Macaroni and cheese is the perfect comfort food. Here are 9 restaurants that make it just right.

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 11:22:09-04

Did you know July 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day? (There’s really a day for everything.)

I can get behind a day that celebrates this cheesy, gooey goodness -- it's one of the ultimate comfort foods. If you're looking for a place to celebrate this delicious day, we have nine ideas for where to get some of the most delicious mac and cheese in the city.

Keystone Bar & Grill: You want mac and cheese? This is the granddaddy of Cincinnati mac and cheese spots. Get a crock of gooey, bubbly mac and cheese just the way you like it -- with a rock music twist. Try the plain Lovin’ Spoonful, the spicy Buffalo Springfield, the vegetarian Green Day or Fleetwood Mac or my favorite, the B.B. King with barbecue chicken and bacon. Locations in Clifton, Covington and Hyde Park.

Senate: While Senate is known for its hot dogs, the lobster mac and cheese, with big chunks of lobster, is out of this world. It’s got a crispy, broiled crust and is enough to share (or even make your own entree). 1212 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine.

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse: A good steakhouse serves great sides, and Jeff Ruby’s has some of the best. I grew up with baked mac and cheese (as opposed to stovetop) so this version touches on my childhood memories. (But it's much, much better.) Six cheeses make for a rich, well-rounded flavor that is the perfect complement for a steak. 700 Walnut St., Downtown.

Eli’s BBQ: What is a barbecue place without mac and cheese? Order some from Eli’s. It's rich and creamy stovetop-style -- and don’t forget the pork crispins on top for a little bit of salty crunch. 3313 Riverside Drive, Columbia Tusculum; 133 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine.

Flipdaddy’s: Flipdaddy’s mac and cheese is not just cheesy, it’s also grilled, meaning you get as many crispy bits of melted cheese as you can handle (without stealing from anyone else). What you really need to try, though, is the Mac Daddy: grilled mac and cheese filled with bacon on top of a beef patty, with aioli on a pretzel bun. Boom. It takes macaroni and cheese to a whole other level. Multiple locations.

The Eagle OTR: Fried chicken begs for macaroni and cheese. The Eagle’s is a creamy blend of cheese and pasta, topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs. Pair it with a quarter fried chicken or the fried chicken sandwich. 1342 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine.

Son of a Preacher Man: This restaurant specializes in traditional Southern food with a twist. The mac and cheese is peppery and cheesy, and it's available for lunch, dinner and brunch. Try it with a fried chicken biscuit, pimento cheese fritters or fried chicken. 3009 O Bryon St., O'Bryonville.

Walt’s Barbeque: Walt’s is one of Cincinnati's classic barbecue joints, and its mac and cheese doesn’t disappoint. This homemade-style stovetop mac and cheese isn’t fancy, but it’ll remind you of your childhood with its small pasta and American cheese-based sauce. 6040 Colerain Ave., Colerain; 746 N.W. Washington Blvd., Hamilton.

Loving Hut: Vegans, rejoice! You can enjoy this creamy, dreamy mac and cheese, made with vegan “cheez,” -- and you don’t have to make it yourself. If you miss other traditional accompaniments to mac and cheese, such as like chicken wings or burgers, Loving Hut offers delicious vegan versions of those, too. Meat eaters, give them a try -- you might be surprised! 6227 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge.