mac and Cheese in Winnipeg
Marion Street Eatery
Find it: 393 Marion St., marionstreeteatery.com.
The low-down: With the motto “good food made simple,” this local eatery devotes itself to uncomplicated, delicious comfort food using homegrown produce.
Varieties: One hearty main: the eatery’s mac and cheese with broccoli florets and bacon, tossed in sharp aged cheddar cheese sauce and finished with a pretzel topping for a twist on the classic breadcrumb crust.
Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge
Find it: 877 Waverley St., bellissimo-restaurant.com.
The low-down: This chic locale serves up authentic Italian fare and dedicates lunch one day a week to our fave pasta dish—Monday afternoons will never be the same.
Cost: $10 to $16.
Varieties: A line-up of six different takes on Mac & Cheese Mondays, like the flavourful Chicken Marsala and the Spicy Italian, plus a mouth-watering lobster mac on the other days of the week. For something a bit lighter(ish), try The Veggie Monster, made with fresh artichokes, spinach, red onions and mushrooms with their signature four-cheese béchamel and topped with a panko crust for some crunch.
Find it: 75 Forks Market Rd., smithrestaurant.ca.
The low-down: With a rustic lodge-style interior, the resto is all about a “farm-to-table” ethos and appreciation for Canadian ingredients and craftsmanship.
Cost: $9 (side) or $14 (main).
Varieties: A smaller portion for supper alongside their catch-of-the-day or eponymous burger, or the Smith’s extra cheesy mac with old cheddar and cottage cheese and sprinkled with a bacon and blue cheese crumble—it will cure any hangover at your weekend brunch or lunch.
Best Mac and Cheese in Toronto
Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese
Find it: 162 Ossington Ave. #3, bobbiesues.com.
The low-down: From the owners of Poutini‘s and Hawker Bar, this two-year-old take-out stand is known for its mac and cheese—there are even vegan and gluten-free options so everyone can fulfill their comfort food craving.
Cost: $6 to $8 (small), $10 to $13 (large).
Varieties: With over 10 different types, ranging from the Carbonara Mac with pancetta, Grana Padano cheese and an egg to the nostalgic Camp Mac with sliced hotdogs and yellow mustard, you are bound to find a flavour combo that will tickle your tastebuds. A must-try: the Buffalo Blue Mac loaded with pulled chicken, crumbled blue cheese and Frank’s Red Hot sauce.
Find it: 696 Queen St. E, myprohibition.com.
The low-down: The gastrohouse’s dark wooden interior, draft beer selection and delectable comfort food make it a great spot for a romantic date or a late night dinner and drinks with your crew.
Varieties: The T.O.’s Best Truffle Mac & Cheese with a blend of gruyère, emmental and L’Ermite bleu cheese, chopped shallots, black truffles, truffle oil and to top it all off, a jalapeño-applewood cheddar biscuit crust.
Cut the Cheese
Find it: 2901 Dundas St. W, cutthecheese.com.
The low-down: Living up to its name, this over-the-counter joint is just as obsessed with cheese as we are, serving up gourmet grilled cheese and mac and cheese with an urban twist.
Cost: $7 to $11, based on what type of dish you order.
Varieties: A diverse roster of six mac and cheese mains, like the Shroomin’ for the mushroom enthusiast or the Southern Comfort with buttermilk popcorn chicken, sweet bell peppers, corn, banana peppers and savoury emmental cheese. Our fave for a chilly day: the Sasquash, with roasted butternut squash, oven roasted tomatoes, snow peas and smoked gouda.
Find it: 372 Bay St., thegabardine.com.
The low-down: This intimate restro nestled in the city’s financial district prides itself on old-fashioned cooking, complete with chicken pot pie, mouth-watering cheeseburgers and good ol’ mac and cheese.
Cost: $21 to $23.
Varieties: One simple, yet flavourful bowl with a herbed breadcrumb crust—or with smoked ham if you’re looking for some extra protein.
Find it: 873 Bloor St. W, bloomersto.com.
The low-down: This resto/café/coffee shop on Bloor is a homey destination for vegan foodies looking for delicious, filling mains and sweet treats—they also cater to gluten-, soy- and nut-free eaters.
Varieties: One vegan-friendly starter of the gluten- and nut-free Mac and Cheesy with a housemade “cheese” sauce and broccoli, baked in the oven until golden and crispy—pair with a hearty beta bowl, tofu club sammie or cobb salad, and finish off the meal with something sweet from their selection of baked goods.
