If ‘comfort’ were a food, it would undoubtedly be mac ‘n’ cheese- the greatest meal ever invented (said every person, ever!).
It may be a common favourite amongst fat Americans, but we Brits aren’t far behind so, of course there are plenty of joints in Manchester serving this marvellously unhealthy dish. I think a mac ‘n’ cheese restaurant-crawl is on the cards – who is with me?!
All Star Lanes
Probably not the first place you’d think of for good food, but believe it or not, All Star Lanes serve an astronomically good mac ‘n’ cheese! This vegetarian-friendly dish comes with fresh egg macaroni, smoked Applewood, cheddar and mozzarella three cheese sauce- ingredients I can most definitely get on board with! But it doesn’t end there; you can also add jalapenos, truffle oil, treacle-cured bacon and even chargrilled lobster tail for a little bit extra. AND you can even fit in a game of bowling before or after, too. The perfect place for a CHEESY date-night, wouldn’t you say?
All Star Lanes, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
To be honest, I can’t think of anything better than gooey mac ‘n’ cheese between two slices of crusty bread. So, thank God for Northern Soul in the Northern Quarter because they have created the most perfect sandwich of all time – The ‘Mac Attack.’ Oozing with warm mac ‘n’ cheese, you’ll never look at normal sandwiches in the same way ever again after you’ve sunk your teeth into this masterpiece. But if you’re looking for something with a little more of a kick, Northern Soul also serve the ‘Mexican Junkie’, made with chipotle mac ‘n’ cheese, chilli heatwave Doritos, jalapenos and a little sprinkle of pure magic. It’s the best £6.50 you’ll ever spend.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, 10 Church St, Manchester M4 1PN
Traditional mac ‘n’ cheese with an injection of Mexico? Erm, yes please. For all you spice lovers out there, our favourite Mexican Shangri-La is the proud inventor of a glorious side dish of mac ‘n’ cheese- topped with spicy pickled jalapenos. Talk about putting a twist on an already perfect meal! Keep up the good work El Capo, huge fan!
El Capo, 12 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
I can speak from personal experience when I say: Alabama’s serves one of the best mac ‘n’ cheese dishes I’ve ever tasted. Smothered in shredded ham hock, veggie parmesan, provolone, bacon crisps and truffle oil, it’s a buffet of flavours and textures that’ll send your taste buds wild. The creaminess of the double cheese, the saltiness of the ham and the crunch of the bacon crisps makes it a dish worth queuing for… But what else would you expect from an authentic, all American eatery?
Alabama’s All American Eatery, 10 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AN
Cane & Grain
Famed throughout the land for their succulent ribs, NQ favourite Cane & Grain also feature a spectacular list of sides and topped fries to have alongside your meat. Top of the list should be their mac ‘n’ cheese which comes smothered in three cheese sauce and is topped with some perfectly melted red cheddar. If you’ve got an ounce of sense you’ll add some beef brisket into it and wolf it down before anyone else can get their fork in there.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
Well known for their mobile antics, Mac Daddies have very recently found a permanent home so you can get your fix of gooey cheese and pasta every time you go into the Arndale Market from now on. This lot eat, breathe and live mac ‘n’ cheese so as you’d expect – it’s brilliant, and comes topped with an array of creative additions. My favourite? Oh, that’s easy, it’s The ’77 a mouth-watering concoction of chipotle infused 4 cheese macaroni, chorizo, cayenne onions and red chillies. Brilliant.
Mac Daddies, Arndale Market, 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH
There’s no sight as beautiful as cheese dangling from a fork when being guided towards a hungry mouth. It’s the true indicator of a perfect cheese-pasta ratio; and by God, have Hawksmoor nailed the ‘cheese pull’. The Deansgate- based restaurant serve a seductive side-dish of mac ‘n’ cheese, complimented by a mouth-watering crispy top that’ll make you dribble every time you take a bite. Basically, it’s the perfect side to any dish on the menu, whether you order a big juicy steak, some ribs or a big burger- its classic mac ‘n’ cheese that’ll never disappoint.
Hawksmoor, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
Dogs ‘n’ Dough
Hot dogs and pizza- is there a better combination of food? Well actually, yes, because Dogs ‘n’ Dough have also thrown some mac ‘n’ cheese into the mix too… The ‘Return of the Mac’ hot dog consists of 100% beef Frankfurt, bun, mac ‘n’ cheese and crispy fried onions- basically the best bloody hot dog EVER. And if you’re a veggie, you don’t have to miss out on the cheesy fun. Veggie franks are also on the menu for all you hungry herbivores. However, as an Italian, reading about this next dish made me tingle and shake in places I never thought possible. Mac ‘n’ cheese on a pizza, with optional bacon, crispy onions, pepperoni or pulled pork. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve heard of anything so beautiful in my life. Wouldn’t you agree?
Dogs ‘n’ Dough, 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW
Just because you’re vegan, doesn’t mean you’re destined for a mac ‘n’ cheese-less life. V-Rev in the Northern Quarter has it covered. Their Buffalo Mac & CHZ is 100% vegan friendly; and uses just-as-tasty dairy-less alternatives to create that classic mac ‘n’ cheese taste. Packed to the brim with delicious ‘baecon’, buffalo sauce, garlic breadcrumbs, ranch dressing and fresh chives, it’s difficult to see why we aren’t all vegan to be honest! Not feeling a full plate? They also serve a ‘small plate’ mac ‘n’ cheese and addictive cheez bites too.
V Rev Vegan Diner, 20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN
Red’s True Barbecue
Red’s True Barbeque- one of the best meat joints in town. From melt-in-the-mouth ribs to donut burgers, Red’s has it all; including to-die-for mac ‘n’ cheese side dishes. Their slowly baked mac ‘n’ cheese is slathered in cheesy jack sauce, then grilled to perfection with mature cheddar, crunchy onions and breadcrumbs on top. Alternatively, feel free to indulge on their deep-fried nacho crumb mac ‘n’ cheese balls with pickle BBQ dipper for a super filling side dish or starter.
Red’s True Barbecue, 22 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5WA
Notorious in the ‘burger world’, Solita in Northern Quarter has earned itself a pretty impressive reputation when it comes to burger-excellence. But did you know they serve some of the creamiest, gooiest, most gloriously cheesy mac ‘n’ cheese balls in town?! They may only come as a starter, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t order them as a side, and maybe even squish one into your burger of choice… Cheesus, Mary and Joseph that sounds good.
Solita NQ, Turner St, Manchester M4 1DW