When Mario Batali recently shared his nine favorite restaurants, he had selections spanning the globe: Italy, New York, Singapore … Who made the list twice? That’s right—Traverse City!

Part-time Northern Michigan resident (he summers at his Leelanau County home in Northport from July to Labor Day) and chef/TV personality extraordinaire, Batali is known for his love of simply prepared, fresh foods featuring local ingredients. Not only does he find his food P.O.V. flourish in his own kitchen when in Northern Michigan thanks to fresh farm stands and local purveyors, he sees it ignite in the kitchens of Traverse City restaurants.

“The chefs involved in the scene celebrate what’s here; they’re not trying to be anything they’re not. Now people are coming for gastronomic tourism. All winter I look forward to eating two things: pizza from my wood oven topped with Leelanau Cheese Company’s Raclette and serrano chiles, and cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company,” says Batali. (Leelanau Raclette was named one of the world’s 66 best cheeses! Get cheesy recipes here.)

Eat like an Iron Chef and check out two of Mario Batali’s favorite restaurants in the world, located right here in Traverse City:

The Cooks’ House: “Local sustainable cuisine skillfully prepared and served in Traverse City, in the heart of Northern Michigan wine and dine country.” Located at 115 Wellington Street, Traverse City, 231.946.8700.

Frenchies Famous: French press coffee, espressos, house-made breakfast and lunch including delicious sandwiches so good they’re almost addicting, all in a cozy setting. Tip: the pastrami is a must! Located at 619 Randolph Street, Traverse City, 231.944.1228.

Hear what Mario Batali has to say about the Northern Michigan food scene for himself! Check out MyNorth’s video interview.

Mario Batali Recipes: