15 Best Restaurants in Traverse City, MI (Photos, Reviews, Maps)

People who have visited Traverse City, MI have called the place a “foodie town.” That’s because of its diverse array of family-friendly and fine-dining restaurants. Whether you’re more of an Italian pasta lover or have a taste for Mexican flavors, Traverse City has something for everyone.

The following 15 Best Restaurants in Traverse City were chosen based on their Google ratings, features, and critics’ reviews. So the next time you pay a visit, take a look at these eateries and why they are worthy of your choice.

1. Trattoria Stella

$$$ | (231) 929-8989 | WEBSITE


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This fine-dining restaurant is run by five-time James Beard award semi-finalist Executive Chef Myles Anton. Trattoria Stella has been open since 2004, serving fresh, quality pasta, fish, beef tenderloin, pizza, and more.

They even have some family meal selections that are slated to return in the fall. If you’re interested in some delicious fine wine from Italy, Old Mission, aand food made from fresh, sustainable ingredients, visit Trattoria Stella today.



2. The Cook’s House

$$$$ | (231) 946-8700 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Traverse City, MI

The white, well-lit small restaurant complete with modern paintings on its walls created by local Traverse City artists is located in an understated area close to downtown. The Cook’s House offers farm-to-fork artisan cuisine inspired by North Michigan’s agriculture.

The menu is composed of an A La Carte, a 5-Course meal, and a 7-Course meal section. The Cook’s House also sometimes holds special wine dinners and events such as cooking classes. The simple and complex dishes on the menu may be a little pricey, but customers who have attended the restaurant say that “it’s worth every penny.”



3. PepeNero

$$$ | (231) 929-1960 | WEBSITE


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PepeNero Ristorantino Italiano serves you southern Italian cuisine in an upscale, elegant ambiance. Located on the first floor of Kirkbride Hall at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, this restaurant, complete with swanky decor, is owned by Chef Giorgio Lo Greco.

On the restaurant’s website, he shares how committed he is to serving simple, well-thought out Italian cuisine inspired by his childhood home in Bagheria, Sicily. PepeNero also has a stylish lounge area where you will get your taste of Italian tapas and small plates.



4. Raduno

$$ | (231) 421-1218 | WEBSITE


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At Raduno, you will get a laid-back delicatessen and cafe serving housemade pasta, salads, sausages, and coffee drinks. They carefully source their meats and produce to provide you with quality food with fresh ingredients. They make their pasta, sausage, pates, and baked goods in-house, emphasizing quality and authenticity. Stop by and order one of their delicious sandwiches like Our Cuban along with some Lentil pancetta soup.



5. Grand Traverse Pie Company

$$ | (231) 922-7437 | WEBSITE


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This comfort food restaurant serves all the sweet and savory pies you can eat. Grand Traverse Pie Company has a menu filled with fresh, housemade pies every day. They also have a full array of breakfast, lunch, and dinner selections consisting of pot pies, quiches, salads, sandwiches, soups, beef pasties, and much more.

Some customers who have stopped by this cozy, casual restaurant have raved about how everything is so freshly made such as the Beef Pot Pie and fruit pies. For fast, simple food that is also very comforting, visit Grand Traverse Pie Company with your family today.



6. Mama Lu’s- A Modern Day Taco Shop

$$ | (231) 943-2793 | WEBSITE


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If you’re in the mood for some authentic Mexican cuisine, look no further than Mama Lu’s. Critics rave about the cozy, colorful taqueria, calling it one of the best restaurants in downtown Traverse City. Chef John Larson named this vibrant eatery after his grandmother Lu.

Expect to feast your eyes on six varieties of tacos- shrimp, chicken, steak, pork, fish, and black beans. Complete your taco meal with churros topped with Mexican chocolate sauce. Don’t forget to add a refreshing Mango Margarita drink.



7. The Flying Noodle- Italian Pasta House

$$ | (231) 943-1178 | WEBSITE


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From the same owners that brought you Mama Lu’s, The Flying Noodle is a contemporary, relaxed Italian eatery that serves fresh pasta, pizza, and salads. The restaurant was opened in 2020 in downtown Traverse City.

One of the most popular starters on the menu is the Garlic Dots, which are garlicky, buttery dots topped with parmesan and herbs. Be sure to add some marinara sauce for dipping. Customers have described The Flying Noodle as a great ambiance with a welcoming staff. Reserve a table for you, your family, and your friends.



