Blue Fish Kitchen + Bar serves up front-row seats along the Manistee River.

Photo by Dave Weidner

After a day on the water, an afternoon exploring Arcadia Dunes or a weekend camping, drive into Manistee and you’ll find some of the best eats in the North, including fine dining on the water at Blue Fish Kitchen + Bar.

Featuring incredible views of the Manistee River, Blue Fish offers seating at 12 tables on its outdoor patio overlooking the channel that connects Manistee Lake to Lake Michigan. The eatery is also an ideal spot to savor hand-cut steaks and fresh, never-frozen fish, including Great Lakes whitefish and walleye, that’s brought to the restaurant.

General Manager Derek Cameron recommends trying one of the 14 specialty cocktails, like the strawberry basil margarita. But if beer is your thing, Blue Fish also offers eight rotating Michigan craft beers on tap. Brews and views? That’s hard to beat.

Blue Fish Kitchen + Bar // 312 River St., Manistee // 231.887.4188

More Outdoor Dining in Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan has plenty of al fresco options worth exploring.

Dudley’s Deck at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant // Harbor Springs

A true waterfront dining experience, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant was built on the original pilings over the harbor and features an outdoor patio on Little Traverse Bay. Beautiful views of the marina pair well with New England crab cakes, seared scallops and Great Lakes oak-planked whitefish. The Pier also serves up more than 60 wines to complement your meal.

Bridge Street Tap Room // Charlevoix

For flavor with a view, head to Bridge Street Tap Room. This cozy pub sits on the edge of Round Lake and offers 32 Michigan craft beers and hard ciders on tap. The American bistro-style menu features comfort food classics like a smoked brisket sandwich, fresh wraps, burgers and naan pizzas.

Roadhouse Mexican Bar & Grill // Benzonia

The place for delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine, Roadhouse serves up staples including tacos, quesadillas, empanadas and tamales. The deck is dreamy, with string lights and relaxed vibes.

Pink Pony // Mackinac Island

The Pink Pony has an extensive drink list (its Island Rum Runner is famous) and varied breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that include everything from French toast and burgers to fish and steak dinners. Take a seat on the back deck—with Lake Huron views—and get a taste of what Mackinac dining is all about at this iconic hangout.

Mim’s Mediterranean Grill // Petoskey

This unique restaurant offers classic Mediterranean dishes such as gyros fresh off the cone, hummus, falafel, kabobs and so much more. Mim’s outdoor patio makes the popular Fish Fry Fridays all the better.

Firefly // Traverse City

Take advantage of daily happy hours and a flavorful tapas-inspired menu that’s served till dark (the sweet potato fries are truly the best) while you sit along the Boardman River.

Lake Street Pub // Boyne City

A family-friendly pub, Lake Street caters to all ages with favorites like soft pretzels, build-your-own mac and cheese and time-honored sandwiches like the Rueben and club. Comfortable outdoor seating and a toasty fire pit add to the fun.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner