Whether you prefer elegant dining at a waterfront restaurant, grabbing sandwiches for a picnic at Lake Michigan, or a taco from a food truck, Traverse City’s eclectic restaurants will never fail to satisfy your inner-foodie. And in the winter, at the end of February, you can dine your way around the city during Traverse City Restaurant Week. The seven-day event features three course meals that range from $25-$35 per person. Pair them with a local wine, beer or cocktail and immerse yourself in the flavors of northern Michigan.
Speaking of libations…a Traverse City wine shouldn’t taste like a California wine. A Traverse City beer shouldn’t taste like a Milwaukee beer. And whiskey made in Traverse City shouldn’t taste as if it came from Tennessee.
The uniquely fresh and aromatic wines grown on the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas have won the loyalty of delighted customers and the respect of wine critics. Thanks to the region’s unique combination of climate, topography and soils -- its terroir, as the French say -- is producing wines that taste like, well, like Traverse City.
Can beer also taste like it’s geographic location? You bet! The region’s orchards and vineyards have been joined by acres of hopyards. Grown on enormous trellis systems, hops provide one of the key flavorings in beers. Brewers in the area also like to experiment with a local fruits, vegetables and herbs. Cherry pie in a beer? Yes, please!
But “terroir” is not limited to beer and wine. The distilled spirits produced by Traverse City vintners and microdistillers also carry distinctive flavors -- from the fruit brandies produced by local wineries to the small-batch vodkas and whiskeys made from the area’s growing number of distilleries.
Are you hungry or thirsty yet? Explore all of the options below.