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Halloween is right around the corner. With kids trick-or-treating, there may not be time to prepare a proper dinner. Or, if you just feel in the mood to dress up in costume, you can get a discount deal at certain places. Here is a list of restaurants offering coupons and deals on Halloween:
On Halloween Day, present this coupon at a participating Boston Market location. Kids eat free with any purchase of an adult entrée.
From 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Halloween, children under 12 can get a Scary Face Pancake for free for dine-in only. This pancake has whipped Oreo eyes, a strawberry nose, and candy corn teeth atop whipped cream.
Heads up, adults! This deal includes you, too. From 4:00 p.m. to closing on Halloween, Chipotle will be offering their annual Boorito promo. Everyone dressed in a costume can buy a burrito, bowl, salad, or tacos for $3. All proceeds will go to The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation for sustainable and healthy food.
If you sign up to receive Olive Garden’s newsletter, a coupon will be emailed for a free kid’s meal with a purchase of an adult entrée. This deal is applicable from now until Halloween.
Wear a costume on Halloween and get a free doughnut! It’s as easy as that. All ages are allowed to participate.
From now ‘til Nov. 7, if you claim this offer on Red Lobster’s Facebook page, print out the coupon and you can get a free kids meal with an adult dinner entrée.
All day on Halloween, Sonic is offering $0.50 corn dogs! Check out the promo featuring everyone’s favorite Sonic guys TJ and Pete here.
Claim this offer on Longhorn’s Facebook page and receive a free kid’s meal with any adult entrée. This is only available until Halloween, so stop by after taking the kids trick-or-treating.
Tonight is the last night for Trick-or-Treat Tuesdays at Bob Evans. Dress up in a costume and take a photo for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #BETrickorTreat for a chance to win a $25 Bob Evans gift card.
Children ages 11 and under in costumes will receive one free kids meal from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Halloween. This is available for dine-in only.
Old Country Buffet
Kids 11 and under eat for free if they are in costume on Halloween. And even if your child does not feel like dressing up, they can eat for 99 cents between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
All week long, Village Inn is offering deals for pumpkin pancakes, pies and kid’s sundaes. On Halloween, both children and adults are invited to dress up in a costume to receive a free pumpkin pancake short stack with any adult entrée.
Whether you are taking children trick-or-treating, passing out candy, or going out in costume, we hope you have some time to take advantage of these restaurant deals and have a fun and safe Halloween!
Halloween Fun: Games, Apps, Recipes and Movies to Watch Tonight
I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge of reward travel, travel credit card deals, travel tips and more.
Happy Halloween! Tonight’s the big night but sadly, with COVID-19 out of control, it’s going to be a very subdued holiday for most. Hopefully, the skies will be clear to be on the lookout for witches flying past the Hunter’s Blue Moon. That’s right. There’s going to be a Hunter’s Blue Moon tonight, which doesn’t happen very often! The last time was in 1944 and the next one won’t be until 2037. Here’s the Farmer’s Almanac about tonight’s moon and the definition of a Blue Moon. FYI: Pictured above are the owl cupcakes my wife makes every year with the kids. Get the recipe here. Guess what I’ll be snacking on this afternoon?
CIA’s Halloween Challenge
Did you see the CIA’s tweet on Tuesday? They posted the photo above and challenged followers if they can spot the disguised differences? I thought there was only one and found it in a nano second but it turns out there are at least 13! Click here for the answers.
How to Summon a Ghost with Google’s 3D App
If you get my weekly newsletter, then I hope you read all the way to the end so you saw my story about a fun free Google app that kids and parents will love. I really freaked my four-year old out over the summer using Google’s incredible 3D augmented reality to bring to life a variety of dinosaurs right inside our living room. For Halloween, we’ve been finding ghosts and he (cautiously) loves it! Check it out here.
Chicago’s O’Hare’s Carved Pumpkin Contest
If you’re traveling to, from or through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport today, see if you can spot creative carved pumpkins in their retail shops. Even if you aren’t at ORD, you can see each vendor’s pumpkin and take part in voting for a winner. The contest is open until midnight tonight, Central Time. My favorite one is #23. Let’s see if it wins.
