Michigan is blessed with pockets of vibrant dining destinations across the state. While cities like Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and Detroit garner much of the attention, there are so many more must-visit attractions ranging from legendary diners to hip brewpubs.
Bay City is one of those cities where we found plenty of places to keep us fed and entertained during our two stays. Downtown was home to massive antique warehouses, small shops carrying Michigan-made goods and, of course, places to eat and imbibe.
Allow us to share a few places we recommend checking out when you’re in the tri-cities area. If we missed your favorite place, let us know so we can check it out next time!
The Public House
If you ask us, The Public House is a welcome addition to downtown Bay City worth raising a glass to. You’d swear this hip cocktail bar was ripped right out of a trendy major city. Creativity abounds throughout the menu. There’s so much to explore, so arrive ready to think outside of the box, errr… glass.
The Public House is located at 811 Adams St, Bay City, MI 48708.
It was sad to see Mornin’ at Maggie’s Omelette Shoppe go, but Mandy’s Diner kept us happy and full during our breakfast visit.
Mandy’s Diner is located at 819 Saginaw St, Bay City, MI 48708.
Brooklyn Boyz Pizzeria
For an authentic pizza experience in the tri-cities area, Brooklyn Boyz Pizzeria is one of the best. Satisfy your craving for thin crust masterpieces and other old-world favorites like stromboli, calzones, and lasagna.
While the passion for creating quality Italian food shines through with every dish, what put Brooklyn Boyz on the map are their Garlic Knots. People come from near and far to enjoy these tasty twists. The pillowy dough is coated with butter, fresh garlic, and special seasoning to create the perfect bite. To maximize your dipping experience, order the Garlic Knot Trio that comes with three sauces of your choice. The nacho cheese dip was our favorite!
Brooklyn Boyz Pizzeria is located at 507 E Midland St, Bay City, MI 48706.
The Michigan-centric MI Table restaurant and bar impressed us with their extensive use of products from the Mitten, bright and airy interior, and tranquil street dining setup.
MI Table is located at 213 Center Ave, Bay City, MI 48708.
Tavern 101 in downtown Bay City is a great spot to check out if you’re looking for a hip beer bar with a wide variety of Michigan brews. The outdoor seating area looks out upon Wenonah Park down to the Saginaw River, while the upbeat interior delivers a relaxing experience year round.
When Tavern 101 says they’re a beer bar, they aren’t kidding. While there are plenty of heavy hitters like Short’s and Bell’s, you can find a healthy selection of brews from lesser known breweries across the state and beyond. To pair with your beer, Tavern 101 offers elevated pub fare like craft burgers, flatbreads, and loaded fries.
Tavern 101 is located at 101 Center Ave, Bay City, MI 48708.
Gulino’s Pizza & Sons
Gulino’s is a premier takeout spot for woodfired pizzas made with quality ingredients. An absolute must-try in Bay City!
Gulino’s Pizza & Sons is located at 1406 N Henry St, Bay City, MI 48706.
In an area with a plethora of pubs, VNO sticks out with all things wine. Founded in 2013, this expansive wine bar celebrates vino from down the road to across the globe. Order by the glass or bottle, then order a delicious small plate or two.
After doing our research, we were easily convinced to try one of VNO’s delights: Lobster Tacos. There was lobsta’ love about them, including their generous portion of seafood and flavorful sauce. If you’re in the mood for something more traditional, you can order a burger from Bay City Burgers located in the same building.
VNO is located at 512 E Midland St, Bay City, MI 48706.
Lumber Barons Brewery
If you like to explore a diverse selection of brews, there’s no shortage at Lumber Barons Brewery. Roll into Lumber Barons and put an axe to your thirst with a flight or an appealing pint.
Lumber Barons Brewery is located at 804 E Midland St, Bay City, MI 48706.
Local Watering Holes
Looking for a low key spot to grab a cold beer and rub elbows with the locals? Here are a few recommendations.
Jake’s Corner Lounge
For a spot with live entertainment and a no-frills vibe in downtown Bay City, Jake’s Corner Lounge is a sure bet. Known as a popular place to meet with friends, Jake’s will help you conserve cash with cheap pitchers of beer.
Jake’s Corner Lounge is located at 114 3rd St, Bay City, MI 48708.
River Rock Café
Hop over to River Rock Café to grab a cold beer while surrounded by walls chock-full of concert posters and memorabilia. Although we didn’t grab a bite to eat there, burgers, sandwiches, and Mexican favorites make up most of the menu. They’re even open for breakfast.
River Rock Café is located at 614 E Midland St, Bay City, MI 48706.
Washington Street Irish Pub & Grill
To lay low with a cold pint, Washington Street Irish Pub & Grill will do the trick. Frequent live music makes this is a popular spot, especially on weekends.
Washington Street Irish Pub & Grill is located at 112 Washington Ave, Bay City, MI 48708.