You’ll never be bored—or hungry—anywhere in Northern Michigan. This season, sift through a boatload of brand new Northern Michigan restaurants. Remember to pace yourself; you won’t want to miss a bite of these exciting new hot spots.
Whether you’re hungry for smoked brisket, bao buns, sashimi or ceviche, this year the North has a bumper crop of new eateries to explore. Read on as we eat our way through 10 new Northern Michigan restaurants.
117 West Main Street | Harbor Springs | 231.242.4655
Cross the street-side threshold of Lauretta Reiss’s Small Batch Bakery and Café in Harbor Springs and enter an olfactory dreamscape of caramelized sugar, heady baking spices and fresh herbs. A vintage rotary-style dessert case spins moist multi-tiered carrot cake and a mounded dish of chicken salad folded with almonds, grapes and fresh tarragon. Behind an eye-level wall of red shutters, shiny glass cake stands house tall stacks of raspberry bars, lemon butterfly cakes and sea salt-studded chocolate chip cookies. Not solely a sweet tooth emporium, Small Batch showcases a seasonally revolving dine-in or take-out breakfast and lunch menu of glass jar parfaits with strata of fruit, yogurt, honey and granola, airy quiches, housemade soups and fusionistic lunch offerings like the Diggity: an L.A.-style bacon-wrapped dog with tomato, avocado and scallions on a salty pretzel roll.
This summer Small Batch expanded with satellite sit-down dining service for breakfast, and lunch a few blocks away in the elegantly appointed Cupola Room.
Small Batch slide show:
439 East Front Street | Traverse City | 231.633.7800
Giving a brick and mortar home to his beloved mobile barbecue pit, Dean Sparks is now slingin’ hardwood smoked meats on East Front Street.
510 West Fourteenth Street | Traverse City | 231.633.7423
A bona fide sushi addition to the North. Mow on red tuna nigiri or signatures like the mango-laced sweet and spicy tiger roll.
12719 South West Bayshore Drive | Traverse City | 231.943.2922
Sip craft cocktails and devour succulent wood-roasted chicken with lemon rosemary jus amid panoramic views of West Bay at Apache Trout Grill’s hip, rustic sister restaurant.
144 Hall Street #107 | Traverse City | 231.642.5545
An alliance between Pete Peterson of Tapawingo and Chef James Bloomfield, this chic shared-plate concept serves creative modern cuisine like braised collard greens with coconut milk or beef tartare with egg yolk and kimchi.
136 East Front Street | Traverse City
Harvest chef/proprietor Simon Joseph brings umami to the people with his new Front Street Japanese eatery serving legit ramen, bao buns and craft sakés.
149 East Front Street | Traverse City | 231.943.2793
Warm housemade tortillas are piled with slow-roasted meats and served with fresh guac and zippy margaritas at TC’s new downtown taqueria.
141 North Court Avenue | Gaylord | 989.748.8552
Hit up Gaylord’s Tap Room 32 for 20 handles of Michigan craft beers and a menu of modern brew-friendly vittles like truffle fries and Korean beef tacos.
202 Lake Street | Boyne City | 231.421.8410
7 Monks launches a second location in Boyne City serving up rustic charcuterie boards, fried Brussels sprouts, Monk ’n’ Cheese and a universe of artisan brews to wash it all down.
318 River Street | Manistee | 231.887.4121
Following a mantra of “inspiring local love.” Discover fresh local ingredients inventively prepared.
This article was published in the July 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.