Raid these Northern Michigan delis for beach blanket eats and picnic provisions.

Yellow Dog Cafe

4850 Main Street, Onekama | 231.508.5008

Beachgoers queue early at Onekama’s Yellow Dog Cafe to stock picnic hampers with fresh scones, lemony kale salad and sandwiches stacked with local produce. Proprietress Bonnie McPhedran and her team deftly froth cappuccinos and fill clamshells with farro and roasted sweet potato salad. A veteran director of Whole Foods’ Chicago-based specialty departments, McPhedran moved north in 2016 to slow the pace of life and open a community-oriented café space fueled by whole local ingredients. Yellow Dog sources heirloom tomatoes and veggies from Benzie County growers like Five Springs Farm to keep the gleaming sandwich cases stocked with favorite menu staples such as ciabatta with fresh mozzarella, tomato and arugula. Garlicky pork Banh Mi and kale, beet and marinated carrot salads serve as rotating specials alongside housemade pastries like strawberry shortbread and chocolate crumb bars.


545 E. Eighth St., Traverse City | 231.421.1218

Stock up for a dockside Euro-nosh with housemade country paté, boudin noir, crusty baguette and roasted vegetable salads.

Burritt’s Fresh Markets

509 W. Front St., Traverse City | 231.946.3300

Cram your hamper with sea salt grissini breadsticks, cracked pepper smoked salmon, whipped chevre and a cold bottle of local rosé.


199 W. River St., Leland | 231.256.9141

Leland’s favorite Fishtown sandwich spot serves culty pretzel bread sammies like the North Shore with turkey, bacon, cucumbers and herbed mayo.


152 River St., Elk Rapids | 231.264.9000

Grab a bottle of L. Mawby bubbles and a six pack of craft brews to wash down tangy garden veggie slaw, cherry chicken salad and Cuban pork sandwiches at the waterfront.


306 S. Lake St., Boyne City | 231.582.4450

Boyne City’s beloved sandwich emporium rocks two-handed masterpieces like the pastrami-laden Syd Licious along with orzo or Sicilian pasta salad.


12853 US-31 N., Charlevoix | 231.237.9300

Troll the cavernous temp-controlled cellar for some lunchtime liquid love to go with stuffed grape leaves, spicy soppressata, marinated olives and Tuscan bean dip.


440 E. Mitchell, Petoskey | 231.753.2805

P-town cheese diva Katie Potts offers ready-made beach baskets like the Ploughman’s Picnic, with Iowa’s famed Prairie Breeze cheddar, prosciutto, pickles, mustard and crackers.


117 W. Main St., Harbor Springs | 231.242.4655

En route to Sturgeon Bay, hit up Small Batch for single serving quiches, frittatas and crisp salads like the Chicken Chop Chop, and try not to buy every pastry in the case.

Love to discover new restaurants and recipes? We think you’ll like our Food & Drink newsletter. Give it a taste. 

Northern Michigan Restaurants

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner