You don’t have to be a foodie to know that Michigan boasts its fair share of ridiculously delicious eateries. From freshly fried whitefish to barbecue, there’s truly something here in the Great Lakes State to satisfy each and every craving. When you’re ready for a fantastic meal, check out one of these famous restaurants, each of which is absolutely deserving of its popular status.
1. Golden Harvest Restaurant (1625 Turner St, Lansing)
You’ll fall in love with the quirky breakfast and lunch options served up at this Lansing fixture, which often has a line out the door each morning. The restaurant’s unique and colorful decor will immediately put a smile on your face, and its delicious menu items -- from massive breakfast burritos to banana split pancakes -- will have you coming back for seconds.
2. The Gandy Dancer (401 Depot St, Ann Arbor)
Located in a converted railway station, this longtime Ann Arbor favorite is the place to be when you’re ready for fine dining in a warm, welcoming environment. Indulge in steak or seafood as you marvel at the friendly service provided by the Gandy Dancer. It’s nearly impossible to have a bad time here.
3. Pink Pony (7221 Main St, Mackinac Island)
If you find yourself on Mackinac Island, you simply must stop in for a meal or two at Pink Pony. This nautical-themed eatery sits on the island’s shoreline, giving way to brilliant views of the Straits of Mackinac. From maple bourbon strip steak to Michigan apple and goat cheese salad, there’s truly something on the menu to delight everyone.
4. Yesterdog (1505 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids)
Located in the heart of Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood, this one-of-a-kind eatery is famous for a reason, and you’ll understand why as soon as you bite into one of its delectable hot dogs. The menu is straightforward but delicious: whether you choose a chili cheese dog or a veggie dog, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach.
5. Zehnder’s (730 S Main St, Frankenmuth)
No trip to Frankenmuth is complete without a stop at Zehnder’s, the town’s most famous eatery and landmark. Interact with employees dressed in Bavarian garb as you enjoy a full chicken dinner -- then follow up your meal with a stroll along the town’s charming Main Street. There’s no better way to round out a weekend getaway.
6. Clyde’s Drive-In (178 US-2, St Ignace)
This vintage eatery in St. Ignace will quickly transport you back in time, and you’ll certainly be back time and time again. Enjoy a ¾ pound burger and wash down your tasty eats with a chocolate milkshake -- is there a more wholesome and delicious way to start your journey up north? There’s a reason this restaurant has drawn in generations of Michiganders.
7. Zingerman’s Delicatessen (422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor)
If you don’t mind waiting in line for your food, Zingerman’s is well worth the trip. This Ann Arbor favorite has long stood as the town’s most famous eatery, and University of Michigan alumni have even been known to order treats from Zingerman’s from across the country. No matter what sort of meat, cheese, and topping combination you desire, you’ll find it on the menu at Zingerman’s.
8. Mountain Town Station Brewing (506 W Broadway St, Mt Pleasant)
Mount Pleasant residents have long raved about the service and atmosphere at Mountain Town Station, which sits inside a renovated train depot. Sip on a beer or two as you peruse the menu, which includes delicious eats like brisket melts, New York strip steak, and coconut shrimp. Talk about tasty!
9. The Vierling (119 S Front St, Marquette)
Make your way northward to Marquette for a meal at this beloved local joint, which sits just a stone’s throw from the stunning shores of Lake Superior. For over a century, this historic spot has drawn in Michiganders with its full menu of incredible eats: whether you opt for whitefish chowder or a classic reuben, you’ll leave feeling satisfied.
10. deBoer Bakkerij (360 Douglas Ave, Holland)
This West Michigan gem features friendly service, some of the most amazing baked goods imaginable, and a full-service restaurant that often has guests lined up to dine. Owned by a local family, this Dutch gem is known for a menu full of delicious salads and sandwiches, along with creative breakfast options that will have your mouth watering immediately.
11. Trattoria Stella (1200 W 11th St, Traverse City)
Dining at Trattoria Stella is more than just a meal: it’s a full experience. This Italian-inspired eatery is tucked away in a converted hospital -- but don’t let this fool you. The atmosphere is decidedly calming, while the menu itself is nothing short of amazing. From an extensive wine list to all sorts of tasty favorites like risotto and tortellini, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong at Trattoria Stella.
Are there any other famous restaurants in the Great Lakes State that have always lived up to the hype? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.