15 Best Restaurants in Mackinaw City, MI
This article is written by local contributor Elizabeth Davis & edited by the Travel Lens team.
One of the most underrated aspects of living in Michigan, apart from its bustling automobile industry and beautiful Great Lakes, is the incredible food scene.
As a resident of this Wolverine State, I can attest to the fact that we have a plethora of delicious dishes worth trying.
A particular spot that's filled with diverse dining choices is Mackinaw City, Michigan.
This quaint village in Northern Michigan is home to some of the best restaurants in the state, and I've had the pleasure of trying many of them.
From breakfast joints to fine dining and pizzerias, Mackinaw has a little something for everyone.
Whenever I have friends or family visiting, I make sure to take them to the best restaurants in Mackinaw City for a complete and unforgettable experience.
Nonna Lisa's Italian Restaurant
I absolutely love Nonna Lisa's Italian Restaurant for its traditional Italian dishes.
This family-owned restaurant serves classic recipes that have been perfected and passed down for generations.
I always feel like I'm getting a complete Italian experience whenever I dine here, from their handmade pasta with tomato-based sauces to their decadent desserts.
However, what I enjoy the most at Nonna Lisa's are their wood-fired pizzas.
I can choose my preferred toppings from a wide selection, such as pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, basil, garlic, extra tomatoes, and much more.
The ingredients are always fresh, and their signature dough ensures that every bite is flavorful.
One day, after enjoying a delicious meal at Nonna Lisa's, I decided to explore the connected businesses.
I found myself at the Mackinaw Island brewhouse and winery section, where I met the friendly bartender Cheryl.
I enjoyed a 4-sample beer flight that surprisingly came with a souvenir pint glass, and I even indulged in 2 full pours.
The craft beer selection was impressive, with many options for take-home craft beer cans and competitive prices.
I also discovered that you get $10 off the purchase of 4 bottles of wine.
In conclusion, Nonna Lisa's Italian Restaurant is my go-to spot for a taste of Italy right here in my hometown.
The wood-fired pizzas, fresh ingredients, and friendly atmosphere make it a must-visit for anyone craving Italian cuisine.
And don't forget to check out the connected businesses for a great beer and wine experience!
I recently visited the Lighthouse Restaurant in Mackinaw City, and I must say, it's a popular seafood joint that offers fresh, locally-sourced dishes.
From their signature whitefish to their delectable crab cakes, I experienced the best seafood in Mackinaw.
One of the highlights of my visit was getting fresh lobster straight from the tank.
I picked one, and the chef prepared it for me.
The Lighthouse Restaurant is known for its creative and flavorful recipes, and I could tell that their signature dishes were prepared using the freshest ingredients, fresh fish, and hand-picked seafood daily from local fisheries.
The staff at the Lighthouse Restaurant ensured that I had a delicious meal every time.
During my visit, I had the pleasure of being served by Lauren, who did a fantastic job taking care of my drinks and food orders.
I started with their complimentary bread and butter, which was a small French roll sliced and warm to the touch.
For my meal, I went all out and ordered soup. I tried their lobster bisque, which had a couple of chunks of lobster included – and I do mean chunks.
It was the most I've ever seen in a bisque, and I enjoyed it a lot. I also tasted their French Onion soup, which was excellent and had a great flavor.
I can't wait to visit the Lighthouse Restaurant again, especially during summer or fall, when I imagine the view of the lake would be amazing.
Toast A Go-Go
Foursquare City Guide Toast A Go-Go is my go-to spot to start the day in Mackinaw City.
This diner-style restaurant is known for its hearty breakfast dishes that give me energy for a long day ahead.
I love their omelets, pancakes, and waffles, but their best-selling item is the Cinnamon Swirl French Toast.
It's made with thick slices of cinnamon swirl bread dunked in their signature egg batter and grilled until golden brown. It's absolutely delicious!
If I'm not in the mood for classic breakfast favorites, they also have other items on their extensive menu, such as sandwiches and burgers.
They even have a kids' breakfast consisting of breakfast dishes explicitly tailored for the little ones.
As someone who tries to eat healthily, I appreciate their breakfast salads, wraps, and smoothies.
No matter what I choose, I can always expect a delicious and satisfying breakfast experience at Toast A Go-Go.
The staff is always friendly and wearing masks, and they maintain good distancing practices.
Dixie Saloon is a local restaurant in downtown Mackinaw City that serves traditional American grub in a rustic and cozy environment.
As one of the oldest restaurants in the village, established in 1890, it has undergone numerous renovations through the years, yet it still maintained its classic American charm.
