When it comes to great food, Michigan’s restaurants have you covered. We’re well-known for many of our delectable dishes and eateries — from Slows BBQ to Zingerman’s Deli to a whole slew of coney dog spots. But we’ve put together a list of eleven lesser-known restaurants here in the Great Lakes State that might not be terribly flashy, but serve food so amazing that it should be criminal.
1. Cancun Restaurant (1518 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids)
Mexican cuisine doesn’t get more authentic than this, and you’ll undoubtedly be back for more. Cancun is a modest little eatery in Grand Rapids, but its family-owned atmosphere and huge portion sizes will blow your taste buds away. Enjoy a chimichanga, burrito, or flauta on a heaping plate of beans and rice.
2. Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties (129 S Union St, Traverse City)
We all know that pasties are a Michigan classic, and this shop in Traverse City offers some of the best in the Lower Peninsula. You’ll also find all sorts of delightful British favorites, tucked neatly into a quaint and charming eatery that will make you forget you’re in Michigan.
3. Afternoon Delight (251 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor)
This downtown Ann Arbor restaurant is cited as one of the city’s coziest and most delicious eateries. Whether you’re stopping in for a taste of Afternoon Delight’s famous eggs Benedict or creating your own meal at the salad bar, one thing is for sure: your experience will be unforgettable.
4. River Crab Restaurant & Blue Water Inn (1337 River Rd, St. Clair)
Are you a seafood fan? Look no further than River Crab Restaurant & Blue Water Inn, which prides itself on a delightful menu and a gorgeous view of the St. Clair River. While you might need to splurge a bit to enjoy a meal at this eatery, its rich tastes and fresh catches are well worth the extra few dollars.
5. Rice Paddy (1720 Presque Isle Ave, Marquette)
Let’s be real: there are few things more delicious than perfectly made Thai food. Whether you’re indulging in traditional pad Thai, enjoying a plate of chicken fried rice, or sampling a platter of all sorts of unique dishes, it’s hard to leave a Thai restaurant without feeling wonderfully full. Rice Paddy is known to serve the best Thai in Marquette — and you’ll want to taste for yourself.
6. The Peanut Barrel (521 E Grand River Ave, East Lansing)
If you’re a student or alumnus of Michigan State University, you’ve undoubtedly dined at the Peanut Barrel. It's a great place to stop in for a hearty burger after a long day of classes or grab a few refreshing drinks on the weekend. The best part? They’re open late (until 2 a.m.), so you can stop in for a bite or a sip no matter what time of day it is!
7. Never Miss Cafe (05110 Blue Star Memorial Hwy, South Haven)
If you’re looking for a modest but incredibly delicious spot to grab a meal in Southwest Michigan, Never Miss Cafe simply… can’t be missed! Grab an amazing breakfast, an order of biscuits and gravy, or a country-fried steak — patrons regularly rave about this eatery’s prime service and awesome food.
8. Arabian Village (10421 Dix, Dearborn)
Spice up your meal with a visit to this Middle Eastern eatery. While its exterior is modest, its food will absolutely amaze you. Indulge in a hummus dish, fill up with a shawarma plate, or much on an order of grape leaves. No matter what you order, Arabian Village will certainly be added to your list of favorites.
9. The Galley (241 N State St, St Ignace)
Gaze out at the water while you dine on freshly prepared seafood and other down-home classics at this restaurant, located just over the Mackinac Bridge. The Galley is often crowded, and with good reason — it truly serves some of the most delectable food in the Great Lakes State.
10. Nick’s Southside Diner (3023 US Highway 23 S, Alpena)
Who doesn’t love a classic American diner? Nick’s in Alpena is no exception to the "diners are wonderful" rule, and you’ll certainly want to visit for yourself. With an upbeat staff and a fabulous menu full of everything from pizza to ice cream sundaes, you’ll leave with a new favorite diner in the Mitten State.
11. Angelo’s Pizza (210 Roosevelt St, Ironwood)
Visitors to this pizza hotspot in Ironwood rave about its perfectly formed crusts, precisely measured amounts of cheese, and friendly service. Not in the mood for a whole pizza? Angelo’s has plenty of appetizers to tide you over: try the mac ‘n cheese bites for an especially delicious treat!
So, there you have it: a fresh list of amazing restaurants in the Great Lakes State that are just waiting to be visited. Of course, we could never include all of the most delicious eateries in Michigan on one list. Which of your favorites did we forget this time around? Tell us in the comments below!