Halloween Movies to Watch Tonight
Since more of us will be spending Halloween indoors this year, it’s the perfect night to cozy up with your bag of fun-size candy and a good movie. I’ve always loved It It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (we’ve been reading the book to our kids on repeat around here) but there are lots of Halloween-themed movies to stream tonight. The New York Times makes its recommendations here, here and here and check out the New Yorker’s round-up of the best Halloween movies without the gore. PLUS: Here’s what Halloween flicks are streaming on Amazon Prime Video and take a peek through Hulu’s special Huluween section.
Jabberin’ Jack is a plug’n play indoor/outdoor animated talking pumpkin. I wish I’d seen this earlier because the kids would love it. Maybe it will go on sale tomorrow for next year! Check it out on Amazon here.
14 Restaurants With Valentine's Day Specials to Help You Make the Most Out of Your 2021 Celebration
You can also score deals on takeout or delivery, if you'd prefer to spend a romantic night at home.
Valentine's Day is centered around love, but it's also very much about food. If you really want to celebrate all that the holiday has to offer, then start your day off with breakfast-in-bed with your sweetheart, power through the afternoon with homemade treats and round out the evening with a romantic dinner for two. But if you don't love the idea of spending all day in the kitchen preparing something for your valentines, then consider these restaurants with Valentine's Day specials.
Whether you&rsquore spending the day with your better half, your friends, your kids or flying solo, you&rsquoll want to know where to go to score the best deals on Valentine's Day dinners, heart-shaped pizzas and delicious desserts. Even if you're planning on spending February 14 at home to adhere to social distancing guidelines, you can still support local restaurants by opting for carryout or delivery. Some of these deals are so incredible that you may be tempted to celebrate all week &mdash albeit, month &mdash long. We don't blame you, these specials are too sweet to pass up!
As a reminder, please call your local restaurant beforehand to confirm that they are participating in the deals below. Make sure to get their most up-to-date hours and policies too.
During Valentine's Day weekend, treat your valentine to one of two holiday specials at Ruth's Chris Steak House: Celebration Surf & Turf, available in 6 oz., 8 oz. and 11 oz, and Tomahawk Ribeye. Click here to pre-order your carryout meal in advance.
Although their 2021 specials haven't been confirmed yet, Pizza Hut normally offers heart-shaped pizza pies at $11.99 with the option of adding a Hershey's Triple Chocolate Brownie or an Ultimate Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookie to your order at $16.99. Check their website a few days before Valentine's Day to place your order.
Get a Filet & Lobster Tail &mdash a 7 oz. filet with a seasoned and steamed cold water lobster tail &mdash from February 4 through February 15 at all Bonefish Grill restaurants or via carryout. To make it a meal fit for the occasion, pair this dish with 20th Anniversary Weedon Island Wine Blend, a limited-edition white exclusive to Bonefish Grill.
Enter promo code "LOVE" in the Firehouse Subs app to claim a free dessert (like the heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie shown here) on Valentine's Day weekend. You must be a Firehouse Subs reward member to claim the offer, so make sure you sign up if you haven't already.
From February 9 through Feb 15, get a four-course dinner for you and your sweetheart for only $50. The meal, which is available for dine-in or carryout, includes two salads, two main courses and an appetizer and dessert for the lovebirds to share.
Chi-Chi's is a Mexican-restaurant chain operating in Belgium, Austria, [ citation needed ] the United Arab Emirates, [ citation needed ] and Kuwait [ citation needed ] by Tumbleweed, Inc.  [ failed verification ] The chain also once operated in the United States and Canada but exited those countries in 2004.
Chi-Chi's was founded in 1975 in Richfield, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, by restaurateur Marno McDermott (his wife's nickname was "Chi Chi"  ) and former Green Bay Packers player Max McGee. MacDermott had previously founded the Zapata fast-food Mexican chain, which later became Zantigo.  From 1977 to 1986, the chain was run by former KFC executive Shelly Frank.  When Frank took leadership, the chain moved its headquarters to his hometown of Louisville. By March 1995, the chain had grown to 210 locations. 
Management and marketing Edit
In 2001, Chi-Chi's applied for a trademark  on the word "salsafication" but was denied by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The company's slogans were "A celebration of food" and, later, "Life always needs a little salsa." 
