A Taste of Northern Michigan

I recently got back from a wonderful, relaxing vacation in Northern Michigan. This is the second summer my boyfriend and I spent our summer vacation in this part of the country and we absolutely love it up there. The weather is perfect, the people are friendly, and there is some incredibly good food to be found.

We were in Saugatuck, the Leelanau Peninsula, and Traverse City. These are areas that are serious about fresh, seasonal, locally grown cuisine. The area it chock full of farms and wine vineyards. It’s really a budding foodie destination (Mario Batali even has a vacation home in Northport, MI). We happened to be there during the Traverse City Cherry Festival so we ate tons of fresh cherries; they appeared in lots of different dishes from pie to pan-seared chicken. The best thing to do is to pull over to a roadside stand and buy cherries and whatever else they happen to be selling.

Instead of doing a write up of every excellent restaurant we dined in (and there were many), I thought it would be more fun to give you a visual presentation of all that Michigan has to offer. I also provided a guide of our favorite restaurants and B&Bs (we stayed in some amazing and fairly affordable places). I highly recommend a visit to Northern Michigan—those Pure Michigan ads are no joke!

Cherry pie from The Cherry Hut

Amazing hamburger at Salt of the Earth

Walleye with morels, asparagus, and a ramp butter sauce from Mission Table

Strawberry tiramisu from Everyday People

Asian tofu lettuce wraps from Red Ginger

Smoked whitefish dip from Mermaid Bar and Grill

Asparagus Eggs Benedict from Trattoria Stella

Cherry and chocolate milkshakes from Don's Drive-In

Turkey Reuben from Art's Tavern

Chicken with sour cherries and greens from A Cook's House

Chocolate cherry cheesecake from The Cove

Cherries bought from a road side stand

In Saugatuck Area:
*Salt of the Earth- 114 East Main Street Fennville, MI 269-561-SALT www.saltoftheearthfennville.com

*Everyday People-11 Center Street Douglas, MI 269-857-4240 www.everydaypeoplecafe.com

*Mermaid Bar and Grill-340 Water Street Saugatuck, MI 269-857-8208 http://mermaidofsaugatuck.com

*Sherwood Forest B&B- 938 Center Street Douglas, MI (right next to Saugatuck) 1-800-838-1246 www.sherwoodforestbandb.com

In Traverse City Area:
*The Cook’s House- 439 E. Front Street Traverse City, MI 231-946-8700 www.thecookshouse.typepad.com

*Mission Table- 13512 Peninsula Drive Traverse City, MI (Old Mission Peninsula) 231-223-4222 www.missiontable.net

*Trattoria Stella-1200 W Eleventh Street Traverse City, MI 49684 231-929-8740 www.stellatc.com/stellatc/

*Red Ginger-237 East Front Street Traverse City, MI 231-944-1733 www.eatatginger.com/sit.php

*The Cove-111 River Street Leland, MI 231-256-9834 http://thecoveleland.com

*Art’s Tavern- 6487 Western Avenue Glen Arbor, MI 49636 231-334-3754 www.artsglenarbor.com

*The Cherry Hut- 211 N. Michigan Avenue (US 31) Beulah, MI 231-882-4431 www.cherryhutstore.com

*Tesoro Inn- 15627 Center Road Traverse City, MI (Old Mission Peninsula)  231-223-7686 http://tesoroinn.com

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18 responses to “A Taste of Northern Michigan

  1. Elyssa, your photos are beautiful. I plan to return to all spots you visited for a re-enactment!!! Yum!

  2. Gorgeous photos. It makes me think maybe I should plan a food trip to Michigan!

  3. Angela–you definitely should! It’s really beautiful and relaxing up there, plus the food is delicious and very affordable. If you guys decide to go, let me know and I can give you some advice.

    Last summer we also went to the Petosky area and Macinack Island, other fun places to visit. (Although for a foodie trip, I recommend the areas above instead).

  4. Every picture made me want to visit Northern Michigan! Wow, strawberry tiramisu.

  5. Whaaaaaaaaat that burger looks RIDICULOUS!!!!

  6. Stay tuned for a post devoted just to that hamburger (the best burger I’ve ever had…EVER)! Hopefully I’ll get something up tonight so you can all drool. :)

  7. We’ve only been to Traverse City. Now we have reason to go elsewhere, meaning every place you mentioned! Dang.

  8. Oh. My. God. This is like food porn. I love seeing other people’s food pics and reading about their experiences, especially when it involves Northern Michigan. Cheers!

  9. WOW…you hit all the amazing foodie spots in Michigan…Mission Table, Salt of the Earth, Stella’s, Red Ginger, Cook’s House and even Arts (that turkey reuben is my fav on the menu). Thanks for sharing your experience!

  10. Next time you are up find me at Left Foot Charlies..I will give you a few more secrets to northern michigan! You have highlighted a lot of my favorite places!

  11. Thank you for the kind words!!!! We grind our burgers with FRESH grass fed beef – ground and pattied by hand. Each burger is topped with local tomato and fresh local baby lettuce, and placed on a house-baked egg bun. All the condiments are made in house – WE LOVE OUR BURGERS!!!! Look forward to seeing you again!!!

  12. So glad you liked the post Chef Matthew. My boyfriend and I are literally obsessed with your burger. We won’t shut up about it. haha I am currently working on a post devoted solely to your amazing burger…it should be up in the next day or so.

    The burger was so good that it overshadowed what was also possibly a perfect steak that my boyfriend had. (Also a fantastic dish!)

    Keep up the good work. You guys are doing incredible things over at Salt of the Earth.

  13. I haven’t even HAD the burger and I’m obsessed with it. Your blog definitely put Salt of the Earth on my list as a must-try.

  14. Were you at Phil’s on Front for dessert or a drink one night? If so, I think we talked. If not, glad you had such a nice time in TC

  15. Hi Blake. Yes! We ordered coffee and had that amazing homemade ice cream (which I failed to take a good picture of, which is a bummer because it was so good). Were you the guy that was telling us about the film festival?

  16. I was the bartender, whose fiance is a manager at Mission Table so I was trying to pick your brain about your visit there. Parenthetically, she thinks your picture of their dish is super awesome, so thanks for that. Hope you come back to the area soon, we need all the people who actually care about food we can get so we can continue to have cool, interesting menus up here.

  17. We remember you Blake. I’m so glad your fiance liked the picture. It was one of the best dishes we had the entire trip.

    We’ll definitely be back…we are already talking about the next time we go up there. We would love to come for the film festival, but probably not this year.

  18. تعلم البوكر

    I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!

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