Traverse City Restaurants

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Traverse City - browse our top choices for Restaurants during your stay.

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  • 1. Apache Trout Grill


    Experience authentic northern Michigan cuisine at this popular spot, named for a fish rescued from the endangered species list. Stuffed fish and wood carvings adorn the walls, lamps are carved in the shape of bears and fishing poles, and there's a great view of the water. On the menu are fresh-grilled or sautéed fish—from locally caught whitefish to flown-in ahi tuna—plus steaks, barbecued ribs, and pasta dishes such as tequila-lime chicken pasta. Sunday brunch service and a curated list of fine wines make this more than a typical waterfront café.

    13671 S. West-Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, Michigan, 49684, USA
  • 2. La Cuisine Amical


    Since opening in the mid-1990s, this has consistently been a go-to spot for fine French cuisine. Dishes are prepared in an open kitchen while diners sit among plants, statuettes, and wall hangings. Come summer, the patio beckons. Dinner entrées include honey-lemon-braised lamb shank or half a roasted chicken with herbes de Provence, while lunch offers choices like chicken potpie or croque-monsieur. Brunch is served on Sunday until 3 pm. The menu rotates with the seasons to ensure optimum freshness and also highlights northern Michigan producers. One of Traverse City's best wine lists is another highlight, wth choices ranging from a sparkling wine from nearby Lake Leelanau to a Malbec from Argentina; 22 wines are available by the glass.

    229 E. Front St., Traverse City, Michigan, 49684, USA
  • 3. Mission Table


    Formerly known as Bowers Harbor Inn, this restaurant reopened under its new name in 2010. Dishes are plated in a contemporary style and crafted using locally grown and artisanal ingredients. Examples on the dinner menu—a mix of small plates, salads, and entrées—include a rabbit salad with Bibb lettuce and roasted cauliflower, pan-seared lake trout in a chowder sauce, or smoked pork jowl with a side of creamy grits. It's a true supporter of Michigan's small farms, and that passion is conveyed by the waitstaff, who are eager to answer questions about the frequently changing menu.

    13512 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City, Michigan, 49686, USA

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Reservations essential
  • 4. Sleder's Family Tavern


    Known for its thick burgers and "moose chips" (a twist on Tater Tots), Sleder's is also a local institution for down-home friendly service. Food has been served in this family-run tavern in the center of the city since the early 1880s; today the menu includes fish baskets and deli-style sandwiches for lunch, a cherry-barbecued chicken that's an ode to the region's cherry crops, and casual Mexican selections, such as three burritos. Deer and elk heads and a bearskin line the wood-paneled walls, and an antique chandelier is suspended above green tablecloths. Outdoor dining is available during summer.

    717 Randolph St., Traverse City, Michigan, 49684, USA
  • 5. The Boathouse on West Bay


    With 300 feet of direct water frontage on the Old Mission Peninsula, this restaurant emulates a cozy cottage with an upscale vibe. Sunday brunch and daily lunch feature indulgent dishes like lobster mac 'n' cheese and crème-brûlée-soaked brioche French toast. Entrée selections include Great Lakes whitefish and Kobe fillet, plus innovative meatless dishes like sesame-seared tofu in ginger-beet vinaigrette. Much of the food is grown on the chef-owner's 10-acre farm on the peninsula, but it's more than a farm-to-table restaurant. An oyster bar was recently introduced, and an impressive wine list spans the globe (including Michigan), with many by-the-glass options. Splurge on two prix-fixe dinner-menu choices: a seven-course tasting menu, or Kobe fillets with Maine lobster.

    14039 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City, Michigan, 49686, USA
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