From a top-catch, contemporary seafood eatery on the waterfront to an off-the-beaten-path microbrewery with farm-to-table fare — even spots where food trucks fall in line to serve up their local flavors window-side — spring and summer in the Great Lakes Bay are primetime for fresh, seasonal goodness, made possible by our local farmers and purveyors.
From award-winning barbecue to iconic spots serving up summertime classics — cozy locales just made for exploring our inspired food scene are peppered all throughout this flavorful region!
New + Unique Eats
MI Table (Bay City) Bay City's newest farm-to-table restaurant, serving seasonally inspired dishes rooted in our state's culinary history. Taste Pure Michigan on the plate at this spot highlighting Michigan produce, fish, and game (and finish with the Michigan Fudge Charcuterie Board for dessert)!
ONe Eighteen (Midland) American tavern at the H Hotel with gorgeous mid-century modern digs, a seasonal menu, Chef's Premium Selections, and classic, handcrafted cocktails.
Molasses Smokehouse + Bar (Midland) Taste new-school, sauce-driven St. Louis-style southern barbecue (defined by one of its key ingredients, molasses) and enjoy your smokehouse meats with craveable sides, southern sweet tea, or a craft cocktail!
Artisan Urban Bistro (Saginaw) Cozy, European-inspired, upscale bistro with an open kitchen, a menu that shifts effortlessly with the seasons, and many locally sourced ingredients. Try traditional Naples-style pizza — on dough handcrafted daily using the whey from house-made mozzarella — or local, heritage bone-in pork chop, braised in lavender and honey and served with Brussels sprout risotto.
Gratzi (Midland) Contemporary, chef-driven menu inspired by the various regions of Italy. Try dishes like Spigola Cilena — seared Chilean sea bass atop a crispy asiago risotto cake — Alfredo da Tavola tossed table-side in a massive, hollowed-out wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, or Neapolitan pizze.
Costela Brazilian Steak House (Bay City) Authentic, Brazilian churrascaria in Uptown Bay City, serving fresh cuts of beef, pork, poultry, and freshly-made sausages — cooked churrasco style on wood-fired grills brought in from Brazil — in a meal that begins with a gourmet Brazilian market table.
Sushi Remix (Bay City, Saginaw) Healthy, fresh, fast-casual spot serving up poké bowls and bubble tea in two locations — Uptown Bay City and SVRC Marketplace in Saginaw.
Locally Sourced + Seasonally Inspired
The Maple Grille Restaurant and Microbrewery (Hemlock) Microbrewery meets farm-to-table hideaway, utilizing whole animals purchased from area farms and organic produce, grown mostly in the garden out back. You won't find a freezer or a microwave here — not even printed menus — so, swing by the chalkboard to view the day's fresh specials. Grab a seat near the massive, outdoor, wood-fired grills to see your food scratch-cooked over fire — and enjoy a wood-fired pizza and a wood-fired craft brew, too!
WhichCraft Taproom (Midland) Serving only made-in-Michigan beer, cider, wine, and mead (but committed to local food vendors, too) try specialties like shawarma made with Michigan organic lamb.
Honey B's Eatery (Frankenmuth) Sustainable food and scratch-made goodness, delivered in dishes like Honey's Hash — sweet potatoes and local sausage crumble, topped with fried egg and honey-spiced cream.
Dig Café (Frankenmuth) Farm-to-table café with favorites from seasonal Foodie Bowls to grass-fed burgers — and cold-pressed juices, too!
Michigan on Main Bar & Grill (Frankenmuth) Bar and grill inside Bavarian Inn Restaurant, where seasonality and local sourcing are the sweet sauce. Dig in to favorites like the Michigan Black Bean Burger, knowing the food on your plate hasn't traveled far.
Real Seafood Company (Bay City) Try something from the day's fresh catch list — or oysters on the half shell from the raw bar — while you watch boats pass by from a dining area enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass or a two-level, outdoor, wraparound patio with panoramic views of the Saginaw River.
Frankenmuth Brewery (Frankenmuth) Historic brewery with two levels of outdoor decks and an enclosed patio with floor-to-ceiling glass, overlooking the Cass River. Tuck into comfort foods like a local Smoked Sausage Sampler or Smothered Smoked Chicken while you sip on award-winning craft brews.
Riverfront Grille & Lounge (Bay City) DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bay City - Riverfront's on-site restaurant — with a seasonal patio where you might see a tall ship set sail while dining on dishes like Shrimp & Grits.
Tavern 101 (Bay City) Stylish, beer-forward restaurant bar with beautiful views of waterfront Wenonah Park and elevated American gastropub classics with a twist.
Signature, Summertime Classics
Bone Daddy's BBQ (Midland) Real-pit "Original Northern Style" barbecue, voted "Michigan's Best BBQ" (MLive, 2018). Here, the ribs are dry-rubbed and smoked five hours, glazed with homemade sauce, and cooked over hand-cut and cured woods, by a pit master with 40+ years in barbecue!
Slo' Bones BBQ Smokehaus (Frankenmuth) Soulful, southern-style barbecue, served up with live blues music. Don't leave without an order of Burnt Ends, cut from the pit master's specialty brisket!
Old Town Drive In (Saginaw) A summer tradition since 1940, pull up to this 1950s-style car-hop and order Saginaw's original Coney dog and an old-fashioned, original-recipe draft root beer, then grab a whole gallon to go!
Maru Sushi & Grill (Midland) Chef-driven restaurant with sushi that's almost too beautiful to eat and traditional dishes reimagined through a modern lens.
Fusion 1 Café (Bay City) See Chef Craig Fiebke hand-roll edible art before your eyes and try all-you-can-eat sushi on Thursday and Friday nights!
Food Truck Flavors
Midland Burger Company (Midland and on-the-move) Inventive gourmet burgers made from elevated ingredients — many from the Midland Area Farmers Market — served alongside hand-cut Michigan fries and Faygo!
Makin' Bacon Truck (Saginaw and on-the-move) Big-time bacon truck with favorites like the Pulled Pork Street Bowl (mac 'n cheese topped with pulled pork, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon crumbles).
Bavarian Inn Cluck Truck (Frankenmuth and on-the-move) World-famous Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Chicken, plus Hausmade Smoked Sausage, Buttered Noodles, Bavarian Pretzels, and cold draft root beer to wash it all down!
The Cheese Trap (Frankenmuth and on-the-move) Gourmet grilled cheese, made fresh-to-order with Frankenmuth Cheese Haus cheeses on Bavarian Inn Restaurant breads. Pair with simple, summery treats like their flavored iced tea or freshly squeezed lemonade.
5-2-oh (Bay City and on-the-move) Try Shrimp Tacos tossed in a sweet chili sauce and topped with cilantro lime slaw, or pulled pork bulgogi Korean Tacos with house-made Korean slaw!
Food Truck Festivals (Multiple Cities) Find these flavor-filled rides and more at festivals like Frankenmuth's Funtown Chowdown and Birch Run's Firkin Food Truck Festivals, or all over the region at other hotspots — from Larkin Beer Garden to the Midland Area Farmers Market and SVRC Marketplace!
Zehnder's Restaurant (Frankenmuth) A tradition of good taste since 1856! Try premium Frankenmuth golden fried chicken and traditional sides, served up in world-famous, family-style chicken dinners.
Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Frankenmuth) World-famous, all-you-can-eat, family-style chicken dinners — and over 20 million guests served since 1888!