Bankruptcy, hepatitis A, and closure in United States and Canada Edit
Chi-Chi's last owner while the company was still in business in the U.S. and Canada was Prandium Inc., which had filed for bankruptcy several times, including in 1993 as Restaurant Enterprises Group Inc. and again in 2002 as Prandium.  On October 8, 2003, Chi-Chi's and Koo Koo Roo, another Prandium subsidiary, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy themselves. 
In November 2003, a month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Chi-Chi's was hit with the largest hepatitis A outbreak in U.S. history, with at least four deaths and 660 other victims of illness in the Pittsburgh area,  including high school students who caught the disease from the original victims.  The hepatitis was traced back to green onions at the Chi-Chi's at Beaver Valley Mall near Monaca, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Pittsburgh.  Chi-Chi's settled the hepatitis A lawsuits by July 2004.  At the time the suits were settled, Chi-Chi's had only 65 restaurants, fewer than half of the number of four years prior. 
In August 2004, Outback Steakhouse bid $42.5 million  for the rights to buy its choice of Chi-Chi's 76 properties, but did not purchase the Chi-Chi's name, operations, or recipes.  On the weekend of September 18, 2004, Chi-Chi's closed all 65 of its remaining restaurants.  Outback had hoped to convert many of the properties to its own restaurants, but instead eventually sold the majority of the properties to Kimco Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust company in New Hyde Park, New York. 
Chi-Chi's master franchise now [ when? ] belongs to a Swiss company which franchises Chi-Chi's in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa, the best-represented country being Belgium, with 3 units.  [ failed verification ]
Chi-Chi's expanded into Austria by opening their first restaurant in Vienna in 2018. 
In 1987, Hormel Foods acquired the rights to produce and market Chi-Chi's branded salsa and related products in the United States. By 1996, Hormel was making $60-million annually from this product line.  In 2009, Hormel formed a 50%-50% joint venture with Mexico-based food manufacturer Herdez Del Fuerte called MegaMex Foods, LLC, to manufacture and distributed Mexican food products in the United States. The Chi-Chi's brand was placed in this new company along with other related food brands such as Herdez, La Victoria and Búfalo brands.  Besides salsas, the Chi-Chi's brand also include dips, torillas, torilla chips and taco seasoning mixes.   Chi-Chi's branded food products are usually found in major supermarkets and discount stores.
In April 2021, MegaMex hired a TikTok personality to be their Chi-Chi's brand ambassador for this year's Cinco de Mayo advertising period. 
Hungry for More? The Runners Up
These other restaurant chains -- runners-up in our ranking -- are also worth a visit.
11. Cici&aposs Pizza This buffet restaurant offers great value (kids eat for $3 or less, babies and toddlers for free) and good-quality food, including 16 kinds of pizza and a salad bar.
12. Texas Roadhouse At some locations, kids get their meal -- with sides like green beans -- served in a cowboy hat.
13. Ted&aposs Montana Grill All menu items, including the children&aposs salmon, meat loaf, and "mac &aposn&apos cheez" are made from scratch using local ingredients when possible.
14. Joe&aposs Crab Shack The snow-crab legs and crab-shaped Rice Krispies Treat are fun, but the draw is the playground.
15. California Pizza Kitchen Yep, kids love the pizza. But mac &aposn&apos cheese with edamame, pasta tossed in olive oil, and a big salad topped with Goldfish crackers are also yummy.
16. Chevy&aposs Fresh Mex Bean-and-cheese burritos, tacos, and flautas will have your niños saying olé.
17. Olive Garden Kids can have their mac &aposn&apos cheese or spaghetti and tomato sauce made with whole wheat linguine.
18. IHOP Five kids&apos items -- like the tilapia and Create-A-Face pancake with fruit -- are noted as healthy choices.
19. Roy&aposs A three-course kids&apos menu has some adventurous choices like veggie crudites, salmon, and shrimp tempura.
20. Ruby&aposs Diner Although its kids&apos menu is in the shape of a classic car that kids can pop together, choices like organic milk, turkey burgers, and grilled chicken -- are totally mod.
21. Bertucci&aposs At most locations, kids get pizza dough to play with while they&aposre waiting for their own pie to come.
