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Dec 6, 2008 01:45 PM

petoskey, mi

looking for suggestions for good places in and around petosky, bay january...thanks, dee dee

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    1. re: nsxtasy

      The topics listed above are a good start, but you'll probably notice that the recommendations are a little all over the place. Don't be discouraged! - This highlights the challenge of recommending good places in a tourist-driven area like Northern Michigan: There is no definitive answer - It is very subjective, since you will likely not have a meal that would rival the quality that can be found in larger cities. It depends on your approach. For example, there is no shortage of upscale restaurants in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area and, while many of them boast an excellent view and comfortable ambiance, the food will often fall short of what you might expect for the price you pay. That being said, if you embrace the area for what it is, and anticipate paying a little more for your "Up North" experience, you will most definitely enjoy a satisfying meal at any one of the fine dining establishments, including: Sagamore's (Bay Harbor), Stafford's Bay View Inn (Petoskey), Stafford's Pier (Harbor Springs), New York (Harbor Springs), etc. (Pier, Bay View Inn
      ) (Sagamore's, South American
      )Call before you go, since some have limited seasonal hours.
      Legs Inn is closed in the winter and Douglas Lake Bar will be closed after New Year's Eve. (Both would be a decent hike from Petoskey anyway.)

      Other personal picks for me would be
      Breakfast - Original Pancake House (Bay Harbor). Some will say it's overpriced, but they all are, so you might as well go for it.

      Soup/sandwich - Roast-n-Toast (Lake St. Petoskey)

      Pizza - Mighty Fine (Mitchell St. Petoskey) -takeout only

      Thai - Thai Orchid (Mitchell St. Petoskey)

      Sushi - Tokyo (Petoskey)

      Italian - Lorenzo's (Harbor Springs)

      Burgers/Pub Food - Mitchell St. Pub; Noggin Room (basement of the Perry Hotel); Side Door Saloon (no deep fryers, so no fries


      I'm not a fan of Whitecaps (Petoskey) or Latitude (Bay Harbor), FWIW.

      Definite no-no's: Hunan, La Senorita

      Hope this helps! Enjoy your visit...

      1. re: tokyo

        thanks so much for your thoughtful responses...really looking for good white fish, walleye...good food ...price is not an issue but am not interested in too pretentious or ambitious... thanks

        1. re: dee dee

          Could hit the Weathervane down in Charlevoix--I had a great fish dish there (trout), and you also get the chance to see, by eating inside of, one of the area's examples of interesting folk architecture.

          1. re: dee dee

            i agree on the New York in HS. It's one of our regular spots. In Charlevois, Terry's Place does walleye and whitefish really well. In Petoskey, be sure to get some gelatto at American Spoon and don't forget Tom's Mom's Cookies in HS.I am curious if anyone has tried The Fish since they reopened? Finally, I would not recommend Chandler's to someone who did not want "pretentious".or "ambitious" Check Tapawingo's website to see if they are closing this winter. Last winter they did close but they were also changing chefs. This year has the makings of a great ski season, so enjoy and bon appetit.

            1. re: dee dee

              Terry's Place in Charlevoix is hands-down the best choice for whitefish and perch.
              For a really great meal in Petoskey, Chandler's is a must! Tapawingo is disappointing at best. The Rowe Inn in Ellsworth is very charming.

              1. re: torchlaker

                Don't believe their lies. Tapawingo is fantastic. Well worth it in spades.

              2. re: dee dee

                Updating my comments here...
                I think I'm going to have to retract my recommendation for Original Pancake House - the last few times we've gone, I've been completely unimpressed. I don't know if they let their attention to quality slip in the off season or what, but everything has been very tasteless and GREASY. Breakfast is my favorite meal to enjoy at a restaurant, but I am still on the hunt for a truly fantastic breakfast joint in this area - someplace with great eggs benedict or huevos rancheros or crepes, etc...
                Also, I'm not sure why I recommended Tokyo other than to relay that sushi IS available. The same goes for Mighty Fine - it's not a "must-try" pizza place, just my pick of the local offerings of carry-out pizza.
                Would like to add that Galley Gourmet in Bay Harbor does a nice job with supplying specialty food items/deli lunches/snacks for those vacationing in the village.

          2. The topics list just about everything. If you can be more specific we can narrow these choices down, e.g., budget, cuisine, kids? Planked whitefish is an "up north" specialty and any of the nicer places - for sure any of Stafford Smith"s places - will have it.

            1. Tapawingo in Ellsworth is the best you can find, about a 25 minute drive, but well worth it. Chandler's and Andante in downtown Petoskey are good as well. Chandler's is a good lunch and dinner spot... but I would highly suggest you make the drive to Tapawingo!

              6 Replies
              1. re: kblake1013

                I agree with everything you say about Tapawingo. Is it open this winter? I seem to recall that they were closed for the winter a year ago, but that was the first time they did that. Anyway, it's indeed outstanding. You can find contact information on their website at

                Rowe Inn, also in Ellsworth, is also very good indeed.

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  I would choose the Rowe Inn over Tapawingo. I think Tapawingo is pretentious. If I want to eat in a New York restaurant, and pay New York prices, I'll go to New York. Rowe Inn is much more laid back, and you should be able to find whitefish there. (Whitefish is kind of the tofu of fish in these parts; it isn't the whitefish itself, but what you do to it that makes it worth eating.)

                  In Petoskey, definitely go to Roast and Toast, and visit the wonderful book store that's connected to it. One of my favorite spots. Keep in mind that it's going to be slippery driving now at this time of year, and leave extra time.

                  1. re: brendastarlet

                    I've eaten at Tapawingo and I didn't find it pretentious in any way. The staff was friendly and gracious, the setting was lovely, and the food was fabulous in every way. Based on my experience there, it deserves its reputation as one of the very best restaurants in the entire state.

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      I agree with you, nsxtasy. I found Tapawingo to be nothing shy of excellent. The one minor complaint I had was addressed easily and promptly, and for the love of Mike, while it's certainly not a cheap diner, the prices at Tapawingo are *nowhere near* NY prices. At all. NY is absolutely, positively the most expensive town in the US, bar none.

                      1. re: boagman

                        I'm glad you had better experiences than I did.

              2. I always enjoy The New York in Harbor Springs.

                Would also recommend visiting Esperance in Charlevoix - a great wine and foodie shop.

                1. The links upthread by nxtasy still contain a lot of great information.