I’m super bummed that I won’t be able to head to Michigan with my family next week. It’s been a second home for my family since I was a little girl. It’s not the last opportunity I’ll have to go, but here’s a few things I’ve been craving that I’ll miss out on this trip! So when you’re “up north” be sure to check out some of these cool little towns and spots!
Smoked White Fish Dip from Carlson’s Fishery
205 W River, Leland, MI 49654
Before I even liked fish– and let’s face it, that was only a few years ago–but, I always LOVED Carlson’s White Fish Dip. It’s a tradition for my mom to drive into Leland, one of the cutest towns ever, to stop by the docks and check out the local freshly caught fish at and to stock up on this dip for snacking all week long.
My mom is awesome and freezes it, so really we can enjoy it year round, but it’s not quite the same as getting it and eating at the beach on a lazy vay cay afternoon. It goes great with cucumbers or crackers in my humble opinion;) It’s not fish, but if you love beef jerky this is the spot to get yourself a pile of that too!
Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice Cream from Tiffany’s Cafe
10213 W Front St, Empire, MI 49630
Would any vacation spot or home away from home be worth anything without ice cream!? Of course, there are several spots in the area where you can pick up this locally sourced flavor, but Tiffany’s a sweet little place in the heart of downtown Empire.
There’s something very nostalgic about eating an ice cream cone at this little shop after a long day at the beach or after climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes. And of course, the chunks of mackinaw fudge transport you to the island of fudge shops without having to drive the extra few hours!
Dried Cherries from Cherry Republic
6026 Lake Street, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
This place has grown SO much. It all started years ago when the founder, Dave sold t-shirts and cherries out of his car. My family has seen him expand the Glen Arbor flagship store from one quaint building to a whole conglomerate of cherry everything! Wine, soda, snacks and more. Everything and any condiment you can think of from mustard to salsa is cherry flavored. One of of my all time favorite takeaways are the chocolate covered dried cherries, which are sweeter, bigger and better than any chocolate covered raisin any day.
Of course, if you can’t make it there you they’ll ship you goodies anywhere, so it’s great for gifts and treats year round. But, if you have the pleasure of stopping in be sure to taste some wine, eat tons of their ice cream (my fave is cherry waffle chip) and say hi to Dave! He’ll even tell you the legend of Sleeping Bear like he did for many years at the Leelanau School Friday night bonfire.
All the pasta from Trattoria Funistrada
4566 W. McFarlane Rd., Maple City, MI 49664
There are lots of family owned joints up in this neck of the woods, but some of the best italian food I have had PERIOD is here at Funistrada. And hey, I’m on vay cay so I am going to eat ALL THE CARBS especially when everything is made in house. And, their famous veal Picatta is the one time a year I’ll even consider having Veal, so if you’re going to go for it, do it here.
Not only is the food amazing, but this is a neighborhood spot. It’s owned by locals that bought it in 2000, and the building itself is almost 100 years old. As they usher in new traditions and good food, they continue to maintain the quality and care of bringing to the table as many local ingredients as they can. It’s a great spot that I always look forward to returning to.
Where do you go in Michigan? Looking to plan a trip to the northern woods? Hit me up via social media, commenting below or emailing me at NorthandRed@gmail.com and I’m happy to share some daytime activities and more!