Ralph’s Italian Deli

Bakery | Italian | Pizza | Small Town Café
One of the best

If you plan to visit the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame next winter, I have a dining suggestion for you. Across the street from the winter-sports shrine and cattycorner from a Pizza Hut, you will find Ralph’s Italian Deli — an Upper Peninsula gem.

From the house bakery come sweet rye, cardamom loaves, and Italian breads as well as enormous frosted apple-cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The butchers in back make sausage of all kinds, including the local fave, cudighi. Pronounced cud-a-gee with a hard G, it is such a specialty of Ralph’s that there is a map posted on the back wall of the dining room where pushpins indicate all the places in the U.S. and beyond to which the butchers have shipped their sausage. The map is titled “Where has all the cudighi gone?”

A cudighi (sandwich) is available made with a grilled patty of mild, medium, or hot sausage on a house-made white or whole wheat roll. Standard dressing at Ralph’s is mozzarella, mustard, ketchup, and onion. It’s a strange combination of condiments, but somehow on this dense, crusty-edged sausage with perfumy seasoning, it works. For those interested in reducing their calorie intake, Ralph’s makes turkey cudighi.

Of course, the menu offers pasties. They are juicy enough that they need no gravy, although the waitress will supply some if you ask. Their savory crust, reminiscent of a sturdy pie shell, encloses shreds of beef and onion and little cubes of potato and rutabaga. It comes with a fork, but would be easy to eat out of hand like ore miners of long ago might have done on lunch breaks.

What to Eat
Ralph’s Italian Deli, Cudaghi
Cudaghi almost always is served as a sandwich, here with mozzarella, onions, and ketchup.
Ralph’s Italian Deli, Pasty
Beef stew in a pastry pocket: the pasty is a great cold-climate rib-sticker.
Ralph’s Italian Deli, Apple Cinnamon Roll
Apple Cinnamon Roll
The U.P. loves big sweet rolls.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10am - 7pm
Monday10am - 7pm
Tuesday10am - 7pm
Wednesday10am - 7pm
Thursday10am - 7pm
Friday10am - 7pm
Saturday10am - 7pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
9 stops | 267 MILES | 5 hr 25 min

Following U.S. 41 beside the cobalt-blue calm of Lake Superior, then wending up the Keweenaw Peninsula through a blaze of October leaves to Copper Harbor where the highway ends, we were awestruck by the rugged beauty and thrilled by what there was to eat. In this faraway place, the landscape in general and the foodscape…

7 stops | 123 MILES | 2 hr 29 min

The pasty (say pass-tee, not pay-stee) began as a portable stew – meat and vegetables sealed inside a pastry crust -- that Michigan miners from Cornwall carried with them for lunch. It stayed warm, could be heated on the end of a shovel, and its filling was thick enough that it did not require major…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

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  • Irontown Pasties

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    Upper Peninsula pasties at Irontown in Negaunee, Michigan, are made in classic versions as well as vegetarian, vegan & gluten-free. Dessert: fruit turnovers!

  • Sweet Water Cafe

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