When it comes to dining, Michigan has no shortage of fantastic options. From BBQ joints to quaint hole-in-the-wall eateries, there’s something here in the Great Lakes State to satisfy every craving. When you’re searching for something out-of-the-box, though, there are a few delicious spots that simply must be explored. Here are 11 of our favorite unique restaurants in Michigan.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Golden Harvest (1625 Turner St, Lansing)
This Lansing gem is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind. With some of the quirkiest and most wonderfully overwhelming decor imaginable, you could visit Golden Harvest a hundred times and never see all it has to offer. Of course, its food is equally as fantastic, and there’s often a line waiting to get inside and chow down on Captain Crunch french toast or a massive breakfast burrito.
2. The Antlers (804 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie)
If you don't mind being watched while you eat, the Antlers is a must-visit destination. This Sault Ste. Marie eatery is overflowing with taxidermy animals and other classic signs of the Upper Peninsula’s outdoorsy vibe. From fish to bears, there’s no telling what you’ll be seated next to — and the delicious food is just the icing on the cake!
3. Trattoria Stella (1200 W 11th St, Traverse City)
Located in the lower level of a former psychiatric hospital, Trattoria Stella certainly boasts a unique atmosphere. But while some might be spooked by its locale, you can rest assured that your experience at this Italian eatery will be anything but scary. Indulge in farm-to-table dishes and delicious wine that will have you coming back for seconds in no time.
4. Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails (15 E Kirby St D, Detroit)
If you love the color chartreuse, you’ll be right at home in this aptly named restaurant. Located in the heart of Detroit, Chartreuse Kitchen boasts some of the most unique and eye-catching decor imaginable, all while serving up food made with ingredients from local farms. From spare ribs to vanilla pudding, there’s something to satisfy every diner.
5. Pal’s Diner (6503 28th St SE, Grand Rapids)
Step back in time with a visit to this utterly charming vintage-inspired spot in Grand Rapids, which takes the classic diner experience to an entirely new level. With all sorts of 1950s-themed decor and classic diner food, you’ll almost forget you’re living in the 21st century. You can even enjoy a meal served in a vintage car-shaped cardboard container — talk about charming!
6. Pink Pony (7221 Main St, Mackinac Island)
If you find yourself on Mackinac Island, a meal at Pink Pony should be near the top of your list. This beloved gem, tucked away inside the Chippewa Hotel, serves American classics with a bit of extra flair, and your taste buds will water as soon as you step inside. As if that weren't enough, Pink Pony offers some of the most gorgeous waterfront views on the island — what’s not to love?
7. Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen (54 S Main St, Village of Clarkston)
Located within a converted church, Clarkston Union is famous for both its fascinating locale and its unbelievable menu. This awesome Michigan eatery has garnered national attention for its mouthwatering macaroni and cheese, so you simply must give this dish a try during your visit. Friendly service and a unique atmosphere only add to the excitement of visiting this eatery.
8. Vinsetta Garage (27799 Woodward Ave, Berkley)
If you’re a fan of cars, Vinsetta Garage is the place to be. Located inside an actual former garage, there’s no shortage of automobile memorabilia and decor to keep you fascinated during your meal here. Of course, the decor is only half the appeal: Vinsetta Garage also serves up some of the most delectable charbroiled burgers imaginable, along with all sorts of other fantastic fare.
9. Lockview Restaurant (329 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie)
If you find yourself in Sault Ste. Marie, Lockview Restaurant is another must-visit spot. There’s something undeniably fascinating about the Soo Locks themselves, and this restaurant offers visitors the chance to dine just steps away from the locks. Opt for a seat on the second story of the eatery, where you can enjoy a view of the locks while dining on everything from Great Lakes whitefish to specialty sandwiches and burgers.
10. The Windmill (28 W 8th Street, Holland)
Holland is one of Michigan’s most charming small towns, and it’s certainly proud of its Dutch heritage. When you’re looking to be fully embraced by the community vibe of Holland, stop into the Windmill Restaurant for breakfast or lunch. This always-bustling spot serves up breakfast classics in a cozy, friendly atmosphere — and you'll feel at home as soon as you arrive. Don't leave without indulging in a massive, sugary-sweet homemade cinnamon roll!
11. The Farm Restaurant (699 Port Crescent Rd, Port Austin)
This Port Austin eatery takes farm-to-table freshness to an entirely new level. Located within an actual farmhouse, this amazing spot has limited hours based on seasons and available produce, but don’t let that stop you from planning a trip. When you dine here, there's no telling what will be on the menu — from homemade soup to stuffed whitefish to delicious creme brûlée, you'll never leave dissatisfied.
Okay, Michiganders: we’d like to hear from you! Are there any other unique restaurants here in the Great Lakes State that we should have included on our list? We’re always eager to hear your suggestions, so share them with us in the comment section below!