Where to find the UK's best mac ‘n’ cheese

It might just be a simple combination of cheese and pasta, but that doesn't make mac ’n’ cheese any less of a comfort food superstar. Restaurants across the UK are championing this humble dish in a seriously tasty way, and it’s your duty as a cheese lover to sample the best. Here at DesignMyNight we're giving you the low-down on where to find the cheesy goods, from London all the way to Glasgow. Whether you’re tucking into a wild truffle mac ‘n’ cheese at London’s best Scottish eatery or a jalapeño-packed number at Absurd Bird; it’s time to pull out your favourite pair of elasticated trousers and dig in.

1. Mac & Wild - London

Mac & Wild is every meat-lover’s paradise, and if you want to experience a bit of Scotland without leaving London, it's the only place to do so. They stock over 200 whiskies, they use fresh Scottish produce in their dishes and they have a virtual gun room that’ll transport you to the Highlands in no time at all. But it’s the cheese-centric sides you need to turn your attention to when you visit. Their haggis mac ‘n’ cheese is a creamy, crumble-topped dream. If you're a veggie, you can indulge in their beautifully rich truffle version that’s just as good.

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2. Joe's Southern Table & Bar - London

Joe’s Southern Table & Bar is an American-style joint in Covent Garden specialising in Southern soul food; so it’s needless to say that mac ‘n’ cheese has a star role on their menu. Developed from original recipes, their super stringy version is made with curly macaroni, four types of creamy cheese, and it comes finished with a biscuit crust. Enjoy it as a side, or treat yourself with it as a main dish, but don’t even think about going home without trying their legendary fried chicken.

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3. Absurd Bird - London

If you’re after a mac ‘n’ cheese that’s like a big hug in a bowl, you need to get yourself down to Absurd Bird. Southern-style chicken is one of their best selling dishes, but that doesn't mean that they aren't a dab hand when it comes to mac ’n’ cheese. You can choose from their baked dish with a generous helping of melted cheese, or if you're feeling daring, try the Absurd version. It’s mac n’ cheese packed with smoked chicken, crispy bacon, and jalapeños for a fiery kick.

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4. Dirty Bones - London

When it comes to comfort food, there’s no place quite like Dirty Bones. Specialising in New York-inspired dishes; the first dairy-packed dish you need to try here is the mac ‘n’ cheese side, made with a heavenly combination of taleggio and smoked cheddar macaroni, topped with parmesan breadcrumbs. If you’re after something a little bit different, go for the notorious Mac Daddy Burger. It’s made with a brisket and dry aged steak burger that’s piled with pulled beef short rib, before being smothered in cayenne and coffee-spiked BBQ sauce and mac ‘n’ cheese.

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5. Tank & Paddle - London

If craft beer, metre-long pizzas and ridiculously good mac ’n’ cheese are up there with your favourite things, prepare to fall head over heels with Tank and Paddle. Catering to all your cheese fantasies, they have four mouth-watering variations to choose from. If you want to keep it simple, go for The Manifest Mac - their traditional mac ‘n’ cheese with a crumbly finish. Otherwise, pick from The Smoky, featuring smoked bacon pieces, The Mac Attack that’s packed with pulled chicken and BBQ sauce, but if you love spice, The Hot One is packed with pepperoni and fiery chillies.

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6. Maxwell's Bar & Grill - London

Constantly dreaming about mac ‘n’ cheese? If you want to cure your craving, it’s best to do so in a place that treats mac ’n’ cheese like the king of comfort food that it is, and that place just so happens to be Maxwell’s in Covent Garden. Available either as a side or main, prepare to be transported to cheese heaven as you feast on their offering of curly macaroni glued together with no less than four different cheeses and a crunchy biscuit top.

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7. Rose Villa Tavern - Birmingham

The Rose Villa Tavern isn’t just any old boozer, it’s a Birmingham stalwart set in a Grade II listed building that serves delicious American diner-style grub seven days a week. So you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that their cheesy pasta offering is second to none. You can have yours piled high on one of their hotdogs, or you can tuck into one of their five sides. Choose the cheesy classic, or get adventurous with maple bacon and Spanish chorizo toppings, vegetarian chilli, BBQ chicken or Sloppy Joe. Head down here any Thursday and the guys in the kitchen will make your regular portion a large.

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8. Roasters Deli - Glasgow

The guys at Roasters Deli are pretty serious about their mac ‘n’ cheese. Think we’re exaggerating? You can get the cheesy dish as a gluttonous side portion, and as a filling for a grilled sandwich that contains an incredibly moreish three cheese sauce with peppers and jalapeños. Thought the mountainous cheesy indulgence stopped there? Think again, because they also have a McLovin’ burger, which is a heavenly tower of fried mac ‘n’ cheese patty, a house blend patty, American cheese, and lashings of mac ‘n’ cheese to finish.

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9. Cane and Grain - Manchester

When you need a cheesy (and carb-fuelled) fix in Manchester, there’s no better place to head than raucous rib joint, Cane and Grain. Dedicated to serving American-style comfort food and cocktails in equal measure, you’ll want to turn your attention to their mac ‘n’ cheese special when you visit. It’s made with heaps of melted blacksticks blue cheese stirred through curly macaroni, before being topped with mouth-watering slices of crispy bacon.

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10. MEATliquor - Brighton

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, the American-style food empire that is MEATliquor should be on your radar by now. The Brighton joint rocks the trademark urban, neon-clad look much like its sister venues in London, and it’s your duty as a mac ‘n’ cheese fan to visit. You’ll find mouth-watering burgers on the menu, but you simply can’t declare yourself a cheesy pasta know-it-all until you’ve tried their deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites. These are sticks of mac ‘n’ cheese encased in a crispy skin, served with tangy marinara sauce, and they taste out of this world.

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For more info on the best restaurants in London, and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter

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