In the South, mac ‘n cheese is like everyone’s favorite aunt. We get excited to see it at the barbecue cookout or holiday lunch, it fits in seamlessly wherever it goes, and it never ceases to give some true Southern flair. Every family has its own recipe, every menu holds it (usually listed under vegetables), and every Southerner knows how to tell if it’s the real deal. We like it creamy, cheesy, and a little crispy on top. You have to grate the cheese freshly and use more than you’re comfortable admitting. (It’s seriously concerning how much cheese it takes to get it just right, but you gotta do what you gotta do.)
We decided to figure out where you can find the best, most delicious macaroni and cheese in every state (plus Washington, D.C.), according to Yelp, in case you’re ever in a pinch and need that comfort food fix. We took into consideration the ratings, volume, and recency of reviews for each spot, while limiting the competitors to either single location businesses or small regional chains with less than five locations total. And voilà! You’ve got our curated list of the best mac ‘n cheese in Every. Single. State. It’s no surprise that many Southern-style barbecue joints made the cut, but some restaurants shined through as dark horses in the race. Warning: you might get hungry while checking out this cheese-laden list of the very best macaroni and cheese in America.