Best Mac and Cheese in Ottawa
Bite Burger House
Find it: 108 Murray St., biteburgerhouse.com.
The low-down: Aside from their standout burgers and nachos, this locale in the Byward Market knows how to do mac and cheese, which contains ingredients from local suppliers—everything tastes better when it’s from home.
Cost: $10 to $12, depending on your add-ons.
Varieties: One customizable main with St. Albert sharp cheddar, parm breadcrumbs and your choice of meat (pulled pork, double smoked bacon, hot dogs) and veggie toppings (red onions, mushrooms, tomatos, jalapeño) to truly make it your own. Or amp up your burger with panko crusted mac and cheese on the Mac Daddy ($18).
The Wellington Diner
Find it: 1385 Wellington St. W, thewellingtondiner.ca.
The low-down: Whether it’s the all-day brekkie or the endless line-up of baked mac and cheese, this casual, family-friendly diner is a fave amongst locals in the nation’s capital looking for their comfort food fix.
Cost: $13 to $16.
Varieties: Seven baked mac and cheeses, including the Pesto Chicken with basil pesto, baby spinach, bell peppers and grilled chicken and the Sicilian with spicy sausage, peppers and onions in a garlic cream sauce. Try the chef’s fave: the Philly Cheese Steak with tenderloin steak, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms smothered in a cream cheese sauce.
The SmoQue Shack
Find it: 129 York St., smoqueshack.com.
The low-down: This downtown resto offers traditional BBQ like ribs, pulled pork, brisket and jerk chicken from the smoker, but their gooey and crispy mac and cheese is the perf pairing that might just steal the show.
Cost: $5 or $10.
Varieties: One homemade mac side dish in two different sizes, made BBQ-style—a substantial accompaniment to some good ol’ Southern BBQ.
Find it: 356 Richmond Rd., churchillsottawa.com.
The low-down: This contemporary tavern, located in the heart of the Westboro village, is fully equipped with draft beers on tap, local pub eats and a quaint patio, perfect for people watching.
Varieties: One smokey, cheesy main for lunch or dinner made with macaroni noodles coated in a three-cheese bacon béchamel sauce, plus St. Albert cheese curds to add a classic Canadian touch.
Find it: 250 City Centre Ave., artisinbakery.com.
The low-down: A mix between the cafés of Paris and Brooklyn, this gastrobakery has a menu of scrumptious baguettes, baked goods and breads—chef and founder Kevin Mathieson is a classically trained pastry chef (nbd).
Varieties: Stop in for brunch or lunch on Mac Mondays for a special, once-a-week savoury treat. The resto’s mac and cheese is made with their famous cheese sauce and finished with panko, parm and pesto, plus an added ingredient (or two) depending on the chef’s inspiration each week.
Best Mac and Cheese in Montreal
Dinette Triple Crown
Find it: 6704 Clark St., dinettetriplecrown.com.
The low-down: This rustic takeout joint combines French Canadian and Southern influences for one-of-a-kind comfort food. In the summer, they pack your food in a wooden basket for a picnic lunch in the park—so cute for the ‘gram.
Cost: $9 (petit) or $15 (grand).
Varieties: The petit or grande mac and cheese has all the classic ingredients like cheese, cheese and more cheese, sprinkled with freshly chopped green onions—share one so you still have room to sample other goodies on the menu.
Macbar et Fromage
Find it: 1345 Ontario St. E, macbar.ca.
The low-down: Ranging from classic combinations to really out-there fusions, this trendy restaurant truly has something for everyone—as long as it is smothered in melted cheese.
Cost: $9 to $15, depending on which flavour combo you choose.
Varieties: Eleven mac and cheese entrées to choose from, like the Cheesburger Mac with ground beef, cheddar, red onion, lettuce and a mustard-mac cheese sauce. For the minimalist, try the mac and cheese grilled cheese called Le Smack. Or go big with the Montréalais, an excellent choice that captures the flavours of the city, with cheddar and swiss cheese, mushrooms and melt-in-your-mouth Montreal smoked meat.
Le Robin Square
Find it: 520 St Laurent Blvd., @lerobinsquare.
