Attention Cheese Lovers! These Restaurants Have the Best Mac and Cheese in Central New York
March 10, 2021
Last updated on July 6, 2022.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a hot bowl of mac and cheese, am I right? And everyone has their own twist on it. There are different types of cheese, various pasta choices, and then deciding whether or not to top it with crumbs. So if you love mac and cheese as much as I do, you’ll love this list of the best mac and cheese in New York. Get ready to treat your taste buds!
These are no boxed mac and cheeses or frozen concoctions. These dishes are all the real deal. Fresh local cheeses, delicious creaminess, flavorful toppings… Plus, when your mac and cheese is served to you in a cast iron skillet, you know it’s going to be good!
The Best Mac and Cheese in Albany
Druthers Brewing Company – 7 Cheese Mac
It’s no secret that we search out the best breweries in town wherever we go. But when I heard that Druthers Brewing Company has not only a great selection of beer, but a fantastic mac and cheese menu, I was hooked!
Druthers’ mac and cheese comes in a very generous portion in a skillet. It’s large enough to split. But here’s a tip: you can order a half size. It’s still more than you’d expect!
Mac & Cheese Varieties: Traditional – made with 7 different cheeses! Memphis BBQ – with smoked pulled pork, bbq sauce, and jalapeno ranch coleslaw Loaded – with chicken, bacon, ranch, and bbq sauce
Not heading to Albany? No worries! Druthers has locations in Schenectady and Saratoga Springs as well.
The Best Mac and Cheese in Schoharie
The Farmers Beef and Brew – Cast Iron Mac & Cheese
When your mac and cheese comes to your table in a hot skillet on a slice of a log, you know they take it seriously! My husband and I stumbled across The Farmers Beef and Brew while on a trip to Schoharie County. It was late, but we had just enough time to eat dinner there – and we are sure glad we did! In addition to great mac and cheese, the restaurant had amazing service and a cozy atmosphere.
The Farmers Beef and Brew is the first place to bring farm-to-table dining to Schoharie. And their meals exemplify their fresh and flavorful menu! Most of their ingredients are sourced directly from local farms. In addition to the cheesy goodness, they also serve salads, burgers, flatbreads, steak, and more. Plus they feature craft beer from local breweries.
Mac & Cheese Varieties: Traditional Crispy Chicken – with jalapenos and bacon Pulled Pork
The Best Mac and Cheese in Syracuse
Beer Belly Deli – The Perfect Mac
Just because Beer Belly Deli is located near a college campus doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great food. Quite the contrary! I first checked out the restaurant when I was searching for great brunch spots in Syracuse. But before I went there, I heard do many people rave about their mac and cheese. Boy, were they right!
According to their Instagram, when restaurants got shut down last March because of the pandemic, they spent their newfound free time perfecting their mac and cheese. What a brilliant endeavor! It’s amazing. And at just $4 for a side of mac, there’s no reason not to try it. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Even better, their specials menu occasionally features a vegan mac and cheese – so my vegan friends, you can get in on the fun. Plus, they have a great craft beer menu featuring some local favorites.
Golden Spike Pub – Mac’n’Cheese
Somehow, despite having family who lives in the area, I had never been to Golden Spike Pub before this year. I met Charlie Miller there for lunch, discussing my upcoming work as a food critic for Syracuse.com. He raved about the food at this locally-famous sports bar, so I was eager to try it out for myself.
Of course it was no surprise when he was spot on! The burger was great, but the mac and cheese was phenomenal. Since it’s an item that isn’t regularly on the menu, you’ve got to keep an eye out for their specials. I tried to ask Mary, one of the owners, what’s in the recipe. Unfortunately, I was told it was a family secret. Whatever it is, go try it for yourself.
Miss Prissy’s – Southern Style Mac’n’Cheese
Located inside Salt City Market, Miss Prissy’s is the absolute best mac and cheese in Syracuse. Yes, there are other places that are great, but Dreamer has perfected her mac and cheese. The recipe has been passed down for generations in her family. Now the people of Syracuse can enjoy it as well. Perfectly creamy, without being “saucy”, this classic southern mac and cheese should not be missed.
The Best Mac and Cheese in Utica
Baggs Square Brewing Company – Spaetzle
To be fair, this isn’t your traditional American mac and cheese. Baggs Square Brewing Company has some amazing spaetzle – basically Germany’s version of mac and cheese! And it’s so good that I had to include it on this list.
Baggs Square was opened by Jenn Earl and her husband in June 2020. Inspired by their trip to Düsseldorf, Germany, brewery pays homage to their love of German food and culture. In addition to their spaetzle and German beer, the menu features some other great items. I recommend the giant soft pretzel with beer cheese & bacon jam and the obazda- a bacon-flavored soft cheese dip. Yum!
The Best Mac and Cheese in Corning
Mooney’s – 17 Varieties of Mac & Cheese
There’s more to enjoy in Corning than its famous museum of glass! Head on over to Mooney’s to treat yourself to some amazing mac and cheese. Just be prepared to make a decision – they have 17 varieties to choose from!
I first fell in love with Mooney’s after my husband raved about it on a work trip to Waverly, NY. He literally called me after dinner to tell me how good it was! Lucky for me, he stopped there again before he headed home for the weekend – and brought me a container. Holy crap. Even after having to reheat it, it was incredible!
I recently got to visit Mooney’s in person and I was shocked by the portion size. The dishes are gigantic! I highly recommend ordering a half size unless you plan on sharing with your entire family. Even at half size, I still had leftovers for two meals!
What’s Your Favorite Mac and Cheese?
Did it make the list? And don’t say your mom’s – not everybody can get that! (But my cousin Eva makes some killer mac and cheese. Just saying.)
I’m always on the hunt for some more mac and cheese goodness, so please share your favorite with me in the comments. The more creative, the better!