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May 24, 2010 09:47 PM

Real Food:Frankfort to Leland Michigan: good local restaurants?

We will be staying in Frankfort, Michigan for a few days in early August. I have done my research and have found a few places that specialize in local ingredients. For example, Bluebird and Cove in Leland. Joe's Friendly Tavern in Empire sounded interesting, with the local fish. La Becasse in Burdickville? Yes, I also know about the vineyards and I love wine. Cherries are also, ok. But, mostly we are interested in eating good local food between swimming in what I have been told is a very cold Lake Michigan. Thanks, if anyone can help.( We might drive over to Traverse City. Anything worth the trip which is CHOWHOUND worthy?)

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  1. >> (We might drive over to Traverse City. Anything worth the trip which is CHOWHOUND worthy?)

    For recommendations in Traverse City, see these topics:

    I've enjoyed Hanna ( ) but haven't tried a lot of other places there.

    Also if you enjoy wine tasting, you'll find a lot of excellent wineries in and around the Leelenau Peninsula and Traverse. For more information see

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Some of these threads are pretty old. Tapawingo's, mentioned several times, has, alas, closed.

      La Becasse is still going.

      I'd choose Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor over Joe's in Empire. I don't know how much either of them focus on local ingredients but they both have whitefish in various forms and smelt if you're going for fish.

      Also, Crescent Bakery on Main St in Frankfort has excellent baked goods including the best chocolate cake donuts I've ever had.

      1. re: gooddog

        >> Some of these threads are pretty old.

        Even the one older thread has been updated in the past few years. All of them have useful information.

    2. You have an outstanding list of chow places. Good for you! Cook's House in Tc is maybe the best place I've eaten in years...simple, great cook, BYO OK. Can't recommend it enough!

      Please don't go there and not eat there!

      Cook's House
      439 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

      1 Reply
      1. re: berkleybabe

        cook's house in tc is flat out a great restaurant. the food can hold its own with the best in this country and even much of the top tier in france. very casual and tiny but the food is superb. be sure to reserve. you may need to take your own wine - ask. there is a pretty good wine shop right across the street.

      2. Thanks everyone for your recommendations.

        1 Reply
        1. re: benkar

          Great! Please post a review, I'm sure you'll be pleased. We always liked Joe's Friendly Travern for its ambience and burgers.. not stellar food. But they have the greatest T-shirts! Who can't smile at a friendly tavern t-shirt? :)

          BTW, if you can, shoot up to Old MIssion Peninsula for wine tasting. My favorite is 2 Lads, great wine and a spectacular view of the bay. Beautiful tasting room.

        2. Just made reservations at The Cooks' House! Thanks again.

          1. If you're looking for excellent local, farm-to-table food in this area La Becasse is an excellent choice. I've never been to the cook's house, but I've heard nothing but rave reviews.

            I'd like to throw another suggestion into the mix, Funistrada in Maple City, just down the street from La Becasse.

            We ate there this past Friday night, and it was phenomenal. The asparagus and morel ragout, with a generous helping of morels, was a fantastic starter.

            After careful debate, and speaking with some fellow diners we both decided on the veal chop. In one word AMAZING. So amazing in fact that this was possibly the best piece of meat I have ever consumed. It was a large bone-in rib chop, rubbed with rosemary and sage, grilled, and served topped with a lemon butter caper sauce. We finished dinner around 10:45, and we talked about this veal chop for the next two hours. We woke up the next morning still talking about it, my friend had a dream about it that night, and we brought it up in just about every conversation we had about food all weekend. Obnoxious? Not if you had tried this veal chop. If it matters, the chop is served with a house salad, and choice of a couple different sides of pasta, but the meat is the real star.

            I can't wait to get up there again this summer to try it again.

            4566 McFarlane Rd, Maple City, MI 49664

            1 Reply
            1. re: qriusminds

              You guys are killing me here! La Becasse, Funistrada, Cook's House. These are hours away from Detroit, but it seems like I'm going to have to make a special trip. So be it.

              Cook's House
              439 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

              4566 McFarlane Rd, Maple City, MI 49664