clock menu more-arrow no yes
Brewery Vivant
Facebook

12 Restaurants Where Chicagoans Can Enjoy Pure Michigan

Get the best out of a road trip through The Mitten

View as Map
Brewery Vivant
| Facebook

Chicagoans routinely get bombarded with plenty of commercials from Michigan’s tourism department. Even if one thinks tourism spokesman Tim Allen’s Tool Time thoughts are grating, there’s plenty to enjoy in The Mitten, and a weekend road trip is easy therapy for whatever ails city folks. Michiganders certainly have plenty of access to farms, giving chefs the building blocks to dazzle in the kitchen. Check out these 12 spots destination-worth spots near Lake Michigan’s beach towns through Grand Rapids, Mich. They’re listed from west to east.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza

Copy Link
500 El Portal Dr
Michiana Shores, IN 46360

This might be cheating, as Michiana is in Indiana. But no matter, the Neapolitan crusts at Stop 50 are divine. And don’t rush back home to Chicago for Nutella. The dessert pizzas feature the spread drizzled as a topping.

2. Redamak’s

Copy Link
616 E Buffalo St
New Buffalo, MI 49117

Redamak’s was everything to Chicago in a pre-Au Cheval world where steakhouses and fast-food restaurants would be the only places for a good burger in the city. In those halcyon days, Redamak’s simple cheeseburgers from New Buffalo, Mich., cooked on a grilltop, were destination worthy. The lines still pour out the door as an essential road trip pit stop, but there’s a bit of luster lost. Go more for the experience.

Redamak’s
Yelp

3. Journeyman Distillery

Copy Link
109 Generations Dr
Three Oaks, MI 49128

A picturesque spot in Three Oaks, Mich. that’s popular for weddings, Journeyman has plenty of bourbon, cocktails, and slushies for seasoned drinkers. There’s also a farm to table restaurant with all the basics plus Detroit-style pizza made with their whisky grain mash bills.

4. Plank’s Tavern

Copy Link
800 Whitwam Dr
St Joseph, MI 49085

For guests wanting outdoor dining, Plank’s is a strong choice. The patio offers pretty waterfront views, and the menu features modern American cuisine with a little something for everyone. There’s a Sunday brunch buffet, too.

5. Taste

Copy Link
402 Phoenix St
South Haven, MI 49090

For beachcombers who need love, Taste, which opened in 2013, offers small plates and stiff martinis. The seafood shines on the menu with mussels, tilapia tacos, and tuna tartare.

6. Phil’s Bar and Grill

Copy Link
215 Butler St
Saugatuck, MI 49453

This is neighborhood bar with great food with a menu on par with many of Chicago’s best gastropub. It’s a great escape after spending the majority of the day outdoors, a place to unwind with a great drink at the bar with that special someone. The chicken wings are A+.

7. Evergreen Lane Farm & Creamery

Copy Link
1824 66th St
Fennville, MI 49408

Cheese lovers need to center their travel plans around a trip to the tasting room at Evergreen. The handcrafted cheeses are beautiful, and they employ the honor system to pay for these delicious wonderments.

8. Crane’s Pie Pantry & Winery

Copy Link
6054 124th Ave
Fennville, MI 49408

The warm cider donuts are just one of the items tourists need to try at Crane’s. It’s a rustic spot full of Midwestern Americana. Save room for a slice of fruit pie and don’t worry—it’s OK to be a glutton. Just get those doughnuts to go and eat them in the car or save them for later in the week at home.

9. New Holland Brewing’s Pub on 8th

Copy Link
66 E 8th St
Holland, MI 49423

Michigan is known for having some of the best brewpubs in the country, and New Holland Brewing is among the best. Dragon’s Milk makes beer lovers who weigh in line for Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout look kind of foolish. The menu, which includes a Michiganized version of the Vietnamese bahn mi, features farm-to-table fare. There’s also a beer garden.

10. Reserve

Copy Link
201 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The wine list alone makes Reserve one of Michigan’s best restaurants. It’s a creative modern American menu with items like duck breast, West Michigan Chowder (made with whitefish), and chevre gnocchi. Get a seat on the sidewalk or second-floor patio if the weather allows.

11. Madcap Coffee Co.

Copy Link
98 Monroe Center St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Madcap Coffee just opened its third location and it’s widely regarded as The Mitten’s best coffee shop. Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park is among the shops in Chicago that serve the coffee. With all the attention beer gets in Grand Rapids, don’t forget about this coffee that’s earned national recognition, using South American and African beans.