Their menu features a wide range of American comfort foods, from burgers and steaks to sandwiches and salads.
I particularly enjoyed the Cowboy Burger and Jalapeno Firecrackers, which were both old-school favorites.
The mac n' cheese was also delicious and reminded me of home-cooked meals.
The atmosphere at Dixie Saloon is truly unique, with an old-fashioned vibe that makes you feel like you've been transported back in time.
I also appreciated the cleanliness of the restaurant and the attentive service provided by our waiter.
The quality of the food and the overall experience is totally worth it.
My kids absolutely loved the place, especially the opportunity to leave a note on the walls, which added a fun and personal touch to our visit.
Next time I'm in the mood for some good old-fashioned American fare, I'll definitely be heading back to Dixie Saloon.
No restaurant in Mackinaw City is more beloved than B.C. Pizza.
As a local, I've been enjoying their delicious pizzas since 1988, and they show no signs of slowing down.
Their signature pizzas are handmade and perfectly cooked in a traditional brick oven, which means you get a pizza that's crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside.
Their menu features a wide selection of pizzas, such as the smokehouse mac & cheese pizza, the bacon double cheeseburger deluxe, the dill pickle pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, taco pizza, and much more.
I recently tried their base cheese pizza with basil, and it was easily the best pizza I've had in years!
The dough was buoyant and flavorful, the sauce was bright and dynamic, and the cheese combination was top-notch.
Apart from their signature pizzas, they also serve other dishes like pasta, salads, subs, desserts, and appetizers.
I can't wait to try some of their cakes and cookies, as they are a legit bakery by day and pizzeria by night.
They even gave me some of their Cinnamon Churro Cupcakes to go (end of the night), and they were incredible too!
Last weekend, I ordered five pizzas for a birthday party, and I have to say, they were absolutely delicious.
The flavors were so unique, and the dough was outstanding.
It had the perfect texture, and it really stood out from other pizza places I've tried.
Aside from the mouth-watering pizza, the staff at B.C. Pizza are always friendly and helpful, making the overall experience even better.
Rusted Spoke Brewing Co.
Rusted Spoke Brewing Co. is a well-known restaurant and meeting spot in Mackinaw City.
Located in downtown Mackinaw City, this industrial-style bar and restaurant features a relaxing atmosphere for socializing.
It's always bustling with people, both locals and tourists alike.
The Rusted Spoke Brewing Co. is known for serving comfort foods like mac and cheese, burgers, wings, and other bar eats.
I tried their smoked wings, which were delicious all by themselves, but I also ordered buffalo sauce on the side.
They also have signature entrées like steaks, brisket, pulled pork, smoked pork Sammy, and much more.
I had the Deep Blue Sea and Italian Stallion pizza, which were off the hook delicious!
The Rusted Spoke has a wide selection of beers, brewed and bottled right in the restaurant.
I ordered a flight of beers, and Tom, my fantastic server, was great in suggesting the different options.
Their craft beers come in various flavors and styles, so there's something for everyone.
I also noticed they sell t-shirts, hoodies, growlers, and 16-ounce cans for carryout.
The interior has a rustic vibe, and the choice of music was fantastic – early 80's tunes that I loved.
The staff is highly knowledgeable about brews and food.
C.J.'s Grub Stop
C.J.'s Grub Stop is my go-to spot for good food and friendly conversation.
This classic diner's cozy environment always makes me feel welcome and encourages me to sit and stay for a while.
Their menu features all the diner classics like burgers, sandwiches, salads, and soups.
I've had their burger, and it's one of the best cooked burgers I've had in a while.
They also serve your grilled favorites, like nachos and fries. I can't get enough of their pulled pork fries – they're amazing.
C.J.'s Grub Stop is also known for their slushies, milkshakes, and other diner-style beverages that hit the spot after a long day.
I love the location of this restaurant, which is right in the heart of Mackinaw Crossings shopping center.
As I sit outside the restaurant enjoying my meal, I'm often entertained by great live music.
What sets C.J.'s Grub Stop apart is that it's a dog-friendly eatery; my furry friend is always welcome to join me at an outdoor table.
If you want to enjoy a good old-fashioned meal and relax with your pup, C.J.'s Grub Stop is the perfect spot!
I also have to mention their fried cheese curds and deep-fried avocado slices.
The cheese curds are outstanding, amazing, and delicious.
The Historic Depot Restaurant
The Historic Depot Restaurant is an iconic place to dine in Mackinaw City, as it is housed inside one of the oldest buildings in town.
Despite the building's age, this restaurant is anything but outdated.
The Historic Depot features a classic menu with modern takes on some of the town's favorite dishes like steaks, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, and tons of other American fare.
The casual pub-style atmosphere is also inviting, and the place is always buzzing with people.
If you want a vibrant atmosphere and a good meal, head to the Historic Depot Restaurant.
I recently attended a group event at the Historic Depot, where we had a "banquet" type meal with preordered entrees.
Our waitress was excellent, and even with a crowd, she kept everything flowing and was very friendly.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was good and fun.
I had baked cod, and it came with salad, mashed potatoes/gravy, veggies, and dessert.
I would definitely come here again for lunch.
Keyhole Bar & Grill
Keyhole Bar & Grill has been one of Mackinaw City's premier destinations for good eats and vibes for over 50 years.
This unique spot features a massive collection of over 25,000 keys, hence the name.
You can find this enormous essential collection everywhere you look inside Keyhole Bar & Grill.
From the walls to the tables, everything is covered in keys.
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the place is always filled with locals like myself who want to eat something good.
Keyhole Bar & Gill has been building on their impressive menu list for years.
Today, they're known for having one of the most extensive menus in the city.
This bar and restaurant serve delicious burgers, BBQ ribs, walleye, whitefish, shrimp, wraps, Mexican food, steaks, chicken, and a variety of sandwiches, homemade soups, daily specials, and appetizers.
Keyhole Bar & Grill has also won numerous awards, from being the best seafood dive in the state to the best bar in northern Michigan.
With its tenure, reputation, and awards, there's no doubt that Keyhole Bar & Grill is one of the best spots for a good meal and some great conversation.
I had a super friendly server who put together a delightful mixed drink, and I ordered chips with salsa and wings to pick at.
The wings were sweet and had some nice heat to them. The chips and salsa with cheese were simple but delicious, and my husband enjoyed his burger.
Prices were very reasonable as well. The service, drinks, and food were all great.
I especially loved the Peel 'N Eat Shrimp appetizer, which I practically inhaled because I was so hungry.
Bridgeview Diner serves the best burgers in all of Mackinaw City.
This claim might be bold, but this diner isn't one to mince words.
They make their burgers with freshly ground beef and serve them on a homemade bun.
They also have a wide selection of sides like fries, onion rings, and coleslaw.
Many locals and visitors agree with their claim, as Bridgeview Diner is always crowded with people.
Their burgers have become an absolute favorite among locals and tourists.
Unfortunately, Bridgeview Diner is a seasonal restaurant and will only open from May to September.
If you want to taste their signature burgers, drop by and let your taste buds be the judge.
I've passed by this place millions of times and finally decided to give it a try. I definitely wasn't disappointed.
The customer service was awesome, and the food and drinks were even better!
What really puts the cherry on top is the atmosphere, which gives you that classic diner feel you don't find anymore.
It's also perfect for family nights with a ton of space. I will definitely be coming back.
On my first visit, I came here on Easter Sunday. I just wanted something quick and figured this would work.
The place was relatively empty and I was seated right away. The ambiance is very dated and simple, but the menu was pretty ample, and that's what I was there for.
The wait wasn't too long for the food-- my cheesesteak was pretty good.
The steak was tender and flavorful, and the cheese was melted just right.
My daughter's cheeseburger was cooked to perfection, and she loved it.
Mackinaw has a food joint that claims to have the best hot dogs in town, and I can vouch for that.
Wienerlicious is a local hot dog restaurant that has served hotdogs since 1916, making it one of the longest-standing restaurants in town.
As a local, I've been going there for years and can't get enough of their delicious hot dogs.
What sets Wienerlicious apart is their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients when creating their signature wieners.
Their hot dogs are made with 100% fresh meats and come in various toppings, from classic condiments to more creative combinations like jalapeno and pickles.
Some of my favorite hot dogs include the Mackinaw, Coney Dog, the Chicago Dog, The Reuben Dog, Spicy Italian, and the Bratwurst.
I recently tried their foot-long Coney Dog, and it was absolutely delicious with that grill type taste. My wife also enjoyed her all-beef dog.
The restaurant itself is quite small inside with not too many seats, so I usually prefer to sit outside.
I also appreciate that Wienerlicious offers a vegetarian option.
I once ordered their veggie dog with cheese and sautéed onions and peppers, and it was a pleasant surprise.
Their heavily breaded waffle fries are also a must-try.
