Alpena Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Alpena

April 14, 2018 Janette Largent

Alpena /ælˈpiːnə/ is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Alpena County. It is considered to be part of northern Michigan. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located in the city. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census. The population swells with a large number of visitors in the summer.
Things to do in Alpena

1. Courtyard Restaurant

2024 US Highway 23 S, Alpena, MI 49707-4523 Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night +1 989-356-9511
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 327 reviews

Courtyard Restaurant

Restaurant serving made from scratch dishes. Fresh seafood, steaks, italian, pizza and burgers

Reviewed By Razinski - Harrisville, Michigan

The good:
Great ambiance, vibe and look. (Although combined with kitsch plastic snowflakes dangling from the ceiling and disgusting red curtains everywhere .... who thought that looks cool?)

The bad:
Terrible food.
Ridiculously cold frozen beer.
Scatterbrained waitstaff.
Expensive.

The story:
We arrived and stood around for several minutes, no Maître d'hôtel. I eventually asked a barmaid if we could select a table. She said “sure”.
Sat down, were brought water and oily, rock-hard garlic “bread”.
Ordered calamari and clam starters. Calamari was super dry (overfried?) and the clams were floating in crazy greasy salty brine. Mmm .... not good!
We should have left right there and then, but I was struggling to get an ice-cold (frozen) Guinness down.
Made the final mistake and ordered mains.
Two pizzas and a burger.
How do you screw that up? Here, let me explain .... the burger was made from mystery meat (two patties with the flavor of Vienna sausages). It was bad.
The one pizza arrived with (burnt?) bacon or bacon-bits on it. Only two slices could be choked down.
The other pizza arrived with pineapple so old you had to salute it before eating. One slice was all we could manage.
Since we did not want to complain and possibly ruin the evening further ... we got up and paid the $100 and promptly left.
Come-on Alpena .... is this place good enough for you??
We will avoid it at all costs.

2. Cabin Creek Coffee

201 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707-2803 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Dinner +1 989-356-5613
Excellent
62%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Cabin Creek Coffee

Reviewed By FoodieOnAHarley - Atlanta, Georgia

A charming little coffee house in downtown Alpena. They have every coffee drink known to humanity, and also quite good breakfast sandwiches. Very good plain old coffee, with several types to choose from. I had a sandwich of bacon, egg, Swiss cheese and veggie spread on a croissant, which was very tasty, although it took FOREVER to prepare. I got the impression that the person making sandwiches could only deal with one at a time, and a couple of people were ahead of me and each of their sandwiches had to be finished and delivered before they could start on mine.

3. Downtown Scoops Ice Cream Shoppe

101 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707-2868 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 61 reviews

Downtown Scoops Ice Cream Shoppe

Reviewed By MemberP - Michigan

Excellent service, great ice cream, and a beautifully redone older building in downtown Alpena. THE place to get ice cream when visiting the area.

4. North Country Candy & Gifts

1045 N Bagley St, Alpena, MI 49707-8215
Excellent
88%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 8 reviews

North Country Candy & Gifts

Reviewed By ACErt896 - Alpena, Michigan

The service has always been friendly here! Great ice cream and other treats, and now they have coffee drinks which are well-done. They do have a comfortable seating area. I think they still put a bench outside for the summer. Keep up the good work.

5. Burgies

628 W Chisholm St, Alpena, MI 49707-2427 Outdoor Seating, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Accepts American Express, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 - SGD 26 +1 989-340-1288
Excellent
77%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 125 reviews

Burgies

Burgies is a gourmet burger restaurant featuring Fresh-Never Frozen Premium Sirloin Blend ground steak burgers, hand-pattied Turkey burgers, slow roasted pork, grilled chicken, black-bean and fish sandwiches...all topped with gourmet and fresh ingredients. Hand-breaded Onion Rings, Handbreaded Portabellos and Crispy Brussel sprouts are the most popular sides. Craft Beer, wine and full bar.

Reviewed By Debra A

Excellent burgers, fresh veggies roasted, and tasty sauces! Good service, good cocktails, quality wines available. An enjoyable experience always.

6. The Fresh Palate

109 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707-5304 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Drinks +1 989-358-1400
Excellent
65%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 194 reviews

The Fresh Palate

Come enjoy a Fresh, Local, and Organic gourmet eating experience! Featuring the Nucleus Lounge with 22 craft Michigan beers and craft cocktails.

