clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A fork holds up a hulking piece of brisket above a bowl of cheesy noodles and meat, sitting on a red-and-white-checkered paper on a metal tray
Meat Lovers mac n cheese at Mac’d
Mac’d/Official

Where to Find Top-Notch Mac and Cheese in Portland

From ritzy cavatappi in bechamel to plain old cheddar and mac

View as Map
Meat Lovers mac n cheese at Mac’d
| Mac’d/Official

Mac and cheese is often delegated to the kids’ menu, but in Portland — a city known to zhuzh childhood favorites like doughnuts and fried chicken — next-level mac-and-cheese options appear everywhere from food carts to fancy restaurants. Some stick to the basic Tillamook and elbows, some add oomph with pork belly or Creole gravy; either way, Portland’s take on macaroni and cheese generally rises above the basic box sitting in the pantry.

In order to make a fair assessment, this map focuses on the entry level versions of mac and cheese on the menu, and excludes spots that only have occasional mac-and-cheese specials or only vegan mac and cheese. For more pasta options or Southern staples, the Eater Portland Italian and Southern maps may provide some guidance. Per usual, this map is not ranked, but rather organized geographically.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Saraveza

Copy Link

Along with delivering a great beer selection, this relaxed North Portland bar serves a stovetop mac and cheese that balances creaminess and saltiness with a surprising smoke. The chef uses cavatappi pasta along with a blend of smoked gouda, white cheddar, and yellow cheddar. The finished dish is sent into the oven to add a crispness to the top.

NEPO 42

Copy Link

Neighborhood pub Nepo 42’s mac and cheese has great crunch, sweetness, and smokiness, with spinach, bacon, and sun-dried peppers adding extra color and texture. The base sauce uses a sharp white cheddar, counterbalanced by a salty feta added on top, and the noodle — cavatappi — was a smart choice: Its curls trap cheese and veggies for ideal bites throughout. At $9 for happy hour, it can’t be beat.

View this post on Instagram

Some damn good fancy mac n cheese

A post shared by l i a n a • s o i f e r (@liana_soifer) on

Chef Maya Lovelace’s mac and cheese gets its piquant tang from the pimentos in its white cheddar cheese sauce, tossed with pasta and baked with a crunchy salt-and-vinegar potato chip topping. The finished product is gooey with hardcore down-home vibes.

Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar

Copy Link

Mississippi’s dark, cozy, and casual spot Miss Delta is serving a creamy mac and cheese with excellent cheese pull. The ‘trashy’ mac-and-cheese base is made on the stovetop with heavy cream, whole milk, Tillamook cheddar, Tillamook jack, parmesan cheese, Velveeta, and garlic. Customers can choose various ‘trashy mac’ ingredients such as meatloaf, stewed tomatoes and okra, chicken and pesto, and shrimp-and-andouille gumbo.

Trap Kitchen PDX

Copy Link

The wicked-gooey four-cheese mac and cheese is the underrated gem at this Eastside food cart known for its pineapple teriyaki bowls and soul food. The mac — with a base of white and yellow sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, and mozzarella — can come with optional upgrades like lobster and shrimp, as well, for those feeling fancy. Note: This cart sometimes moves around or switches up its menu, so those interested should keep an eye on things via its Instagram.

Popular local chain Grassa’s mac and cheese combines smokiness, heat, and cheesiness expertly.  Grassa’s mac and cheese is cooked on a stovetop with a béchamel sauce and a mixture of Tillamook cheddar and parmesan cheese, finished with barbecue glazed pork belly — the belly provides a fatty juxtaposition to the crispy sautéed red onions, jalapenos, toasted bread crumbs, and scallions.

Taste on 23rd

Copy Link

This intimate wine bar and bottle shop serves a silky and light cavatappi noodle mac and cheese with classic comfort flavors. Made on a stovetop using Tillamook cheddar cheese and heavy cream reduction, this mac gets a boost from a simple sprinkle of fresh pepper.

Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House

Copy Link

The large and airy Portland outpost of this popular Bend brewery is a draw for both locals and visitors alike. Deschutes serves a wonderfully cheesy mac and cheese with great texture: The dish starts with a base of cooked-down-and-pureed onions and spices in cream and Obsidian stout. Chefs then add a “ton” of smoked gouda, Obsidian-stout-smothered onions, spinach, aged white cheddar, fresh local radiatore pasta and breadcrumbs cooked under a broiler.

