Cozying in near the open kitchen of a European-inspired, upscale bistro for artisan carbonara and wines brewed in-house or sharing wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and classic dishes that'll have you thinking you've arrived in the Italian countryside — inventive and inviting restaurants are dotted all throughout this flavorful region.
And, whether a beer-forward restaurant bar with gastropub fare and 54 brews on tap appeals to your palate or sipping from wine flights and sharing charcuterie by an outdoor fire bar is more your style — there are plenty of spots to tuck into our rich, robust fall and winter food scene!
New + Noteworthy
Gratzi (Midland) A modern, seasonal, chef-driven menu inspired by the various regions of Italy — offering a layered experience that builds from antipasti and artisanal meats and cheeses to the decadent final touch, dolce. Share wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas, classic pasta dishes, plus prime meats and top-catch seafood — alongside wine selections from two floor-to-ceiling, walk-in glass wine cellars. Pappardelle Bolognese? Seared Chilean Sea Bass atop a crispy asiago risotto cake? Alfredo da Tavola tossed table-side in a hollowed-out wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano? Enjoy every exquisite flavor!
Artisan Urban Bistro (Saginaw) Open-kitchen, European-style, upscale bistro in Old Town Saginaw with an inspired menu shaped by seasonality and local sourcing. Start with an order of Arancini de Riso (deep-fried risotto), share traditional Naples-style pizza (served on dough that's handcrafted daily using the whey from house-made mozzarella), or opt for your choice of artisan carbonara. And, to top it all off? Wines made on-site at the in-house winery!
Costela Brazilian Steak House (Bay City) An exquisite and unmatched churrascaria experience in Uptown Bay City. Sample from 15+ cuts of top-tier heritage beef, lamb, pork, and chicken — cooked in the centuries-old churrasco-style tradition over open, mesquite-wood-fired grills, then carved table-side. Pair with fresh selections from the Brazilian Market Table and Feijoada Bar, and cap off the experience with traditional Caipirinha — a Brazilian specialty drink with fresh, muddled fruits.
Federal 131 (Saginaw) A stylish, mid-century modern wine bar and taproom with a seasonal menu — mostly sourced from the SVRC Marketplace it's tucked inside. Fusilli Con Buco Marinara to Roasted Half Game Hen or Beef Filet Napoleon — enjoy the ever-changing menu and 24 rotating craft beer taps, plus 32 wines poured from a closed-loop tap system imported from Italy!
Molasses Smokehouse + Bar (Midland) Smoked-low-and-slow Kansas City-style barbecue, served up inside cozy-cool, industrial-meets-rustic Downtown Midland digs. Grab extra napkins for all the sticky, smoky goodness here — traditional beef and pork barbecue, plus alternative meatless options made with jackfruit — each expertly prepared by a seasoned veteran with over 30 years in barbecue!
Honey B's Eatery (Frankenmuth) Scratch-made magic, delivered at both breakfast and lunch. Try an inventive hash — like chorizo with breakfast potatoes and pan-fried Brussels sprouts, topped with a fried egg — and watch the daily Off the Menu Board for seasonal, get-‘em-while-they're-here specials!
Dig Cafe (Frankenmuth) Farm-to-table cafe highlighting organic, locally sourced ingredients in breakfast and lunch favorites like seasonal Foodie Bowls and grass-fed burgers.
Sushi Remix (Bay City, Saginaw) Ultra-fresh poké bowls (deconstructed sushi) and mind-blowing bubble tea, served up in two locations — Uptown Bay City and inside SVRC Marketplace in Saginaw.
Real Seafood Company (Bay City) Contemporary Uptown Bay City spot serving up only the finest and freshest top-catch fish and premium seafood from the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy fresh catch in your choice of seven preparations, share Paella for two, dive into an order of King Crab Legs, or nosh on premium oysters, chilled from the raw bar.
Maru Sushi & Grill (Midland) Chef-driven restaurant and sushi bar, utilizing top-notch ingredients from the finest fish to the freshest house-made sauces. Enjoy traditional cuisine reimagined through a modern lens in everything from Sharing Plates to Signature Rolls and Hibachi Grills.
Riverfront Grille & Lounge (Bay City) With an extensive menu ranging from small plates to seafood and another menu dedicated exclusively to steak and chops — stunning waterfront views of the Saginaw River aren't the only surprise you'll find at DoubleTree by Hilton - Bay City Riverfront.
Old City Hall (Bay City) Filet Bordelaise to Poached Salmon or Pork Medallions, enjoy casual fine dining at this historic hangout — a foodie's haven set inside the city's original City Hall. Sample from a list of 150+ wines covering the world over, try any of 23 brews on tap, or sip concoctions crafted from over 120 spirits.
