Address: 207 West 14th St.
Someone airlifted the 24/7 diner to Latin America, kept it open for a few months (years?) to absorb the flavors and aromas of the region, then dropped it in Chelsea bearing the name Coppelia. Perhaps that isn't a true story, but what's for certain is the strength of Coppelia's elbow macaroni topped with pork belly and crisp chicharrón (pork rinds, basically). Everyone rides for Southern-style mac, and yes, all praise due to the conventional methods of cheesing; they're great, and you've loved them for ages. But with so many dishes competing for the title of best mac and cheese, the bolder choice will stand out. And this is a bold fucking mac. Sometimes, you need crunchy pork fat and soft belly nestled amid gooey cheese. Sometimes, you need Coppelia.