If you've ever lived in the South, you understand the importance of fried chicken, grits, and most importantly, mac and cheese. Not much can beat pasta slathered in a creamy cheese sauce (maybe with some bacon or breadcrumbs). Fortunately for anyone living in New Orleans, this city is full of prime mac and cheese dishes to keep you warm this winter (unless you're like this TU Spoon writer and don't like cheese).

1.  St. James Cheese Company

Aly Sebold

St. James' blend of artisanal cheeses makes their mac nothing short of perfection. The large comes with a salad because, well, health. 

2. Cowbell

To quote their menu: "If you don't get this, others will shun you." It may sound like a joke, but it's true. Spiral noodles drenched in a white cheddar, gruyere, and Parmesan cream sauce then finished off with a dusting of herbs is not something you'll want to miss out on. 

3. Wayfare

cheese, lobster, bacon
Aly Sebold

This posh eatery is a Spoon favorite and is within walking distance of Tulane's campus. A crunchy breadcrumb coating, gooey center, and bacon bits make this mac dreamy. Get it for half off at happy hour from 3-6, along with some killer drinks. 

4. Camellia Grill

chicken, meat
Rachel Weil

This historic diner has its roots in New Orleans culture. Their fried mac and cheese bites are far from traditional and a must try for any mac and cheese enthusiasts passing through this iconic diner. 

5. Capdeville

If you aren't enticed by the spirited, pub-like atmosphere and a jukebox with 100 albums, the gooey truffle mac and cheese with pancetta will have you sold. 

6. Cochon

sauce, cheese, meat, pasta, macaroni
Rachel Wine

Cochon's exceptional southern fare makes it a great stop when your parents come to visit, but their creamy mac with a crispy bread crumb crust and mouthwatering pancetta make it a worthy stop any day of the week.

7. Blue Oak BBQ

Any respectable barbecue joint serves up good mac and cheese, and Blue Oak BBQ does it the best. Roasted in garlic and coated with breadcrumbs, this mac and cheese will keep you coming back for more.

8. Brick and Spoon 

tortellini, cheese, pasta, ravioli, sauce, macaroni
Aly Sebold

This Magazine Street dining establishment is known for their killer Bloody Marys and whimsical brunches, but I strongly advise trading in cheesy grits for cheesy mac. Their classic mac is a staple, but the Shrimp & Tasso mac with gouda and truffle oil is perfect when you want to heat things up. 

9. The Big Cheezy 

cheese, sandwich, cheddar, bacon
Rachel Hunter

The Big Cheezy is another Spoon favorite and just opened a new location on Magazine. The Mac N' Cheezy sandwich has been deemed one of the most Instagrammed foods by Tulane students– and for good reason. Cheddar cheese slices plus heaps of decadent, four cheese bacon mac all between slices of country white bread creates an unforgettable sandwich.

The tough part about being in a city with all of these dreamy, cheesy choices? Deciding which one is your favorite. I guess it's time to start eating and, as it gets colder, cuddling up to some of these good ol' mac and cheese dishes.