Where to Eat in Traverse City: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Layne Dawes

Traverse City, known as a four-season playground, is now celebrated for quality cuisine, wine and culture. Miles of sugar-sand shoreline include the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with romantic lighthouses and coastal villages. The glacier-sculpted landscape of orchards and vineyards includes 16 golf courses. Swimming, sailing, paddling, hiking and fishing are favorite warm weather activities, while winter turns the region into a playground for skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoers.
Things to do in Traverse City

1. Reflect Bistro Inside Cambria Suites Hotel

255 Munson Ave, Inside Cambria hotel & suites, Traverse City, MI 49686-3079 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Television, Highchairs Available, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards American, Steakhouse, Bar, Seafood, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch SGD 10 - SGD 33 +1 231-778-9000
Excellent
85%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 537 reviews

Reflect Bistro Inside Cambria Suites Hotel

Bistro style restaurant and lounge serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Happy hour from 4-7 pm seven days a week. Located inside the Cambria hotel & suites on Munson Avenue (US-31).Expanded Craft Beer Selection and Extensive Wine List. Reflect also always carries four Michigan Craft Beers on draft and wines from 7 local wineries, as well as from all over the world. Serving Super Premium Food at a Modest Price is our motto.

Reviewed By fcarr - Boston, Massachusetts

Back in the 1980’s I recall restaurants looking like Reflect Bistro. Unfortunately this restaurant hasn’t changed since.

We were happy with average to good food, a breakfast with plenty of choices. Good omelets ,average potatoes and coffee this would rank with old style breakfast diner food. Prices a bit high for the ambiance but service was very good. Wanted a latte but the machine was broken.

With the many choices in TC it’s hard to recommend Reflect unless you are a hotel guest.

2. The Filling Station

642 Railroad Pl, Traverse City, MI 49686-2671 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Bar, Pizza, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks 231-946-8168
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 529 reviews

The Filling Station

Microbrewery on site

Reviewed By Dave C - Harbor Springs, Michigan

Went for a dinner with a friend on a Thursday night. Busy, but not crazy. Staff was very friendly and helpful with explaining some of the beers. A wide variety of pizza and was some of the best flat bread pizza I've ever had.

Will definitely be back and would highly recommend! Great job everyone!

3. Grand Traverse Pie Co.

525 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684-2002 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Takeout, Accepts Credit Cards American, Cafe, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 13 +1 231-922-7437
Excellent
66%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 858 reviews

Grand Traverse Pie Co.

The original Grand Traverse Pie Company location! Our first Pie Shop opened in July of 1996 by company founders, Mike and Denise Busley. The shop is conveniently located on West Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan, just a short walk from downtown and a block from West Grand Traverse Bay. Our open-air design has the kitchen in full view of our customers. There's comfortable seating for those who would like to sit and relax with a slice of pie and a cup of gourmet coffee. We also have great lunch selections, with quiches, soups, pot pie by the slice, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. We serve espresso, smoothies, and a variety of homemade baked goods.

Reviewed By Strayedfar - Naples, Florida

Love Grand Traverse Pie co. We love the pot pies and all the variety of dessert pies. I can never decide which one I want! We come from Fl on an annual winter trip and always have lunch here one day during our visit. This last visit there were 34 in our group and GTPC took care of us without hesitation. I called ahead to warn them of a large party (and to ensure adequate pot pies to feed the hungry mass!) and they had everything under control for us. Set aside the reserved room, ensured our pot pies were ready and not sold to other customers and they gave excellent, exceptional customer service during a lunch rush!

4. Amical

229 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684-2525 Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover Mediterranean, French, American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 16 - SGD 42 +1 231-941-8888
Excellent
65%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 981 reviews

Amical

Located in the heart of downtown Traverse City overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay, amical has been offering eclectic European cuisine to our dining patrons since 1994. Order from creative and revolving menus, fresh selections prepared in our open kitchen and served in the cozy dining room or on our vibrant street-side patio. Experience the local flavor, dedicated service and consistent reputation that has kept amical a favorite for over 20 years.

Reviewed By KRPINGRMI - Grand Rapids, MI.

My wife and I and another couple went to this restaurant for NYE. We reserved for 8pm and stayed for 2.5 hours. Each of us had something different and we all thought our dinners to be excellent. The desserts were to die for too. Our service was superb and and the wine selection the same. Can’t go wrong at this place.

