Mac and cheese is basically synonymous with comfort food. This decadent dish has always been there for us, through break-ups, work dramz and even just really cold days. But now that our palettes have matured, we’re looking for mac and cheese that fulfills our slightly fancier carb and cheese needs (which means it doesn’t come from a box, tbh). From boujee bowls stuffed with lobster to deep fried mac and cheese balls, we are living for these gourmet versions of our fave pasta dish. Don’t know where to start on this culinary tour? Scroll down to see our round-up of the best mac and cheese in Calgary. And if you happen to be travelling across the country this summer and get hit with a craving for comfort food, click here to peep our list of the best mac and cheese in Canada.
Bookers BBQ Grill + Crab Shack
Find it: 316 3 St. SE, bookersbbq.com
The low-down: We know what you’re thinking: “Mac and cheese at a smokehouse and crab shack?” Fear not, this rustic BBQ spot serves up a spicy, flavourful mac and cheese dish with a side of Southern comfort right in the East Village.
Cost: $10 (half portion) or $15 (full portion)
Varieties: The Baked Mac & Cheese is perfect for those who are looking for some heat: jalapeño and smoked cheddar make this pasta dish anything but basic. Order it at the resto or from their takeout menu, or continue your cheesy carb high with a pint of their signature dish to take home.
Vintage Chophouse & Tavern
Find it: 320 11th Ave. SW, vintagechophouse.com
The low-down: Not only is this luxe steakhouse known for its award-winning cuts but it is home to some delectable mac and cheese too.
Cost: $16 to $36
Varieties: Two different mains (we can’t resist the decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese with white truffle oil and cheddar) and a side dish of a truffle-infused version that pairs perfectly with a juicy steak—boujee, right?
4th Spot Kitchen & Bar
Find it: 2620 4 St. NW, 4thspot.com
The low-down: This cozy resto and lounge offers a little bit of everything (handmade pizzas, burgers, gourmet salads), plus an extensive wine list to pair with their iconic mac and cheese.
Varieties: One standout, fully-loaded main: This Ain’t No Store Bought Mac n’ Cheese, with spicy sausage, tossed in a rich cheese sauce and topped with a panko parm crust—the name truly says it all.
Find it: 200 8 Ave. SW, theguildrestaurant.com
The low-down: Although Alberta’s premium cuts are the main culinary attraction at this high-end, ultra modern eatery, their mac and cheese starter is ideal for those looking for a filling snack.
Varieties: For a fancy weekend brunch with your gals or a late-night nibble at the bar, the Deep Fried Mac & Cheese app drizzled with truffle ranch dressing is equal parts creamy, crunchy and cheesy.
Find it: 1126 Kensington Rd. NW, highergroundcafe.ca
The low-down: Specializing in fair trade, organic coffee, this environmentally friendly café is all about going green and cooking up food that makes you feel good too.
Varieties: One customizable mac and cheese with a blend of four cheeses—add bacon or roasted veggies—an excellent pick-me-up during a café work sesh.