22. Sonny&aposs Real Pit BAR-B-Q Pulled pork, ribs, and smoked turkey are among the selections for kids.
23. Applebee&aposs Although the kids&apos entrees are typical, the chain offers broccoli, celery with dip, or applesauce as a side.
24. Romano&aposs Macaroni Grill Children can color on the paper table cover before their meal arrives.
25. Ruby Tuesday Pasta with marinara sauce and grilled chicken with broccoli are great choices from the kids&apos menu.
Trans Fat-Free Restaurants
Which restaurant chains have stopped using this most unhealthy type of fat? Check out our exclusive guide.
- California Pizza Kitchen
- The Cheesecake Factory
- Chevy&aposs Fresh Mex
- Chili&aposs Bar & Grill
- Cici&aposs Pizza
- Legal Sea Foods
- Olive Garden
- P.F. Chang&aposs China Bistro
- Red Robin
- Sonny&aposs Real Pit BAR-B-Q
- Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes
- Texas Roadhouse
- Ted&aposs Montana Grill
- Uno Chicago Grill
- Buca di Beppo
- Claim Jumper
- Mimi&aposs Cafe
- Old Spaghetti Factory
- Ruby&aposs Diner
- Ruby Tuesday
- Big Boy
- Bob Evans
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Joe&aposs Crab Shack
- Maggiano&aposs Little Italy
- McCormick & Schmick&aposs
- On The Border
- Red Lobster
- Romano&aposs Macaroni Grill
- Black Angus Steakhouse
- Ninety Nine Restaurant
- Max & Erma&aposs
- Outback Steakhouse
Healthy Kids' Menus
What&aposs on the kid&aposs menu? In three words: more than ever. After reviewing the choices for children from 40 restaurant chains, Parents found that while soda, fries, and nuggets are staples, you&aposre likely to find some nutritious options too.
The following popular restaurant chains blew off the Parents survey:
- Bonefish Grill
- Cracker Barrel
- Lone Star Steakhouse
- Old Country Buffet
- T.G.I. Friday&aposs
Originally published in the July 2008 issue of Parents magazine.
17 Halloween Promotion Ideas for Restaurants and Bars
Creative Halloween promotion ideas for restaurants and bars that can be realized in 7 days.
Halloween is funny holiday! Take advantage of upcoming days and use this holiday to promote your restaurant or bar. After reading this text, you will get new ideas about how to organize some events, decorate your place, adjust your offer and what else you can do that your guests remember this day.
Halloween has been celebrated on October 31 on the day of “All Saints” and of course it is a great opportunity to have fun and increase your business.
Take advantage of the huge consumer spending for Halloween—almost $6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation—other restaurants have seized the opportunity to galvanize their customer base.
This trend is transferred to European countries too where becomes more and more popular each year. You still have some time to prepare your catering facility for this special crazy holiday. Where to start?
Ideas for Halloween Special Menus
Whether it is a bar or restaurant, your offer must be adjusted to this holiday too. Few ideas that you can use for your menu. You don’t need to search for something unusual and different, just adjust your offer and be creative!
Any food or drink with red colors could be used. It is almost mandatory to have red tomato soup on your menu that you can named for Halloween as a “vampire blood “. It will look very interesting if you serve it in laboratory tubes.
For dramatic flair serve flaming cocktails like Flaming Cocaine, Flaming Blue Blazer and other mixed drinks that contain flammable, high-proof alcohol, which is ignited prior to consumption.
There are also very popular cocktails like Zombies or Flaming Dragon.
In your bar should be hot as in hell!
Note: Combining fire with alcohol can be dangerous. Proper precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of both the bartender and the patrons drinking the beverage. The drink should never be consumed while the flames are still burning.
Even ordinary juices like apple juice or orange juice could seems scary if you decorate it with details such as spiders, cocoa powder or handsome sticks with skeletal motifs.
Spaghetti with red sauce on this day get called slimy snakes and chicken wings bat wings.
For dessert is mandatory to serve pumpkin pie and always attractive cup cakes decorated with zombies.
Change the names of your menu items. Use your imagination and offer food and drink that you already have on the menu, but the decoration, scary names and special pricing on these items will make them even more attractive to your guests.