5. Grand Traverse Pie Co. Downtown

101 N Park St, Traverse City, MI 49684-2622 Takeout, Seating, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch SGD 13 +1 231-933-3972
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 161 reviews

Grand Traverse Pie Co. Downtown

The Traverse City Park Street location is located in the heart of downtown on the ground floor of the 101 North Park Building. Occupying a spacious retail space facing Front Street, the Grand Traverse Pie Company offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and coffee to the offices downtown, as well as shoppers and tourists on foot. The location has free wireless internet access, restrooms, and a view of downtown Traverse City.

Reviewed By z3r0h3r0

I don't have enough words to say how much I enjoyed eating here!

First I would like to mention how cool it is that when you order pie with your meal, they give you a card so you can come back later to eat it! We utilized this and I was so impressed and pleased with the idea!

We stopped for lunch and we both ordered the chicken pot pie with salads.

This was THE best pot pie I have ever eaten in my life! It was big too! I have to mention the salad because it was also good.

For dessert I had the lakeshore berry pie. Holy moly!

You can't go wrong with this restaurant and you should stop in!

6. Mama Lu's - A Modern Day Taco Shop

149 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684-2508 Television, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Mexican, Latin, Street Food, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 13 - SGD 20 +1 231-943-2793
Excellent
69%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 164 reviews

Mama Lu's - A Modern Day Taco Shop

Mama Lu's is a taco-slinging, modern day taco shop and bar in the heart of Traverse City's downtown neighborhood. Executive Chef John Larson's menu is driven by authentic Mexican street food grounded in a fresh 'made to order' tortilla. The affordable menu is complemented by well-crafted Margaritas and an unpretentious collection of beer, wine & spirits. The intimate 40 seat taco shop draws inspiration from bygone borderland watering holes to create a place where people from all walks of life can converge over cold libations, "hit the spot" cuisine & warm hospitality. A true fixture in the community, the fun & energetic vibes offer a destination for both date nights and family dining alike.

Reviewed By Samantha484 - Menasha, Wisconsin

Homemade chips and tasty salsa were a great starter. The tacos are small, but delicious. We loved the fish, shrimp, pork belly, and beef. The rice and beans were good. For small appetites, one taco and shared sides were plenty. Don't miss the street corn. Served on the cob, the flavors were infused into the corn. It was our absolute favorite thing on the menu! I can't wait to go back and try more.

7. Slabtown Cafe and Burgers

826 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684-2466 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 231-932-1760
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 446 reviews

Slabtown Cafe and Burgers

Reviewed By ET010203 - Toulouse, France

This is a nice business. Employees are professional and food is good. Cannot say it was perfect because the fries were not really crispy. Anyway it is a nice place. Many families were there and of course the kids love it!

8. The Little Fleet

448 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686-2614 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 231-943-1116
Excellent
66%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 197 reviews

The Little Fleet

Reviewed By Lori B - Clinton, Ohio

This is an excellent place to visit so that all members of your party can get exactly what type of food they want. My husband had BBQ at Cordwood BBQ which was outstanding and I had pizza at Pleasanton pizza which was excellent too. there is a lovely seating area open air in the middle and a huge bar for drinks inside. It was a great way to end an evening after a full day of seeing sites. It was comfortable, delicious, and I loved being outside and soaking in the last light of day. Its just a short walk into town from there for further shopping and a nice walk along the water as well. Great location. free parking on the street.

9. The Towne Plaza

203 Cass St, Corner of State and Cass, Traverse City, MI 49684-2506 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Contemporary, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 231-929-0900
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 263 reviews

The Towne Plaza

Reviewed By Annette G - Commerce Township, Michigan

Stopped in after it was recommended to us by the ladies at Left Foot Charlie's. They weren't wrong- delicious brunch food. Pancakes with an amazing crispy edge, grilled cheese made with local raclette cheese, omelettes loaded with delicious meats and cheeses. Our waitress was excellent. Patio wasn't open on the day we stopped in but they managed to serve multiple people and turn tables relatively quickly. Lots of fun foods on menu! Check them out!

10. Spanglish

1333 Yellow Dr, Traverse City, MI 49684-1463 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 231-943-1453
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 155 reviews

Spanglish

Reviewed By kimfht52 - Gaylord, Michigan

happened to be at the commons for an art show, this place was highly recommended. "authentic Mexican " . I was not disappointed, ordered 2 chicken tamales, and a side of rice and beans. 9$. they were delicious, tender and full of flavor. rice and beans were super yummy also. they use reusable plastic baskets to keep unnecessary garbage out of the landfills, which I really appreciate. this area is a hot spot of good food and eats, this one was a standout! will for sure be returning!

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