From Bridge Street Taproom in Charlevoix to Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor, Traverse food and wine editor Tim Tebeau gives some great suggestions for Northern Michigan winter comfort food in this roundup that was originally published in the February 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Read on this month as we nosh, guzzle and lounge at some of the North’s hottest winter hangouts.

Bridge Street Taproom

202 Bridge Street, Charlevoix 231.437.3466

Outside, February whirls over Round Lake and its waterfront mansions but it’s all frothy pints of porter and two-handed pork belly 
sandwiches at The Bridge Street Taproom, Charlevoix’s bustling craft-beer and comfort-food hangout. Launched last June to instant success, Bridge Street Taproom is the brainchild of young hop-headed foodie entrepreneurs Aaron Hagen, Adam Engelman and Phil Parr, whose vision was to create a comfortably hip and delicious homage to Michigan craftsmanship. The Taproom’s 30 handles pour forth a bounty of bitter IPA’s, imperial pilsners and creamy stouts from every corner of the Mitten, with a constant rotation of rare, small batch suds like the Rockford Hoplust IPA or Kuhnhenn Shooter McGavin rye lager. Where there is beer so too must there be pub grub, and Bridge Street Taproom pushes a concise and creative spectrum of housemade brew-friendly vittles like smoked brisket nachos, naan bread pizzas and a heroic grilled mac and cheese sandwich with Plath’s bacon, sliced avocado and sriracha aioli.

Clam Lake Beer Company

106 South Mitchell, Cadillac 231.775.6150

After riding Cadillac’s trail network or ripping up the slopes at Caberfae, slide into the Clam Lake Beer Company for a cold craft pint and a brick oven pie with sausage, goat cheese and roasted garlic.


Art’s Tavern

6487 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor 231.334.3754

Chase out the chill with Dirty Martini Dip and an expertly shaken vodka tipple, or wrap your jaws around an olive burger at this beloved Glen Arbor watering hole.


Rare Bird Brew Pub

229 Lake Avenue, Traverse City 231.943.2053

Slap on your best hipster grin and head to TC’s old fruit dock district for fusionistic pub fare like kimchi-inspired chicken wings, pecorino-dusted frites and oysters with yuzu sambal mignonette. Wash ’em down with tasty proprietary brews like the El Duderino IPA.


Lulu’s Bistro

213 North Bridge Street, Bellaire 231.533.5252

Lulu’s rocks an urbane bistro vibe that’s perfect for après-ski cocktails and dinner. Order up a bottle of grüner veltliner from neighboring Water Fire Vineyards, and tuck into short rib gnocchi, pappardelle with smoked chicken and arugula or virtuosic fish and chips.


Tap 30 Pourhouse

422 East Mitchell, Petoskey 231.881.9572

Petoskey’s brand new neo-industrial gastro pub pulls pints from all over the craft brew diaspora and serves juicy burgers, decadent mac-and-cheese and Korean-style pork sliders to soak up the booze.


More Northern Michigan Food

Bridge Street Taproom’s Aaron Hagen

WIN: $1500+ in Traverse City Dining for Restaurant Week

Cooking with Microbrews

BLK MRKT in Traverse City

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski