Highlighting the food and drink scenes of cities big and small is our favorite thing to do as Michigan Chews & Brews. Explore the towns you love and discover ones you’ve yet to visit in these 2018 spotlights.
Chilly temperatures don’t slow us down! Call us crazy, but we loved exploring Frankenmuth in dead of winter. Although we’ve visited the area before, our February 2018 trip allowed us to dig a little deeper while avoiding peak tourist season.
A spotlight on the fantastic dining and drinking destinations in Berkley was long overdue. After all, it’s where we call home! The diverse array of eateries often goes unnoticed, so we had to let everyone know that it’s the place to be.
Port Huron is so much more than just a crossing point to Canada. From waterfront dining to down home cooking, and pizza on the patio to famous fried chicken, we had plenty of restaurants and bars to keep us busy — and full — during our stay.
Just north of metro Detroit, downtown Lake Orion packs a punch with a variety of restaurants, cafés, and places to indulge your sweet tooth. Although you’re still in southeast Michigan, this little town will give you all of the “up north” vibes.
Oodles of Noodles
Noodles were a big part of our year. In fact, some of our favorite dining experiences in 2018 were at noodle shops like Traverse City’s Samsara. Be sure to try a bowl of their Kah-Poon with red coconut curry broth. The Good Bowl brought another nice noodle option to downtown Traverse City with their warm bowls of pho.
Our proximity to Madison Heights meant lots of trips Vietnamese eateries serving pho. How lucky are we?! The second outpost of Ima only added to the city’s reputation of being a hotspot for noodles.
What’s more insane than an ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich with a fried egg and turkey bacon? The grilled cheese at Detroit’s Royale With Cheese is definitely a bucket list sandwich.
If we’re talking about sheer size, the Catfish Po’ Boy from Bistro Orleans in Warren is not only the biggest sandwich we ate in 2018, but in our entire lives. The Fork n’ Big Reuben at Lake Orion’s Fork n’ Pint came in a close second.
Check out these hand-held eats that satisfied our stomachs the most in 2018!
Big Mock Burger — Chili Mustard Onions (Detroit)
Tikka Fries — Vinsetta Garage (Berkley)
Shawarma Wings — Axle Brewing Co. (Ferndale)
Hot Dogs — Cook’s Drive-In (Dutton)
Slabtown Special Burger — Slabtown Burgers (Traverse City)
Tijuana Dog — Loaded Links (Troy)
Chicken Tenders — Rafic’s Falafel (Dearborn)
Beef Barbacoa Tacos — Maggie’s Kitchen (Grand Rapids)
We were happy to raise a pint during our first trip to Earthen Ales in Traverse City. This bright and airy brewery sits on the former State Hospital grounds, making it quite unique. Grab a few tacos around the corner at Spanglish before sipping your suds.
We built this city. We built this city on… okay, enough of the terrible Starship reference. City Built Brewing Company in Grand Rapids was a highlight for us this year with its sleek-yet-comfortable interior and stupendously sippable Mandarina Wheat Ale.
Congratulations to our old friends at Gravel Bottom Brewery for moving into their new digs in downtown Ada this year. Gravel Bottom was one of the first breweries we ever featured, so it makes us happy to see them thriving five years later. Check them out when you’re in the Grand Rapids area.
If you look hard enough, you can usually find a gem. Teetotallers in Traverse City is one of them. Grab a handcrafted cocktail at this speakeasy… as long as you know the password.
Northern Latitudes Distillery in Lake Leelanau may have the key to the best Bloody Mary ever: Horseradish Vodka. It’s only available at their tasting room, so be sure to visit this gem up north.
Lust for Lists
From finger lickin’ chicken tenders to food trucks, check out these lists to find new restaurants worthy of your bucket list.