What To Eat in Michigan
Really, there are two Michigans: the Upper Peninsula, which is home to the savory meat pie known as a pasty (say pass-tee), as well as to superb Lake Superior seafood, and the southern part of the state, aka “mitten” (shapewise), where you’ll find drop-dead delicious pies made from locally grown cherries and apples. The University of Michigan’s presence makes Ann Arbor an eater’s paradise, from world-class sliders to worldly foreign fare to bakeries and delis that are second-to-none.
The pasty (say pass-tee, not pay-stee) began as a portable stew – meat and vegetables sealed inside a pastry crust -- that Cornish miners used to carry with them for lunch. Long after the mines closed, it remains a popular dish in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where families from Cornwall settled. Traditionally, pasties are filled with beef or beef and pork with chunks of potato, rutabaga and onion, but today you will encounter gourmet pasties filled with steak, pizza pasties with pepperoni and mozzarella, Reuben pasties, chicken pasties, even vegetarian pasties for meat-phobes and breakfast pasties filled with eggs and sausage.
The Michigan cherries used for pies are tart, but because they boom with fruit flavor, they are the ideal filling. A ratio of 5 (cups of cherries) to 1 (cup of sugar) piled into a leaf lard crust yields one of the great pies in the nation. Served warm and a la mode: even better!
Whitefish is a freshwater jewel that tastes especially right near the shore of Lake Superior. Baked or pan-fried, it has soft, creamy flesh that delivers a toasty-sweet, outdoorsy flavor completely unlike ocean fish.
Showing 9 results:
Miller's is a hospitable neighborhood bar in Dearborn serving juicy burgers to regulars and hamburger pilgrims alike.
In the complicated lineage of Detroit pizza, Cloverleaf is likely the closest to the original, and one of the few places with a true parlor atmosphere.
An Upper Peninsula bakery, butcher shop, and cafe, Ralph's offers Italian groceries and hot meals, breads and rolls, and traditional Michigan pasties.
Hinkley Bakery is a popular, century old donut shop in Jackson, Michigan. Try chocolate crescents and glazed donuts, especially when they're still warm.
Laura's Little Burger Joint is a rural burger stand in southwest Michigan with folksy charm and excellent big burgers.
The uber slider -- triple, quad or quint, loaded & layered to the max -- has made Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger an Ann Arbor legend of greasy-spoon greatness.
Sister Pie makes clever, well-executed baked goods featuring seasonal fruit. Its soulful pie is part of a culinary renaissance in the Motor City.
Mike's is a Detroit treasure with a tiny menu revolving around freshly carved ham. In soup, on a roll, or with eggs, it’s irresistible.
Telway Hamburger system is a local gem serving sliders and coffee all night. Locals buy burgers by the sack.