Top Glen Arbor Restaurants
Looking for the best Glen Arbor restaurants or places to eat when you visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore?
The good news that you have both casual and fine dining options, including highly rated, gourmet eateries and favored institutions.
That’s rare for most popular vacation destinations in Michigan, and it’s one thing that makes Glen Arbor so wonderfully unique.
The less-than-great news is that because so many people have discovered their favorite spots to eat here, it can get crowded. If you wait until the last minute on a busy summer evening, you might have trouble finding the perfect spot for your meal in Glen Arbor.
We know because we’ve experienced it.
Favorite Places to Eat in Glen Arbor MI
As long-time visitors to this pretty northern Michigan town, we have discovered some great places to eat in and around the area.
We’re sharing some of our favorite places to eat, as well as our favorite, must-have dishes and/or drinks.
Read on to find out about some of the highlights of dining in Glen Arbor MI.
Plan Ahead: We urge you to plan, and if you’re able to make a reservation, do so as far in advance as possible. And remember, even if you do have to wait, have fun. Glen Arbor is a super chill spot, even in the busy season. Be kind to your servers and restaurant staff – there’s no reason to be anything but completely happy in Glen Arbor, MI!
Where to Eat in Glen Arbor MI: Fine Dining Restaurants
Where: 5705 S Lake St, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Located right in Glen Arbor, the only thing that can top the spectacular, panoramic views of Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Bay here is the delicious food. The upscale, New American menu features everything from appetizers like Ricotta Gnocci (a favorite) to entrees like their Signature Duck Confit and Sea Scallops.
You’ll find a full wine menu, too, with local Michigan offerings as well as wines from around the world.
The dessert menu is also a real treat (pun intended). Mars Grape Sorbet and Raspberry Bouchon, a dark chocolate flourless cake with raspberry and chocolate gelato, are among the highlights. Enjoy it while you gaze at the Manitou Islands in the distance.
PRO-TIP: Co-owner and chef Randy Chamberlain received a James Beard nomination in 2010 for his culinary skills, and te magic is still happening in this lovely restaurant.
Where: 9001 S Dunns Farm Rd, Maple City, MI 49664
You might be surprised to find a French restaurant (complete with a chef from France) on the shores of Glen Lake, in nearby Burdickville. Then again everything here is pretty special, so this spot fits right in.
The much-loved La Becasse is one of the top restaurants in northern Michigan and with good reason. You’ll find a regional French menu, with offerings like a rich Beef Burgundy with root vegetables, a one-of-a-kind Curried Salmon, and our favorite, the Cassoulet.
Do not leave here with trying a dessert- they are spectacular. Everything is made in-house, including the Profiteroles served with ice cream. A must-try is the Warm Chocolate Cake, which is wrapped in flaky, buttery, phyllo dough and served with chocolate sauce.
Where: 4566 W. MacFarlane Road, “Burdickville”, Maple City, MI 49664
This much-loved Italian restaurant is located in Burdickville and offers stunning Glen Lake views. But it’s the friendly, comfortable vibe and delicious Italian food that brings back customers again and again.
Trattoria Funistrada offers a full menu with amazing offerings like the Bistecca Balsamico, a New York Strip coated in black pepper, and our favorite, the Salmon Piccata.
For dessert, Trattoria Funistrada makes a great cannoli, and that’s coming from someone with an Italian mother-in-law who made the best. We also love the Panna Cotta w/ Raspberry Sauce.
PRO-TIP: “Funi,” as it’s known by locals, has an amazing wine list.
Where: 6410 W Western Ave, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Western Ave is casual and comfortable fine dining at its best. Their outdoor patio is one of the most comfortable in the area, too.
Choose from the full lunch or dinner menu with offerings like beer cheese pretzels (they’re really good here) and smoked whitefish pate to Chicken Carbonara or a pulled pork sandwich. The whitefish street tacos here are pretty exceptional, as is the Chicken Parm.
Casual Dining in Glen Arbor MI
Where: 6487 W Western Ave, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Art’s Tavern may be the first thing you see when you drive into town because you can’t miss the iconic, red, neon sign and the throngs of people waiting in line for a delicious burger.
