Carbs and dairy, you’re pretty much soul mates. And there really is no combination more drool-worthy than an oozy serving of good ol’ mac ’n’ cheese.
Now, maybe it’s just us, but mac ’n’ cheese dishes seem to be all the rage in Auckland. From classic American versions to something a little fancier (truffle and crayfish, anyone?), here’s to helping our city’s very own mac moment with a list of all the mac ’n’ cheese dishes you need in your life.
Good Dog Bad Dog
Just when you thought mac 'n' cheese couldn't possibly get any better, Good Dog Bad Dog went and slapped it on top of a hot dog (we know!). This life-changing combo ain't for the faint-hearted but if you love carbs—and you love meat—get amongst.
The Oyster Inn
Want your comfort food with a side of ocean views? Yes, cheese! Enter The Oyster Inn, whose mac 'n' cheese has been a regular on the menu since opening in 2012. Now sitting proudly on new owner Josh Emett's menu you can enjoy it three ways: natural, with crispy slab cut smoked bacon, and with scampi. Drooling yet? Top tip: Order the bacon and scampi together and prepare for an out of body experience. Baked to golden, crispy perfection every time you may well find yourself hopping on the ferry just to enjoy this dish.
Peach's Hot Chicken
There's a lot to love about Peach's Hot Chicken, including their amazing mac 'n' cheese. This baby is pumped full of pimento—and with one of the owners hailing from the unofficial home of mac itself (America)—you know it's gonna be good.
Oyster & Chop
For a restaurant known for oysters, we were surprised to discover that Oyster & Chop also dabbles in a bit of mac ’n’ cheese making. Their version combines smoked cheese with a delicious truffle crumb. Simple and elegant.
The Pie Piper
It comes as no surprise that another one of our fave American joints, The Pie Piper is also slinging some seriously good mac. Their version is about as authentic as it gets and is rich, creamy and just like mama would make.
The Grill’s menu is crammed full of irresistible dishes, but it’s the mac ’n’ cheese that gets us every time. Made with pecorino and Barry's Bay cheddar, a minimum of two serves of this side dish should be on your table at all times.
Jervois Steak House
We could smooch whoever decided to bring truffle to the mac’n’cheese party. Herne Bay’s Jervois Steak House cook their mac ’n’ cheese in a skillet alongside smoked ham hock and truffle for a truly glorious carbs-meets-cheese experience. It will go perfectly with your medium-rare Savannah Angus and is one of the best mac ’n’ cheese dishes in Auckland.
SMOKIN COLE BBQ
Prepare for a serious mac attack when you visit SMOKIN COLE BBQ. Their mac 'n' cheese is legit delicious and combines all the classic, carb-y elements you know and love with a hint of truffle and a dash of mustard. Hell yes.
Wynyard Grill By Johnny Barr’s
Forks at the ready! Wynyard Grill by Johnny Barr’s offers not one, not two, but THREE different styles of mac ’n’ cheese, and you’re going to want to try them all. Start with cheddar and chorizo followed by gooey brie and chives before moving onto blue cheese, bacon, apple and walnut. Seriously, get it in your belly. You might have to be rolled out the door but a great mac ’n’ cheese will always be worth it.
Our wee line up wouldn't be complete without a mention of the offering at beloved Herne Bay eatery Andiamo. Here the holy trinity of bacon, chilli and fontina cheese are deliciously melded with macaroni to produce an exceptional taste sensation. You can gobble up this mac 'n' cheese as a starter or main, but if you can't get there any time soon you can serve up a dish right at home using their drool-worthy mac and cheese recipe. You're welcome.
How do you take mac ’n’ cheese to the next level? Put it in a ball, chuck it in a deep-fryer, and serve it with chipotle. And that’s exactly what Miss Moonshine’s does. What sets these babies apart is the crispness of their exterior. It will be love at first bite, people. Love at first bite!
Soul Bar & Bistro
Look, we get it. You might be feeling a bit mac ’n’ cheese’d out by now, but trust us, Soul Bar’s version is one of the best in Auckland. They make theirs with ham off the bone and a parmesan crust and it’s nothing short of a carb-heavy masterpiece.
Just gouda have some more cheese? Here’s where to find the best cheese shops in Auckland.
Image credit: Good dog bad dog, Peach's Hot Chicken by Wono Kim, The Grill, SMOKIN COLE BBQ by Wono Kim, Andiamo