10/15/2013 01:15 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2013

America's Best Mac and Cheese (PHOTOS)

Thomas Jefferson helped popularize mac and cheese when he served the dish at an 1802 state dinner (after lugging home a pasta machine from France). Ever since, chefs have been whipping up their own incarnations of this quintessential comfort food.

No matter how they prefer it, enthusiasts would surely agree on two points: mac and cheese can be so much tastier than the kind that comes in a blue box, and it's worth traveling to sample the very best. It seems daunting to even try to unearth America's best mac and cheese, but we sure had fun along the way.

--Jessica Adamiak

See All of America's Best Mac and Cheese

More from Travel + Leisure:
America's Best Fried Chicken
America's Best Pies
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in the U.S.
America's Most Haunted Places
America's Most Beautiful Covered Bridges

Americas Best Mac and Cheese (PHOTOS)