Best Restaurants in Traverse City

Top Restaurants in Traverse City, Michigan

by Natalie Hardy from Travelovermiway.com

Discovering the Finest Dining Establishments in Traverse City, MI Greetings to Traverse City, also known as TC! Amidst the countless attractions this Northern Michigan city offers, it is crucial to plan your dining experiences wisely.

Traverse City’s culinary scene is rapidly gaining recognition among food enthusiasts in Michigan, emerging as a must-visit destination for its diverse array of dining options. Whether you crave street food, pizza, delectable pasties, or a fusion of Latin American flavors, you will find an abundance of delectable choices to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Whether you are embarking on a family vacation, a quick getaway, or attending special events like the National Cherry Festival, be sure to bookmark this post as your guide to experiencing the finest gastronomic delights in Grand Traverse County.

Having resided in this city for an extended period, I have curated a list of my favorite dining establishments in Traverse City and am delighted to present to you my comprehensive restaurant guide to the local culinary scene.

Continue reading to discover my top recommendations for dining in Traverse City, Michigan. Additionally, we have included an interactive map at the bottom of this article for your convenience.

Best Restaurants in Traverse City

Family-Friendly Dining Spots in Traverse City

Bubba’s

428 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

Conveniently located in downtown Traverse City on East Front Street, Bubba’s is a fantastic eatery where you can enjoy mouthwatering burgers, refreshing beers, and a wide variety of delectable appetizers. Don’t miss their boozy shakes, exclusively for those over 21. Visit during happy hour for a treat: all alcoholic beverages and appetizers are half off!

Don’s Drive-In

2030 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49685

Indulge in the classic 50’s diner experience at Don’s Drive-In, where you can order milkshakes, burgers, and fries right from the comfort of your car. It’s a wonderful dining destination suitable for all ages!

Blue Tractor

423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Located in Old Town, Blue Tractor serves mouthwatering BBQ dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. With an extensive selection of locally brewed Michigan beers and a comprehensive kids menu, this eatery is ideal for the whole family. Don’t forget to check out their beer garden in the back, which often features live music!

Agave Mexican Grill

851 S Garfield Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686

Double the deliciousness with two locations! For an authentic Mexican dining experience in Northern Michigan, look no further than Agave Mexican Grill. This casual and family-friendly establishment offers a delightful atmosphere for dining in or enjoying your meal on their patio at their South Airport Rd. location.

Round’s

1033 E Eighth St, Traverse City, MI 49686

Indulge in the perfect diner-style breakfast experience at Round’s. This charming establishment boasts the friendliest staff, efficient service, and delicious food. With over 60 years of operation, they have become a beloved local institution, and we hope they continue to serve their delightful fare for many years to come.

Restaurants in Traverse City

Notable Fine Dining Establishments in Traverse City

Boathouse

14039 Peninsula Dr, Traverse City, MI 49686

Treat yourself to an extraordinary waterfront dining experience along the stunning Grand Traverse Bay at the Boathouse. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, an anniversary, or simply desire an unforgettable meal in Traverse City, this is the place to be. We highly recommend making reservations in advance to secure your table.

Cooks’ House

115 Wellington St, Traverse City, MI 49686

Embark on a unique and delectable culinary journey at Cooks’ House. Ensure you make a reservation to experience their five- or seven-course tasting menu, which offers an exceptional dining adventure unlike any other.

Aerie

100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Acme, MI 49610

Situated on the 17th floor of the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Aerie is a stunning restaurant with panoramic views of East Bay. Indulge in a memorable evening as you savor delectable cocktails, wines, and appetizers while witnessing breathtaking sunsets. Be sure to save room for their filling and satisfying entrees!

Red Ginger

237 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

For a mouthwatering Asian cuisine experience and an intimate atmosphere, Red Ginger is the perfect choice for a date night in downtown Traverse City. Share an array of their delectable small plates or simply grab some sushi to go, and let the flavors transport you to culinary bliss.

traverse city restaurants

Top Spots for Quick Bites in Traverse City

Brew

108 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Situated in downtown T.C., this cozy establishment is the perfect place to grab a coffee, beer, and light breakfast or lunch items. It’s one of my favorite coffee shops in Traverse City.

Centre Street Café

1125 Centre St #3404, Traverse City, MI 49686

For the best sandwiches and wraps in town, you can’t go wrong with Centre Street Café. Although they only serve lunch, it’s a must-visit spot. Personally, I highly recommend trying their Campfire Wrap.

Hexenbelle

144 Hall St Suite 107, Traverse City, MI 49684

Located in the Warehouse District, Hexenbelle is a coffee shop known for its unique, creamy, and addictive espresso drinks. Their scrumptious menu features vegetarian and vegan small bites exclusively.

The Little Fleet

448 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

A downtown gem with outdoor seating, The Little Fleet is a must-visit place. It offers a variety of food trucks and a taco shop that operate all year round. Whether you prefer sitting inside or on their spacious patio, you’ll find something delicious here. (Food trucks available May-Sep)

Slabtown Burger

826 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Considered the top burger joint in Northern Michigan and beloved by locals, Slabtown Burger offers a range of hand-pattied burgers, fresh-cut fries, and delectable shakes. Whether you choose to dine in or take it to go, don’t forget to enjoy it on their patio.