A longtime Glen Arbor mainstay, you’ll want to make sure you stop by Art’s at last once.
It’s not just the burgers, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Get up early and beat the breakfast crowd: the omelets are outstanding.
Where: 6444 W Western Ave, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Here’s a best-kept secret…when you’ve explored the Sleeping Bear Dunes all day, sometimes all you want to do is grab a take-out pizza and relax. That’s where Bear Paw comes in. It’s a steady, reliable go-to when you need something warm and tasty.
Where: 5858 S Manitou Blvd, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
You can’t miss Boonedock’s sprawling patio, and most likely it will be filled with people enjoying the restaurant’s great food. There’s a wide variety on the menu here, from standard favorites like chicken tenders, wings, and onion rings to fresh lake perch and burgers.
You’ll also find a good kids’ menu with kid-pleasers like mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and corn dogs.
Where: 6026-B, 5109, S Lake St, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Located in Glen Arbor MI, the Cherry Republic’s Cherry Public House is a fun spot to dine for lunch or dinner. With plenty of comfortable, outdoor seating, it’s a beautiful spot to spend a warm summer evening.
The Cherry Barbeque Ribs are amazing, as are most of the offerings on the menu here. Don’t miss the cherry chicken salad wrap, this may be one of the best wraps ever. Try some cherry-flavored ice cream for dessert as you wander the pretty grounds.
Where: 6584 Western Ave, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Yes, they serve breakfast. Lunch and dinner here, but this is hands down our favorite breakfast spot in Leelanau County.
You’ll find a huge breakfast menu with everything from small plates and pastries to pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, and omelets. It’s the Eggs Benedict here that we crave, though. Choose from Crab Cake Benedict (with fresh Maryland Crab) or a Vegetarian Eggs Benedict, too.
Where: 6443 W Western Ave, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
The legend of Glen Arbor Michigan’s hometown coffee, Leelanau Coffee Roasting reaches far and wide. For many, a stop at this café is at the top of their bucket list when they get into town.
All of the coffee here is roasted in an air-bed roaster and creates a delicious flavor.
Choose from coffee, expresso, or fresh-fruit smoothies. You’ll also find some baked goods and bagels, too.
Restaurants at The Homestead Resort
There’s more than just amazing beaches and comfy, upscale accomdations at The Homestead. A short ride north from downtown Glen Arbor along M-22, The Homestead has four restaurants on the grounds. From rustic Italian to burgers and fries; from elegant beachfront dining to casual meals around a roaring bonfire, you’ll find something here for everyone. Please note that Cafe Manitou is open to club members and registered guests only (a great reason to book a visit). Dining options at The Homestead include:
You’ll find amazing views of Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Bay in this light, airy dining room. It’s upscale, casual dining with an ever-changing menu featuring steak, seafood and some amazing desserts, too. Check out the extensive wine list that includes wines from Traverse City area wineries.
Pick up sandwiches and made-to-order pizzas to go or sit down and enjoy at this popular resturant/market.
Nonna’s Italian is one of my favorite places to eat in Glen Arbor. It’s a cozy spot with an extensive menu of inspired, fresh-cooked food. The pasta with shrimp and lobster, and the riagtoni with pork and tomato are amazing.
Laid-back and fun for all ages, you’ll find an outdoor bar and beer garden with fire pits and live music. Grab a burger or chicken fingers, relax and enjoy the fabulous setting.
Favorite Restaurants Near Glen Arbor MI
In Suttons Bay, Martha’s Leelanau Table uses local ingredients for some amazing dishes. It’s one of Suttons Bay most popular restaurants with take-out available, too.
Maple City, near Glen Arbor MI, is the home of Pegtown Station. This popular spot serves amazing pizza, and a great breakfast, too.
Just north of Glen Arbor in Leland, MI is The Bluebird, a favorite for whitefish, and south of Glen Arbor is Empire, where we like the casual Joe’s Friendly Tavern.
More on Restaurants in Glen Arbor MI
There’s more good news to keep in mind: if you’re dining in Glen Arbor, that means you’re surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. If that doesn’t take your mind off of a wait, nothing will!
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