The Best Restaurants In Mackinaw City, Michigan

Fish and chips
Fish and chips | Photo by Samuel tresch on Unsplash
Sophia Francis

The restaurant and local eating scene in Mackinaw has burgeoned, and many restaurants use fresh, local flavors in their menus. Ranging from cafés to restaurants, seafood options to sweet treats, the city serves some delectable dishes that simply must be tried. We explore 10 of the best restaurants and local eats in Mackinaw, MI.

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Audie’s restaurant was voted the ‘best all-round restaurant’ by readers of the Northern Express, and it deserves this accreditation for more reasons than one. Offering private banquet rooms and catering services, in addition to a wide ranging, full menu, the food on offer is sure to satisfy the taste buds. From signature dishes such as baby spinach with homemade raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, sugar roasted pecans, sun-dried cranberries, purple onion, tomato and poppy seed crescent, to its relaxing atmosphere, the restaurant provides the perfect dining experience and is a must visit.

Popcorn Factory

Although not a restaurant, the Popcorn Factory is an exciting shop filled with sweet treats to eat and amazing popcorn-related product. Here you can get cookies and cream, dill pickle and other funky flavors such as as fruit salad, or beer-flavored popcorn. It is a popular place for travellers to Mackinaw City and should be on your list of places to visit. The shop sells a whopping 47 flavors of popcorn and invites you to sample them all.

Darrow’s Restaurant

Serving all-American breakfasts, lunches and dinners to its guests, award winning Darrow’s family restaurant produces delicious food. Having received the People’s Choice Award for Best Service and Best Desserts, this restaurant boasts a delectable selection of meats, pies and fresh food. From the lunch menu, sample the five chicken tenders marinated in buttermilk, breaded and fried golden brown, served with French fries and coleslaw. You can opt to have a delicious dipping sauce with the dish and additional sides can also be ordered with your food, so come hungry and prepare to leave full.

Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Company

Beef and potatoes meal

With wholesome, flavorsome pasties that come in a range of options, and many optional sides, Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Company is the perfect restaurant to visit if you are looking for a filling dish. The pasties are the optimum portion size and are available in such choices as traditional beef, made with potatoes, onions and rutabaga, and vegetable pasties made with a mixture of broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, onions and blend of cheeses. Each pasty is lovingly baked in a golden-brown crust and oozes flavors that will wake up your taste buds a treat. Side dishes include creamy coleslaw, sour cream or salsa.

Keyhole Bar & Grill

For over 40 years Keyhole Bar & Grill has had the motto ‘good food & good times’, and this ethos is reflected in its dishes, ambiance and atmosphere. With menu options such as delicious chicken wings or steak, blackened whitefish or soup, perch or fried fish, the choices are sure to satisfy a range of diners. Refreshing beers are available, as well as wines that can be enjoyed at the bar or with your meal. With salads, wraps and sandwiches too, this venue has something for everyone and is a great place in which to eat good food.

Pancake Chef

A restaurant that was established in 1964 and has served up up a range of tasty pancakes to diners ever since, Pancake Chef is a place with a great atmosphere and delicious food. With amiable staff and the best quality buffet-style breakfasts lunches and dinners. Here you can expect a great service and a pleasant dining experience. Sample creamy chocolate chip pancakes swimming in buttermilk batter with whipped cream from the breakfast menu, or try their pecan pancakes, served with glazed Georgia pecans, which are grilled in buttermilk batter.

The Blue Water Bar & Grill

Clam spaghetti

At The Blue Water Bar & Grill the range of the menu combined with the fresh flavors of the seafood keeps diners returning for the delicious dishes. With creative options such as fish or steaks, sandwiches or pasta dishes, crab or lobster, shellfish, gourmet fish or water clam chowder, you can choose from a mouth-watering, tasty range of food. Try their fried calamari, which are cooked golden brown and served with sweet chili dipping sauce, or sample their whitefish sandwich, served on a bun with tartar sauce.

Scalawags Whitefish & Chips

An eatery that serves the freshest whitefish, perch and walleye fish sourced from the Great Lakes, Scalawags Whitefish & Chips is a casual place in which to eat the best quality comfort food. From sandwiches to soups to fish baskets that include a choice of whitefish, perch or shrimp (with accompanying fries and sauces), you will be spoilt for choice. Open between May and October, this restaurant attracts travellers to Mackinaw City and is committed to serving fresh, wholesome and tasty fish.

Nonna Lisa’s

Nonna Lisa’s restaurant is a restaurant with amiable staff and delectable Italian cuisine. From soups and salads such as minestrone or chicken Caesar, to wood-fired pizzas, which include such toppings as pepperoni and Italian sausage, the menu is wide ranging and delicious. Sample the chicken parmigiano complete with tenderized chicken breast that is lightly dusted with breadcrumbs and baked with mozzarella and homemade marinara sauce. This dish is served in a bed of spaghetti. Alternatively, try the rosemary salmon served with fresh rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto cream sauce, served blackened or grilled.

Bridgeview Diner

Serving a variety of foods in Mackinaw City, Bridgeview Diner has a delicious menu including dishes such as prime rib or country fried steak served with fried eggs, home fries and toast, or a chicken sandwich served with mustard sauce served on the side. Opt for side dishes such as chili cheese fries, and enjoy the great food and atmosphere late into the night if you want, as this place is open until 4am.

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