Reviewed By vwp11 - Milan, Michigan

Stopped by Fresh Palate on a rainy, windy Thursday night (read, not many people out and about) and we were seated immediately. There were only a couple other diners at the time.

I'd heard that this was one of the best restaurants in Alpena, so perhaps my expectations were high. We are in Alpena a lot in the summer and my boyfriend has never wanted to come to Fresh Palate, so this opportunity to experiment with my aunt was perfect.

As far as food, I suspect this is one of those places where four people eat and every single one has a different quality experience. I ordered the Blue Line chicken dinner, a tortilla encrusted chicken breast with roasted red pepper polenta, and cilantro lime-roasted corn. I really enjoyed this dish and the serving size was more than adequate though $16 was a lot for a plate 2/3 filled with corn products. My aunt had the Easy Beez'r caesar salad with sauteed shrimp (by request, they are normally cold) and a cup of potato vegetable soup. The soup was okay, but bland, and she was kind of put off by her salad because it was over-dressed and oily. So, foodwise, one of us was content (not wowed by any stretch of the imagination) and one of us was not very satisfied (but too tired to fight it.)

We found the service to be exactly what others have reported. A little scatter-brained, and very slow and inattentive. There were very few people there and still it was slow. The server was apologizing for the delays (and thanking us for our patience) almost like it was a common thing. At the end, even though we were ready to leave, we had to stay 10 more minutes to get the price corrected on the cup of soup, which was charged at the $5 bowl rate. And the server was mumbling excuses about what must have happened as she wandered away to fix it. She also never came back to ask if I wanted my soft drink refilled in all the time we were there.

May give it one more try, may not. There ARE choices in Alpena.

7. Nowicki's Sausage Shoppe

1224 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707-2105 Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Seating, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Parking Available, Accepts Credit Cards Polish, American, Delicatessen Lunch SGD 5 - SGD 7 +1 989-354-2219
Excellent
80%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 73 reviews

Nowicki's Sausage Shoppe

Nowicki's Sausage Shoppe is a family business making over 80 homemade specialties. Five generations of sausage makers have developed the unique recipes since 1917. Stop in for a quick snack or make yourself a "Brat in a Bun" at our self serve counter

Reviewed By Tom P - Wausau, Wisconsin

Best place around for great cheap lunch, only $2.50 for flavor filled brats! They sell many different types of brats and have about 5 to choose from ready to eat on any day for lunch. Located on the north side of town this place is worth the stop!

8. Austin Brothers Beer Company

821 W Miller St, Alpena, MI 49707-1825 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Waitstaff, Accepts Credit Cards American, Brew Pub, Bar, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 7 - SGD 20 +1 989-340-2300
Excellent
69%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Austin Brothers Beer Company

Microbrewery and full service brewpub featuring Austin Brothers' beer and a rotating seasonal pub food menu.

Reviewed By Julie D

These guys brew some awesome beers. "45'er" is now one of my husband's favorite beers, and he's a bit of an expert! Cherry Wheat beer was fantastic. Harvest salad was fresh, full of innovative flavors and delicious. Swag: from sweatshirts, Tshirts and cycling jerseys...couldn't pass up.

Would be five stars, only complaint is, it's hard to find and Google maps had us going in circles. Worth finding.

9. John A Lau Saloon

414 N 2nd Ave, Alpena, MI 49707-2338 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations American, Bar, Pub Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 - SGD 20 +1 989-354-6898
Excellent
41%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
7%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 154 reviews

John A Lau Saloon

Reviewed By Todd S

First time visit, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. I was welcomed and taken to my seat, got served a cold micro brew from the state. I ordered the French Onion Soup it took about as long as it normally takes for really good soup,,it was tasty. I also go the 8oz Steak which taste great, I will be back for the Prime Rib. The wait Staff was friendly and made you feel welcome. Good Job

10. Nick's Southside Diner

3023 US Highway 23 S, Alpena, MI 49707-4823 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible American, Diner Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 989-356-1955
Excellent
52%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

Nick's Southside Diner

Reviewed By Mary P - Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

I stopped here to grab take out breakfast. The owner talked with me while I waited, very nice man. He gave me some history on the diner. After finding out that we were staying at a local hotel, he said they also make deliveries! We ordered biscuits and gravy, tasted just like grandma's!

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.