Mac and cheese is sure to please even the toughest critics of the household (and we all know they usually guide the dinner decisions …)
We’ve all experienced the difficulty of a toddler, child — or adult friend, ahem — who has a difficult time making up their mind when it comes to deciding where to eat. We can’t make up your mind for you, or promise that everyone in your household will be happy, but we can guide you in the direction of some of the Champaign-Urbana area’s best restaurant mac and cheese.
In writing up the Champaign-Urbana food trails, we’ve never had such a big response of people wishing to be on this “taste test panel.” If the opportunity were given, one reader commented, they would “100 percent sign up.” Pass the cheese, please.
If there is one thing that we know about this cheesy dish is that it isn’t just for kids. Some days call for a good hearty dish of this favorite comfort food.
Our readers praised Longhorn Steakhouse for its creamy Steakhouse Mac & Cheese with the crunchy bits on top, as well as Panera Bread’s white cheddar macaroni. Noodles & Co. also received more than a few mentions as one reader praised animal-shaped noodles that excite her kids.
As with all of our food trail posts, however, we focus on locally owned restaurants around Champaign-Urbana and beyond. (This list is in alphabetical order.)
Black Dog, 320 N. Chestnut St., Champaign: “I love black dog mac & cheese with extra cheese sauce.”
Farren’s Pub & Eatery, 117 N. Walnut St., Champaign: We sought to find more information about this special menu item because … mac and cheese, Farren’s … what a combination! Apparently a special gouda mac and cheese finds its way onto the menu on special occasions and from what we’ve heard, it’s delicious.
Hamilton Walker’s, 201 N. Neil St., Champaign: Featuring macaroni and cheese topped with delectable garlic parmesan breadcrumbs (or without the breadcrumbs for kids,) readers were quite enthusiastic about its dish. One reader stated her favorite mac and cheese comes from Hamilton Walker’s “hands down.”
Harvest Market, 2029 S. Neil St., Champaign: Available for carryout, as an accompaniment to your next home cooked meal, or for dine-in, Harvest Market was touted as having good mac and cheese.
Hickory River Smokehouse, locations in Champaign and Urbana: “Our out-of-town guests always ask to go to Hickory River for their mac and cheese. The kids as well as the adults always order a dish (or two).” “Hickory River has a pretty awesome mac and cheese!”
Mamma D’s Smokehouse Restaurant & Catering, food truck: Readers remembered Mamma D’s cheesy delight from Taste of Champaign and claim that it “has the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had in my life!” In its current incarnation as a food truck, Mamma D’s can often be found in Mahomet.
Neil St. Blues, 301 N. Neil St. Suite 106, Champaign: “This is some of the best, if not the best, mac and cheese I’ve ever had. Yummmm!!!! Highly recommend!”
Project 47 Smokehouse, 101 N. Lombard St., Mahomet: Customization for the mac and cheese lover in your family. Choose from elbow macaroni, a three cheese blend, and your choice of bacon, chicken, pulled pork, turkey, ham or polish sausage. It also features a kid’s mac and cheese without the extras. “Their macaroni has just a little kick to it!” “Project 47 in Mahomet has fire mac and cheese.” “We love the build-your-own mac and cheese deliciousness!”
Silvercreek, 402 N. Race St., Urbana: Readers enthusiastically recommended Silvercreek “because how can you go wrong with lobster, cheese, and pasta?” The dish is served with gruyere cheese, lobster, scallions, bacon, mushrooms, and bread crumbs.
Watson’s Shack & Rail, 211 N. Neil St., Champaign: Featuring a green chili and white cheddar mac and cheese, Watson’s side dish could easily become your entire meal.
Wood ‘N Hog, locations in Champaign and Urbana: Offering its signature baked mac and cheese for catering or as an addition to your meal, readers stated that Wood ‘N Hog “tastes like homemade – because it is.” “It tastes like mamma made it.”
Know of an addition to this list? Let us know what you love about it and email us. We could all use a little more comfort food.
Looking for more food trails around Champaign-Urbana?
- Where to Find the Best Chocolate Desserts around Champaign-Urbana
- The Best Mac and Cheese in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Best French Fries in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Best Barbecue in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- The Best Burgers in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Where to Find the Best Pretzels Around Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Find Boba Tea Around Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Area Ice Cream Trail
- Donut Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Pizza Trail around Champaign-Urbana (And Beyond)
- Cookie Trail Around Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Eat Sushi in Champaign-Urbana
- Wing Trail: 30 Places to Eat Chicken Wings In Champaign-Urbana
- Soup Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Taco Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Hot Chocolate Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Grilled Cheese Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Salad Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Slushy Cocktail Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Pie Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Guacamole Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Cinnamon Roll Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Nacho Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Hot Dog Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Cocktail Trail ‘To Go’ around Champaign-Urbana
- Cheese Curd Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Donut Trail around Champaign-Urbana