Memorial Day might be the start of summer for some … but Northern Michiganders know it’s that time of year when Village Cheese Shanty starts serving North Shore sandwiches. And that glorious day is today: Friday, April 7, 2017.

During summer, the tiny shanty in Leland’s historic Fishtown serves up hundreds of loaves of the famous salty-sweet pretzel bread daily. But in April and May, locals and cherry blossom tourists are your only competition. Take advantage of the shorter lines and savor every bite of these mouthwatering sammies.

Last year, Village Cheese Shanty was out of pretzel bread by the time we got there on opening day, so we enjoyed our North Shores on homemade baguettes (just as good!). But if you want that salty pretzel goodness, get there early!

Village Cheese Shanty

Orchard on pretzel bread

Our Favorite Sandwiches

We dream of these sandwiches all winter long. Check out the full menu for a taste of all 18.

North Shore: Turkey, bacon, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and herb mayonnaise. This is a must-try for first-timers.

Lake Effect: Sliced chicken breast, fresh goat cheese, lettuce, tomato and pesto mayonnaise.

Fishtown: Green pepper, onion, spinach, cucumber, olive spread, tomato, dill Havarti and guacamole. You’ll never miss the meat.

Orchard: Chicken breast, brie, dried cherries, spinach, tomato, sunflower seeds and cherry vinaigrette.

Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., daily

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner