While we’ve got nothing but love for our favorite fine dining establishments throughout Michigan, there’s something to be said for venturing into the stranger side of our state’s restaurant scene from time to time. Don’t let their unique decor or fun themes fool you: these nine awesome eateries in the Great Lakes State still serve up fantastic fare and top-quality service.
1. Golden Harvest (1625 Turner St, Lansing)
You’ll likely have to wait to be seated, but trust us when we say that a visit to Golden Harvest is well worth the time spent in line. This delightfully kitschy eatery is overflowing with quirky decor, one-of-a-kind menu items, and unbeatable service. Whether you opt for peanut butter chocolate waffles or a massive omelette, you’re sure to be satisfied.
2. The Antlers (804 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie)
If you’re a bit freaked out by taxidermy, don’t step into this eatery in Sault Ste. Marie! The Antlers is decorated from floor to ceiling with all sorts of outdoorsy items and memorabilia - with a particular emphasis on antlers. From fish to foxes, there’s no telling what you’ll spot as you dine on classic American fare.
3. Joe’s Gizzard City (120 W Main St, Potterville)
As its name suggests, Joe’s Gizzard City is known for serving up chicken gizzards. Yes, you read that right: an entire restaurant devoted primarily to gizzards! Of course, if gizzards aren’t your favorite dish, you’ll still find something to enjoy here. Additional menu items include burgers, meatballs, nachos, onion rings, and so much more.
4. Chartreuse (15 E Kirby St D, Detroit)
It’s nearly impossible not to smile when you set foot inside Chartreuse. This Motor City eatery is decked out in all things green, and you’ll feel bright and bubbly yourself as you settle in to dine. Select from a delicious variety of menu items, including potato gnocchi, chili pasta, and delicious duck breast.
Each and every locale in the quirky little town of Hell seems to fully embrace the community’s theme, and the Hell Saloon is no exception! You’re in for a devilishly good time as you settle in for a few drinks and a bite to eat at this spot, which features live music, classic American fare, and a truly unique atmosphere.
6. Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger (304 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor)
Since 1953, diners have been enjoying the mouthwatering tastes of Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger in Ann Arbor. Despite its location shift a few years back, Blimpy Burger still manages to draw in visitors with its no-frills atmosphere, delicious burgers, and to-the-point service. One word of warning: be sure to decide on your order before stepping up to the counter!
7. Stella’s Lounge (953 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids)
Ever wanted to try your hand at a pinball machine while you wait for your meal to arrive? At Stella’s, you can do just that! This Grand Rapids fixture doubles as a popular nightlife destination and frequently hosts special events, from trivia nights to poetry readings, in a delightfully quirky setting. As if that weren’t enough, the burgers here are nothing short of iconic.
8. Dakota Inn Rathskeller (17324 John R St, Detroit)
Ready to participate in an old-fashioned German piano singalong? Head to the Dakota Inn, which draws in countless diners each year with its authentic fare, costumed servers, and all-around fantastic environment. Dine among lovely German-inspired decor and sip on beer as you participate in one of the eatery’s exciting singalongs.
9. Zehnder’s (730 S Main St, Frankenmuth)
Can’t get enough of that Bavarian theme? Venture to Frankenmuth and enjoy a meal at Zehnder’s, a classic Michigan locale that’s famous for its mouthwatering chicken dinners. Employees at this family-friendly establishment do their jobs while decked out in traditional garb, which only adds to the fun environment. What’s not to love?
Are there any other perfectly quirky eateries in the Great Lakes State that should have been included on our list? We’re always eager to hear from you, so share your suggestions below!