8. Red Ginger

$$$ | (231) 944-1733 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant in Traverse City, MI

We’ve already shared some of the best Italian and comfort American food restaurants in Traverse City. Now let’s explore one of the best Pan-Asian eateries that the city has to offer. Red Ginger is an upscale Asian-Infusion restaurant located in the downtown area next to the historic State Theatre.

It was opened by Executive Chef Dan Marsh and his wife Pam in 2007. When you visit Red Ginger, expect to see a menu of dishes that are sourced from high-quality ingredients. Try one of their small plate dinners, such as Chinese Style Ribs or their traditional or signature sushi. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails to accompany your meal.



9. Poppycock’s

$$ | (231) 941-7632 | WEBSITE


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If you’re more in the mood for some good old-fashioned American cuisine, why not pay a visit to Poppycock’s restaurant? This restaurant has been a local favorite since 1989 and gives you delicious food along with some great live jazz music. They have an eclectic menu of seafood, steak, appetizers, and pasta.

They even have a large martini menu of favorites, such as the Summertime Spritz. Some customers have enjoyed their fresh pasta dishes such as the Basil & Spinach Ravioli with Pumpkin Spiced Alfredo and Gorgonzola.



10. Pangea’s Pizza

$$ | (231) 946-9800 | WEBSITE


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For one of the best in artisan pizza in Traverse City, look no further than Pangea’s Pizza, located on East Front Street. This pizzeria has been making delicious pies with fresh ingredients and housemade pizza dough since 2006. Expect to see a full array of other selections on their menu such as salads, appetizers, craft cocktails, wine, and beer.

The restaurant recently got remodeled in 2019 to include a new rooftop deck and bar that seats 130 or more of your guests. The southern and northern sections of the deck offer different beautiful views of the city. Enjoy well-crafted artisan pizzas with an electric array of toppings at Pangea’s Pizza today.



11. Spanglish

$ | (231) 943-1453 | WEBSITE

Traverse City, MI Best Restaurants

Located at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, this colorful Mexican restaurant combines traditional recipes and Northern Michigan ingredients to give you a healthy take on your favorite Mexican food. Spanglish is one of Traverse City’s authentic eateries offering the best tacos in town.

Their affordable dishes are cooked with sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. Because of this, Spanglish is certified as the only green restaurant in Northern Michigan. Get your fill of quesadillas, burritos, tacos, tostadas, and so much more at Spanglish.



12. Sleder’s Family Tavern

$$ | (231) 947-9213 | WEBSITE


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As the oldest restaurant in Traverse City, Sleder’s Family Tavern has been serving American cuisine since 1882. The restaurant still has an old-fashioned feel to it, complete with wooden booths and a 21-foot mahogany bar inside.

Their menu offers something for the whole family, including a large variety of fish, beef burgers, salads, sandwiches, and soups. Come for the Lake Perch and Pacific Cod fish dinners. Sleder’s also serves some delicious beef burgers.



13. Amical

$$$ | (231) 941-8888 | WEBSITE


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This European restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Traverse City, offers indoor and outdoor dining. It also offers seasonal and themed menus.

Amical is a bistro-style restaurant with a seasonally changing menu. It is considered to be one of the best restaurants for breakfast. Check out their stuffed acorn squash and ravioli pumpkin cream when the dishes are available.



14. The Towne Plaza

$$ | (231) 929-0900 | WEBSITE


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This contemporary American restaurant offers a seasonal pork-inspired menu. The Towne Plaza has been around since 2012 serving the best fresh ingredients in its dishes.

They offer a breakfast and lunch menu containing ingredients sourced from local farms. Some customers who have visited The Towne Plaza say it is one of the best brunch spots in the city. Also, try their delicious Pork Belly with Fried Green Tomato and Panko-breaded Goat Cheese.



15. Bubba’s

$$ | (231) 995-0570 | WEBSITE


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Bubba’s is known for serving the best burgers in Northern Michigan. The American restaurant is the ideal place you want to treat the whole family. Located on East Front Street, your kids will get a kick out of the battered fish and chips as well. Be sure to bring them after 4 pm on Mondays because they eat half-price.




These restaurants offer something for every foodie in this city. Whether you prefer Italian, Mexican, or just comforting American food, you’re bound to find it here. The next time you’re in town, be sure to visit one of these 15 Best Restaurants in Traverse City.

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.