Mac and cheese is everyone's favorite comfort food. The combination of pasta with melted, baked, or creamy cheese is a gift to the world. So many restaurants are serving this seemingly simple dish in various ways and it's taking over all forms of social media. 

Weirdly enough, Binghamton has a ton of incredible restaurants downtown. I've been lucky enough to try a few of these restaurants, and obviously just had to order the mac and cheese at every place. Each variation was so tasty yet somehow different from each previous tasting. With Binghamton Restaurant Week coming up March 21st to March 30th, you definitely need to try these mac and cheese dishes ASAP!

1. Social on State

parsley, sauce, tortellini, cheese, pasta, macaroni
Mikaela Orenstein

Ironically, one of the best restaurants in Binghamton is located on State Street. Social is super classy and each dish is fresh and delicious. However, the mac and cheese is a must every time you go. The cheese literally oozes out and is beyond rich and creamy. I have had this mac and cheese multiple times and each time it gets better and better. Not going to Social at all is a mistake, but not trying the mac and cheese is an even bigger one. 

Location: 201 State Street, Binghamton, New York 13905

2. Lost Dog Cafe 

pasta, chicken, cheese
Mikaela Orenstein

Lost Dog is known for its rigatoni a-la vodka, since it is actually the greatest vodka sauce on the planet, but if you're feeling a little bit risky and adventurous, order something else. The entrees come with a side, so naturally when I had the tuna burger, mac and cheese was my side.

There is definitely not a cheese deficit on this side dish. One trick is to only eat your entree and bring the mac and cheese home for another meal to avoid the dining halls or having to cook. While it may be hard to not order the rigatoni, the mac and cheese will make it worth it. 

Location: 222 Water St, Binghamton, NY 13901

3. Number 5 Restaurant

mushroom, chicken, cheese
Mikaela Orenstein

Since Number 5 is known as being one of the more classy and pricey establishments, the lobster mac is the perfect meal for a college student. While it's considered an appetizer, there's more than enough mac and cheese to be a meal, and you save money in the process. This version comes baked, so the top is perfectly crispy and the middle is super cheesy and incredible.

The lobster is also pretty fresh and provides a source of protein for a carby dish. If you ever go to Number 5 with a relative who is paying, the lobster mac is a great starter to either share, or eat by yourself if you love mac and cheese as much as I do. 

Location: 33 South Washington St. Binghamton, N.Y 13903

4. Zona & Co. Grille 

pasta, macaroni, cheese, bacon, risotto
Mikaela Orenstein

If you like lobster mac, then you should try Zona for Restaurant Week. This dish isn't on the regular menu and is brought back for Restaurant Week each semester. You better take advantage of this opportunity coming up next month. So much mac and cheese comes with this dish so you'll for sure be leaving full and content. Additionally, there is a lot of lobster that comes with this, which is always a plus. Zona has a super chill vibe so pairing that with lobster mac always makes for a good time. 

Location: 15 Hawley St, Binghamton, NY 13901

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite foods in the world. I have tried so many different versions in my life, and I was pleasantly surprised when I started college that Binghamton has so many great places for this. There are a lot of restaurants in downtown Bing, but these four have some of the best mac and cheese I've had. Other noteworthy places to order mac and cheese are Burger Monday's and Strange Brew.

With restaurant week coming up, you could get a reasonably priced three course meal AND mac and cheese. Name a more iconic duo than that, I'll wait. Even though Binghamton has an interesting reputation, exploring downtown during the day with your friends is a great idea to discover new spots to hang out and try new food. Don't wait any longer, just go out and try these restaurants for mac and cheese you'll never forget.