19 Places to Eat on an East Michigan Road Trip

Bakery display at Zehnders's in Frankenmuth

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Many travelers these days are trekking across the state for what they call “foodie adventures,” which are vacations that revolve around great food finds. From classic comfort foods to fresh Michigan produce, your taste buds won't be disappointed with the culinary delights of Pure Michigan. We put together this list of just a few fantastic places to eat when you're on the road on the east side of the state.

Eastern Michigan

The air is fragrant with fresh breezes and scents of coffee houses, bakeries and award-winning restaurants, all tempting to a passerby on the shores of Michigan's East side.

1. Marine City Fish Company – Marine City

Serves up fresh sea food with various specials from all you can eat to rotating fish. Depending on the season, guests can venture outside and enjoy their meals on the patio, overlooking the water.

2. River Crab and Blue Water InnSaint Clair

Specializes in fresh fish and seafood selections and offers a serene view of the St. Clair River. It is known for its Sunday brunch and live entertainment. The adjacent Blue Water Inn is beautifully renovated, with upscale amenities and amazing river views

3. Atrium Café & Ice Cream Parlour – Port Huron

Enjoy homemade soups and salads in this refurbished home’s Victorian dining room or in the whimsical gardens, weather permitting.

4. Raven Café – Port Huron

This café is a cultural, musical and culinary mecca in the heart of the city in a civil war era building. The space has been restored, but still keeps a vintage feel, and serves up coffees, rotating microbrews, cocktails, soups and salads.

5. Vintage Tavern – Port Huron

Nestled downtown, the warm spaces has a mix of wines, domestic imports, draft beers, martinis and more.

6. McCallum’s Orchard & Cider Mill – Jeddo

Apples at McCallum’s Orchard
Apples at McCallum’s Orchard | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan smashtransistor

This orchard not only offers apples, cherries, peaches, plums, cider and donuts, but also has a winery for the adults in the group!

7. Uri’s LandingPort Sanilac

Uri’s is accessible via land and water, right on the waterfront. The eccentric menu is what the chef calls “American Fusion Cuisine”, encompassing dishes from around the world with a home-style twist.

8.  Port Austin Farmer’s MarketPort Austin

Is open every Saturday May-October. The market features over 100 vendors with baked goods, meats, dairy and various specialty foods.

East Central Michigan & Through the Thumb

Driving through east central and the thumb of Michigan, you will stumble upon many hidden culinary destinations that the locals find to be great treasures. The scenery will captivate you as much as the amazing food.

9. Blue Water Winery and Vineyard Lexington

Has over 10 acrea of premium wine grapes and hops near Lake Huron. They offer samples and can be found in plenty of local spots.

10. Bake Krazy Bakery – Port Sanilac

Serves up mouthwatering donuts and breakfast sandwiches every morning. Come lunch  they have hot dogs and pizza and an ever rotating mix of baked goods from cheesecakes and cupcakes to pies and pastries.

11. Main Street Cafe & BakeryPigeon

Is a casual local favorite with home-style meals for any time of day.

12. Russell’s Blueberry Farm & Nursery Freeland

Russell’s gives guests the chance to pick their very own blueberries to take home, and offers group tours. They also have a barn with over 30,000 books.

13. Zehnder’s of FrankenmuthFrankenmuth

Zehnder’s Bakery
Zehnder’s Bakery | Photo Courtesy of Zhender’s

Zehnder’s is known for its famous family-style chicken dinners, complete with hearty sides. They also have a bakery with giant delectable cinnamon rolls.

14. Montrose OrchardsMontrose

Montrose is for the DIY folks. They have u-pick available for apples, pumpkins, cherries, blueberries, Christmas trees and more! Come fall they offer cider, donuts and hayrides and always have a fully stocked farmers market. 

15. Flint Farmers’ MarketFlint

This year-round market is open to the public and has over 50 vendors selling everything from wine and cheese to produce, poultry and baked goods each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Eastern Upper Peninsula

It is time to take your taste buds on an adventure through the Upper Peninsula. You will find fresh fish from the Great Lakes, meals that fill your belly, wine and beer unique to the north, cranberry farms and local farmers markets.

16. Driftwood Restaurant and Sports BarSaint Ignace

Enjoy fresh fish from the lake, steaks and pasta while you enjoy live music and games at Driftwood.

17. Threefold Vine WineryStephenson

The family-owned Threefold Vine Winery is tucked into a historic old bank right downtown and has a selection on delicious wines.

18. Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & PubParadise

Enjoy microbrews and gourmet foods at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub. Travelers flock to enjoy the Porcupine Pale Ale!

19. Sydney’s Family Restaurant and Shark Bay BarMunising

Sydney’s has a mix of Lake Superior fish and traditional comfort foods from pastas to burgers. They also have live music and rotating drink specials.