These new Northern Michigan restaurants in Frankfort, Traverse City, Walloon Lake and Boyne City feature Northern Michigan local foods and products. Check them out!

Cru Cellars

411 Main St, Frankfort, 231.399.0200

Betsie Bay’s blue August afternoon is channeled in the citrusy bright sip of Sardinian vermentino that follows a bite of cornmeal-dusted smelt dunked in caper lemon aioli at Cru Cellars, Frankfort’s hot new wine bar and small plate haven. Cru owners Jennifer and Torrey Bingham have curated a wine-friendly menu appointed with insightful choices: artisan cheeses from Michigan’s Tirrell Farmstead and Zingerman’s Creamery; Virginia fennel salami; house-cured salmon to garnish deviled farm eggs with caviar and crispy capers. Sip lightly effervescent rosato and pass the housemade truffled pork and chicken liver pâté or fig jam and crispy prosciutto flatbread, or swirl a mineral-rich goblet of Spanish godello between bites of seared walleye with clams and chorizo in a fragrant lemon-tomato broth. The atmosphere buzzes with a hip casual vibe, and every bottle in house is accompanied by a tasting note detailing the wine’s provenance, flavor profile and suggested pairings.

The Little Fleet

448 East Front Street, Traverse City 231.943.1116

East Front Street’s hippest new watering hole pours microbrews, craft cocktails and cool wines while playing port of call to TC’s fleet of food trucks. Chow on smokehouse-style barbecue, transcendental Philly cheese steaks, roast pork tacos, avant-garde grilled cheese or pan-Asian delights.


439 East Front Street, Traverse City 231.943.1555

Chef Tony Craig delivers his edible biography in this buzzing 16-seat Asian Latin taqueria. Feast on Chinese-style barbecue, Nicaraguan braised pork and yucca stew, Ropa Vieja or Thai-inspired tacos.

The Thirsty Goat

220 Lake Street, Boyne City 231.268.4628

Locally sourced Jordan Valley bison pasties, beer-battered whitefish with sweet corn remoulade, duck salad and braised veal cheeks with sorrel emulsion populate the menu at this relaunched gastro-pub in Boyne City’s SoBo District.

Barrel Back

0406 North M75, Walloon Lake 231.535.6000

Absorb panoramic eyefuls of crystalline Walloon Lake between bites of smoked pork tacos, roasted eggplant and caramelized onion pizza or house-smoked Saint Louis cut ribs. Barrel Back boasts over 20 craft tap handles and refreshing proprietary cocktails like the Ernest Mojito—a nod to young Hemingway’s summers here.

This article is also featured in the August 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Get your copy now!