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The Best Mac 'n Cheese in Metro Detroit

Slows Bar BQ mac 'n cheese. Photo courtesy of Wattyz.Since I moved back to Detroit over three years ago—I have been on a quest—a quest to find the best mac ‘n cheese in metro Detroit. Why this infatuation with a cheese and pasta dish? I’m not exactly sure where it started but I was disgusted by the offerings in the UK. Canned mac ‘n cheese, need I say more?

So, off I went questing. From Downtown to Greektown, Corktown to Clarkston, Ann Arbor to Royal Oak and all points in between.

As with any food that has a million variations, mac ‘n cheese preference is personal. I like baked mac ‘n cheese with a crispy, cheese topping. I enjoy stronger cheese flavors. The blue box might be the “cheesiest” but it’s also one of the most non-food like substances in existence.

Here are my picks for the top 5 mac ‘n cheese dishes in Detroit:

Slows Bar BQ – This one of the most talked about mac ‘n cheese dishes in the region. Creamy underneath with a nice browned cheese topping. I also love that if you order the entrée version you get to pick two side items to go with it. That’s a heck of a lot of comfort food!

Union Woodshop mac 'n cheese.

Vinsetta Garage/Clarkston Union/Union Woodshop – The self-proclaimed “The most macked mac ‘n cheese” features sharp cheddar and pinconning cheese with the crunchiest of crunchy crusts. The complete dish is fabulous but if I could just order the crispy topping, I would!

Zingerman’s Roadhouse – They have 6 different concoctions of mac ‘n cheese on their menu. Technically, I would classify the Pimento Bacon Macaroni as a pasta dish with cheese. Since that cheese is their housemade Southern pimento cheese it takes it to a whole new level. And, Bacon!

Pimento Bacon Macaroni from Zingerman's Roadhouse.

Town Tavern/Roadside B & G – I don’t always want lobster in my mac ‘n cheese but when I do, this is the place to go. This is a very rich dish, indeed.

Roast – This one makes the list for two reasons. 1. It’s $3 at happy hour. 2. They use goat cheese, which brings a different, tangy flavor.

Honorable mention: The Rattlesnake Club gets this nod for the mere fact that they dust the top with crushed Better Made BBQ Potato Chips.

I know this list won’t sit right with everyone; we all have our own tastes. Mac ‘n cheese is personal, people! But… if I were asked where to go in Detroit for the finest of comfort foods I would send people to these places.

Also of note, Rub Pub and Red Smoke just didn’t do it for me. I have yet to try macaroni and cheese at some of the other BBQ joints in the area, most notably Lockhart’s and Bad Brad’s.

What is your favorite mac ‘n cheese in metro Detroit?

Photo credit: Slows Bar BQ mac 'n cheese by Wattyz

Full Disclosure: My big, big boss (KC Crain) has a stake in Vinsetta Garage. These opinions are my own and I was smitten with the mac ‘n cheese from Clarkston Union/Union Woodshop before I was employed at my current job and before Vinsetta Garage existed.

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Reader Comments (24)

I'm hungry now haha. Always on the lookout for great mac 'n cheese too. Zingerman's is my fav, followed by Clarkston Union. Of those you listed, haven't tried it at Roast. A little further out Burroughs Tavern in Brighton is pretty good.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Thanks for the tip on Burroughs Tavern! I've never heard of it but I'll check it out sometime. :)

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Becks you need to check out the Lobster Mac and Cheese at the Twisted Rooster in Belleville ( it's REALLY good! I love mac n cheese too - it's a true comfort food.

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTammy Mayrend

Thanks! I've never been to the Twisted Rooster—I'll put it on my list.

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

You need to eat some of these Mac's POLLO CHAPIN,,,, GREEN DOT STABLES AND LEGENDS 1926,,, HERE'S LINKS ENJOY

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAL POE

Thanks for the recommendations!

I love the sliders at Green Dot Stables—but the mac 'n cheese—not so much. But as I did say, I prefer a baked mac.

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Have you tried anything from The Mac Shack? I love their Koh San Road (pad Thai) and Papa Smurf recipes!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKer

I tried The Mac Shack's "Bacon made me do it." It was good! Hope to try others soon.

July 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

The Mac Shack's Koh San Road is really good, and also I would have to vote for the Renshaw in Clawson for one of the best mac & Cheeses around!

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjesi

Awesome list!!! : )

July 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Detroit Foodie

Jesi & Ker,
OK, OK, I'll try the Koh San Road from the Mac Shack! I already packed my lunch for tomorrow (trying to eat healthy—blerg) but I'll hit Eastern Market next Tuesday and give it a try. :)

The Detroit Foodie,
Thank you!

July 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I've never heard of the Renshaw. I'll check it out—thanks!

July 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Although I'm partial to the Mac N Cheese made by my wife, another really good spot for Mac N Cheese in the Metro D is at Mt. Chalet over on Woodward & 14 Mile. If memory serves me correctly, they also have some pretty stellar Spinach Artichoke dip, too.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

One of the best I have found is the Mac N Cheese with grilled chicken at the Red Coat Tavern.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer K

Kraft dinner @ my house.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJudhe Smails

Bad Brad's is just down the street from me, and I've can honestly say theirs is the best I've ever had... but I'm not as well traveled as you are. You should definitely get out and try it, though! Also, they have the best corn bread and some good beers on tap.

July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWolfger

We are going to make a point of trying Bad Brad's soon. We aren't often on that side of town but we'll make the drive. :)

July 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

When you do try the Koh San Road, just beware it's got a kick to it (Sriracha). There's a photo of it in this post. - just to whet your appetite! :)

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKer

My favorite is the Memphis Mac and Cheese at Zingermans Roadhouse in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately it's not always on the menu.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Howe

Good to know! Thanks!

July 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

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