We ride the soup spoon through Northern Michigan restaurants, including Traverse City restaurants, in search of January bliss by the bowlful.

Smoked Whitefish Chowder  Bluebird, 102 River Street, Leland, 231-256-9081.  Bluebird’s indulgent chowder is sewn with lardons, potatoes, tarragon, bay leaf and cream.

French Onion Soup  Martha’s Leelanau Table, 413 North Joseph Street, Suttons Bay, 231-271-2344.  Martha caramelizes onions for many hours to deliver this bubbling, iconic French classic.

Butternut Squash Bisque  Cooks’ House, 115 Wellington, Traverse City, 231-946-8700.  With simple, artful flavor extraction, Cooks’ House delivers squash in its purest form.
Cream of Wild Mushroom  Lake Street Market, 306 South Lake Street, Boyne City, 231-582-4450. From the mushroom capital of the North, it’s no surprise to find a rich, earthy bowl of love at Lake Street Market.

Oyster Stew  Whitney’s Oyster Bar, 307 Bridge Street, Charlevoix, 231-547-0818.  Made to order, Whitney’s simmers fresh oysters, new potatoes and herbs in a rich stock.

Creole Gumbo  City Park Grill, 432 East Lake Street, Petoskey, 231-347-0101. City Park Grill crafts a fine bowl from the Big Easy to drive out après-ski chills.

Tomato Gorgonzola Julienne Tomatoes, 421 Howard, Petoskey, 231-439-9250.  Julie’s signature soup made with fresh tomatoes and creamy, pungent gorgonzola is divine.

Find hundreds of Northern Michigan restauraunts, including Traverse City restauraunts, in the MyNorth Northern Michigan Restaurant Guide.