The low-down: With quirky decor and locally sourced ingredients, this family-run urban bistro in Old Montreal does a rich, scrumptious mac and cheese—just look at the dish’s name.
Varieties: One filling portion for lunch or dinner with the chef’s Christmas ham, swiss cheese and a roasted garlic cream sauce, finished with a drizzle of black truffle oil and a pinch of Hawaiian salt.
Le Cheese Truck
Find it: 5976 Monkland Ave., lecheesetruck.com.
The low-down: This petite dining spot and food truck is dedicated to highlighting the diversity of Quebec’s cheeses through their comfort food—all of our lactose dreams have finally come true.
Cost: $17 (medium) and $23 (large)
Varieties: Inspired by mom’s mac and cheese, the dish comes with sweet peas, cauliflower, cheese sauce and caramelized cheese for the top. They also have add-ons—bacon and onion is a fave with the regular customers.
Find it: 3820 St. Laurent Blvd., burger-royal.com.
The low-down: If you’re looking for feel-good fast food (and killer mac and cheese), this spot recreates comfort food with sustainability in mind—they use free-range, hormone-free Quebec beef and chicken for their burgers.
Cost: $6 to $16, based on which kind you order.
Varieties: Fourteen types of mac, from the Fleur de Lys with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and cheese curds to a heafty portion on top of their hot dogs and burgers—they truly put it on everything and we are here for it. A must-try: the Mexican with guacamole, chilli, pickled jalapeños and sriracha, plus their homemade béchamel with local Quebec cheese.
Best Mac and Cheese in Halifax
The Foggy Goggle
Find it: 2057 Gottingen St., thefoggygoggle.ca.
The low-down: Stocked with a cute patio and signature cocktails, this cozy bar calls their pub creations “comfort food with attitude.”
Cost: $14 to $16.
Varieties: Three variations for lunch and dins, and a brunch-friendly option called the Afternoon Delight Mac n’ Cheese with bacon, tomato, red onion and an egg on top, covered in hollandaise sauce. Or you can create your own from their list of pizza toppings.
2 Doors Down
Find it: 1533 Barrington St., go2doorsdown.com.
The low-down: Using the Nova Scotian region as culinary inspiration, the resto’s menu is constantly changing depending on what is fresh and in season, showcasing the flavours of the Maritimes.
Varieties: The Roasty Veg Mac n’ Cheese loaded with smoked cheddar, kale and a cauliflower-Brussels sprout gratin, finished with gouda and cauliflower breadcrumbs for lunch or dinner or indulge in some mac with their smoked pork chop ($23).
The Stubborn Goat
Find it: 1579 Grafton St., stubborngoat.ca.
The low-down: This laid-back gastropub in downtown Hali is known for its craft beers and high-end comfort food, like a line-up of creative mac and cheese combinations.
Cost: $13 to $16.
Varieties: A roster of twelve dishes, topped with braised beef, fried chicken or roasted chilies, to name a few drool-worthy combinations. For something unlike anything else, try their mac and cheese with smoked salmon.
Find it: 1014 Barrington St., lickthebone.com.
The low-down: Over-the-counter style, this BBQ spot cooks up Southern-style fare—the slow-cooked meats might be the stand-out, but don’t underestimate their mac and cheese.
Varieties: One creamy side dish to pair with their ribs, BBQ sammies or beef brisket, made simply with a decadent cheese sauce and macaroni noodles.
Best Mac and Cheese in St. John’s
The Celtic Hearth
Find it: 298 Water St., bridiemolloys.ca.
The low-down: Go back in time at this historic Irish pub where you can learn about the rich history of St. John’s through old photos that line the walls of this 150-year-old building.
Varieties: If you’re looking for a little nibble to share with a group of friends, try the party platter, which has a sample of their fried mac and cheese, or go all in and order their dinner entrée with fresh lobster meat, shrimp and mussels drizzled with a garlic parmesan cream sauce and topped with panko breadcrumbs.
Find it: 131 Duckworth St., harbourroom.ca.
The low-down: Overlooking the St. John’s harbour, this scenic spot offers a wide-range of eats any time of the day, but something from the sea, like their lobster mac and cheese, is a must-try.
Varieties: It is only fitting for a seaside resto to have a standout lobster mac: their signature dish features fresh-off-the-boat lobster, leeks, goat cheese and a dash of truffle salt.
Watch: How to make French onion macaroni and cheese
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