Macaroni and cheese. Admit it—merely reading those words induces cravings for warm, creamy, gooey comfort food. Good ol’ mac and cheese is great any time of year, but when we learned that October is National Cheese Month and National Pasta Month, it felt like a crime to not celebrate by stuffing ourselves silly with as much mac as we could find.
You won’t find any boxes of Kraft in this guide, but you will find the perfect plate for every taste and dietary predilection. Seeking spice? Try Le Bistro Montage’s Buffalo Mac or Jalapeno and Bacon Cheddar. Craving a Korean kick? Swift Lounge offers a kimchi mac with bacon and shallots. Feeling creative? Build your own cheesy creation at Herb’s Mac and Cheese food cart. Keeping it simple? Davis St. Tavern’s velvety three cheese béchamel sauce is pure comfort.
As expected, Portland’s plant-based community offers a range of dairy-free takes on the traditional dish. Cheese-free mac and cheese may sound inherently inferior, but Vita Café’s vegan mac with fried tempeh has been known to tempt the staunchest carnivore. Harlow, Blossoming Lotus, and Homegrown Smoker even have those mythical gluten-free vegans covered.
But enough talk. Dig into our macaroni and cheese slide show by clicking the photo above! When you're finished, go out and try one—heck, try them all—and let us know your favorites in the comments.