Tabor Tavern

Copy Link

Neighbors greet each other warmly upon walking into this kid-friendly Tabor favorite, eventually sitting down to casual comfort food, including a knockout mac and cheese. By sautéing fusilli pasta, smoked gouda, roasted kale, roasted corn, and chorizo, Tabor Tavern’s mac and cheese creates an ideal blend of crunch, smokiness, and slight sweetness.

View this post on Instagram

Nerdy lunchtime with the boys! @mlang437 and @jojobiscuitshow

A post shared by Jessica Carlman (@theaviatrix_adventures) on

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop

Copy Link

This cozy Laurelhurst neighborhood spot started off as a self-described “cheese stand on wheels.” The company has since expanded from a food cart to a full-blown restaurant. Cheese and Crack’s mac and cheese blends a Gruyere-and-Tillamook white cheddar mornay with a herb sauce consisting of garlic, chives, olive oil and lemon, balancing the salty and cheesy dish with more delicate flavors. 

Driftwood Room

Copy Link

Downtown’s intimate bar Driftwood Room makes a gooey-yet-silky mac and cheese served alongside its array of absinthe. The chefs shred Gruyere, parmesan, and Tillamook white cheddar for a béchamel sauce with milk and heavy cream. After the chefs toss the pasta in the cheesy sauce, they finish the mac with Amish blue cheese, Beaufor whole grain mustard, and bacon, adding new layers of funk and tang curbed by the fat of the pork. Portions don’t shrink for happy hour, when the dish is $7, and for those looking for an upgrade, Gracie’s next door offers a lobster version.

Le Bistro Montage

Copy Link

Portland’s popular, crowded late-night hangout spot is well-known for its mac-and-cheese game. The elbow pasta mac-and-cheese comes in several styles: ‘Old’ with heavy cream reduction, garlic, and parmesan; spicy, with Creole gravy, jalapeno, and parmesan; a mix of both; garlic and pesto; and Buffalo. All are creamy and decadent with an envious cheese pull.

Herb's Mac and Cheese

Copy Link

This Belmont food cart always has at least three core mac-and-cheese staples on the menu. Tommy Uchida starts with a béchamel sauce reliant on cheddar and parmesan, which he adds to a penne before it hits a toaster oven for crispiness. The final product is super dense and gooey with a fantastic cheese pull.

Mac’d

Copy Link

Mac’d is a zippy mac-and-cheese takeout window providing a fast and casual build-your-own-mac-and-cheese option. All the sauces use a different béchamel base that simmers down for over an hour, with cheeses like cheddar, jack, and parmesan and a secret blend of spices. Customers can then choose ingredients to mix-in to the base mac and cheese, from bacon to hot Cheetos; the final product cooks down on a stovetop and hits the broiler to get a crispy layer of cheese on top.

Saraveza

Along with delivering a great beer selection, this relaxed North Portland bar serves a stovetop mac and cheese that balances creaminess and saltiness with a surprising smoke. The chef uses cavatappi pasta along with a blend of smoked gouda, white cheddar, and yellow cheddar. The finished dish is sent into the oven to add a crispness to the top.

NEPO 42

Neighborhood pub Nepo 42’s mac and cheese has great crunch, sweetness, and smokiness, with spinach, bacon, and sun-dried peppers adding extra color and texture. The base sauce uses a sharp white cheddar, counterbalanced by a salty feta added on top, and the noodle — cavatappi — was a smart choice: Its curls trap cheese and veggies for ideal bites throughout. At $9 for happy hour, it can’t be beat.

View this post on Instagram

Some damn good fancy mac n cheese

A post shared by l i a n a • s o i f e r (@liana_soifer) on

Yonder

Chef Maya Lovelace’s mac and cheese gets its piquant tang from the pimentos in its white cheddar cheese sauce, tossed with pasta and baked with a crunchy salt-and-vinegar potato chip topping. The finished product is gooey with hardcore down-home vibes.

Miss Delta Restaurant and Bar

Mississippi’s dark, cozy, and casual spot Miss Delta is serving a creamy mac and cheese with excellent cheese pull. The ‘trashy’ mac-and-cheese base is made on the stovetop with heavy cream, whole milk, Tillamook cheddar, Tillamook jack, parmesan cheese, Velveeta, and garlic. Customers can choose various ‘trashy mac’ ingredients such as meatloaf, stewed tomatoes and okra, chicken and pesto, and shrimp-and-andouille gumbo.

