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Eating on Mackinac Island

We will be staying on the island at a B&B (1st time on the island) for 2 nights in August. Would love to to have eating suggestions (dinners, lunches, good dessert/ice cream places,etc.) for while we are there. We are open to all foods. Although our fondness and comfort level are family run/good food type of places, we are open to a special dining experience. Has anyone had any experience with dinner at the Grand Hotel? Any and all suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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  1. The restaurant in the Iroquois Hotel is highly regarded. My wife and I really enjoyed it.

    We also liked the Yankee Rebel, but most other things we tried were pretty much what you'd expect from looking at the menu in the window. Which isn't bad, of course, just not too remarkable.

    The Grand Hotel - all depends how you feel about the exclusivity of the place. If that sounds like fun, check it out. If you think it would get on your nerves, you might not enjoy yourselves.


    1. I have enjoyed the Pink Pony at the Chippewa Hotel, prices were not too terrible. Just stay away when everyone descends on the place after the Chicago-Mackinac yacht race - whenever that is this year!!

      1. Had lunch at the Grand one year, I think it is a must, more for the experience than the food. Dinner I think was still suit and tie only last time we checked in our civvies. Mission Pointe resort had invested in a good chef last time we were there. Lunch at the fort was beautiful overlooking the lake and food was good too. Good luck.

        1. I have always enjoyed a lunch at the Bistro on the Greens at the Mission Point Resort.
          See, http://www.missionpoint.com/dining.html.

          It is an outdoor cafe type of a spot with good food and a great view/atmosphere. On a nice day you can't beat it. Plus it is a little less crowded that some of the other places more along the main drag.

          1. Just eat fudge the whole time!! lol Think there is bout 10 fudge shops. We like Patrick Sinclair's Irish Pub.
            The Irish Pub is a great place for laid-back fun. They have tons of paraphanilia involving the Irish, and there is often live entertainment. This is quite possibly my favorite restaurant on the island, just because of its lively atmosphere and the friendly wait staff. It's even one of the few restaurants open during the winter, and the people there are as cheery in December as they are in July.

            The Potato Soup in a Sourdough Breadbowl-- their potato soup is amazing (in true Irish fashion) and the breadbowl is just an added bonus. I've been eating this for years and it hasn't got old; in fact, it may have gotten better.

            1. I've been going every summer for 30 years, and there's always something new, but the following are excellent mainstays:

              I have not eaten in any of the Grand's dining rooms, but have gone for high-tea [if you're into that kind of thing] and eaten at their pub-type restaurant, across Grand Ave. from the hotel

              For a nice dinner, try the restaurant up at Stonecliffe (owned by the Grand); do NOT try to walk there. You will need to take a Stonecliffe shuttle from the Grand or take an island taxi. Very good food.

              Iroquois Hotel, as another poster mentioned, has excellent food.

              French Outpost (especially for an afternoon beer or casual lunch or dinner, or drinks and live music at night)

              Breakfast at Chippewa Hotel, or drinks and live music at night at the Pink Pony

              Greasy-spoon breakfast at Jessie's Chuckwagon, right on Main near the Shepler's and Star Line docks.

              Village Inn for planked whitefish and other standards

              Horn's (decent Mexican offerings and standard American); fun place to hang out at night for drinks and live music

              Mustang Lounge

              And my personal lunch favorite is the Dockside, right at the Arnold Ferry dock. Nothing fancy, all outdoor seating, but amazing whitefish sandwiches and other basic lunch items (but I recommend a fish sandwich)

              There is no shortage of places to get ice cream or other sweets (um, I'm hoping you know about the fudge already; the smell will hit you the second your ferry docks); I like Kilwin's in the Lakeview Hotel for ice cream.

              If you plan to bike around the Island and are not taking food along for a picnic, there is a snack bar about half-way around. You can also pick up sandwiches and other fare at Mission Point to take with you (it's the last place you'll hit before heading around the Island counterclockwise).

              Have fun!

              5 Replies
              1. re: amandaqtpie

                What great suggestions from everyone....I will report back after our return in August. I am particularly interested in many of your suggestions, amandaqtpie, (particularly since you are so very well acquainted with the Island after 30 years of visiting....you hit on all my favorites, seafood, mexican, fudge, ice cream...etc.. My thanks to all.

                1. re: bmgjrg

                  I'm just a newbie compared to amandaqtpie...having only been going to the island for the past 15 years...but I definitely concur with all of her suggestions. We always stay at the Windemere Hotel (got married in their garden 14 years ago) and go to the Village Inn for breakfast...great breakfasts. We always end up at the French Outpost after an afternoon of biking. Late afternoon cocktails on their patio cannot be beat. Stonecliff is a definite can't miss for dinner. We have also had very good meals at Mission Point..and the deli on the lower level is great for picnic supplies as Amanda said. I have to admit that my very favorite restaurant for dinner is at the Iroquois..that's where we had our wedding dinner :-)

                  Enjoy your trip! We just moved to Colorado so this may be the first time in 15 years not to go to the island :-( Although I am still lobbying to go!!

                  1. re: Squint

                    15 years is a long time! I have to divulge, however, that we always rent a cottage, so we cook at home for the most part (bring our own groceries in boxes and coolers that require a dray to get them to our place). But, we manage to get out, too. The place we rent is a hefty walk from "town," (yes, I bike, but not at night on the Island), so we mainly go for after-dinner walks or for drinks or ice cream, just to see what's happening and to cruise the marina (my favorite thing).
                    I've never had breakfast at the VI; tell me about it when you get a moment...

                    1. re: amandaqtpie

                      Oh, I would have loved to rent a cottage more into the "interior" of the island! As much as I love to stay at the Windemere, you can always count on being woken up around 5:00 am as the street cleaners come by and then the ferries begin arriving around 6:00 blowing their horns! But I do love Main Street in the evening after the daytrippers have left and there is room to stroll and window shop, and yes, stop in at Kilwin's for ice cream! And one of the best places to be EVER is sitting on the wide porch at the Windemere seeing Round Island Lighthouse and Bois Blanc Island and watching the freighters glide silently by.

                      Village Inn breakfasts are very good. Nothing out of the ordinary...just your basic breakfast fare. Very large portions. And as we usually would take a bike ride around the island first thing in the morning before breakfast we would inhale every bite! My favorite is the Eggs Benedict...they also have great pancakes and waffles. We would try to sit outside on the front patio and enjoy the sunshine and watch as people started their day on the island.

                      Now I really need to plan a trip to the island this summer! We would usually go at the tail end of the Lilac Festival since our anniversary is June 18. The most beautiful lilacs in the world! We won't make it for the lilacs, I'll have to start planning an autumn getaway...

                      Enjoy your trip this summer!!!

                  2. re: bmgjrg

                    So what's the report? I'm headed up in a few weeks and although I've eaten at about half of these spots that still leaves a good amount to try. I'd love to hear your thoughts.