By Isadora Pennington

Pasta and cheese. Simple enough, right? A warm bowl of macaroni and cheese has been an incredibly popular comfort food in the United States since its introduction in the 1920s, but its origins date back even further.

Simple casseroles constructed of cheese and pasta were recorded in Italian and English cookbooks as early as the 14th century, while the first modern recipe appeared in The Experienced English Housekeeper written by Elizabeth Raffald back in 1770.

In the years that followed the dish has grown in popularity in Europe as well as stateside. In 1793, American president Thomas Jefferson was traveling in Paris and Italy when he encountered the dish. Fascinated, he drew sketches of the pasta and took notes on the process. Upon returning home, he commissioned a pasta maker be built for Monticello from those notes. Records indicate that in 1802 Jefferson served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner.

These days it’s companies like Kraft, Velveeta, and Annie’s who produce much of the macaroni and cheese that Americans eat when they are cooking at home. With the ingredients being so simple and straightforward, it comes as no surprise that the dish has remained a popular one for family dinners.

Meanwhile, in restaurants across the country, chefs have been challenging themselves to perfect and put their signature twist this classic dish. There are so many amazing restaurants in Atlanta that offer mac’n’cheese on their menus, so then the question becomes, how does one pick the best?

Well, my answer is – you don’t. Just eat them all


The Porter Beer Bar
Mac n’ Cheese: homemade pasta shells, homemade beer and cheddar pub cheese – $6.75.
1156 Euclid Ave. NE. or (404) 223-0393

Mac the Cheese Truck
BBQ Mac: Smoked pulled pork in barbecue sauce on cheddar mac, topped with house-made pimento cheese and pickles – $8.
See the location schedule at

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Mac & Cheese: traditional shells and gooey cheese – $5.
1238 DeKalb Ave. NE or (404) 577-4030

Mac & Cheese: topped with crumbled Cheez-its – $3.
17 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates or (404) 500-1785

Community Q
Mac N Chees: homestyle baked macaroni and cheese – $3.25.
1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur or (404) 633-2080

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.