Although better known for its outdoor recreation and lively arts and music scene, Muskegon also boasts a thriving dining scene. From the acclaimed cuisine at the long-standing Hearthstone restaurant, to new additions like Rebel Pies and its unique craft pizzas, we round up this Michigan city’s best local restaurants.
One of west Michigan’s most acclaimed culinary destinations, The Hearthstone is a casual fine dining restaurant. A mix of classic European bistro fare and contemporary American cuisine make up The Hearthstone’s menu, with standout dishes that include escargot de Bourgogne and Berkshire tomahawk pork chop, while its creative salads, hearty sandwiches and made-from-scratch soups are also a big hit with diners. An extensive wine list featuring a few Michigan-made wines and a number of craft beers and signature cocktails complement The Hearthstone’s elegant eats.
The Station Grill
With its quirky, former gas station location and a reputation for serving some of the area’s best-loved burgers, The Station Grill is certainly one of Muskegon’s most fun dining destinations. This place is the place to go for juicy gourmet burgers and ice-cold beer, along with a number of Tex-Mex-inspired dishes and its award-winning chili. Guests can choose from options like the carnival burger topped with grilled onions, green peppers and mozzarella cheese, or the California burger with Swiss cheese and spicy guacamole.
Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack
It might be small, but Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack, a deli in downtown Muskegon, certainly packs a punch with its delicious and creative sandwiches, as well as soups and sides. Choose from inventively named sandwiches like the Patty McFatty (corned beef and pastrami, baby Swiss and homemade coleslaw on light rye), or the How Now Brown Cow (roast beef horseradish, cheddar, arugula, tomato and onion on a sub roll). Otherwise, opt for a wholesome white chicken chili soup or roasted red pepper bisque. Keep an eye out for the Fatty Lumpkins food trailer during the summer months, it can often be found at local events like Parties in the Park and the Lakeshore Art Festival.
The Lake House
Nestled on the shores of Lake Muskegon, The Lake House is a popular local haunt offering guests a casual and unpretentious ambience, delicious seasonal cuisine and spectacular views. In summer months, The Lake House’s beautiful deck and outdoor bar set the perfect scene for a spot of al fresco lakeside dining; while during Michigan’s harsh winters, guests can enjoy a romantic dinner next to its cozy fireplace. Start with small plates like pork belly poutine or pan-seared edamame, followed by sandwiches, burgers, tacos or hearty entrees like grilled Atlantic salmon and hickory-charred duck breast.
Toast ‘N Jams
Retro (and Route 66) inspired Toast ‘N Jams is one of Muskegon’s most unique restaurants. A mural inspired by the USA’s most famous road trip route greets guests as they enter Toast ‘N Jams, and comfy booths matched with vintage-style lighting give the popular breakfast and lunch joint a distinctly 1950s diner feel. Breakfast offerings include a smorgasbord of omelets, scrambles, pancakes, waffles and house specialties like biscuits and gravy or country-fried steak. Toast ‘N Jams’ lunchtime menu features sandwiches, salads, soups and a number of steak burgers inspired by stops on Route 66, like the Amarillo, topped with pepper jack cheese, crispy bacon and BBQ sauce.
A restaurant from Muskegon’s top independent restaurateur Hoby Thrasher, Hank’s Tavern is a sports bar specializing in American and Mexican eats served up in a stylish but laid-back space. Start off with bar bites like hand-dipped onion rings, fresh guacamole with tortilla chips or Swedish-style meatballs, before grabbing a Tex-Mex dish like blackened tilapia tacos, seared skirt steak fajitas, or one of the restaurant’s juicy burgers, the Hank’s Original comes topped with shaved ham, crisp bacon, fried egg, cheddar and Hank’s secret sauce. Of course, no self-respecting tavern would be complete without a great beer list, and Hank’s Tavern offers a range of craft brews including some from locally based brewers like Muskegon’s Unruly Brewing Company.
Lefty & Romos’ Bar and Grill
Located on the outskirts of Muskegon, Lefty and Romos’ Bar and Grill serves tasty, homemade American bar food in its laid-back, friendly space. Opt for appetizers like tender, juicy hot wings or fried clams with cocktail sauce, and entrees such as fresh grilled salmon seasoned with lemon butter and the restaurant’s secret herb blend, or a south-of-the-border-inspired taco salad. Lefty and Romos’ real specialty, however, are the delicious burgers and flame-broiled steaks, choose from offerings like the 10-ounce New York strip steak topped with onion straws, or the signature burger topped with spring lettuce, tomato, balsamic caramelized onions, provolone and gorgonzola.
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