Genji Japanese Steakhouse (Saginaw, Midland) Inviting Japanese steakhouse with teppanyaki tables where you'll see your selections grilled up before your saucer-wide eyes — plus an impressive selection of sushi and sashimi.
The Old Christmas Station (Frankenmuth) Year-round Christmas restaurant steeped in authentic, European tradition — with a menu that reads like an heirloom collection of recipes passed down through the generations. Enjoy scratch-made, soul-stirring food — from herb-encrusted Roasted Rack of Lamb to Traditional Austrian Goulash and handmade Artisan Italian Ravioli.
Tavern 101 (Bay City) Modern-rustic, beer-forward restaurant bar with sweeping views of waterfront Wenonah Park, elevated American gastropub classics, and 54 selections on tap. Try House Flatbreads and pair with a craft beer flight — maybe from the featured Brewery of the Quarter?
WhichCraft Taproom (Midland) Pub classics reimagined — like locally sourced corned beef with house-made IPA mustard and beer-braised sauerkraut, Midland-made beer bratwursts, or the ooey-gooey Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly! Pair with your choice from the selection of only-made-in-Michigan beer, cider, wine, and mead served here!
The Maple Grille Restaurant and Microbrewery (Hemlock) Off-the-beaten-path (but oh so worth the trip) microbrewery and farm-to-table restaurant hidden out in the Hemlock countryside. No freezer or microwave here — just fresh, seasonal dishes cooked up over wood-fired barrel grills and best enjoyed with a wood-fired craft brew, too!
Frankenmuth Brewery (Frankenmuth) Michigan's original craft brewery, serving up comfort food alongside its award-winning sips. Share a local Smoked Sausage Sampler or try Buffalo Chicken Mac N' Cheese, topped with heaps of smoked pulled chicken and fried onion straws. Then, wash it all down with a seasonal swig — like fall's Oktoberfest Lager or winter's Christmas Town Ale!
Midland Brewing Company (Midland) Historically great beers like the flagship Copper Harbor Ale, served up alongside elevated brewpub classics. Try shareables like House-Smoked Wings and beer-battered Hog Fries — smothered in MBC beer cheese and topped with pulled pork that's been barbecued out back on a custom smoker!
Liquid Lounge (Saginaw) Old Town Saginaw hotspot serving up 30+ inventive slider options, plus 16 craft and domestic handles just waiting to be pulled for the ultimate pairing!
Michigan on Main Bar & Grill (Frankenmuth) Seasonality and local sourcing reign supreme at this bar & grill tucked inside Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Try signature dishes like Chicken & Waffles — confit dark chicken quarter atop a buttermilk waffle, topped with fried egg and paired with mustard-infused Michigan maple syrup — or house-made bratwurst served up with a piping-hot soft pretzel! Sample from 17 rotating Michigan craft beers on tap, or enjoy Michigan's greatest selection of German beers.
American Kitchen (Bay City) From-scratch, hand-pressed burgers with house-made sauces, enjoyed alongside a great selection of bourbon and beer — including a dozen rotating taps!
Big E's Sports Grill (Midland) 60+ HDTVs and a lineup of over 30 taps make this spot inside Holiday Inn Midland a great place to catch the game! Enjoy your favorite domestic and craft beers (plus local Michigan ciders and meads) alongside scratch cooking with more Michigan-made and -grown ingredients than you'd ever expect from a sports bar!
Wine + Craft Cocktail-Centric
Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie (Frankenmuth) Cozy up at the outdoor fire bar as far into fall as possible, or sip and savor inside this inviting, European-patterned wine bar — named "Best Wine Bar in Michigan" (BuzzFeed, 2016). Build your own charcuterie board, go in together on shareable plates, and pore over the inventive selection of craft cocktails and wines from around the world — including a rotating selection of six wines on tap!
The Public House (Bay City) Baked Brie to Savory Brussels and Build-Your-Own Boards, the provisions served up inside this minimal, stylish space are the perfect complement to the thoughtfully crafted artisan cocktails you'll sip on.
Whine (Midland) Share seasonally inspired, inventive small plates from panzanella to pappardelle while you sink into overstuffed leather chairs and split a bottle of your favorite, chosen from a floor-to-ceiling glass wine cellar named "Stella".
Jake's Old City Grill (Saginaw) Casual upscale chophouse housed in a historic Old Town Saginaw building, with mouthwatering steaks, seafood, and spirits — plus a Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast award-winning wine list.
Zehnder's of Frankenmuth (Frankenmuth) Heaping platters of world-famous, premium Frankenmuth Golden Fried Chicken, plus traditional sides — like Grandma Zehnder's Dressing and Buttered Egg Noodles — served up since 1856.
Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Frankenmuth) Join over 20 million who've dined here, and dive into the deliciousness of world-famous, all-you-can-eat chicken dinners — served in courses, family style, with sides like buttered noodles and breads house-baked fresh daily.