Local Vibes

Local Vibes

Local Vibes

UPDATED: 10/17/2023

The very first thing on my list of comfort foods, is a big hot creamy bowl of consolation, or as the rest of the world calls it, macaroni & cheese.

Most of us grew up with that famous blue box, but as time went on, our palates matured and searched for variations of what was at one time a simple pleasure.

Macaroni and cheese lovers here in New Jersey have their favorites. It may be their mom’s homemade version, their own homemade version, or a version created by one of the thousands of restaurants across the Garden State.

I got hit with a host of favorites and I’m going to share my findings from the mac and cheese lovers across the great state of New Jersey, and they are listed in no particular order.

  • Proving Ground - 56 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

    Starting off with a place I’ve never heard of before, because the description of what I was given intrigued me. Baked 3 cheese mac, topped with buttery, crispy panko,

    Proving Ground

    Highlands, NJ. Waterfront restaurant and bar. Craft cocktails. Fresh local meals to go. Curbside and dockside take out. To-go beers and wines. Sunday brunch to-go.

  • Hinck's Turkey Farm - 1414 Atlantic Ave, Manasquan, NJ 08736

    The name Hinck’s Turkey Farm creates memories upon memories of food that soothes the soul.

    One moment, please...

    No Description

  • Local Smoke BBQ - Various locations on the Jersey Shore

    Many folks had this place near or at the top of their list, and I can’t disagree.

  • Sharrott Winery - 370 S Egg Harbor Rd, Hammonton, NJ 08037

    Ashelee from the South Jersey Food Scene mentioned this to me. I had to go to the website to see how they prepare mac and cheese. It’s simple, Cooper Sharp and Cheddar. You could add bacon for an extra $2.00.

    Sharrott Winery

    (609) 567-WINE    /     Sun  10am - 5pm    |    Mon and Tue  12pm - 6pm    |    Wed to Sat  12pm - 9:00pm     /      Kitchen Open Daily

  • Big Swerve's BBQ- Deptford Twp.

    Offering mobile food services for all events. They have a very large catering business and from what I’ve been told, killer mac & cheese. Specializing in Southern style soul food, while offering other types of cuisine.

  • Senerchia Meat & Deli - 762 Broadway, Bayonne, NJ 07002

    Brian over at NJ Shore Eats and Alisa from Edison both love their mac & cheese. It’s another place you wouldn’t think of to grab a big bowl of creamy mac & cheese.

    Senerchia Meat & Deli - Bayonne, NJ

    14 reviews of SENERCHIA MEAT & DELI "Trying not to sound crazy, but this is one of my favorite places on earth. I have never had a bad experience with anything from here. The chicken salad is outstanding and if the steaks aren't prime, then they are the absolute best bang for your buck in the northeast because I can't tell the difference.

  • Tops Diner - 500 Passaic Ave, East Newark, NJ 07029

    Anthony Pepe was honest. He said, “I don’t know if it’s the best, but the lobster mac & cheese at Tops Diner is pretty darn good.” Marianne, said it was her favorite.  Here’s the description from their the menu: Lobster Mac + Cheese Casserole. Maine lobster, five cheese classic cheese sauce, garlic crumbs, roasted tomato. I would absolutely pay $26.00 for that!

  • Rooney's Oceanfront Restaurant - 100 Ocean Ave N, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    Lawrence D. might get into an argument with a few people when it comes to the best lobster mac & cheese. He swears Rooney’s takes the crown. The menu description: Lobster Mac-A-Rooney – Lobster Cream Sauce, Maine Lobster Meat, Parmesan & Mozzarella Cheeses. I would also pay $26.00 for this.

  • Merryman's Pub - : 106 S Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071

    South Jersey folks are my kind of people. They are passionate about finding hidden gems and loyal when it comes to their list of “Go To” places. Merryman’s was one of the most suggested places to go when I mentioned mac & cheese. They have a variety of mac & cheese dishes on the menu including, “Irish Bangers mac & cheese” and Short rib mac & cheese. Yes please!

