Enjoy this sampler of summer deliciosity. These Northern Michigan restaurants deliver big on flavor, and we’ve even shared our favorite dishes.

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The Fillmore

318 River Street, Manistee | 231.887.4121
Should you find yourself in this re-energized Victorian port city, swing into The Fillmore for a cold pint of Michigan brew and a platter of artisan sliders and dirty blonde fries.

Gates Au Sable Lodge

471 Stephan Bridge Road, Grayling | 989.348.8462
Now a pilgrimage destination for eaters as well as anglers, Gates’ streamside culinary program delivers artful hash platters and signature entrées like Trout Hemingway.


127 South Union, Traverse City | 231.486.6037
In Harvest’s hip landscape of polished wood and corrugated metal, graphics of Godzilla and Barbarella glow on huge digital menu boards advertising street food’s greatest hits. There are tacos, of course, filled with sweet and salty Korean beef, big bowls of Vietnamese pho with fresh basil and brisket slices floating in fragrant bone broth, falafel, rotating curries and signature munchies like flash-fired street beets. This newest installation in Simon Joseph’s Traverse City street food empire offers more space than its previous State Street digs as well as a liquor license so that the hungry masses can wash down their bánh mì or strawberry balsamic waffles with a cold pint of craft brew or a well-crafted cocktail.

Olives & Wine

201 East Front Street, Traverse City | 231.943.2850
Seared halloumi with mint and pine nuts or chicken shawarma with pickled turnips and garlic sauce find good company in a sprawling pour-your-own system of wines by the glass.

Sparks BBQ

439 East Front Street, Traverse City | 231.633.7800
Sparks’ bbq sundaes get all the hype, but the sleeper gem here is the pulled rib sandwich: caramelized slivers of pork piled high on a local bun with onion, pickle and housemade sauce.

Sweet Tartlette

445 East Front Street, Traverse City | 231.642.5333
Parisian patisseries have reason to fear Chef Sarah Steele, whose macaron synthesis of airy texture and rich filling approaches the platonic ideal.

That French Place

212 Bridge Street, Charlevoix | 231.437.6037
Paper crêpes sweet and savory are expertly crafted on the hot irons at That French Place. Go bacon, caramelized onion and cheese for breakfast, and banana with Nutella for dessert.


207 Howard Street, Petoskey | 231.881.9227
With chemexes, vacuum pots and a top shelf Italian espresso machine, the expert baristas at Dripworks deliver coffees of nuance and perfection.

American Spoon

413 East Lake Street, Petoskey | 231.330.9408
Handmade jams fuel the Spoon empire, but the artisan gelato, available only in Petoskey, will make an addict of anyone. Try the sublime duo of pineapple and burnt caramel.

Petoskey Cheese

437 East Mitchell Street, Petoskey | 231.753.2805
Petoskey’s cheese diva, Katie Potts, has an expertly curated case of fresh and aged fromage from small farms in the U.S. and Europe. Snag one of her signature picnic baskets en route to the beach.

The Gangplank

100 South State Street, Saint Ignace | 906.643.1500
This open air St. Ignace eatery offers casual walk-up counter service for cold cans of Keweenaw Brewing Company and awesome street eats like the Greek Taco and Angry Poor Boy.

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner