Guidebook for Traverse City

Sabrina

Guidebook for Traverse City

Food Scene
Bubba's has phenomenal burgers at a great price, and you can knock back a pint or two at the same time. Get there a little earlier than dinner time, because they're popular.
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Bubba's
428 East Front Street
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Bubba's has phenomenal burgers at a great price, and you can knock back a pint or two at the same time. Get there a little earlier than dinner time, because they're popular.
The Dish is great for lunch, especially for the health conscious. Great salads and wraps; try the Cherry Daze wrap for a real taste of TC. Soups and smoothies are also superb. A couple tables outside when the weather is nice!
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The Dish Cafe
108 South Union Street
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The Dish is great for lunch, especially for the health conscious. Great salads and wraps; try the Cherry Daze wrap for a real taste of TC. Soups and smoothies are also superb. A couple tables outside when the weather is nice!
Great pizza only a stone's throw away. They deliver, but as close as they are, it's convenient to pick up -- and grab a pint of Moomer's ice cream from the Oleson's grocery next door.
That'sa Pizza
3860 North Long Lake Road
Great pizza only a stone's throw away. They deliver, but as close as they are, it's convenient to pick up -- and grab a pint of Moomer's ice cream from the Oleson's grocery next door.
Your cholesterol is going up just smelling this place, but if delicious greasy burgers and fries are your thing, Slabtown is close and will hit the spot. They're always hoppin' because they're so good, but it has to be a rare indulgence if you're watching your weight. Their burger with cherries and blue cheese is my favorite.
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Slabtown Burgers
826 West Front Street
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Your cholesterol is going up just smelling this place, but if delicious greasy burgers and fries are your thing, Slabtown is close and will hit the spot. They're always hoppin' because they're so good, but it has to be a rare indulgence if you're watching your weight. Their burger with cherries and blue cheese is my favorite.
Mackinaw Brew Pub is a fabulous downtown spot for really great American food. Stone fired pizzas, burgers, ribs, local fish, and smoked meats are on order, and they've got a great selection of local and other beers. Try the house made root beer or a flight of what's on tap. You might have to wait around dinner time, but it'll be worth the wait.
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Mackinaw Brewing Company
161 East Front Street
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Mackinaw Brew Pub is a fabulous downtown spot for really great American food. Stone fired pizzas, burgers, ribs, local fish, and smoked meats are on order, and they've got a great selection of local and other beers. Try the house made root beer or a flight of what's on tap. You might have to wait around dinner time, but it'll be worth the wait.
The GT Pie Company has the best cherry crumb pie in the world. My coworkers love the ABC pie better - apple berry cherry - but I know that the cherry pie is the best. They also have sweets and treats for breakfast or dessert, like caramel apple dumplings and these amazing sugar cookies, and great sandwiches for lunch. You can buy whole pies or just a slice.
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Grand Traverse Pie Company
525 West Front Street
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The GT Pie Company has the best cherry crumb pie in the world. My coworkers love the ABC pie better - apple berry cherry - but I know that the cherry pie is the best. They also have sweets and treats for breakfast or dessert, like caramel apple dumplings and these amazing sugar cookies, and great sandwiches for lunch. You can buy whole pies or just a slice.
Oryana is Traverse City's version of Whole Foods, only far better. It's a local coop, and local suppliers feature prominently. They do have a cafe right inside, a great place for organic, gluten free, etc. lunch, but they are a grocery store for organic, gluten free, and natural foods first a foremost.
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Oryana Community Co-op
260 East Tenth Street
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Oryana is Traverse City's version of Whole Foods, only far better. It's a local coop, and local suppliers feature prominently. They do have a cafe right inside, a great place for organic, gluten free, etc. lunch, but they are a grocery store for organic, gluten free, and natural foods first a foremost.
If you want fast food, skip the chain restaurants and go to Taco House instead. It's budget friendly and delicious, and whether you dine in or drive through, you get your food quickly. It's our top choice for fast food, and it's a TC icon that has been around forever.
Taco House
1707 S Garfield Ave
If you want fast food, skip the chain restaurants and go to Taco House instead. It's budget friendly and delicious, and whether you dine in or drive through, you get your food quickly. It's our top choice for fast food, and it's a TC icon that has been around forever.
Georgina's is a Latin-Asian fusion cuisine restaurant with an extensive selection of drinks and food. It is a nice place and great for a date or special evening out, but you can go for a more casual lunch. I've tried a LOT on their menu, and have never had a bad item or poor service. My personal recommendation is the peanut Thai chicken and a glass of local wine. Call ahead to get a reservation for dinner if you're visiting in the summer! They can book up. In the off-season, you won't need a reservation. If you're here in the summer and didn't get a reservation in time, try lunchtime or an early dinner. It's worth it!
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Little G's Fusion Cuisine
236 East Front Street
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Georgina's is a Latin-Asian fusion cuisine restaurant with an extensive selection of drinks and food. It is a nice place and great for a date or special evening out, but you can go for a more casual lunch. I've tried a LOT on their menu, and have never had a bad item or poor service. My personal recommendation is the peanut Thai chicken and a glass of local wine. Call ahead to get a reservation for dinner if you're visiting in the summer! They can book up. In the off-season, you won't need a reservation. If you're here in the summer and didn't get a reservation in time, try lunchtime or an early dinner. It's worth it!
Potter's is the local place to go for cookies and donuts. They have another location, their original, on 8th Street, but this location is closer to the house. Try their tea cookies, they're addicting!
Potter's Bakery
130 Hall Street
Potter's is the local place to go for cookies and donuts. They have another location, their original, on 8th Street, but this location is closer to the house. Try their tea cookies, they're addicting!
Essentials
Oleson's has a pharmacy, home items, liquor section, and groceries. It's really close and they're friendly. Bring your shopping bags to save 5 cents, and be sure to check out their buffalo meat.
Oleson's Food Store
3850 N Long Lake Rd
Oleson's has a pharmacy, home items, liquor section, and groceries. It's really close and they're friendly. Bring your shopping bags to save 5 cents, and be sure to check out their buffalo meat.
While Oleson's has all the essentials and is closer, Meijer has just about anything. Groceries, a pharmacy, clothes and hygiene products, and tons and tons more. If Oleson's didn't have it, or if you want prices a little cheaper, hit up Meijer. But it's big enough to get lost in, and sometimes the lines can be backed up.
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Meijer
3955 U.S. 31
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While Oleson's has all the essentials and is closer, Meijer has just about anything. Groceries, a pharmacy, clothes and hygiene products, and tons and tons more. If Oleson's didn't have it, or if you want prices a little cheaper, hit up Meijer. But it's big enough to get lost in, and sometimes the lines can be backed up.
Entertainment & Activities
Right downtown, you can enjoy a unique or classic movie with your family in between shopping or spending the day at the beach. The State Theatre is volunteer run and has movies you won't find at the cineplex. Check out the schedule and pick up tickets online. There's an annual film festival in late July every year, too.
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State Theatre
233 East Front Street
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Right downtown, you can enjoy a unique or classic movie with your family in between shopping or spending the day at the beach. The State Theatre is volunteer run and has movies you won't find at the cineplex. Check out the schedule and pick up tickets online. There's an annual film festival in late July every year, too.
A partner of the State Theatre, the Bijou has new release movies. A small theatre with plush chairs and reasonable prices, it's staffed by volunteers and offers a better experience than the cineplex in town. My absolute top choice for catching a movie. You can enjoy views of the bay on your way in and out, too! Park downtown and walk over, there's an underpass to get across the Grandview Parkway at Cass Street.
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Bijou by the Bay
181 East Grandview Parkway
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A partner of the State Theatre, the Bijou has new release movies. A small theatre with plush chairs and reasonable prices, it's staffed by volunteers and offers a better experience than the cineplex in town. My absolute top choice for catching a movie. You can enjoy views of the bay on your way in and out, too! Park downtown and walk over, there's an underpass to get across the Grandview Parkway at Cass Street.
Drinks & Nightlife
Right Brain has a wide selection of their own beers on tap in a quirky venue frequented by mostly locals.
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Right Brain Brewery
225 East Sixteenth Street
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Right Brain has a wide selection of their own beers on tap in a quirky venue frequented by mostly locals.
Firefly has plenty of great food, too! But if you're looking to sip a cocktail after a long day of shopping downtown, Firefly can be a nice place to relax with friends. They have local wines, too. It's in the mid-to-upper price scale. Their sweet potato fries with garlic aioli to dip in is a transcendental experience; grab it for an appetizer or with the steak skewers for dinner.
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Firefly Restaurant
310 North Cass Street
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Firefly has plenty of great food, too! But if you're looking to sip a cocktail after a long day of shopping downtown, Firefly can be a nice place to relax with friends. They have local wines, too. It's in the mid-to-upper price scale. Their sweet potato fries with garlic aioli to dip in is a transcendental experience; grab it for an appetizer or with the steak skewers for dinner.
Our local whiskey distillery, TC Whiskey has tastings as well as limited release items you won't find anywhere else. Try their cherry whiskey; it's extremely unique, and not the artificial, cough medicine cherry flavor you might be afraid of. Makes a great gift.
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Traverse City Whiskey Co.
201 East 14th Street
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Our local whiskey distillery, TC Whiskey has tastings as well as limited release items you won't find anywhere else. Try their cherry whiskey; it's extremely unique, and not the artificial, cough medicine cherry flavor you might be afraid of. Makes a great gift.
Shopping
Horizon Books is 100% local and a TC fixture. Browse three floors of books and enjoy one of two cafes. My favorite is the Horizon Shine cafe in the basement. It's a great place to take a break from downtown shopping, and is one of the few places downtown with a public restroom. There are plenty of cafe tables to relax and take stock before forging out again. They sometimes have live music and performances in the evenings.
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Horizon Books
243 East Front Street
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Horizon Books is 100% local and a TC fixture. Browse three floors of books and enjoy one of two cafes. My favorite is the Horizon Shine cafe in the basement. It's a great place to take a break from downtown shopping, and is one of the few places downtown with a public restroom. There are plenty of cafe tables to relax and take stock before forging out again. They sometimes have live music and performances in the evenings.
The GT Mall is a fairly large shopping mall with the anchor stores Macy's, JC Penny, Target, and TJ Maxx. Lots of smaller clothing stores help round it out. Take your kids on the merry-go-round in the food court, and be sure to stop off at F.Y.E. for music, movies, or games.
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Grand Traverse Mall
3200 West South Airport Road
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The GT Mall is a fairly large shopping mall with the anchor stores Macy's, JC Penny, Target, and TJ Maxx. Lots of smaller clothing stores help round it out. Take your kids on the merry-go-round in the food court, and be sure to stop off at F.Y.E. for music, movies, or games.
The Cherryland Mall has Sears. Big Lots, KMart, Younkers, Gamestop, and a couple other small shops.
Cherryland Center
1148 W South Airport Rd
The Cherryland Mall has Sears. Big Lots, KMart, Younkers, Gamestop, and a couple other small shops.
Arts & Culture
The Dennos Museum has a permanent collection on the Inuit and a permanent children's room with interactive exhibits. Their rotating exhibits can be found on their website. They also have the Milliken Auditorium with unique concerts and events, which usually do not sell out in advance. They draw different cultural artists from around the world, and past concerts include the Japanese drum group Kiyoshi Nagata and the Mongolian-Chinese group Hanggai.
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Dennos Museum Center
1701 East Front Street
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The Dennos Museum has a permanent collection on the Inuit and a permanent children's room with interactive exhibits. Their rotating exhibits can be found on their website. They also have the Milliken Auditorium with unique concerts and events, which usually do not sell out in advance. They draw different cultural artists from around the world, and past concerts include the Japanese drum group Kiyoshi Nagata and the Mongolian-Chinese group Hanggai.