The Chippewa Room at Audie's Restaurant
Fine dining is great, but what if you can make it even better?
The Chippewa Room isn't just your typical fine dining restaurant in Mackinaw.
It is located within Audie's Restaurant and pays homage to the Native American culture with its interior design and overall vibe.
The Chippewa Room is a local favorite for hosting parties and special occasions.
It's a great place to dine with loved ones as it offers a relaxed atmosphere and a super attentive staff.
The menu features signature dishes you typically see in a fine dining restaurant.
I recently went there for dinner and had the crusted white fish, which was absolutely wonderful.
The menu also includes options like rack of lamb, fresh seafood, quality-cut steaks, elk, pasta, salads, and more.
You can also pair your dinner with their wide selection of wines, homemade desserts, and other delicious beverages.
During my visit, I was very impressed with the service, especially from the new trainees, Kim and Hailee.
They were friendly, attentive, and made the experience even more enjoyable.
Audie's Restaurant is where I had an amazing all-around dining experience.
This massive restaurant is divided into four areas: the welcome lounge, the family room, a space for weddings and events, and the Chippewa Room.
I started my evening by relaxing and unwinding at the welcoming lounge, where the bar is located.
I ordered some of the best drinks in town and enjoyed the cozy atmosphere.
Afterwards, I moved to the Bridge, known as the family room, for dinner.
This area offers a comprehensive menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I had a delicious burger and fries, but I also noticed they serve other favorites like wings, fresh fish, salads, and sandwiches.
During my visit, I saw a beautiful banquet space that can accommodate 30 to 200 guests.
It's perfect for hosting short parties and events such as weddings and conventions. I'll definitely keep it in mind for any special occasions in the future.
Apart from these four areas, Audie's also features an outdoor patio where you can enjoy drinks and munch on bar bites while overlooking the beautiful views.
I spent some time there, soaking in the scenery and enjoying the pleasant atmosphere.
Sully's Sweet Shop
Mackinaw City doesn't get as hot as some other places in the country.
However, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a cold and sweet treat.
In Mackinaw City, Sully's Sweet Shop is my go-to place to grab some excellent ice cream, shakes, and other desserts.
It's a cozy little shop serving the best ice cream in town.
I usually prefer to get my ice cream and other desserts to go, but they do have a dine-in option as well.
This spot is trendy among kids, who love the variety of flavors, from salted caramel to fruit punch.
I also enjoy munching on some of their famous treats like fudge and taffy while I'm there.
One thing I really appreciate about Sully's is their clean and professional environment.
It feels like you're in a fancy little health food store, with all kinds of interesting and healthy delights you may not find anywhere else.
Their staff is fantastic too. They always greet me cheerfully and show genuine care about my inquiries, even if they can't help or don't provide the service I'm asking for.
There's one employee named Ryean who always leaves a lasting impression on me.
He is so professional and friendly, sharp, dedicated, and kind.
I can't help but feel welcomed and well taken care of whenever I visit Sully's Sweet Shop.
Head to Sully's Sweet Shop for a delicious treat to beat the summer heat or satisfy your sweet tooth all year round.
Hunt's Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co.
Established in 1964, Hunt's Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Co. is a restaurant known for its iconic Mackinaw pastie.
As a local, I've been coming here for years, and I can confidently say that they serve the best pasties in town.
The Mackinaw pastie is a traditional British and Irish hand pie, usually made with potatoes, carrots, onions, and spices.
The secret to Hunt's pasties is in the pastry; it's thick, flaky, and flavorful.
You can order a whole pastie or a slice depending on your preference, but I'd always recommend going for the whole pastie.
Trust me, you don't want to miss out on the fantastic crust that makes this dish so good.
Through the years, the staff behind Hunt's has perfected their craft at creating this iconic dish.
Their efforts have paid off, as Hunt's is now known as the home of the best pastie in town.
The staff is always friendly and patient, even when I take my time deciding what to order.
On my last visit, I tried their coleslaw for the first time, and it was honestly the best I've ever had.
They've definitely got that down to a science.
The gravy they serve with the pastie is also great, adding an extra layer of flavor to the already delicious dish.
As someone who lives in Mackinaw City, Michigan, I can personally vouch for the amazing variety of dining options available here.
No matter what your taste preferences are, you're sure to find something that suits your palate in this vibrant city.
I've had the pleasure of trying many of the best restaurants in Mackinaw City, and I can confidently say that each one offers a unique and enjoyable dining experience.
So, if you ever find yourself in our beautiful city, make sure to indulge in the culinary delights that it has to offer. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!