12. Brewery Vivant

Copy Link
925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

The former church that houses Brewery Vivant gives way to one of the best-designed spaces road trippers will lay eyes open. The holy site doesn’t observe temperance, but the menu does point out that they will only serve patrons a maximum of four beers. There’s a heavy Belgian tilt on the menu, which visitors say matches the quality of the beer list. The roasted bone marrow is among the favorites.

1. Stop 50 Wood Fired Pizza

500 El Portal Dr, Michiana Shores, IN 46360

This might be cheating, as Michiana is in Indiana. But no matter, the Neapolitan crusts at Stop 50 are divine. And don’t rush back home to Chicago for Nutella. The dessert pizzas feature the spread drizzled as a topping.

500 El Portal Dr
Michiana Shores, IN 46360

2. Redamak’s

616 E Buffalo St, New Buffalo, MI 49117
Redamak’s
Yelp

Redamak’s was everything to Chicago in a pre-Au Cheval world where steakhouses and fast-food restaurants would be the only places for a good burger in the city. In those halcyon days, Redamak’s simple cheeseburgers from New Buffalo, Mich., cooked on a grilltop, were destination worthy. The lines still pour out the door as an essential road trip pit stop, but there’s a bit of luster lost. Go more for the experience.

616 E Buffalo St
New Buffalo, MI 49117

3. Journeyman Distillery

109 Generations Dr, Three Oaks, MI 49128

A picturesque spot in Three Oaks, Mich. that’s popular for weddings, Journeyman has plenty of bourbon, cocktails, and slushies for seasoned drinkers. There’s also a farm to table restaurant with all the basics plus Detroit-style pizza made with their whisky grain mash bills.

109 Generations Dr
Three Oaks, MI 49128

4. Plank’s Tavern

800 Whitwam Dr, St Joseph, MI 49085

For guests wanting outdoor dining, Plank’s is a strong choice. The patio offers pretty waterfront views, and the menu features modern American cuisine with a little something for everyone. There’s a Sunday brunch buffet, too.

800 Whitwam Dr
St Joseph, MI 49085

5. Taste

402 Phoenix St, South Haven, MI 49090

For beachcombers who need love, Taste, which opened in 2013, offers small plates and stiff martinis. The seafood shines on the menu with mussels, tilapia tacos, and tuna tartare.

402 Phoenix St
South Haven, MI 49090

6. Phil’s Bar and Grill

215 Butler St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

This is neighborhood bar with great food with a menu on par with many of Chicago’s best gastropub. It’s a great escape after spending the majority of the day outdoors, a place to unwind with a great drink at the bar with that special someone. The chicken wings are A+.

215 Butler St
Saugatuck, MI 49453

7. Evergreen Lane Farm & Creamery

1824 66th St, Fennville, MI 49408

Cheese lovers need to center their travel plans around a trip to the tasting room at Evergreen. The handcrafted cheeses are beautiful, and they employ the honor system to pay for these delicious wonderments.

1824 66th St
Fennville, MI 49408

8. Crane’s Pie Pantry & Winery

6054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408

The warm cider donuts are just one of the items tourists need to try at Crane’s. It’s a rustic spot full of Midwestern Americana. Save room for a slice of fruit pie and don’t worry—it’s OK to be a glutton. Just get those doughnuts to go and eat them in the car or save them for later in the week at home.

6054 124th Ave
Fennville, MI 49408

9. New Holland Brewing’s Pub on 8th

66 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423

Michigan is known for having some of the best brewpubs in the country, and New Holland Brewing is among the best. Dragon’s Milk makes beer lovers who weigh in line for Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout look kind of foolish. The menu, which includes a Michiganized version of the Vietnamese bahn mi, features farm-to-table fare. There’s also a beer garden.

66 E 8th St
Holland, MI 49423

10. Reserve

201 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The wine list alone makes Reserve one of Michigan’s best restaurants. It’s a creative modern American menu with items like duck breast, West Michigan Chowder (made with whitefish), and chevre gnocchi. Get a seat on the sidewalk or second-floor patio if the weather allows.

201 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

11. Madcap Coffee Co.

98 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Madcap Coffee just opened its third location and it’s widely regarded as The Mitten’s best coffee shop. Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park is among the shops in Chicago that serve the coffee. With all the attention beer gets in Grand Rapids, don’t forget about this coffee that’s earned national recognition, using South American and African beans.

98 Monroe Center St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

12. Brewery Vivant

925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

The former church that houses Brewery Vivant gives way to one of the best-designed spaces road trippers will lay eyes open. The holy site doesn’t observe temperance, but the menu does point out that they will only serve patrons a maximum of four beers. There’s a heavy Belgian tilt on the menu, which visitors say matches the quality of the beer list. The roasted bone marrow is among the favorites.

925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Related Maps