The 10 Best Restaurants In Waterford, Michigan

Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area
Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area | © KRoark/Flickr
Helen Armitage

Just 30 miles northwest of Detroit, Michigan, lies the township of Waterford, home of the Oakland County Farmers Market and an eclectic dining scene. Choose from authentic Thai cuisine, gastro-pub eats, or mouthwatering barbecue and brews with our guide to Waterford’s best local restaurants.

400d_02_0046 [Waterford, Michigan]

Lion’s Den

Restaurant, American

A Waterford dining tradition for over three decades, the Lion’s Den serves varied American eats in cozy, lodge-like surroundings. With a menu featuring over 120 items, there’s a dish to suit every diner. Opt for hearty burgers and sandwiches, juicy steaks, pasta and a wide range of seafood like Alaskan king crab legs. Alternatively, go for one of the Lion’s Den’s popular gourmet pizzas. Its tempting desserts include the likes of snickers pie and homemade cheesecake, plus there’s a range of beer, wine and coffee-based cocktails for guests to enjoy.



Opened by chef Joseph Velez and his wife Jovita in 2009, SOOPS ‘n SANZ is a homely joint serving some of the best soups and sandwiches in town. Soup options change almost daily, but guests can expect varieties like cheesy creamy broccoli, New England clam chowder and pulled pork chili. Regular sandwich offerings like classic grilled cheese, corned beef and Swiss cheese, and tuna melt are complemented by daily specials like cubano and jibarito sandwiches. Don’t leave without trying one of SOOPS ‘n SANZ’s delicious desserts, recent offerings have included Danish bread pudding and vanilla flan.

SOOPS ‘n SANZ, 2617 Dixie Highway, Waterford, MI, USA, +1 248 701 6169

So Thai

Restaurant, Thai

IMG_0049_J - Pontiac Lake State Park
© KRoark/Flickr
Voted Best Thai Restaurant in the Oakland Press Reader’s Choice Awards, So Thai is a venture from veteran restaurateurs, the Sookthis family, who have been cooking up deliciously authentic Thai eats in the local area since the late 1980s. Traditional, familiar dishes like pad Thai and massamun curry feature on the menu, alongside the restaurant’s own creations like catfish gang som with string beans, napa cabbage and papaya, or drunken spaghetti with wok seared chili, hot pepper, onions and Thai basil. An extensive sushi menu is offered as well, alongside authentic desserts like sweet sticky rice with banana and black bean.

L.A. Café

Cafe, Deli, Vegetarian

Part cafe, part gift store and part gallery, L.A. Café is a cozy, hip venue whose delicious, made-from-scratch eats have been delighting local diners since it first opened its doors in 1986. Go for breakfast and try one of L.A. Café’s popular ‘scromlettes,’ scrambled omelets served with toast and home-style potatoes, and available in varieties like ‘The Dougie’ (with chili and mild cheddar), or the ‘Aloha’ (with ham, pineapple and provolone). They also have a selection of lunch and dinner dishes like burgers, pizzas, sandwiches and build-your-own nachos. Art fans won’t be disappointed with a visit to L.A. Café either, as not only does it display the work of local artists, the café also hosts its own annual arts and music festival, Peacefest.

Heroes Bar-BQ & Brew


For a casual, laid-back night out surrounded by sports, beer and classic American fare, look no further than Heroes Bar-BQ & Brew, a cozy, homely sports bar opened in 1994 by owner Tim Nick. Diner favorites include Heroes’ succulent BBQ baby back ribs, steamed shrimp cocktail and maple planked whitefish, but guests will find plenty of other eclectic options from burgers and steaks to pasta dishes and Mexican-inspired fare. There’s no better way to wash down those tasty eats with a refreshing beer or two, so check out Heroes’ range of Michigan-brewed beers from the likes of Griffin Claw Brewing Company and Frankenmuth Brewery.

Mexico Lindo

Restaurant, Mexican

Family owned and operated since first opening nearly fifty years ago, Mexico Lindo’s authentic cuisine has scooped it the Best Mexican Restaurant title in the Oakland Press Readers Choice Awards eight times in the last decade. Must try menu items include Mexico Lindo’s famous guacamole and chips appetizer and its popular tacos available with beef, beans or chicken, though there are plenty of other traditional Mexican dishes to try like menudo soup, carne asada and burritos. There are also a few lighter options for diners watching their calorie intake, while classic margaritas and Bloody Marys make the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s authentic fare.

Kennedy’s Irish Pub

Bar, Pub, Irish

IMG_0044_J - Pontiac Lake State Park
© KRoark/Flickr
One of Waterford’s longest standing restaurants, Kennedy’s Irish Pub was established in 1972 and remains a popular joint today for its homely, family owned atmosphere and tasty, classic pub fare. Choose from popular dishes like Kennedy’s pretzel burger with homemade beer cheese sauce and grilled onion, beer battered cod with French fries, or the corned beef stacker sandwich. You can also opt for other eclectic dishes like homemade three-cheese macaroni, quesadillas and salads and, as it’s an Irish bar, guests can naturally expect plenty of Guinness and whiskey to wash down their grub.

Custard Corner

Custard Corner

Custard Corner is another classic Waterford tradition, and diners with a hankering for sweet treats have been heading to the legendary ice cream parlor since it first opened in 1976. Open seasonally between early April and late September, Custard Corner is the place to go to get your sweet tooth fix with its menu full of sundaes (including varieties like turtle, cream puff and peanut butter cup), slushies, milkshakes and malts. But keep an eye out for specialty menu items like its popular pumpkin pie flurry and its recently introduced tiramisú sundae with shortcake, vanilla custard, cheesecake and whipped cream.

Custard Corner, 3005 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI, USA, +1 248 682 1613

Fork n’ Pint

Gastropub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American

The newest addition to Waterford’s dining scene, Fork n’ Pint has been open less than a month but its combination of gastropub cuisine and locally brewed beers are sure to put the new restaurant on the map. Nestled on the edges of Cass Lake, Fork n’ Pint boasts not only a lovely location but also a stylish, rustic chic interior. As well as this, chef Ted Teeter has crafted a menu full of creative comfort food bound to tempt any diner. Opt for gourmet sandwiches and burgers, artisan pizzas and classic BBQ eats, or choose from house entrées like chicken and waffles or walleye and chips.

Fino’s Food & Spirits

Restaurant, Italian, American, Greek

Boasting one of the most eclectic menus in town, Fino’s Food & Spirits is a family friendly restaurant serving a range of American, Italian, Greek and Mexican dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, Fino’s early offerings include pancakes, Belgian waffles and 16 varieties of omelet. Diners eating later in the day can enjoy Greek cuisine with souvlaki, Italian fare with lasagna or veal parmesan, or opt for south-of-the-border-style eats with quesadillas and burritos. Classic American dishes include meatloaf and home style fried chicken, but save room for dessert as the giant banana split and hot fudge cream puff are very popular.
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