Bon Appetit named Traverse City and the Leelanau Peninsula one of the “Top Six Small Foodie Towns” in America. 

Find out why Bon Appetit thinks the region is among the best. For lunch or dinner, choices are plentiful and first class. Although in 2020, so much is different: in-house dining is restricted at most establishments in preference to patios and carry-outs, and hours are often restricted. Websites and Facebook posts will share the details for "the new normal." And for many, your best bet is to order ahead. (Even bring your meal back to the inn to savor on an individual table on the porch, in the living room, in your room, or that special cottage you are enjoying.)

No matter the 2020 adaptations, though, our favorites on the Leelanau Peninsula are, marvelously, still here:

  • Coffee or latte to-go any time of day at Leelanau Coffee Roasters.
  • Riverfront Deli for the best fresh soups, luncheon specials, generous picnic-basket-worthy cherry chicken salad sandwich and melt-in-your-mouth sweets.
  • Art’s Tavern for top-rated cheeseburgers and tater tots — and to say that you did, since those knowing you’ve been here will ask. Be sure, too, to check the pennants that cover the ceiling. Is your school or professional team there, or do you need to donate one? (A guest last summer could not resist, sending his Auburn pennant ahead of his arrival.)
  • Western Avenue Grill, a block from us, is always good for a drink or dinner.
  • The M22 Market a few miles up the road on M22 — where else? — has exceptional pastrami sandwiches and excellent “Detroit pizza.” A smart and cozy stop. Be sure to tell Neil or Paul or Melanie “hello” for us if you stop.

In the evening, dine at award-winning restaurants. There’s the charming Italian Trattoria Funistrada or white-tablecloth French LaBecasse on the other side of Big Glen Lake in Burdickville, or the exceptional Blu around the corner from the inn, on the water, with James Beard-nominated chef Randy Chamberlain. For these three, though, ask us to make an advance reservation as they are often sold out by your arrival time.

Favorites in other towns of the Leelanau are the Bluebird Restaurant & Tavern (a traditional spot) in Leland, or rave reviewed Martha’s Leelanau Table in Suttons Bay.


If you’re venturing into Traverse City, we have great recommendations, too:

On the more “smart casual” side, find Apache Trout Grill or the West End Tavern –love their amazing pork chops and the white fish — on the waterfront on W. Bayshore (M22) Drive, historic Sleder’s Tavern tucked around the corner from the Dairy Lodge off US31 for burgers and true “country mooseheads-on-the-wall” atmosphere, or excellent barbeque at Blue Tractor Cook Shop on Union Street.

One more time, we welcome requests for a reservation or recommendation when you book your room or cottage. Best to plan ahead if you have a special occasion as many of our favorites are coping with a new reality.