Mac 'n cheese. I'm not talking about the boxed stuff. I'm talking real cheese, secret recipe mac 'n cheese. There are lots of macaroni options in town, and I'm for it. I love macaroni and cheese. Give me a side of it. Give me a bowl of it. Go ahead and just give me the family size of it. 

We asked you which C-U restaurants served your favorite mac 'n cheese, and you answered. If your favorite isn't on the list, let me know, so I can check it out and share more mac 'n cheese options.


A tall, small plastic cup holds macaroni and cheese from Caribbean Grill in a styrofoam container with a small side cup of jerk sauce behind it. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Caribbean Grill

This baked mac 'n cheese ($2.29 for a small) is what Caribbean Grill calls classic comfort food with an island twist. This macaroni was fantastic. The noodles were soft, and there were chunks of cheddar cheese throughout the side dish. This was a cheesy mac 'n cheese. The strongest flavor was, of course, the cheese which was great, but there was also a subtle jerk flavor with the pepper and other spices.

You can also buy CG's baked mac 'n cheese in a large size for $3.99 and a family size for $7.99. Check out our interview that published yesterday with Caribbean Grill's owner here

Caribbean Grill
2135 South Neil St
Champaign
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A small portion of macaroni sits on a white plate at Harvest Market. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Harvest Market

My favorite thing to get at the Harvest Market Delicatessen (besides the fried drumsticks) is the macaroni and cheese. Harvest Market's macaroni and cheese had a milky, thin sauce over pasta, a sauce that you could lick off the plate if no one was looking. I liked that the sauce was melted and smothering the elbow noodles. There was nothing particularly fancy or unique about the flavors of this macaroni and cheese, but if you like classic mac, this version nailed it. You can order a small for $1.35 like I did, and it is an amazing little snack for a pretty little price. You can order a larger size for $4.29. If you're serving a crowd — or if you really like macaroni, you can buy a two-pound container for $7.50.

Harvest Market
2029 S Neil St
Champaign
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

A large portion of macaroni and cheese from Neil St. Blues sits on a white plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Neil St. Blues

This mac 'n cheese ($5) from Neil St. Blues is a must have. This side was a good sized portion that probably could feed three or four people with other dishes, but my husband and I definitely ate it all in one night. It was too good to stop eating, in my opinion. This was a notable mac 'n cheese. It was a velvety, baked macaroni with a peppery flavor and lots of cheese. The elbow pasta was delicate and cushy, and the cheese was gooey. You can add this macaroni as one of your two sides to any of the classic entrees from Neil St. Blues' menu, and I think your mouth would be happier for it.

Neil St. Blues
301 N Neil St
Champaign
T-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Su 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A black styrofoam container holds many fried mac and cheese bites next to an open side cup of ranch dressing. One of the bites is sliced open to reveal the cheesy interior. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

NAYA

Okay, clearly this isn't traditional macaroni and cheese, but it's a fun twist on macaroni and cheese. These pepperjack mac and cheese bites ($8) are on the appetizer menu for NAYA. Fried to perfection, these bites were still warm even after a drive across town. The batter was a solid way to hold the cheesy pasta together. Clearly not cheddar, the pepperjack cheese in these bites had strong pepper notes with a buttery flavor and a bit of heat. The bites were mostly cheese with a small amount of pasta poking through the cheese. Dipped in the provided ranch dressing, these bites were phenominal. 

NAYA
212 E Green St
Champaign
M-Th 5 to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 5 to 9:30 p.m.

A small, white styrofoam container holds macaroni and cheese from Wood N' Hog. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Wood N' Hog

This handcrafted baked mac 'n cheese ($3.99) from Wood N' Hog is something special. It is really, really creamy with silky noodles. The cheese is thick, and I mean, thick. It is less of a sauce and more of a chunky, cheesy goodness on the noodles. The flavor is excellent and well-balanced, and it makes a good side to all the barbeque items on the menu at Wood N' Hog. I like that this macaroni has a good amount of pepper which balances the creamy, cheesy bits in the macaroni. 

Wood N' Hog
500 Walnut St
Champaign
T-F 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

101 W University Ave
Urbana
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F+Sa 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.