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Quest for Mac n cheese

OK My New Year's Resolution is to find the best mac n cheese in the DC metro area.
Can I get some help from the hounds

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  1. They do a pretty good one at Urban BBQ, nothing fancy however.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinwiddie

      I've held true to this resolution and have tried many mac and cheese dishes. Sorry dinwiddle Urban BBQ was really bad. Glory Days Grill was quite good. It tasted as if it had Old Bay in it. I had one at Iggy's Pizza in Baltimore that was also nice. Mild cheeses with Herb de provence. So many more to try and we are only in February!

    2. Wholefoods does a good Mac & Cheese.

      If you are ever in Seattle a must is the Mac & Cheese from the Cheese store at Pike Place Market. By far the BEST!

      1. some places to try:
        oohs and ahhs on u street (lots of posts about this restaurant on chowhound)
        levi's port cafe in barracks row (my favorite)
        flavor's soul food on the arlington/falls church border (second favorite, best fried chicken in the area too)
        whitlows on wilson (in arlington) has some great mac and cheese but horrible ambience. well, unless you like the grown-up fratboy scene.
        rock bottom brewery is a chain but has some excellent mac and cheese.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kneelconqueso

          I didn't think much of the Oohs and Ahhs mac n cheese. Maybe it was an off day, but it just tasted bland.

          Levi's is the winner here. Nice crispy slightly burnt top, rich and creamy underneath

          The Diner in Adams Morgan did a gruyere version that was good but not really the usual mac n cheese.

        2. Ohhs and Ahhs is the only one I have tried thus far and I think that it is ok. I will check out these suggestions and give you feedback.

          1. I've never had it, but a friend of mine adores the mac 'n cheese at Harry's Tap Room in Arlington. She says it's the best she's ever had.

            1. here is the best mac and cheese in dc:

              1 lb box of pasta shells, cooked al dente.
              2/3 cup of milk
              1.5 lbs of shredded cheddar
              3 tbsp butter
              dashes of cayenne pepper and salt

              Use a little bit of the butter to grease a casserole dish. Mix the pasta with the milk and most of the cheese, and the salt and pepper and put it all in there. Top it with the rest of the cheese and butter (break the butter up into bits and put it on the top).

              Bake it at 400 for 45 minutes.

              Get a spoon. Don't invite the neighbors.

              1. Red Ginger, a Caribbean restaurant in Georgetown, has the best mac n' cheese I've had in the area, and I've tried all the above.

                1. This is pushing the limits of "DC metro area" but The Canopy on 40 in Ellicott City has my favorite baked mac & cheese. If I can sneak in a chain, Noodles & Company is good for non-baked.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: little audrey

                    I tried the one at Noodles this week and it was good. There was a bechamel on the bottom and the cheese on top... it was up to me to mix it together.
                    I used to love the fries at Canopybut I haven't been back since it burned down. I would venture there for the fries and now the mac n cheese. Thanks

                  2. I love the mac & cheese at Rays the Classics.

                    1. Nice version at Red Dog Cafe in Silver Spring.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tubman

                        I second this -- tastes just like homemade.

                      2. Hanks at Q and 17th street NW has the very best Cheese & Mac in the city.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sharonc

                          I ate it there once - I seem to remember it being very much like Kraft blue box?!?

                          Maybe my memory is failing..

                          1. re: sharonc

                            I found the mac and cheese at Hank's tasty but waaaay too oily. When my bf and I got towards the bottom of the bowl we found a 2 inch thick layer of oil that kind of grossed us out.

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              Just as an update...I went back to Hank's last week and my boyfriend ordered the mac and cheese. This time it was perfect...not oily at all and very crisp on top with hot melty cheese inside. Very tasty.

                          2. Firefly in Dupont Circle has one using white cheddar. Good comfort food.

                            1. Mia's, the new Bethesda pizza joint on Cordell has really good mac 'n' cheese.

                              1. Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon has a wonderful Gruyere Mac and cheese that I always order when I am there.
                                Cafe Deluxe's (Tyson's Corner) Mac and Cheese is also very respectable.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: foodplow

                                  I second the Boulevard Woodgrill version. I had it once and I'm still thinkin about it..

                                  1. re: foodplow

                                    I've had the M&C at the Cafe Deluxe in Woodley Park, and really enjoyed it. They are nice about letting you substitute sides, so if you go and get a burger you can get the M&C instead of fries. Recommended, although the place is noisy.

                                  2. I second Rays the Classics, and add Rustico and Del Merei Grill's versions, both in Alexandria.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: round hound

                                      I agree - the mac n cheese at Del Merie is quite good.

                                    2. I second Rock Bottom Brewery's. I get it w/o the chicken though. Delicious & only second to my father's recipe in my book.

                                      1. Last week I just had Ixia's (in Baltimore, so definitely pushing your geographic limit) lobster and crab mac and cheese. It was incredible. Rich, but not overly so. It really highlighted the sweetness of the lobster.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: GenieInAbottle

                                          Actually had an extremely good lobster mac and cheese at the Dupont Grille this weekend. I had not heard good things about the place, but I'd go back. Good desserts, too.