BEST Traverse City Restaurants

Finest Pizza Restaurants in Traverse City

Charles & Reid Detroit Pizza Co

113 E State St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Hidden in the alley behind Front Street, this delightful location offers handmade pizzas, salads, and sandwiches for both lunch and dinner. Keep an eye out for their weekly specials, as they always introduce new and tasty options.

Pangea’s Pizza

135 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Pangea’s Pizza is the ultimate destination for pizza lovers, featuring a rooftop space for dining. Their menu boasts an incredible variety of artisan pizzas, making it difficult to choose a favorite.

Taproot Cider House

300 E Front St #104, Traverse City, MI 49684

Located downtown, Taproot Cider House is a cidery offering delicious flatbreads, salads, and other appetizers. They have an extensive selection of ciders and craft cocktails, with many vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

The Tasting Room

155 Garland St, Traverse City, MI 49684

A recent addition to Traverse City’s culinary scene, The Tasting Room offers a diverse range of small plates, both hot and cold, as well as wood-fired oven pizzas. Don’t miss their delightful Sunday brunch menu.

Traverse City Breweries/Wineries with Food

North Peak Brewing Company

400 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Housed in a historic candy factory in Traverse City’s Warehouse district, North Peak Brewing Company is a brewery that offers a great selection of handcrafted beers, appetizers, and entrees. Enjoy your meal indoors or on their patio.

Rare Bird Brewpub

229 Lake Ave, Traverse City, MI 49684

My personal favorite restaurant in Traverse City, Rare Bird Brewpub never disappoints. Their delicious brews, food, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit spot. Make sure to experience their year-round patio and try the Rosé the Riveter if you enjoy blonde ales.

Workshop Brewing Company

221 Garland St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Another fantastic brewery and restaurant located in the Warehouse district, Workshop Brewing Company serves up mouthwatering burgers, mac and cheese, and other delightful sides from Archie’s Food Truck. Pair your meal with one of their many beers and enjoy the live music, open mic nights, and trivia events.

Best Restaurants In Traverse City

Best Spots for Ice Cream/Dessert in Traverse City

Grand Traverse Pie Co.

525 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

With multiple locations and a food truck, Grand Traverse Pie Co. is the go-to place for delicious homemade pies and desserts made with locally-sourced ingredients.

Moomers

7263 N Long Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 49685

No visit to Traverse City is complete without indulging in an ice cream cone from Moomers. This famous homemade ice cream shop offers a wide array of delectable flavors. Note that their main location is closed in the winter, but you can find their heavenly ice cream at various locations throughout TC.

Milk & Honey

240 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Milk & Honey provides a unique and tasty ice cream experience, including vegan options. With an extensive list of ingredients, they can create any flavor of ice cream or dessert you desire.

More Must-Try Restaurants in Traverse City

Mama Lu’s

149 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Mama Lu’s is the ultimate modern-day taco shop, offering scrumptious and unique tacos, along with delicious sides and margaritas. Make sure to end your meal with one of their mouthwatering chocolate-drizzled churros.

7 Monks Taproom

128 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

A perfect spot to enjoy a burger and locally-made Michigan beer, 7 Monks Taproom is a must-visit. Start your meal with their homemade pretzel bites. It’s also the unofficial MSU bar in TC, so if you’re a fan, this is the place to be (Go Green!).

H&L Social

263 W Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, MI 49684

Perched on the rooftop of Hotel Indigo in the Warehouse district, H&L Social is a rooftop bar offering exceptional cocktails and a wide variety of small plates. The breathtaking view of the west bay adds to the overall experience.

Red Spire Brunch House

Address: 800 Cottageview Drive Suite #30 Mercato, Main Entrance, Traverse City, MI 49684

For the best Sunday brunch in Traverse City, head to Red Spire Brunch House. Located in the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons, this charming spot serves a delectable breakfast menu at budget-friendly prices. Don’t miss their homemade cinnamon roll, which is large enough to share but too tempting to resist eating it all by yourself.

Favorite Restaurant Near Traverse City

Martha’s Leelanau Table in Suttons Bay

413 N St Joseph St, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Situated in Suttons Bay, Martha’s Leelanau Table is a charming farm-to-table eatery offering lunch and dinner. Housed in a century-old red farmhouse, this European-style bistro guarantees a memorable dining experience and some of the best cuisine in the area.

More Outstanding Restaurants in Traverse City

  • Sleder’s Family Tavern
  • Trattoria Stella
  • Firefly Restaurant
  • Taqueria T.C. Latino
  • Filling Station Microbrewery
  • Jolly Pumpkin Brewery and Cafe
  • Omelette Shoppe
  • Apache Trout Grille
  • Harrington’s by the Bay
  • Green House Cafe

Traverse City Michigan Restaurant Map

Traverse City Restaurant Map

For an overview of Traverse City’s restaurants, refer to the Traverse City Michigan Restaurant Map. It will guide you to various dining options in the area.

Gluten-Free Restaurants in Northern Michigan

If you’re looking for gluten-free options, many restaurants in the area cater to such dietary needs. Red Mesa Grill and Prost are among the establishments that offer gluten-free choices. To discover more about gluten-free dining in Michigan, refer to our comprehensive guide.