Ft. Mackinac Tea Room: The Tea Room is located at the edge of the fort, which is an historic American Revolutionary War fort, built by the British to control the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The restaurant is operated by the Grand Hotel and is a perfect spot to enjoy lunch on the terrace overlooking the city and the harbor. This was my first stop after getting off of the ferry. 7127 Huron Road.
Tea at the Grand Hotel: Nothing beats enjoying an elegant afternoon tea in the Parlor from 3:30pm to 5:00pm while you listen to live music. The cost includes champagne or sherry, a pot of tea of your choice and a plate of finger sandwiches and a plate of colorful pastries. Unlike dinner, jackets and ties are not required for men. Also be aware that during the high season there may be an admission fee added to your bill for non-residents of the hotel.
Woods Restaurant: Take a horse- drawn taxi to dinner in the woods at this lovely restaurant. The Bavarian themed atmosphere is really stunning with its woodwork, fireplaces, red and white checked tablecloths. The food is excellent as is the service. They offer a number of starters, soups, salads and entrees. Entrees include a baked herb crusted whitefish filet and salmon to a braised lamb shank and a pork schnitzel. I thoroughly enjoyed the spiced pan seared duck breast with shiitake mushrooms, farro verde, red cabbage and a plum sauce. Your hotel can arrange the taxi for you to the restaurant and the restaurant will arrange your return.
In addition to the Woods Restaurant and Afternoon Tea in the Parlor, The Grand Hotel has several other dining options. There is the Main Dining Room, Carleton’s Tea Store which features food as well and Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor just outside of the main entrance. The Jockey Club is located on the golf course. Just down the hill from the entrance is The Game House, a casual bar and restaurant and Sushi Grand the newest addition to the group which is the island’s first sushi restaurant. For having a drink there is the Terrace Room with dancing to live music, the Audubon Wine Bar right off the lobby, the Cupola Bar upstairs with great views and the Geranium Bar adjacent to the Main Dining Room. The hotel also operates Cawthorne’s Village Inn, downtown, at 1304 Hoban St. for cocktails and more casual dining.
Carriage House Iroquois Hotel: I enjoyed a lovely dinner overlooking the lighthouses. The service and food was excellent. I loved my pan seared halibut entree with tomato caper relish with sautéed spinach. They also use locally sourced ingredients. The live music really enhanced the experience. 7485 Main St.
Chuckwagon: A casual diner for over 60 years, this is a fun, local’s hangout for breakfast and lunch. I loved it for breakfast before my ferry back to the mainland. Don’t miss it when you are in town. 7400 Main.
Mustang Lounge: This is a fun, rustic tavern that is located in one of the oldest buildings on the island that was once the rowhouse or warehouse of a local fur trader. The log walls probably date back to the 1780s. It is one of the few places that stays open during the off-season. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, pizza and other pub food. As one of Michigan’s most historic taverns, I just enjoyed sipping an Old Fashioned, watching the people and looking at the ambiance. 1485 Astor St.
Mary’s Bistro/Draught House: This is a popular bar and restaurant at 7463 Main St. I enjoyed a casual lunch at Mary’s Bistro overlooking the harbor. The Draught House next door features over 50 Michigan craft beers and ciders. They have a large outdoor patio in the warmer months.
This is part of the same group that owns the Pancake House at 7245 Main St. which is a great spot for breakfast and the Seabiscuit Café at 7337 Main St. with a horse theme. At their Island House Hotel they also have the 1852 Grill Room and Ice House BBQ.
Pink Pony: Since 1902, the Pink Pony has been the colorful cafe of the Chippeway Hotel. It evolved into a cocktail lounge in the 1930s and today is a great place to stop in for a cocktail at the bar or enjoy a bite on the patio in the summer. 7221 Main. St.
Lucky Bean Coffeehouse: This is a small, casual coffee shop that is a great spot when you are in town. 7383 Market St.