                                          1. re: CMACDC

                                            The lobster mac and cheese at Dupont Grille is really, really good but a HUGE portion. And it's not lots of pieces mixed in. It's literally some mixed in but then a giant lobster claw that you crack and then mix in with it. Not what I was expecting but it filled me up for the rest of the day after a weekend lunch there.

                                        2. The Vidalia Mac & Cheese is incredible. Perhaps the best I've ever had.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jpschust

                                            Oh, yeah! Vidalia Mac & Cheese is a revelation, probably the best I've ever eaten. The M&C at Fleming's in Tysons Corner is also wonderful.

                                          2. I was astounded to come across the most divine homemade mac-and-cheese ever at Glory Days Grill (an otherwise typical suburban sports bar) in the Pan Am Shopping Center just outside Fairfax City on Lee Highway. Flavor and consistency were out of this world; there must have been four different types of cheese in it.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: ComplexCarb

                                              Is this the same Glory Days as in Germantown? I live in Gaithersburg and that would be much more convenient... although I am not entirely opposed to heading to VA for some superb mac n cheese

                                              1. re: gooseterp

                                                I just checked the site and yes, it seems it's the same place. Hope their menu is the same at all locations! Unfortunately, everything else on the menu was pretty forgettable.

                                                1. re: ComplexCarb

                                                  That's OK I like that bar for Terps basketball and I will just change my MO to Terps basketball and mac n cheese

                                                2. re: gooseterp

                                                  Hmm, we have a Glory Days out by us in Stone Ridge. On our last visit even their signature beef on weck was weak (ridiculously salty), so we haven't been back. We might have tried the mac n cheese but I can't remember, so I will have to do some field research. I know I'll be over there to watch some March Madness but I'll try to go before then.

                                                  I have been to the Glory Days in Pan Am and seem to recall their food being better than the one in Stone Ridge. I hope that doesn't apply to the mac n cheese too.

                                              2. I second Rock Bottom. I also get it without the chicken, and it's fantastic. Just a hint of spice.

                                                Wholefoods mac and cheese is fantastic as well.

                                                1. I really liked the mac & cheese at Equinox (818 Connecticut Ave, NW) - vermont cheddar, gruyere, and black truffle reduction. mmmmm

                                                  1. Can't believe nobody mentioned the Mac N' Cheese at Dean N' Deluca in Georgetown. Hands down the best in town. I think they use goat cheese.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. City Hall in Glover Park has a really wonderful comfort food dish---grilled pork chops, sauteed apples and some of the best mac and cheese around---a really rich and tangy gruyere cheese with spiral pasta. I hope they still have it on the menu because it's about the only thing that would bring be back to that prep emporium.

                                                      1. Kind of as a side note, but Mia's Pizza in Bethesda has a side dish of mac 'n cheese that *looks* fabulous. I can't not get the pizza there -- it's too good -- but the mac 'n cheese looks like the real thing.

                                                        1. The LOBSTER Mac N' Cheese at the Capital Grille is the best that I have ever had...hands down!

                                                          1. Have you tried the lobster mac and cheese at Rustico? They use orecchiette, Fontina cheese, a lobster bisque-like sauce (with sherry) and don't skimp on the lobster meat. If you want southern style, you're going to have to cross the river and go to Levi's in Oxon Hill, MD. They are the best I've had that's not homemade.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: anhdeluxe

                                                              The Levi's off 8th Street SE is owned by the same folks as the Oxen Hill Levi's. I imagine they use the same recipe at both. I know the 8th Street mac n cheese is some of the best in DC

                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                I work on 8th St SE and haven't heard of this Levi's place. Where is it exactly and what else do they have. I usually am stuck getting food at Marty's or the various places on Barrack's Row. Is it near there?

                                                                1. re: Elyssa

                                                                  It's at 1102 8th Street Southeast next to the Chicken Tortilla place south of the Freeway. Same block as the Quiznos across the street from the Navy Yard.


                                                                  I usually get the fried or smothered pork chops or the bbq pork ribs, with a side of collards and mac and cheese. Also, ask if they have cornbread. It's worth it.

                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                    Their sweet potato pie is worth travelling for, if I remember correctly. They had a place in Old Town, on Queen St. and I would go there for their mumbo sauce n wings, collards, mac n cheese, and that heavenly pie. I am so bummed they are not there anymore...

                                                            2. No doubt about it, the Red Dog Cafe in Silver Spring - former chef Janis McLean's own recipe - outstanding !! (I see Janis is now at the Morrison Clark Inn in DC - maybe they will add mac and cheese to their menu !)

                                                              1. I enjoyed the mac & cheese at Les Halles. It comes with either bacon or prosciutto. A vegetarian may be able to order it without the meat, but I'm not sure if it would be as tasty.