When it comes to comfort food, I think we can all agree that mac and cheese is by far the most comforting. I (gladly) embarked on a taste test of Evanston’s eateries to find and rank the best mac and cheese. So next time you’re needing a little love from your bowl of cheesey deliciousness, look no further than these restaurants.

5. JT’s Bar and Grill

I have to admit that this mac and cheese (ordered off of the kids’ menu) was surprisingly unsatisfying. Although I am a tried and true fan of Kraft mac and cheese, something about eating it in a restaurant made it less appealing. If you’re in the mood for Kraft, skip this location and head to your pantry.


Photo by Kirby Barth

Address: 1639 Orrington Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri: 10am-3am, Sat-Sun: 9am-3am

4. Cheesie’s Pub & Grub

Although Cheesie’s doesn’t have traditional mac and cheese, it’s take on our favorite dish is far from disappointing. First up was The Mac, a grilled cheese stuffed with mac and cheese served on Texas toast. This sandwich was oozing with cheese and noodles.


Photo by Kirby Barth

Then came the fried mac and cheese bites. Think mozzarella sticks, only better. This amazing creation is made by taking a scoop of mac and cheese, coating it in batter and then deep frying it. Thousands of calories later, these cheesy bites are definitely a top-notch comfort food.


Photo by Kirby Barth

Address: 622 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201
Hours of operation: Mon-Sat: 11am-3am, Sun: 11am-11pm

3. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company has outstanding mac and cheese. The perfectly cooked noodles are soaked in a cheese cream sauce and then sprinkled with shredded cheese. As the two melt together, the blend of cheeses thickens into a heavenly dish. Gluten-free? Problem-free. Substitute the elbow pasta for gluten-free fusilli noodles. The only downside to ordering mac and cheese at Noodles is that the calorie count is clearly marked on the two menu boards. A small portion has 520 calories and the large portion has 1040. Comfort food comes at a price.

noodles and co.

Photo by Kirby Barth

Address: 930 Church Street, Evanston, IL, 60201
Hours of operation: Sun-Wed: 10:30am-10pm, Thurs-Sat: 10:30am-10:30pm

2. Panera Bread

I was skeptical about the tastiness of mac and cheese from Panera Bread but I was very, very wrong. The white cheddar cheese generously coated over the shell noodles makes for a perfect combination. The cheese was thick and creamy and the white-cheddar-take on the classic version of mac and cheese makes all the difference. Once again, the calories are listed, so try not to look while ordering. The half portion is 490 calories and the full is 980. We won’t tell if you don’t.


Photo by Kirby Barth

Address: 1700 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
Hours of operation: Mon-Sat: 6am-9pm, Sun: 6am-8pm

1. The Cellar

The top dog when it comes to making America’s favorite comfort food is The Cellar. This gourmet three-cheese blend is baked to perfection with a thick cheese crust. The tapas style gives you the perfect amount of mac and cheese so you can also indulge in their other selections.


Photo Courtesy of The Cellar

Address: 820 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60201
Hours of operation: Sun-Thurs: 5pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat: 5pm-10:30pm