Northern Michigan Restaurants: A day of holiday shopping calls for sustenance. We’re here to help with venue suggestions for starters, midday interludes and end-of-day cool-downs in three vibrant small-town downtowns.
Suttons Bay Though you’ve only got three blocks to cover, the density of funky boutiques and the cold wind ricocheting off West Bay call for a mugful of warm fortitude found at the 45th Parallel Café (102 S Broadway, 231.271.2233), a great spot for coffee, pastries and, if you must, fudge. Lunch should find you warmly tucked into a two-top at Martha’s Leelanau Table (413 N. Saint Joseph St., 231.271.2344), sipping L.Mawby bubbles and cooing over a Croque Madame or melted Leelanau raclette with potatoes and cornichons. Before dashing home to stash the presents, debrief over crab cakes and cocktails in the friendly, infectious warmth of Boone’s North Country Pub (420 N. Saint Joseph St., 231.271.5000).
Traverse City Launch your TC shopping odyssey from the hip environs of Brew (108 East Front St., 231.946.2739) with a single origin pour-over or a pint of breakfast stout (for those on the naughty list). After a few hours of fierce shopping, foist yourself into a funky upholstered booth at Poppycock’s (128 East Front St., 231.941.7632) and get nourished with a Greek quinoa salad or a bistro tuna salad tartine. Do a tropical smoothie to replenish your electrolytes or swig a Hot & Dirty martini to stay on your game among the sale racks. With everyone else joyfully provided for it’s time to treat yourself to haute cuisine at the Cooks’ House (115 Wellington St., 231.946.8700). Feed your inner elf with beet risotto or slow roasted lamb shoulder with a coco rubico bean ragout and finish with an apple tart; you’re worth it.
Petoskey The myriad treasures of Petoskey’s Gaslight District are best tackled après-brunch at Twisted Olive Cafe (319 Bay St., 231.487.1230), where the Eggs Monaco with saffron hollandaise is itself a gift from the gastro gods. When you feel yourself crashing under the weight of shopping bags and depleted blood sugar amble over to Jolly’s (440 East Mitchell, 231.622.8900) for lifesaving lattes and warm sea salt and chocolate chip cookies. Smugly savor wood-oven pizzas and a bottle of nero d’avola at Palette Bistro (321 Bay St., 231.348.3321) knowing you are, in fact, the consummate gift giver.