Sweet Water Cafe

Bakery | Eclectic | Health Food | Seafood | Vegetarian
Memorable
One of the best
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*****THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED*****

Many great Roadfood restaurants are blue-collar diners, dives, and truck stops. We tend not to gravitate to eateries with vegetarian proclivities, where the menu boasts of the integrity of natural ingredients, fair-trade coffees, heirloom veggies and artisan amusés. Not that there’s anything wrong with all that stuff, but usually the food lacks soul.

Sweet Water Cafe is a place with an elevated consciousness, and it also glows with soul — Upper Peninsula soul. I put this cheerful place on in my little black book if only for its wonderful homemade breads and for the locally-made maple spread offered at breakfast. Maple trees are part of what make Michigan’s Upper Peninsula so beautiful in the fall, and syrup made from their sap is as big a deal here as it is in New England. In addition to providing it for pouring on French toast and pancakes and to sweeten yogurt in the morning, Sweet Water offers ramekins of spreadable maple paste about the consistency of peanut butter. Applied thickly to house-made three-grain toast, it is a veritable maple orgy. I also like it dolloped on hot winter grain cereal and even on grilled potatoes.

Sweet Water’s menu promises that everything is a cut above normal. Burgers come from naturally raised local beef and are served on made-here oatmeal wheat buns. Bacon in the BLT comes from Vollwerth’s of Hancock, Michigan. Fruit salad is freshly cut. The grilled cheese sandwich is available with cafe-made pesto. While it is an especially good place for breakfast, one non-breakfast meal we recommend is Lake Superior whitefish. The day we came to dinner it was baked just-so, leaving the freshwater jewel heavy with moisture and sweet lake flavor. It came sprinkled with lemon pepper atop a bed of buttery limp spinach leaves and it was crowned with a globe of melting herb butter.

What to Eat
Sweet Water Cafe, Maple Spread
Maple Spread
Must-Try
From Bark River, Michigan, maple spread is fabulous on Sweet Water's toast; the menu also recommends it as a coffee sweetener. It is so intensely delicious, I'd be happy eating it straight, with a spoon.
Sweet Water Cafe, Baked Whitefish
Baked Whitefish
Must-Try
The dinner menu offers whitefish prepared several ways. This is the simplest: baked, with herb butter melting on top. Whitefish at its finest!
Sweet Water Cafe, Autumn Salad
Autumn Salad
Must-Try
Autumn salad includes roasted root vegetables along with lettuce and blue cheese. That's house-made sourdough at the back of the plate. It is made from a starter brought from San Francisco in the early 1990s.
Sweet Water Cafe, Hot Winter Grain Cereal
Hot Winter Grain Cereal
Must-Try
Hot winter grain cereal includes oatmeal, wheat berries, brown rice, millet, cranberries, raisins, and toasted almonds. It comes with brown sugar and milk to apply as desired.
Sweet Water Cafe, 3-Seed Toast
3-Seed Toast
Must-Try
Maple spread slathered on toast made from slices of three-seed bread is an unbeatable way to start the day.
Sweet Water Cafe, European Hot Cocoa
European Hot Cocoa
Alas, there was no whipped cream the morning I ordered European Hot Cocoa, but the combo of steamed chocolate milk and Dutch chocolate was eminently drinkable nonetheless.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday8am - 8pm
Monday8am - 3pm
TuesdayCLOSED
WednesdayCLOSED
Thursday8am - 8pm
Friday8am - 8pm
Saturday8am - 8pm
Roadtrips
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…

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

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