Gustafson’s Smoked Fish and Beef Jerky

Grocery Store | Roadside Stand | Smoke House
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
Save

Gustafson’s is not a restaurant, but a gas station and party store with delicious food that is oh-so-ready-to-eat. Even with your eyes closed, you’ll find it as you cruise along the shore road (we don’t recommend driving this way) because a sugar maple haze from a quartet of smoldering smokers outside clouds the air with the unbelievably appetizing smell of whitefish, trout, menominee, chub, and salmon turning gorgeous shades of gold. Inside, coolers are arrayed with the firm-fleshed beauties, which you buy by the piece, wrapped in butcher’s paper. Utensils and plates are unnecessary; it’s a pleasure to use one’s fingers to pick flavorful chunks of fish straight from the paper in which they’re wrapped.

Beef jerky is another smokehouse specialty of the Gustafson family, who marinate strips of top round for a day-and-a-half, then slow-smoke them over maple for six hours. Jerky is made with a traditional smoky-sweet taste, Cajun-spiced, or barbecue flavored.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lends itself to waterside picnics. A few chaws of jerky, a moist hunk or two of freshly smoked freshwater fish, a fifty-cent stack of saltine crackers, a bag of cheese curds, and a beer, plus the scenic beauty of Lake Michigan’s northern shore: what’s better than that?

What to Eat
Gustafson’s Smoked Fish and Beef Jerky, smoked lake fish
smoked lake fish
Must-Try
This luscious, golden smoked lake fish is ready to be eaten!
Directions and Hours
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 165 MILES | 3 hr 28 min

The northern part of Michigan is known to Michiganders and Midwestern vacationers as "Up North." It's a natural wonderland, surrounded by Great Lakes coastline, covered with forests and farms, and dotted with convivial taverns, town cafes, and remote restaurants with ambitious chefs as well as downhome diners and old-time drive-ins. It's cherry and apple orchard…

Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website