In my sorority house, late-night snacking is a huge thing. Favorites include Milanos, popcorn coated in olive oil, and of course, Kraft mac and cheese. One day, as I was microwaving my Easy Mac and scrolling through Instagram, I saw the creamiest, most decadent homemade mac and cheese. Although I still consumed my Kraft, I longed for some high quality stuff. After perusing the Internet, I created a list of the best mac and cheese menu items in the US for when I can afford mac and cheese that's more than $1.29. (You're welcome for sharing.)

1. Uptown Mac & Cheese from Granville Cafe 

Location: Various locations in SoCal, including Burbank and Glendale

I had to kick off the list with Granville's mac and cheese. It's become a tradition. Whenever I'm home on break, my parents bring me to Granville the night before I fly back to Northwestern and I always get the Uptown Mac and Cheese. Not only does it have a great balance of the richness from the cheddar-gruyere combination and the freshness from the crunchy asparagus and basil, but I associate the dish with wholesome memories with my family.

2. Macaroni & Cheese from Rocky & Carlo's Restaurant & Bar

Location: Chalmette, Louisiana 

When you think of mac n cheese, you envision those elbow macaroni noodles covered in a cheese sauce. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's a social construct; mac and cheese can be made with any noodle shape. Rocky and Carlo's uses perciatelli pasta, proving that good mac and cheese doesn't discriminate against pasta shape. Plus, you can even top your heaping bowl of cheese and carbs with fried shrimp, because what else are you to do in NOLA?

3. Lobster Mac 'N Cheese from Capital Grille

Location: Across the country

Fine dining and chain restaurants seem like mutually exclusive terms, but Capital Grille is here to prove otherwise. At Capital Grille, you can get a cast-iron skillet packed with a four-cheese pasta topped with fresh Maine lobster that'll make you feel like you're on the East Coast regardless of which part of the country you're in.

4. Kenny G's Mac And Cheese from Arrogant Swine

Location: Brooklyn, New York

At Spoon, we love our wacky waffle creations, and so discovering that Arrogant Swine does, too, made my day. It's a crispy waffle oozing with mac and cheese that comes with a side dip of queso, because there is no such thing as too much cheese.

5. The Famous Mac & Cheese from Crave Kitchen & Cocktails

Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Hailed Esquire's "most life-changing mac 'n cheese in the nation" by 85 percent (!!) of those surveyed, Crave's mac and cheese is popular and beloved, and for good reason. The thick, gooey cheese blend is baked and topped with breadcrumbs, and additional toppings like bacon and BBQ pulled pork are available, too. My ticket to South Carolina is booked.

6. Gorilla Mac & Cheese Dog from Steve's Hot Dogs & Burgers

Locations: St. Louis, Missouri 

Portable and dependable, hot dogs are my go-to picnic food because you honestly can't mess them up. But you can sure pack on the toppings and really elevate this simplistic bite. at this St. Louis joint, the famous Nathan dog is topped with mac and cheese, bacon, and fried onions. I mean, you've got your three main food groups: cheese, bacon, and fried stuff.

7. Mac & Cheese Burger from Ainsworth

Locations: NYC, New York and Las Vegas, Nevada

There are some images that will haunt me for the rest of my life, and Ainsworth's Mac & Cheese Burger is one of those images; I've never seen anything so beautiful. A perfectly-cooked medium rare burger patty is sandwiched not only between two buns, but also a layer of fried mac and cheese and scoop of gooey mac and cheese. Here's a video to see how this work of art is created.

8. "World's Best" Mac and Cheese from Beecher's Handmade Cheese

Locations: Seattle, Washington and NYC, New York

Beecher's mac n cheese is Oprah's favorite of all time, so you know it's got to be good. The cheese made in-house, and each bite is sophisticated, refined, and complex. Though the line can go out the door, it's well worth the wait. Plus, you'll have more time to look over the menu and perhaps order something to go along with your mac and cheese, like a grilled cheese or side of cheese curds.

9. Mac & Cheese with the Works from Hillside Farmacy

Location: Austin, Texas

Hillside Farmacy's mac and cheese is served in a boat, which is appropriate, because it's so dreamy. With a distinctive flavor from the addition of taleggio cheese, Hillside Farmacy is unlike any other because you can add pancetta and even a poached egg atop this dreamboat of a dish.

10. Mac Daddy Burger from Pigpen Delicacy

Location: Long Beach, California

Look, I love bread and all, but sometimes you have to switch things up. Instead of a traditional bacon cheeseburger, why not use fried mac and cheese to hold this monstrosity together? Pig Pen Delicacy exemplifies all the reasons I am proud to be from SoCal; it is innovative, eclectic, and unapologetic. 

11. Pizza My Heart from Elbows Mac N Cheese

Location: Cerritos, California

In case you were afraid that we couldn't find a more epic mac and cheese dish, boy are you in for a treat. Elbows Mac n Cheese is dedicated to everything mac and cheese: fries, chips and dip, and yes, even pizza. Ditch that boring cheese pizza and reach for this pie topped with mac and cheese. You deserve better.

12. Spicy Pork Mac n Cheese Balls from Charlie Mac's

Location: Key West, Florida

The perfect appetizer, Charlie Mac's has spicy mac and cheese bombs stuffed with pulled pork and jalapeños that are so addicting that you might have to order another round for your main course. But don't just take my word for it; look at that cheese pull. 

13. The Mac from Cheesie's Pub & Grub 

Locations: Chicagoland area

I attend Northwestern, so I felt like it was my duty to include Cheesie's, aka the best drunchie's you'll ever have. Though every creation at Cheesie's will satisfy your 2 am cravings, the Mac is by far superior: grilled cheese, but stuffed with 2-cheese mac and cheese. Oh, and it comes with a dipping sauce of tomato soup. Honestly, Cheesie's is where the real party is at.

Personally, I have never been on a road trip, but for these 13 mac and cheese dishes, I would drive across the country. So, go ahead, fuel up the tank, and make the trek to experience all these cheesy goods.