Tip: In supermarkets you can find gum and sugar candies in a variety of terrifying forms, such as spiders, beetles, snakes and skeletons. They are very practical for quick and easy decoration for desserts and drinks.
Print your special offer on a nice designed menu template and placed them on the tables, bar and counters. Here is one nice example of it.
Halloween Decoration Ideas for Restaurant and Bar
Orange and black colors and are ideal for Halloween. With the help of this short video guide you will easily make appropriate decorations from pumpkins. Arm yourself with pumpkins, knives and candles. It is October and time for pumpkins!
Turn of the lights, make mysterious atmosphere. Halloween is shrouded in darkness and secrets. So let it be dark in your restaurant or bar. Make some magic with a few tricks.
Decorate the dinner table with candles, use your imagination. Even some branches and dry leaves can be used to decorate tables. Stretch some white or grey net on the ceiling and bar, it will look like cobwebs.
Your staff also plays an important role in creating a scary atmosphere. Black clothing, masks, wigs and scary costumes. Everything is allowed!
Make a Frankenstein Birthday Party!
Surely you know about the world-famous story and the film Frankenstein, that was originally written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley when she was 21 years old. In fact, on this day Frankenstein celebrates his birthday, so this may be one of the good ideas for a theme for promotion. Waiters dressed as Frankenstein would create a chilling atmosphere.
What do you think about the idea for the promotion of type Funky Franky night and day?
Halloween Party Ideas for Your Little Guest
- Halloween is one of those holidays where children particularly enjoy, so if you’re a restaurant owner do not forget that you can do a lot to get children and their parents in your place.
- During the day, in a period when your restaurant has been less visited, organize a party for the little ones. Here are some ideas for great fun:
- The staff in costumes of witches and zombies will be a big hit. Kids are crazy about scary characters :).
- Give various sweets, candies and lollipops for free.
- Decorate your place with lots of orange and black balloons.
- Organize a contest to choose the best masks.
- Let the one from your staff play the role of animator during this party.
- To keep the children’s attention on the high level organize some simple games, such as games with balloons or shooting pumpkin contest with paper balls, of course.
- Use exclusively paper or plastic cups and plates. This will help to easily clean up the mess after party .
- Offer a simple menu and regular meals with unusual names. For example, if you’re offering pancakes with chocolate sauce, draw spider graphs with chocolate, and give them a new name “spider’s favorite cake”.
- Organize a small school of cooking Halloween dishes for children and their parents and inform the participants of the course through all available media.
Organize Halloween Party in Your Bar
Adults, like children enjoy a disguise and different games during this holiday season. I know many who are prepared even one month in advance for this night.
Offer more than your competition.
- Host famous musicians or DJ ‘s.
- Dancing sexy witch will move every man.
- Offer discount on restaurant or bar coupons for Halloween
- Arrangement partnership with representatives of popular brands to support promotional activities during this night.I do not mean only with representatives of some drinks brands, but also the owners of costume shops. Establish partnerships and exchange the coupons. Double marketing strategy!
- Organize a cocktail party, and offer cocktails at promotional prices.
- At the entrance to your restaurant or bar host the prophetess to prophesy….. maybe a great party time?
- Send invitations to Halloween party by email if you have guest database.
- Promote your offer via social networks.
Halloween is a children’s holiday but also a good business opportunity.
the child and the creative monster in yourself.
Happy Halloween! Have fun!
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1. Jason's Deli
225 locations in 28 states, mostly in the Mid-Atlantic, South, and Southeast
You'll be thrilled with the ingredients. This inexpensive, family-friendly spot serves up organic produce, nitrate-free lunch meat, and whole-grain bread on both its kids' and adult menus. Last year, it became the only restaurant chain in the country to ban high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors in all its food. "With the food dyes out of our mac 'n' cheese, for instance, it's no longer bright orange, but our taste tests show kids prefer the new version," says Pat Herring, director of research and development.
All children's meals at Jason's come with a side of organic carrots, apple slices, or a fruit cup in addition to organic milk or apple juice. "We took soda off the kids' menu to encourage children to opt for healthier drinks," says Herring. Next on tap: reducing sodium across the menu board. The organic PB&J on whole wheat is currently the lowest-sodium kids' option, with 445 milligrams (mg) per serving. The best pick for moms is the 50-plus-item salad bar loaded with organic field greens and four kinds of low-fat dressing, including delish raspberry vinaigrette.
