Mac & cheese can come in many forms and variations other than a bright blue box. These mac & cheese options below take a new spin on the classic.


(credit: CBS Local Chicago)

1) Quack Mac

The mac & cheese bar at Perennial is a foodie’s delight. My personal favorite is the Quack Mac. Quack Mac, is made with smoked gouda, duck confit and apple. The only problem with the mac & cheese at Perennial is that there isn’t enough in the tiny bowl! If you’re really in a mac & cheese mood, try their Taste Menu.

Pick 3 taste size portions of the options below:

  • My girlfriend’s vegan mac, brown rice pasta
  • The standard mac, 3 cheeses, edamame
  • The quack mac, smoked gouda, duck confit, apple
  • Carbonara mac, guanciale, red onion, quail egg yolk

1800 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 981-7070
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2) Mac & Cheese Pizza

Ian's Pizza

(credit: CBS Local Chicago)

Why eat your mac & cheese in a bowl when you can eat it on a pizza? Take two of the best foods on the planet (mac & cheese and pizza), combine them together, and out comes a slice of Ian’s Mac & Cheese pizza. This is truly a mac & cheese masterpiece.

Ian’s Pizza
3463 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 525-4580
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3) Mac & Cheese Truck

The Southern Mac & Cheese Truck
Coming to a Chicago street near you

Just when you thought there wasn’t a non-traditional mac & cheese joint close enough to you — The Southern’s Mac & Cheese Mobile Truck, comes barreling into your neighborhood. Yes, it’s really happening. Mac & cheese is hitting a street near you. The Southern’s executive chef Cary Tay, prepares a variety of different macs weekly, and tweets the trucks whereabouts throughout the city. Follow the Southern Mac & Cheese Truck on Twitter @thesouthernmac to stay up to date.

Sample mac & cheese varieties include:

  • Cheddar cheese with grilled Vienna Beef franks
  • Pulled chicken blue cheese and buffalo sauce
  • Smoked gouda, apple and walnuts
  • Sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions

Check the website weekly for updated menu options.

The Southern Restaurant
1840 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
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4) Build Your Own

If you’ve ever dreamed of putting your own favorites in mac & cheese, dreams do come true. The Build Your Own Mac & Cheese at Lockdown Bar & Grill, offers mac & cheese with your choice of two items: Bacon, caramelized onions, carnets, cherry tomato, chorizo, gorgonzola, green onion.

Lockdown Bar & Grill
1024 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8565
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5) Lobster Mac & Cheese

For a seafood twist to mac & cheese, look no further than the Capital Grille. Lobster mac & cheese is baked campanelle pasta and fresh lobster meat, tossed in a mascarpone, havarti and grana padano cream sauce, topped with panko bread crumbs and grated white cheddar.

The Capital Grille
633 North St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 337-9400
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6) Truffled Mac & Cheese

The truffled mac at Smith & Wollensky is a more refined take on the traditional dish. Served as a side for two, this generous portion of truffled mac & cheese is topped with crunch and filled with gooey, smoky flavor. For mac & cheese with a view, make sure you sit by a window. The views on the Chicago River can’t be beat.

Smith & Wollensky
318 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 670-9900
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7) Macaroni & Cheese Spaghetti Salad

Macaroni & Cheese Spaghetti Salad at Pearl’s Place is a delicious throwback to a good old fashioned summer BBQ. This side combines the best of two worlds; mac & cheese and pasta salad. The cool, creamy mac & cheese is a lighter (in taste – not calories, unfortunately) alternative to the traditional mac.

Pearl’s Place
3901 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 285-1700
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Lauren Wulf, CBS Local Chicago