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Our Top Ten Eateries

There are many wonderful places to enjoy culinary delights in northern Michigan, and this is just a small list of some of our top ten (since we really had to narrow it down to ten!).  They are a mix of eclectic to formal to casual…so depending on your mood and what you are feeling, you can’t really go wrong with these amazing choices:

  • Chandlers, Petoskey – First of all, the charming atmosphere of Chandlers reminds us of a European Bistro, a little treasure tucked inside a small alley in downtown Petoskey.  The restaurant has just a handful of tables, which makes it a very intimate, cozy dining experience. Depending on your palette, the menu has mouth-watering choices, and wonderful appetizers. You can also be seated outside seasonally, as there are a few tables with outside seating.  For another experience, you can also dine in the wine cellar which is just across the alley way and makes for a very fun evening.
  • Barrel Back, Walloon Lake – Views of Walloon Lake are just the beginning – serving breakfast, lunch and dinner this favorite place to hang out is appealing in every season.  Outside dining in the spring/summer/fall – and an open fireplace in the middle of the dining room is delightful on a chilly fall day or a frosty winter evening.  Try one of their wood fire gourmet pizzas or the delightful Tomato Basil Linguine.  Vegetarian options as well as steak, ribs and salmon are all part of their menu.  Sidenote:  For a quick cocktail next to the water, enjoy the open air bar down by the docks, it’s a beautiful place to catch a glorious sunset!
  • The New York Restaurant, Harbor Springs – There is a rich history with this restaurant which was established as a hotel/restaurant-lounge (with a bowling alley!) in 1904.  Over the years, there have been many changes, but the dining room still has that traditional sense of being thrown into the early 1900’s.  White linens, tiffany lights, ornate ceilings and large-paned windows overlooking Harbor Springs Bay Street. The restaurant opens daily at 5:00 pm and features nightly appetizer and dinner specials. Fine cuisine – but come as you are, no formal attire necessary.  It is northern Michigan after all.  You will enjoy your experience at The New York, with their very attentive staff and delectable cuisine.
  • Douglas Lake Bar & Steakhouse, Pellston – If steak is on your mind, a drive over to Douglas Lake Bar & Steakhouse is just want you need to satisfy your craving.  This rustic log building is tucked down a pathway overlooking Douglas Lake.  The large stone fireplaces inside are warm and inviting in any season.  They also have a small outdoor patio for dining, and acoustic music during the season.  Steak and Prime Rib is a true specialty of theirs – however the Salmon and Shrimp dishes also get rave reviews.  It’s a little hidden treasure that is a wonderful place to spend a special evening out.
  • Terry’s Place, Charlevoix – This restaurant located around the corner from the popular Villager Pub in downtown Charlevoix is the place for the freshest Whitefish in the area.  It’s another one of those “fine-casual” atmospheres.  Mostly made up of date nights, or a quiet evening out with friends, Terry’s has many different ways you can choose your Whitefish, Perch or Walleye.  Each served with a baked or sweet potatoes (yum!) and a side salad.  There is also other dinner selections for the non-fish eaters.  All will make your heart and stomach smile.
  • Café Sante, Boyne City – This European style Bistro is a favorite among the locals and visitors alike.  Set upon Lake Charlevoix in downtown Boyne City, with both a side enclosed porch and small outdoor patio with fireplace – it’s a warm and inviting spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  For breakfast, you must try the Croque Madame – a hot ham, cheese and egg sandwich that will melt in your mouth.  For dinner, enjoy the delicious Pappardelle Bolognese, a pasta with hand-made meatballs or the Steak & Frites.  Known also for their “Specialties” throughout the months which include 3 course dinner – a salad, entrée and dessert.  Acoustic music in the evenings, and a place for family and friends gather.  Step outside to watch the sunset at waterfront to top off your evening.  You will not leave disappointed.
  • Jose’s Authentic Mexican, Petoskey – This tiny little establishment is the go-to when you want true, authentic Mexican food.  Jose will greet you from behind the kitchen and may even take your order.  His presence alone is a reason to stop in.  The Guacamole is fresh and delicious for an appetizer, and the Mexican Pizza with choices Grilled Chicken, Beef or Steak is a special favorite.  The Chorizo Burritos and Enchiladas Verdes will also have you returning for more.  Or if you are just wanting a beef, pork or chicken authentic taco with cilantro and Verde sauce – the homemade corn tortillas are the real deal. Eat in or Carry Out options. Muy Delicioso!
  • Legs Inn, Cross Village – If you are up to a little trek through the fabulous tunnel of trees on M-119, you will want to make an evening out of it by stopping into Legs Inn.  This eclectic restaurant with an absolutely “crazy” ambience, including enormous wood sculptures and antler “chandeliers” is a one-of-a-kind dining experience. If you can stop gazing enough to take a look at the menu, you will note they are known for their incredible Polish cuisine. Start with the homemade Whitefish dip, creamy and tangy, and then dive into Polish heaven.  Kielbasa, Golabki, Pierogi and Cabbage – oh my!  Don’t forget to also try the Potato Pancakes, crisp on the outside and soft and scrumptious on the inside, with a side of tangy sour cream. The outside garden dining is breathtaking – like your own little slice of heaven.  A perfect spot that you will not soon forget.
  • The Pour, Petoskey – This is one of the newest additions to the list, just opening a few years ago – this sweet little place is a mix between a speakeasy and a downtown pub – wine bar.  A nice selection of small plates including hand-rolled Sushi, lovely appetizers and sweet desserts to pair with your wine or cocktail.  There are private booths as well as high top seating that looks right out to Mitchell Street in downtown Petoskey.  A very nice atmosphere and great addition to the downtown nightlife.
  • Roast and Toast – This one is for the coffee lovers in all of us – just because of their fun variety of lattes, specialty coffees, mochas, espressos…you get the picture.  However, they also have some great sandwiches made with fresh ingredients from our local farms.  Try the Avocado Veggie or Chicken Salad…always a tasty choice!  Or if you are more in the mood for salad – the Lake Street Salad with the house-made lemon-cherry vinaigrette is light and savory.  They also have a great selection of soups daily when you are in the mood for a little something to warm you up.  A fun colorful, coffee café in the heart of Petoskey.