Mac Madness in Macomb County

Macomb County is on a mission to find the best mac & cheese in the county. Learn more about this year's Mac Madness and get details on how to vote.

The Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac contest is returning for a third year to once again determine who makes the best macaroni and cheese in Macomb County.

The contest, which is organized by Macomb County Planning and Economic Development  (MCPED), will promote local restaurants that specialize in preparing this noodle dish from scratch.

“We’ve seen a phenomenal response to this initiative,” said Vicky Rowinski. “We started Mac Madness in 2021 as a way to help restaurants recover from the pandemic. Now it’s grown into a community celebration. People look forward to it, and our restaurants are ready to go head to head to determine who’s got the best noodle dish. The team here is excited to again shine a spotlight on our Macomb County dining scene, and we’re looking forward to crowning this year’s big cheese!”

Restaurants that offer any type of housemade macaroni and cheese are encouraged to enter the contest here starting February 27 through March 13. Additional rules for entrants include:

  • The macaroni and cheese must be housemade
  • Only independently owned and operated restaurants are eligible  
  • The restaurant must be located within Macomb County
  • National franchises are excluded
  • There is only one entry per restaurant and the public cannot submit on behalf of a restaurant – only self-submissions are allowed

Once the portal closes, entrants will be featured in a public vote period called Mac Madness 2023, where restaurants face off in a bracket-style competition. Public voting will start March 19, and restaurants will be narrowed down to the final two. The top vote getter from that face-off will win:

  • A $2,000 grant from Macomb County
  • The Best Mac in the Mac plaque
  • A $1,000 grant will also be awarded to the second place restaurant. 

In 2022, establishments from across Macomb County went head-to-head in the competition, with K-Block’s Fire Pit BBQ in Washington Township coming out on top. Second place was awarded to Bath City Bistro in Mount Clemens.

Mac & Cheese Spots in Macomb County 

Need to taste-test before you make decisions on who to vote for during Mac Madness? Here are a few spots in Macomb County that serve delish mac & cheese options. 

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of entrants to the Mac Madness event or all of the mac & cheese spots in Macomb County. It’s a sample of mac & cheese offerings to get you excited and ready to vote.  

Aspen Restaurant

Try their loaded mac & cheese that comes complete with their house four cheese sauce, bacon, diced tomatoes, broccoli and penne pasta. 

Bad Brad’s BBQ 

The mac & cheese comes topped with aged Vermont cheddar and a hint of thyme and black pepper. Locations in Oakland County and Wayne County, too. 

Bath City Bistro 

  • Address: 75 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 4-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

Try this spot’s baked Mac ‘n Cheese, which features a cavatappi pasta in a three-cheese sauce with a baked-crumb top.

Blake’s Tasting Room

Try their Back 40 Mac ‘N Cheese with beer cheese and breadcrumbs. You can add bacon to it for an up-charge. 

Coney Grille

This restaurant features a honey garlic chicken and Mac or their regular Artisan Mac and cheese. 

Detroit Fish House, LLC

Choose from a regular or lobster mac & cheese or their Truffle Lobster Macaroni N’ Cheese, which is house-made fontina cheese sauce, truffle shavings, cavatappi pasta and panko.

Ernie’s Grill

The “Bubblin” Mac & Cheese is baked in a cast iron skillet. It can be topped with grilled or crispy chicken, jalapeño peppers, crispy bacon or grilled shrimp. 

Fins Eatery & Spirits

This spot’s gourmet mac & cheese is pasta tossed in a creamy three-cheese blend that’s baked with bacon and a cracker crust. They offer lobster mac & cheese, too.

Freddy’s Bar and Grill

Find unique mac & cheese options including the macaroni and cheese bites and Joey’s Big Mac N’ Cheese — a burger that comes topped with fried mac & cheese. 

Gumbo’s

Try the mac & cheese bites at this New Orleans-inspired spot. 

Harrison’s Speakeasy

This “secret bar” features a whiskey Mac and cheese with their signature whiskey cheese, cavatappi and provolone in a cast iron skillet. 

J Baldwins

Try their baked Mac and cheese, which features fresh bread crumbs and bacon. 

Jamboozies Sports Bar & Grill

This spot offers a wide selection of barbecue-style food including a delicious mac & cheese that you can add chicken or pulled pork to. 

Jayell Smoke House

  • Address: 151 S. Main St., Romeo
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Get the smoked mac & cheese to go along with a brisket or pulled pork sandwich.

Kapones Sports Tavern

  • Address: 24301 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores
  • Hours: 5 a.m.-midnight Monday,11 a.m.-midnight Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-2 a.m. Sunday, closed Monday

Try the Mitt & Ball Mac N’ Cheese is cavatappi noodles, smothered in their house cheese sauce, basil, tomatoes and buttered bread crumbs. You can add grilled or blackened chicken, lobster tail, applewood bacon or broccoli to it. 

KBlocks Fire Pit BBQ

Get a side of mac and cheese with your pit-made favorites. They also offer Piggie Mac, which is mac and cheese with pulled pork and BBQ sauce. 

Mavrix Restaurant & Bar

Score a larger portion of bacon mac & cheese that comes with mixed pasta, a blend of cheese with bacon and scallions.

On The Bay Customs

This spot offers lobster mac & cheese alongside their Bay Mac n Cheese, which comes with a Vermont white cheddar cheesy cream sauce. 

Outlaw Smoke BBQ

This spot offers a Mac Attack, which is Mac ‘n’ Cheese mounted with pulled pork or brisket. Also, you can get a side of their smoked Mac n Cheese. 

Orleans Sports Café

  • Address: 100 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens
  • Hours:  4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-11 p.m. Sunday (for Lion’s home games only)

Try the deep-fried mac and cheese bites solo or in the appetizer platter. 

Sherwood Brewing Company 

This spot’s classic comforts menu includes traditional mac & cheese along with pulled pork and buffalo options.

Simple Palate Restaurant 

This spot’s house-made mac & cheese comes is made of medium-shell noodles tossed in a three-cheese sauce and topped in panko bread crumbs. Add shrimp chicken, blackened or lobster for an additional charge. 

Stonewood Smokehouse Bar and BBQ

Get the deep fried mac and cheese with jalapeños or bacon or their mac and cheese with chicken, pork or brisket added to it. 

Three Blind Mice Irish Pub

Try their Baked 3 Cheese Mac & Cheese, where you can add crumbled bacon, grilled chicken or grilled shrimp for an up-charge. 

Twisted Rooster Bar & Grill Chesterfield

Offers five styles of mac & cheese, including a classic, twisted, shrimp, buffalo and fried chicken. 

Younger’s Irish Tavern

  • Address: 120 S. Main St., Romeo 
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday

Choose from the house mac, buffalo chicken mac, the ultimate veggie mac or the cowboy mac. 

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

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