Offers good for a limited time at participating U.S. Papa John's restaurants. Prices may vary. Not valid with any other coupons or discounts. All beverage related trademarks are registered Trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc. Some offers require the purchase of multiple pizzas. Some offers may be available online only. No triple toppings or extra cheese. Certain toppings may be excluded from special offer pizzas or require additional charge. Additional toppings extra. Limit seven toppings to ensure bake quality. Limited delivery area. Delivery fee may apply and may not be subject to discount. Minimum purchase may be required for delivery. Customer responsible for all applicable taxes.
No purchase necessary. MSG and Data rates may apply. Click here for SMS term and conditions for terms and conditions. Text HELP for help. Six (6) message per month. Text CANCEL to cancel.
©2021 Papa John's International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Canada: Adults and youth (ages 13 and older) need an average of 2,000 calories a day, and children (ages 4 to 12) need an average of 1,500 calories a day. However, individual needs vary.
Where to Get Great Mac and Cheese from Coast to Coast
Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Here's where to find craveworthy versions of the rich, cheesy delight all across America.
Photo By: Michael Harlan Turkell
Photo By: Luna Creek Photography
Photo By: Brandon Matzek | Kitchen Konfidence
Photo By: PHOTO: Russell French
A Mac and Cheese Quest
These 38 restaurants across the country are taking a comfort classic to the next level with cheese-plate-worthy cheese blends, chunks of lobster, spicy chorizo and more. These are macs you won't want to miss — one's even served atop a burger.
Las Vegas: Beauty & Essex
Boston: Yankee Lobster Company
A shrine to one of Boston's favorite foods, Yankee Lobster Company serves plenty of buttery lobster. Perhaps it's best enjoyed in a rich, creamy macaroni and cheese, studded with lobster plucked from ocean-fed aquariums on site. It's so good, Guy stopped by to try it on Triple D.
Kansas City, Missouri: Gram & Dun
Seattle: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Miami: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Clarkston, Michigan: Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Crave Kitchen & Cocktails
Miami: Huahua’s Taqueria
Bismarck, North Dakota: Humpback Sally's
This downtown Bismarck place offers fresh craft cocktails and excellent small plates served in a rustic-chic space. It has something for everyone, including classic Prohibition-era mixed drinks and modern molecular mixology. One thing everyone who visits agrees on, however, is the infamous mac and cheese. It’s one of the only dishes that constantly remains on the rotating seasonal menu. The simple dish is the ideal blend of flavors and textures. It’s smooth and crunchy with smoky and creamy notes, as well as a touch of spice. Swirly, tubular pasta is tossed with a four-cheese blend of smoked Cheddar, white Cheddar, Parmesan and havarti, roasted jalapenos and bacon, and it's topped with a spice panko breadcrumb crust.
Los Angeles: Little Pine
Vero Beach, Florida: Cobalt Restaurant
Chicago: Public House
Philadelphia: Good Dog Bar
New Orleans: Cochon Butcher
Porky goodness is a hallmark of this famed NOLA establishment known for its out-of-this-world muffuletta and other tantalizing sandwiches, cured meats and cheeses. But there's also the spot's rich and creamy macaroni and cheese, enriched with sharp white cheddar, milk, cream, onion, garlic and hot sauce. It's all mixed together with elbow macaroni and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano and herbed breadcrumbs.
Photo courtesy of Cochon Restaurant
Cincinnati: The Eagle
San Francisco: Homeroom
When a restaurant says it's dedicated to "the best food on earth: macaroni and cheese," it had better deliver the goods. At Oakland's schoolroom-themed Homeroom, there are more than 10 made-to-order varieties, ranging from a classic cheddar-rich version to the popular Mexican Mac. In that creamy, smoky dish, large ridged elbows are bathed in a sauce of housemade bechamel and Jack cheese, then spiked with Niman Ranch chorizo and chipotle peppers. But why stop there? Customize your mac and cheese with add-ins like caramelized onions or a fried egg. Can't eat gluten? Most varieties are available gluten-free.
