- Things to Do
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- Plan Your Trip
From Midland's newest gourmet farm-to-table concept to an upscale, urban bistro with a boutique winery in-house, you'll love exploring this rich and flavorful region come fall and winter.
Real Seafood Company (Bay City) Uptown waterfront eatery with walls of windows overlooking the Saginaw River — serving top-catch fish and premium seafood from the Atlantic, Pacific, Great Lakes, and Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy fresh-catch in your choice of seven prep styles, share Paella made for two, dive into an order of King Crab Legs, or savor shucked-to-order oysters from the raw bar.
Aster (Midland) The city's newest farm-to-table concept, bringing homegrown gourmet to Midland. Sample from a delicately crafted menu, composed by a Midland-native chef who spent years in some of Chicago's Michelin-star kitchens.
MI Table (Bay City) Farm-to-table restaurant in Downtown Bay City with a fresh, seasonal menu inspired by Michigan's culinary roots. Tuck into comfort-food faves like their Cornish Pasty or Amish Organic Chicken Pot Pie, then close out the meal with the Michigan Fudge Charcuterie Board.
Artisan Urban Bistro (Saginaw) Open-kitchen, European-style, upscale bistro in Old Town with a 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 in-house!
ONe Eighteen (Midland) Tavern at the H Hotel putting its spin on American classics in mid-century modern digs. Order the Chef's Catch (...or the Maryland Crab Cake... or Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf) and explore every option on this seasonal menu while you sip a handcrafted Old Fashioned.
Gratzi (Midland) Inspired by the various regions of Italy, enjoy a layered dining experience that builds from antipasti and artisanal meats and cheeses to the decadent final course, dolce. Share Neapolitan pizze, classic pasta dishes, plus prime meats and top-catch seafood — with wine selections from two floor-to-ceiling, walk-in glass cellars.
Costela Brazilian Steak House (Bay City) An authentic churrascaria experience in Bay City's Uptown neighborhood, Costela serves premium meats including heritage beef, lamb, pork, and chicken — cooked over mesquite-wood-fired grills, then carved table-side. Pair with fresh selections from the Brazilian Market Table and Feijoada Bar, and cap off the night with traditional Caipirinha — a Brazilian drink with fresh, muddled fruits.
Molasses Smokehouse + Bar (Midland) Sauce-driven St. Louis-style barbecue, served up in a laid-back vibe. Tuck into everything from Smokehouse Meats to Brisket Burnt Ends Mac & Cheese — and pair that smoked-low-and-slow perfection with Molasses Sweet Tea or a refreshing Southern Peach Mule.
Maru Sushi & Grill (Midland) Chef-driven Japanese-fusion restaurant and sushi bar, using top-notch ingredients from the finest fish to the freshest house-made sauces. Enjoy unique sushi rolls, share plates, and hibachi entrees — and try the Crouching Tiger roll (with panko fried shrimp, fantasy sauce, eel sauce, and honey wasabi aioli).
Old City Hall (Bay City) Filet Bordelaise to Jambalaya, enjoy casual fine dining dishes at this historic hangout inside the city's original City Hall. Sample from a global wine list of over 150 options, try any of 23 brews on tap, or sip cocktails crafted from more than 120 spirits.
The Station 100 (Frankenmuth) A restaurant steeped in 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 Roasted Rack of Lamb to Traditional Austrian Goulash — paired with the perfect wine selection by an internationally certified sommelier.
Riverfront Grille & Lounge (Bay City) With an extensive menu ranging from small plates to seafood, steaks and chops — stunning waterfront views of the Saginaw River aren't the only surprise you'll find here.
Genji Japanese Steakhouse (Saginaw, Midland) Inviting Japanese steakhouse with teppanyaki tables where you'll see your selections grilled up before your eyes — and enjoy an impressive selection of hand-rolled sushi and fresh sashimi.
With a wine bar once touted the best in Michigan and a chophouse that boasts a Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast award-winning wine list, it's tough to tell what you'll love more: the plates or the pours!
Prost Wine Bar & Charcuterie (Frankenmuth) Cozy up at the fire bar as far into fall as possible, or pull up a seat inside this rustic-chic, European-style spot — once named the best wine bar in Michigan. Build a charcuterie board to share, and pore over a list of wines from around the world — including a rotating selection of six on tap!
Jake's Old City Grill (Saginaw) Casual-upscale chophouse in historic Old Town Saginaw, with mouthwatering steaks, seafood, and spirits — plus a Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast award-winning wine list that's not to be missed.
Whine (Midland) A wood-fire-grilled Wagyu Whine Burger. Beef Bourguignon stewed in red wine, or red-wine-braised chicken thighs. Savor all things made in wine (or made with delicious wine pairings in mind) at this place with overstuffed leather chairs, an open kitchen, and an overall inviting vibe.
Michigan's oldest microbrewery. A rustic-modern tavern with gastropub eats and 54 craft selections on tap, and a countryside microbrewery with wood-fired ales and farm-to-table fare. See what they're all serving up come fall and winter!
Frankenmuth Brewery (Frankenmuth) Michigan's oldest microbrewery, serving up comfort food with award-winning ales and lagers. Share a local Smoked Sausage Sampler or Buffalo Chicken Mac N' Cheese, and order up a pint of Oktoberfest in fall, or Christmas Town Ale come winter.
Tavern 101 (Bay City) Rustic-modern, beer-forward restaurant with views of waterfront Wenonah Park, elevated American pub fare, and 54 craft brews on tap. Try flatbreads they're known for and pair with a beer flight (maybe from the featured brewery of the quarter).
WhichCraft Taproom (Midland) Craveable pub grub, reimagined — in dishes like the WhichCraft Cuban, made with beer-braised pork and house-made IPA mustard. Pair with your choice of 40 tap options, knowing only made-in-Michigan beer, cider, wine, and mead's served here!
Michigan on Main Bar & Grill (Frankenmuth) Bar and grill inside Bavarian Inn Restaurant, with a focus on seasonality and local sourcing. Order the Chicken & Waffles — confit dark chicken quarter on a buttermilk waffle, with fried egg and mustard-infused Michigan maple syrup — or house-made bratwurst with a piping-hot Bavarian pretzel! Sample from 17 rotating Michigan craft taps, or enjoy Michigan's greatest selection of German brews.
The Maple Grille Restaurant and Microbrewery (Hemlock) Off-the-beaten-path microbrewery with farm-to-table eats, tucked away in the countryside (but worth the drive). No freezer or microwave here — just seasonal dishes scratch-cooked over fire, best enjoyed with a wood-fired craft brew.
Midland Brewing Company (Midland) Historically great beers like the flagship Copper Harbor Ale, paired with kicked-up brewpub classics. Split 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!
Frankenmuth's world-famous, family-style chicken dinners are worth the trip in any season. But in fall and winter, these iconic comfort-food eateries become even cozier! Satisfy your golden-fried cravings here:
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 with warm hospitality since 1856.
Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Frankenmuth) World-famous, all-you-care-to-eat chicken dinners — served in courses, family-style, with sides like buttered noodles and breads fresh-baked daily. Join over 20 million who've dined here happily since 1888!
A Great Lakes Bay native, Blair is the Founder at Brandscape — a boutique creative company specializing in content. Her favorite part? Sharing stories about the Pure Michigan places she loves!