Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate side dish, but the creamy comfort food classic isn’t an afterthought at these Valley dining establishments – it’s the main event! Make it a meal at these seven local eateries.
Pizza People Pub
The mac and cheese at this charming gastropub made the cover of our November 2019 issue simply because it looks as good as it tastes! Pizza People offers 10 variations of the baked mac including spicy jalapeño, buffalo and smoky paprika plus other flavorful iterations such as mushroom and blue cheese. Can’t decide on a flavor? Try a flight of three mini macs for $10.
1326 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-795-7954, pizzapeopleaz.com
We love Lux for its fresh pastries, strong coffee and creative cocktails, but let’s be real, we can’t make a stop at this spacious java joint without ordering the mac and cheese. Spice things up with jalapeños or pack in some protein with bacon. Snag a seat on one of Lux’s cozy couches and enjoy.
Two Valley locations, luxcoffee.com
The Main Ingredient
This ain’t pasta out of a box. It’s macaroni baked to perfection and mixed with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes with a dreamy pesto drizzled on top. Plus, it comes with grilled bread to sop up all the glorious remnants.
2337 N. Seventh St,. Phoenix, 602-843-6246, tmialehouse.com
We’ve long sung Windsor’s praises for its retro-cool décor, fabulous cocktails and fun snacks (forever craving the fondue with crisp apple slices). But between us, it’s the mac and cheese that keeps us coming back. Taste (creamy white cheddar) and texture (breadcrumbs) unite in this version of the quintessential comfort food. Pro tip: Add hot sauce or pepper flakes for an extra kick.
5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-279-1111, windsoraz.com
We went gaga for this foodie darling’s recent menu revamp, which introduced a Beyond Burger and hot dogs dusted with Hot Cheeto crumbs. But we’re grateful that it also kept some of the classics, which include a monster plate of mac and cheese loaded with fresh smoked gouda and muenster, breadcrumbs and chives. For a lil’ extra oomph, add Brussels sprouts for $3.
29 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, 602-495-1111, welcomediner.net
Classic mac gets a major makeover at The Montauk. We’re talking three types of cheese (smoked gouda, Havarti and Parmesan) plus chives and your choice of lobster, shrimp, steak or chicken.
4360 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480-994-1888, themontaukaz.com
Spoke & Wheel
Comfort food is king at this North Central neighborhood haunt (think burgers, chicken and biscuits, hearty soups and nachos) where you can reap the benefits of all-day happy hour when you stop by on your beach cruiser. The creamy mac and cheese is a must-order and pairs great with a pitcher of beer or sangria.
8525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-870-8860, spokeandwheeltavern.com