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May 22, 2003 12:38 PM

Traverse City

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I know this is a cliche, but I'm going to be in Traverse City and need to get some cherry pie. Best venues..?


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  1. I spent two summers there as a kid (being a music nerd), and they just about bathed us in cherry juice. I can't stand cherries to this day (sour Hungarian ones an exception).

    Sorry for the unhelpful aside....


    ps--cool buggy rides in the dunes nearby...forgot the actual name of the area

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Living in Northern Michigan I agree with Jim that I wouldn't care to ever have cherry pie again. If you've got to have it however, I would suggest the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Their apple pie and their peach cobbler are awesome as well.

      Rather than cherry pie you may consider some other cherry products? Dried tart cherries are incredible added to salads, chicken salad, even picadillo! There is a place in glenn arbor called the cherry republic that will get you everything from chocolate covered cherries to a cherry soda called Boom Chug-a-luga.

      My overall advice is stay out of Traverse City and check out the smaller burgs in Leelanau and Benzie county, I guarantee you will find enough farm stands (most selling cherry pie) to find a true chowhound experience!



      1. re: fifelakepat

        (fifelakepat, you seem like a pretty experienced hound up you have any recollection of a little doughnut place near Interlochen that both Jen Kalb (a NYC board veteran) and I remember very fondly from more decades back than we'd care to admit?

        They were the best dougnuts I"ve ever had; fried to order in tiny batches in a little shack on the road to Traverse city from Interlochen. It's almost unthinkable that they're still in business, but a chowhound's hope never dies!


        1. re: Jim Leff

          PS--One clue....I do remember that they were on the left-hand side of the road as you left Interlochen.


          1. re: Jim Leff

            Do you remember, was it also a gas station? I haven't been to Interlochen in a few years, but I've got a few people checking into it.

            1. re: Jim Leff

              Wow! I can't believe I came across a reference to those doughnuts. I went to school at the Interlochen Arts Academy - I used to 'sneak out' of the dorm early in the morning to bike to that place for the best doughnuts ever. It was definitely on the left side of the road, next to a gas station and a fishing tackle place. I don't remember a name though - except that the whole little stretch of road was called "budsville". There was a miniature golf place, and a soft serve ice cream shack in the summer. I have no idea if it is still there - I haven't been there in about 13 years.
              Hope someone is still enjoying the doughnuts as much as I did!

              1. re: cecilou


                The miniature golf place and the soft serve ice cream shack is still there. I and a couple of other guys bought it in 2009 and fixed it up. The golf course is all new with great landscaping and lots of water. The ice cream stand is still there however it is trimmed in rough sawn pine and cedar. We renamed it Lochen Wood.

            2. re: Jim Leff

              Hi Jim,
              Bud's is alive and well in Interlochen, Michigan! And they still have the best doughnuts around. They built a lovely new building, two stories, with more food and gifts. Those doughnuts are worth the visit, we get up early some mornings to grab some and bring them home, nice and warm! check out

            3. re: fifelakepat

              When I was a little kid, we used to spend time in Honor during the summers, and I have fond memories of the Cherry Hut in Beulah. Can't vouch for their cherry pie, as I can't remember if it's any good at all, but as a little kid it was always exciting to visit there. I found their site/menu on the web and it doesn't seem to have changed at all, except the prices (and they probably didn't have frozen yogurt back then, either).


              1. re: Rachel M.

                Spent Many a summer in the area. Went to camp - Kohahna. Pies from The Cherry Hut were THE BEST. Found this site because wanted to see if The Cherry Hut was still in existance.

          2. Like Jim Leff, I spent two summers at Interlochen as well as many summer weekends since my twenties in the area. The best piece of pie I ever ate in my life was served at the Manitou in Benzonia, just off Crystal Lake--I'd like to think it's still there. These cherry dissers are off base-- I still love them and you can find a really good bakery in Frankfort that makes great breads, cakes and pies--right on Main Street. Enjoy yourself--the Pierce Stocking Trail at Sleeping Bear National Seashore Park is one of the most beautiful drives you'll ever take--make sure to do it around sunset so you can see the sun set in the great, gorgeous Lake Michigan.

            1 Reply
            1. re: berkleybabe

              i'd invite you to do the same for sunsets behind my old house growing up on lake erie-ha! i'd also invite you down to pick up up a rhubarb pie at PENTON'S AMISH MARKET, ohio's version of the best pie in the world.

              my understanding was that all michigan children are required to 'do the dune climb' as a rite of passage. it's truely wonderful up around there, esp for families and kids.

            2. My Mom grew up on a dairy farm on the Boardman River south of Traverse City. My Grandmother was also a professional cook - business and school events at the 4-H camp outside town, and the Congregational Church at the base of Old Mission penisula. She made pies by the dozen. You could not beat them. [OK, here's one of her secrets - use a teaspoon of vinegar with ice water and egg when making the dough.]

              So I can't tell you where to get a really good cherry pie because I tend to live in the past on that topic. But unlike some of the other posters, I say it's worth your while to get a slice of pie, depending on when you go (the tart cherry harvest begins in July, so if you get a pie in June, the cherries will be frozen, not that it makes too much difference).

              Here's my suggestion: go to J&S Hamburg on Front Street, get a deluxe burger with fries and a shake, and a slice of pie for desert. That should satisfy a number of chowhound needs, at a reasonable price. Enjoy TC too. It's more crowded than when I was a kid, but still a beautiful place.

              1. Hi Paul,
                I live in Traverse City and still love this community. If you don't like crowds, just avoid Cherry Festival, wall to wall people that first full week of July, but other then that, it is still a gem and worth the trip. Cherry pies are all over the place, but if you want ones made with fresh local cherries, wait until mid to late July when the tart cherries are actually in season. Grand Traverse Pie Co. now has locations all over the state and beyond, and they do have great pies, but if you want to try others, I'd recommend Farmer White's in Elk Rapids, just north of TC, McColley's in Kalkaska, or drive up the Old Mission Peninsula and check out what the farm stands have available. Cherry Hut still makes great pies, though a little sweet, they are best with some vanilla ice cream.

                If you want to get your hands on any cherry products, including cherry pie filling, dried cherries, cherry salsa, jams and preserves, I love Benjamin Twiggs,, they have been around since 1966, I think they are the oldest cherry products company in Michigan. Pie season is in full swing now...