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Hyde Park Bar & Grill's mac and cheese
Hyde Park Bar & Grill's mac and cheese
Hyde Park Bar & Grill/Facebook

13 Tempting Mac and Cheeses in Austin

Creamy, dreamy, crispy

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Hyde Park Bar & Grill's mac and cheese
| Hyde Park Bar & Grill/Facebook

Here in Austin, comfort foods are a mainstay on menus around town, sometimes with humble mac and cheese as a headliner. And we're talking about dishes that are way beyond that blue box from your college days.

Eater's sharing 14 favorite places in Austin to find the richest creamiest mac and cheeses from a hearty version at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill to a minimalist iteration at Parkside to a vegan option at Counter Culture. Heck, there are even a couple lux-comfort mac and cheeses including Clark’s Oyster Bar interpretation with crab.

Whether you are a fan of the simple creamy mac and cheese, you need those crispy edges, or you prefer a version loaded with extras, this map has it covered. While we might disagree on which version is the best, can we all just agree that mac and cheese may be the great unifier of our nation?

Everything below is unranked. If your favorite spot is missing from the list, let us know on the tipline, in the comments, or start a post over on the forum.

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Parkside

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The sharpness of cheddar unities with a slightly sweet and nutty gruyere in chef Shawn Cirkiel's version. A sprinkle of parmesan and bread crumbs make for a crispy thin irresistible crust.

This beloved Clarksville restaurant might be tucked away off North Lamar but its mac and cheese with black truffles deserved a place front and center on the table. It’s not called crack and cheese for nothing. It's only available at the wine bar.

Counter Culture

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Thankfully this vegan and raw food destination applied its dairy-free magic to mac and cheese so all can enjoy one of the ultimate comfort foods. Choose Buffalo Mac & Cheeze Balls (served with house-made ranch) or a gluten-free soy-free main dish made with rice elbow and steamed broccoli baked in cashew cream and topped with bread crumbs.

Jack Allen's Kitchen

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This Southern-inspired local chain makes its with five cheeses, twisted elbow macaroni, and grilled achiote chicken because if one cheese is good, five are better.

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse

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Try the decadent lobster mac and cheese because a steakhouse meal isn't about holding back, is it?

Hillside Farmacy

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Sonya Coté’s eatery dishes up a mac and cheese that includes taleggio, aged white cheddar and a bread crumb and herb topping. Opt for pancetta or poached egg add-ins—or with a nod to your health, choose broccoli.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill

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The Pork & Mac at this neighborhood spot takes creamy mac and cheese studded with tangy pickled stewed peppers, adds shredded slow roasted pork shoulder, then tops it with a soft boiled egg and a sprinkle of cilantro. For the purists, however, there is a side of mac and cheese topped with bread crumbs.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

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This long-time staple in the downtown dining scene defines comfort as green chili macaroni with grilled chicken, corn bisque, and bacon gratin. For a slightly more traditional version, there’s the baked macaroni with pimento cheese, and bacon gratin.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

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The jalapeño mac & cheese at this Rainey Street hot spot is made with cheddar, manchego, jalapeños, and bacon lardons, and you can add chili for a diet-breaking experience.

Hoover's Cooking

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This Manor Road institution specializes in home cooking and thus, keeps its mac and cheese creamy and simple.

Frank Restaurant

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You could enjoy classic mac and cheese alongside your artisan sausage (add Dr. Doppelgänger BBQ sauce for some zip), but why not put it all together? The Notorious P.I.G. features smoked pork, bacon, jalapeno, and sage sausage is topped with mac n’ cheese and that barbecue sauce, served on a Frank bun.

Clark's Oyster Bar

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Shells. Cheese. Lump crab. The velvety trifecta will round out any meal this seafood spot. We applaud anyone who balances its richness with a light and effervescent glass of bubbly.

Pluckers Wing Bar

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Holy macaroni is right. You’re likely stopping by this chain of restaurants-slash-spots bars for one thing (well, two if you count the obligatory beer), but venture beyond the obvious, and you’ll find golden fried sticks of macaroni on the appetizer menu and a simple side of creamy mac and cheese.

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Parkside

The sharpness of cheddar unities with a slightly sweet and nutty gruyere in chef Shawn Cirkiel's version. A sprinkle of parmesan and bread crumbs make for a crispy thin irresistible crust.

Wink

This beloved Clarksville restaurant might be tucked away off North Lamar but its mac and cheese with black truffles deserved a place front and center on the table. It’s not called crack and cheese for nothing. It's only available at the wine bar.

Counter Culture

Thankfully this vegan and raw food destination applied its dairy-free magic to mac and cheese so all can enjoy one of the ultimate comfort foods. Choose Buffalo Mac & Cheeze Balls (served with house-made ranch) or a gluten-free soy-free main dish made with rice elbow and steamed broccoli baked in cashew cream and topped with bread crumbs.

Jack Allen's Kitchen

This Southern-inspired local chain makes its with five cheeses, twisted elbow macaroni, and grilled achiote chicken because if one cheese is good, five are better.

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse

Try the decadent lobster mac and cheese because a steakhouse meal isn't about holding back, is it?

Hillside Farmacy

Sonya Coté’s eatery dishes up a mac and cheese that includes taleggio, aged white cheddar and a bread crumb and herb topping. Opt for pancetta or poached egg add-ins—or with a nod to your health, choose broccoli.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill

The Pork & Mac at this neighborhood spot takes creamy mac and cheese studded with tangy pickled stewed peppers, adds shredded slow roasted pork shoulder, then tops it with a soft boiled egg and a sprinkle of cilantro. For the purists, however, there is a side of mac and cheese topped with bread crumbs.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

This long-time staple in the downtown dining scene defines comfort as green chili macaroni with grilled chicken, corn bisque, and bacon gratin. For a slightly more traditional version, there’s the baked macaroni with pimento cheese, and bacon gratin.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

The jalapeño mac & cheese at this Rainey Street hot spot is made with cheddar, manchego, jalapeños, and bacon lardons, and you can add chili for a diet-breaking experience.

Hoover's Cooking

This Manor Road institution specializes in home cooking and thus, keeps its mac and cheese creamy and simple.

Frank Restaurant

You could enjoy classic mac and cheese alongside your artisan sausage (add Dr. Doppelgänger BBQ sauce for some zip), but why not put it all together? The Notorious P.I.G. features smoked pork, bacon, jalapeno, and sage sausage is topped with mac n’ cheese and that barbecue sauce, served on a Frank bun.

Clark's Oyster Bar

Shells. Cheese. Lump crab. The velvety trifecta will round out any meal this seafood spot. We applaud anyone who balances its richness with a light and effervescent glass of bubbly.

Pluckers Wing Bar

Holy macaroni is right. You’re likely stopping by this chain of restaurants-slash-spots bars for one thing (well, two if you count the obligatory beer), but venture beyond the obvious, and you’ll find golden fried sticks of macaroni on the appetizer menu and a simple side of creamy mac and cheese.

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