Trap Kitchen PDX

The wicked-gooey four-cheese mac and cheese is the underrated gem at this Eastside food cart known for its pineapple teriyaki bowls and soul food. The mac — with a base of white and yellow sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, and mozzarella — can come with optional upgrades like lobster and shrimp, as well, for those feeling fancy. Note: This cart sometimes moves around or switches up its menu, so those interested should keep an eye on things via its Instagram.

Grassa

Popular local chain Grassa’s mac and cheese combines smokiness, heat, and cheesiness expertly.  Grassa’s mac and cheese is cooked on a stovetop with a béchamel sauce and a mixture of Tillamook cheddar and parmesan cheese, finished with barbecue glazed pork belly — the belly provides a fatty juxtaposition to the crispy sautéed red onions, jalapenos, toasted bread crumbs, and scallions.

Taste on 23rd

This intimate wine bar and bottle shop serves a silky and light cavatappi noodle mac and cheese with classic comfort flavors. Made on a stovetop using Tillamook cheddar cheese and heavy cream reduction, this mac gets a boost from a simple sprinkle of fresh pepper.

Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House

The large and airy Portland outpost of this popular Bend brewery is a draw for both locals and visitors alike. Deschutes serves a wonderfully cheesy mac and cheese with great texture: The dish starts with a base of cooked-down-and-pureed onions and spices in cream and Obsidian stout. Chefs then add a “ton” of smoked gouda, Obsidian-stout-smothered onions, spinach, aged white cheddar, fresh local radiatore pasta and breadcrumbs cooked under a broiler.

Tabor Tavern

Neighbors greet each other warmly upon walking into this kid-friendly Tabor favorite, eventually sitting down to casual comfort food, including a knockout mac and cheese. By sautéing fusilli pasta, smoked gouda, roasted kale, roasted corn, and chorizo, Tabor Tavern’s mac and cheese creates an ideal blend of crunch, smokiness, and slight sweetness.

View this post on Instagram

Nerdy lunchtime with the boys! @mlang437 and @jojobiscuitshow

A post shared by Jessica Carlman (@theaviatrix_adventures) on

Cheese & Crack Snack Shop

This cozy Laurelhurst neighborhood spot started off as a self-described “cheese stand on wheels.” The company has since expanded from a food cart to a full-blown restaurant. Cheese and Crack’s mac and cheese blends a Gruyere-and-Tillamook white cheddar mornay with a herb sauce consisting of garlic, chives, olive oil and lemon, balancing the salty and cheesy dish with more delicate flavors. 

Driftwood Room

Downtown’s intimate bar Driftwood Room makes a gooey-yet-silky mac and cheese served alongside its array of absinthe. The chefs shred Gruyere, parmesan, and Tillamook white cheddar for a béchamel sauce with milk and heavy cream. After the chefs toss the pasta in the cheesy sauce, they finish the mac with Amish blue cheese, Beaufor whole grain mustard, and bacon, adding new layers of funk and tang curbed by the fat of the pork. Portions don’t shrink for happy hour, when the dish is $7, and for those looking for an upgrade, Gracie’s next door offers a lobster version.

Le Bistro Montage

Portland’s popular, crowded late-night hangout spot is well-known for its mac-and-cheese game. The elbow pasta mac-and-cheese comes in several styles: ‘Old’ with heavy cream reduction, garlic, and parmesan; spicy, with Creole gravy, jalapeno, and parmesan; a mix of both; garlic and pesto; and Buffalo. All are creamy and decadent with an envious cheese pull.

Herb's Mac and Cheese

This Belmont food cart always has at least three core mac-and-cheese staples on the menu. Tommy Uchida starts with a béchamel sauce reliant on cheddar and parmesan, which he adds to a penne before it hits a toaster oven for crispiness. The final product is super dense and gooey with a fantastic cheese pull.

Mac’d

Mac’d is a zippy mac-and-cheese takeout window providing a fast and casual build-your-own-mac-and-cheese option. All the sauces use a different béchamel base that simmers down for over an hour, with cheeses like cheddar, jack, and parmesan and a secret blend of spices. Customers can then choose ingredients to mix-in to the base mac and cheese, from bacon to hot Cheetos; the final product cooks down on a stovetop and hits the broiler to get a crispy layer of cheese on top.

Related Maps