27 Places to Eat on a West Michigan Road Trip

Planning to travel along the Lake Michigan coast this spring or summer? We say "let your tastebuds be your guide" as you explore the magnificent culinary creations of the west side of the state. Reference this list of just a few fantastic places to eat when you're on the road on Pure Michigan's west coast.

A pizza and beer on a table
Stormcloud Brewing Company | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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Southwest Michigan

In southwest Michigan you will find intriguing country towns mingled with vibrant cities along the scenic Michigan shoreline. These towns have an abundance of culinary destinations to visit, as well as sandy beaches and lighthouses lining the coast.

1. Arcadia Brewing Company – Battle Creek

Discover small batches of beers such as Cocoa Loco, Jaw Jacker and Shipwreck Porter. The labels for these beers are just as unique and creative as they are created specifically for each flavor.

2. Tabor Hill – Buchanan

If Michigan-mad wine is more your style, Tabor Hill is definitely worth a stop. The menu changes every day so you never know what you will discover.

3. Food Dance Café – Kalamazoo

Check out a vibrant Café with a spin on your familiar comfort foods, Food Dance Café will make delectable dishes you will be talking about days after.

4. Kalamazoo Farmers Market – Kalamazoo

The bustling Kalamazoo Farmers Market is the perfect destination for fresh produce, plants, flowers, baked goods, fresh meats and handmade crafts.  Have a picnic at Tree-mendus Fruit Farm, where you can pick your own fruits or rent an apple tree for the season.

5. Salt of the Earth – Fennville

A rustic American eatery and bakery is Salt of the Earth. They pride themselves on buying locally to emphasize the flavor of their menu items and products. The menu offers wood fired pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, steak, chicken and pork which can be paired with some delicious varieties of Michigan wines from their wine menu.

6. The Blueberry Store – South Haven

If fresh blueberries makes your mouth water, you have to stop at this location. The Blueberry Store offers every blueberry product imaginable. Blueberry products range from chocolates, jams, jellies, muffins, syrups, to meats and so much more.

7. Chocolate Garden – Coloma

Delectable truffles made with Michigan wine from Contessa Wine Cellars are some of the mouth-watering flavors at Chocolate Garden. These handmade chocolates are perfect for a gift or a sweet treat for yourself, and have been featured on the Food Network and in Midwest Living magazine.

8. Bistro on the Boulevard – St. Joseph

The magnificent view of Lake Michigan is what you will see as you dine on the deck or dining room of Bistro on the Boulevard. Their menu offers an array of local ingredients that create delicious meals that include soups, salads, sandwiches, duck, chicken, fish, crab cakes, pasta dishes and handmade desserts.

9. Sawyer Garden Center – Sawyer

Unlike your normal garden center, Sawyer Garden Center offers not only its quality bedding flats, hanging baskets, color bowls and perennials along with a selection of fresh Michigan produce throughout the year and over 50 fine wines from local wineries.

M-22 and Sleeping Bear Dunes

Stretching from Manistee to Benzie and Leelanau Counties, the M22 corridor is known for rolling through lush countrysides and along the freshwater shorelines of Lake Michigan. 

10. Blue Fish Kitchen & Bar – Manistee

Blue Fish Kitchen & Bar is a downtown eatery offering new American cuisine in a relaxed, lakeshore atmosphere. Enjoy extensive wine list, craft beer and farm-to-table artisan fare.

11. Douglas Valley Organic Vineyards – Manistee

This truly a unique destination is located in Manistee. Douglas Valley Organic Vineyards offers unique, award-winning hard ciders and wines, as well as a Farm Market with a variety of farm fresh organic produce.

12. Pierport Farms – Onekama

Pierport Farms products are made from fresh fruit grown on farms and orchards surrounding Pierport. The fruit is picked daily and prepared in small batches to create products with truly homemade flavor.

13. Elberta Farmers Market – Elberta

Supporting local farmers by providing the best regional items from a five-county area, Elberta Farmers Market has grown into a community of friendships with a common goal of providing the finest fruits, vegetables and other produce.

