Is there anything better than enjoying dinner in a warm, welcoming atmosphere? When it comes to dining, family-owned eateries hold a special charm that simply can’t be matched by chain restaurants. Here in the Great Lakes State, we’ve got more than our fair share of such eateries — and you’ll want to check them out for yourself.
1. Roma Cafe (3401 Riopelle St, Detroit)
Billed as Detroit’s oldest restaurant, Roma Cafe is a true gem of the Great Lakes State. When you’re searching for authentic Italian cuisine, stop in at this cozy eatery. Believe it or not, Roma has been around since 1890 — and it remains under the management of the second-ever family to own it.
2. Jackie's Place (541 W 17th St, Holland)
Head to the delightful Lakeside community of Holland for a fantastic meal at this family-owned eatery, which holds its own as a local favorite. For over 30 years, Jackie’s has drawn in diners with a varied menu that includes delectable burgers, salads, soup, and everything in between.
3. Schuler's Restaurant (115 S Eagle St, Marshall)
The Schuler family sure knows how to run a great restaurant, and you’ll be hooked as soon as you taste your first bite. This Marshall fixture has been welcoming diners since 1909, and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a meal, host a special event, or grab a few drinks with loved ones.
4. Old Hamlin (122 W Ludington Ave, Ludington)
Venture to Ludington for a mouthwatering meal at Old Hamlin, which has been serving up Greek cuisine in the area since the 1940s. Stop in for a hearty breakfast or a lighter bite from the salad bar. No matter what you choose, you’ll be delighted by home-cooked meals and friendly service.
5. Villa Capri (2100 US-41, Marquette)
Are you in the mood for Italian? Make the journey to Marquette, which has been owned and operated by the Barbeire family since 1967. It’s hard to find better pasta, pizza, or steak in the Upper Peninsula, and you’ll feel like family as soon as you step inside at Villa Capri.
6. Chez Olga (1441 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids)
Caribbean cuisine takes center stage at this fantastic eatery in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood, which serves up mouthwatering dishes ranging from jerk chicken to spicy rice. Satisfy your wildest Creole food cravings with a visit to this family-owned fixture — you certainly won’t be disappointed.
7. The Ambassador Restaurant (126 Shelden Ave, Houghton)
We’ve featured the Ambassador before, and with good reason: it provides some of the most wonderful pizza (among other dishes) in the state. The Rossi family has owned this restaurant since 1965, so you can rest assured that you’ll have a warm, welcoming experience when you choose the Ambassador for dinner.
8. Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant (3308 S Cedar St, Lansing)
Searching for a unique culinary experience? Look no further than Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant, which provides incredible Malaysian, Thai, and Burmese food in a no-frills atmosphere. The prices are reasonable, the portions are hearty, and the food is second to none.
9. Black Pearl Ann Arbor (302 S Main St, Ann Arbor)
Looking for your next favorite date night destination? You’ll fall in love with the Black Pearl. The ambiance inside the restaurant is unbeatable, and the seafood menu never disappoints. This family-owned eatery in downtown Ann Arbor is an ideal place to indulge in a tasty meal or enjoy a few cocktails.
Did we leave your favorite family-owned restaurant off the list? We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below!
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