San Diego: Urban Solace
Scottsdale, Arizona: The Roaring Fork
St. Louis: Salt + Smoke
Atlanta: South City Kitchen
A humble dish of mac and cheese is a Southern staple, but for some, the timeless standard demands a touch of luxury. And what better way to amp things up than chunks of buttery lobster? At South City Kitchen, executive chef Chip Ulbrich offers up two versions of mac and cheese. There's a four-cheese variety — cream cheese being the wild-card ingredient here. Then, there's the lobster-enriched offering, in which flavorful lobster meat is folded into the pasta-and-cheese mixture. Dare to indulge in it along with the restaurant's signature buttermilk fried chicken.
Photo courtesy of Fifth Group Restaurants
Boston: Boston Burger Company
Can't live without your mac and cheese, but you're dying for a burger, too? The solution: Marry the burger to the mac and cheese in the form of Boston Burger's next-level flavor combo, the Mac Attack. In this eatery with three locations in the Boston area, a burger is topped with mac and cheese composed of elbow pasta American, cheddar, Romano and Jack cheeses more cheese sauce and bacon. A dash of hot sauce adds some punch to this cheesy, beefy mouthful.
Minneapolis: Haute Dish
Chicago: Kuma's Corner
Heavy metal booms from the speakers at this popular Chicago pub, where the burgers draw raves. But there's also the spot's popular build-your-own mac and cheese, a rich blend of three cheeses and cream, topped with a Parmesan panko crust. Then pile on as many as you’d like of about 14 different ingredients, the first two of which are included in the $13 price for the dish. There's andouille, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapenos and garlic, to name a few. Chase this all down with one of the craft brews and spirits from a rotating selection.
Photo courtesy of Kuma's Corner
Wilton Manors, Florida: New York Grilled Cheese
Portland, Maine: Five Fifty-Five
Philadelphia: Valley Shepherd Creamery
Who says mac and cheese has to be made in a casserole? At the Valley Shepherd Creamery stand in Philadelphia's famed Reading Terminal, the cheese makers' over-the-top Valley Thunder grilled mac and cheese sandwich with housemade Bubbe's brisket always draws long lines. The brisket comes from Chef Rebecca Foxman's grandmother's recipe and the 12-month-aged cheddar from the creamery's New Jersey farmstead. There's no seating at this food stand, but tables and chairs are scattered throughout the market.
Photo courtesy of Valley Shepherd Creamery
Providence: Say Cheese
Dallas: Stonedeck Pizza Pub
Albuquerque, New Mexico: Freight House Kitchen + Tap
Long Beach, California: The Attic
Corning, New York: Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill
Seattle: Bok a Bok
Marietta, Georgia: Sam’s BBQ-1
Miami: Meat Market
Los Angeles: Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
There's often a crushing line at this Santa Monica Italian deli with locals lining up for its epic cold-cut sandwich, the Godmother. But fans of the deli's baked mac and cheese, consisting of elbow macaroni, eight different cheeses and a topping of crushed garlic croutons, say this decadent dish is also worth the wait. Be careful when ordering, though. Don't confuse "the real deal mac and cheese" with the deli's other, simpler side dish of pasta with cheese sauce. Pro tip: Skip the lines and order online for fast pickup at the counter.
Photo by Hector R. Padilla
New York City: The Queens Kickshaw
This coffee shop-cum-bar in the trendy Queens neighborhood of Astoria has earned kudos for its killer grilled cheese. But equally swoonworthy is the spot's mac and cheese. This crispy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside version is composed of Setaro pasta and a three-cheese combo of cheddar, Gruyère and Maplebrook Farm smoked mozzarella. Studded with green beans, the dish is baked in a loaf pan, then cut into slices and finished with a tomato reduction. Pair it with Counter Culture coffee or one of the eatery's large selections of craft beers.
Photo by Angela DeCenzo ©
Phoenix: The Duce
At The Duce, the mac and cheese muffins vie for attention with the restaurant's theme park atmosphere. Housed in the 1920 warehouse are a boxing ring, an old-time soda fountain and foosball, among other entertainments. The muffins — in which flour binds together elbow macaroni, Gruyère and cheddar into cheesy bites that are then baked in muffin tins — go well with a Pabst or a Bud from the bar's selection of old-time brews.