5. Batch Gastropub
Another innovative spin on traditional mac 'n' cheese can be found at Batch Gastropub, where you can also get your drink on. Expect gnocchi macaroni covered in aged Gruyère and Dorito "dust." Plus, for an additional cost, you can add in one filling your heart — and stomach — desires. Options include everything from fried chicken to shrimp to caramelized onions. Once you’ve devoured the Mac Attack ($12), you’ve ingenuously prepared yourself for drinking all night long.
4. Huahua's Taqueria
Yes, you typically head to Huahua’s for inventive Mexican tacos, but don’t sleep on its mac 'n' cheese ($3.99). It’s packed with a plethora of cheeses, including queso blanco, jack, Oaxaca, and cotija. Unlike most comfy mac 'n' cheese recipes, there's no breadcrumb topping. Instead, Huahua’s sprinkles on its homemade version of Doritos for a fiesta in your mouth.
3. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
This South Beach hot spot doesn't mess around. Offering the best fried chicken in Miami, Yardbird also has a mac 'n' cheese dish that’s won countless praises for its Southern-inspired multitextured recipe served in an individual crock ($10). Break into the first layer, a crispy-crunchy herb crust, that protects the decadent contents: trottole pasta smothered in five artisanal cheeses, so it delivers less of a casserole feel and more of the other kind of feels.
2. Prime One Twelve
Perhaps the top steakhouse in Miami, Prime One Twelve not only does steaks right, but it also offers a sumptuous lobster mac 'n' cheese ($25) for a main dish as well as an equally tasty side sans lobster. For $13, the latter boasts an aromatic blend of five gourmet cheeses drizzled with truffle oil and topped with breadcrumbs — the perfect complement to a mouthwatering cut of flavorful meat.
1. Blue Collar
Cold and hungry? Blue Collar’s menu will warm you with its satisfying blend of comfort-food faves. This MiMo District restaurant makes its mac ($14) using corkscrew-shaped cavatappi with three cheeses — fontina, cheddar, and Parmesan — because if one cheese is delish, imagine three. Throw some bacon on it for $3, or go wild with rock shrimp for $8.
Follow Maureen on Twitter.