14. Coho Cafe – Frankfort

Coho Cafe features fine dining and spirits overlooking Betsie Bay. Specialties include fresh fish from the Great Lakes, locally-raised meats and produce, Michigan drafts, and fine wine.

15. Stormcloud Brewing Company – Frankfort

Operating with the “Belgian-inspired, Michigan-made” philosophy, Stormcloud Brewing Company brews  well-balanced beers with specific attention to the yeast profiles. These quality Michigan craft brews are served up in the 85-seat vintage-inspired taproom or outside on a 1200-square-foot covered beer garden.

16. Hill Top Soda Shoppe – Benzonia

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Hill Top Soda Shoppe. The homemade ice cream is sweetened with Michigan sugar beets. Toppings are hand-chopped and served up fresh.

17. Nonna's Ristorante – Glen Arbor

If you're planning date night out, Nonna's Ristorante features classically-inspired contemporary Italian cuisine prepared with the freshest local ingredients. Served in a three level, timber-framed structure with natural stone fireplaces, a chef’s table, two intimate dining areas and a warm and welcoming loft.

18. Carlson's Fishery – Leland

For more than a century, the Carlson family has operated Carlson's Fishery in historic Fishtown.  You’ll find some of the best fresh and smoked fish, smoked fish sausage, smoked fish pate, beef and turkey jerky you can find!

19. Martha's Leelanau Table Cafe – Suttons Bay

Martha's Leelanau Table Cafe could be best described as a European style cafe, where every entree is made from scratch, (including the pastries) and made from the very finest ingredients available in Leelanau County.

20. Leelanau Cheese – Suttons Bay

Say Cheese! Leelanau Cheese features award-winning artisan cheeses including a variety of cellar-aged Swiss Raclette cheese – rated “Best of Show” by the American Cheese Society in 2007 – as well as French Style Fromage Blanc cheese spread.

Western Upper Peninsula

The west side of the UP offers more than just beautiful scenery, miles of coastline, small friendly towns, and areas for hunting and fishing. You can find amazing and unique dishes from the north such as their famous pasties and the freshest Lake Superior whitefish you can find.

21. Harbor Haus – Copper Harbor

Harbor Haus is the perfect spot for a new selection of dishes as their menu changes daily. Their passion, expertise and commitment to serving the freshest foods available make every dish amazing.

22. Fitzgerald's – Eagle River

"Fine dining in a distinguished atmosphere" is what you will find at Fitzgerald's. The restaurant hosts a magnificent view of Lake Superior with deck seating for the warmer days. Fitzgerald's takes pride in offering delicious menu items every day such as their Lake Superior Whitefish, Jager Schnitzel, Pecan Walleye, Burgers, Smoked Trout Pate, Hummus and Nachos.

23. Keweenaw Co-op – Hancock

Keweenaw Co-op is a one-stop shop for the freshest Michigan produce and products. Above having the perfect ingredients for your meal they have a delightful deli menu. Here you can purchase sandwiches of all kinds, salads and homemade soups.

24. Keweenaw Brewing Company – Houghton

The Keweenaw Brewing Company taproom is located in the middle of historic downtown Houghton. Its rustic barn-wood interior welcomes all with cozy atmosphere that includes a large fireplace area and comfy couches.

25. Konteka Black Bear Resort – White Pine

Nestled in the woods of the Upper Peninsula is Konteka Black Bear Resort, which offers a delicious variety of dishes. Their menu is perfect for any taste bud as they have soups, salads, sandwiches, steak, ribs, seafood, chicken and scrumptious desserts. While enjoying your dinner you can watch wild black bears roaming the premises. This sight makes for a unique dining experience that can be enjoyed by all.

26. Irontown Pasties – Negaunee

What used to be known as Grama T's Pasties is now Irontown Pasties. Along with their delicious warm pasties, you can enjoy many flavors of their hand dipped ice cream. Your stomach will thank you later.

27. Marquette Farmers & Artists Market – Marquette

Downtown Marquette hosts the Marquette Farmers & Artists Market every Saturday. The market includes local farmers and growers offering a wide variety of fresh produce, herbs, eggs, meat, baked goods, plants and fresh-cut flowers. Stop in and support Michigan vendors.