    Bar In Pitman | Merryman's Pub | Pitman Restaurant

    Welcome to Merryman's Pub, Pitman's first and finest pub! Located in the heart of the town, we are proud to make history and be Pitman's first business to be able to serve alcohol.

  • Christine’s House of Kingfish Barbecue - 926 US-206, Shamong, NJ 08088

    Frank let us know the mac & cheese is delicious, Lou agrees and adds the Brunswick Stew is worth ordering.

  • Gabriella's Italian Steakhouse - : 447 NJ-35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    The menu choices are lobster or truffle mac and cheese, but I’ll bet they’ll make something other than those 2 choices if you ask nicely.

  • The Ark Pub & Eatery - 401 NJ-35, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    If we’re sticking to the Jersey Shore, this place has been consistently rated #1 for mac & cheese. Most people I’ve talked to say no other Jersey Shore eatery comes close. This isn’t some fancy place, it’s a bar that feels like home to anyone who has ever stepped foot in here. Plus they have award winning burgers. Let’s go grab a bowl of goodness and a nice juicy burger.

  • Stone Fire Grille - 226 Atlantic City Blvd, Beachwood, NJ 08722

    People who live in my neck of the woods rave about their mac & cheese.

    Creamy Blend of 4 Cheeses, fresh basil, macaroni topped with Cheese its & baked till golden brown

    Menus | Stone Fire Grille

    Stone Fire Grille in Beachwood, NJ

  • The Farm and Fisherman Tavern - 1442 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

    Stevie C. shares an insider secret with us. He told me their menu has mac & cheese on the kids menu, but you can actually order it as a side dish. If as good as Stevie says, I’m ordering 2 sides of it and maybe the kid’s chicken fingers.


  • ReBAR & kitchen - 132 Essex St, Lodi, NJ 07644

    Sandy and Wayne usually go for the burgers, but say you should grab the mac & cheese with the toasty parmesan bread crumbs as well. You’ll be sorry if you don’t follow their  suggestion. I love these people.

  • Jameson's Southern Cooking - 652 NJ-35, Neptune City, NJ 07753

    The first place I ate mac & cheese other than my own after I moved to Jersey in the 90’s. Now to me, that’s home.

    Jameson's Southern Cooking - Neptune City, NJ

    JAMESON'S SOUTHERN COOKING, 652 State Route 35 N, Neptune City, NJ 07753, 70 Photos, Mon - Closed, Tue - Closed, Wed - 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Thu - 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Fri - 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Sat - 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Sun - 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  • Your House or your mom's House

    Hundreds of people said, My house, no one makes better mac & cheese, or, My mom’s is the best in the world.

    Lou's homemade

  • Macc's - 2 Ocean Terrace Kiosk 1, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751

    It’s a grab and go joint  where you can grab a quick bite for breakfast, but macaroni & cheese is their main focus. They offer crazy cool combinations like  the “Shroom” –  Mac & Cheese mixed with a 5 mushroom blend, topped with a drizzle of truffle oil, garlic breadcrumbs and fresh green onions. All the combos are fun and inventive.




  • Shut Up and Eat - 804 Main St, Toms River, NJ 08753

    They have a grilled mac & cheese sandwich on the menu.  I’ll skip the bread and order a big bowl of their homemade creamy mac & cheese!  So comforting, it’s like eating at Grandma’s house.




  • The Committed Pig - 165 Main St, Manasquan, NJ 08736

    This place has a 3 cheese blend mac & cheese topped with buttery panko bread crumbs. The only thing that may be able to top that is the Mac & Cheese Burger. It’s a mound of creamy mac & cheese on top of a burger, served on grilled sourdough. My ass is growing larger just writing about it.

  • Shorehouse Tavern - 2114 NJ-88, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

    The Lobster Mac & Cheese is a comforting bowl of creamy goodness, topped with buttery lobster. I want it, NOW!!! Don’t forget about the Mac Daddy Burger- A killer cheeseburger topped with Applewood smoked bacon a generous helping of mac & cheese.

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