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Sep 17, 2007 04:55 PM

Recommendations for northern Michigan?

We'll be staying in the Traverse area for about a week and I am interested in restaurant suggestions in the greater area. Willing to drive up to 90 minutes for a good meal....Thanks!

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  1. If you want a really good meal, go to Tapawingo in Ellsworth. Phone 866-588-7881. They have a web site too. Not inexpensive,but worth every penny!!

    1. You'll find lots of recommendations for the Traverse City area in this topic:
      including plenty of mention of Tapawingo, which many (including me) consider among the very best restaurants in the entire state.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        I suggest the following 3 restaurants:

        1. re: g rote

          Can't agree any more than I already do. Tapawingo is an experience that must be done. I usually find the Metro Times' reviews to be absolutely stupid, but if they liked Tapawingo, then they can't be entirely backwards, I guess.

          Tapawingo may be the very best restaurant Michigan has to offer.

      2. Just saw in today's Free Press that Tapawingo will be closing for the winter. Don't know all the details, but definitely check out their open/closed schedule before making the trip!

        4 Replies
        1. re: charlesbois

          Good info. You'll find contact information on their website at (which doesn't say anything about closing for the winter, but websites do not always have the latest news).

          Another excellent place, right near Tapawingo, is the Rowe Inn,

          1. re: charlesbois

            I doubt it, but I do know they are having cooking classes there during thr winter. Do check the web site though!

              1. re: Mother of four

                Chef Pete is closing Tapawingo tight for the winter. He's having a surgery, hiring a new chef and writing a Tapawingo bookbook. No cooking classes will be held at all. Many of his staff have been with him for years and years and will be idle for the first time in snowtime. The Rowe, where Pete started as chef after leaving auto design, will remain open, I believe.

            1. We rented a cottage in Northport last summer for a week, so we had lots of time to explore. Within a block of where we stayed there was a coffee shop and bakery, a cafe with fabulous unique sandwiches, and then there was Stubb's. I can't recall the names of either the breakfast place nor the sandwich shop, but we went to Stubb's three times (mostly because it was the only place walkable still serving alcohol). We showed up there on our first night, after a long drive, feeling like a drink. They were getting ready to close, but let us in, and even let us stay for a few rounds with the locals. We had dinner there a few nights later and it was quite good for the price. II recall they had an excellent full bar, too.

              Also within driving distance of where you'll be are Leland, Petoskey, Sutton's Bay, Glen Arbor...You can spend a day driving from town to town for various meals and never get bored, as you'll probably be stopping to shop and sightsee along the way.
              God, I love northern Michigan.

              1. Hi, I live in northern Michigan, Northport, in fact. I agree with most on here... Tapawingo is tops, the Rowe Inn is excellent for fine dining, too. But to respond to the Northport response, the GREAT sandwich shop in Northport is Eat Spot, certainly worth a trip for lunch. Also newly opened near Northport, is Knot, Just A Bar in Omena, next to the Leelanau Wine Cellars tasting room. Omena is one of the best views in the area. If the weather is nice, sit on the deck...ask for won't be disappointed. Make sure you stop next door for the Witches Brew, which should be out by then. In TC, try Amical or Poppycocks (lunch or dinner) on Front St....and 310 at 310 Union. For great greek food, and very much local atmosphere try the U&I Lounge...ask for KyEd (or Eddie). A few others that never disappoint are North Peak, the Blue Tractor, and Union Street Station's Wed Gumbo lunch. And you can always count on consistency at Fischer's Happy Hour in Northport and the Bluebird in Leland. Good luck and have fun! This is the best time of year in northern Michigan.