Top 6 Must-Try Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan

Last Updated: 07/02/2024.

Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan
Alpine Tavern and Eatery’s dish / Source: Shelly Bouman

Gaylord is a small city in northern Michigan that offers some delicious dining options. From casual pub fare to fine dining, Gaylord has restaurants to satisfy any craving.

In this article, I’ll highlight some of the top Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan. With tasty dishes, friendly service, and cozy atmospheres, these establishments show off the best of Gaylord’s food scene. Please join Let’s save Michigan to learn more through this article.

1. The Iron Pig Smokehouse

Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan
The Iron Pig Smokehouse / Source: The Iron Pig Smokehouse

Address: 143 W Main St, Gaylord, MI 49735

The Iron Pig Smokehouse serves up mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue in downtown Gaylord.

The laidback eatery has an Order Counter where you can order signature smoked meats by the pound or in sandwiches and plates. Meat options include pulled pork, smoked chicken, beef brisket, smoked sausage and baby back ribs.

Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan
Pork tacos / Source: Yelp

Don’t miss their enormous beef ribs, which are a customer favorite. All the meats are dry rubbed and slow smoked to perfection. In addition to the array of meats, The Iron Pig offers sides like cowboy beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw, cornbread and more.

Slow-moked meat
Slow-moked meat / Source: Yelp

Wash it all down with some Cheerwine soda, a perfect complement to barbecue. For dessert, try the pecan pie or brownies. There are also several Michigan craft beers on tap to accompany your meal.

The Iron Pig's craft beers
The Iron Pig’s craft beers / Source: Iron Pig Smokehouse Merchandise

The atmosphere at The Iron Pig is super welcoming, with farmhouse tables and a front porch with rocking chairs. It’s a great spot to come with friends or family for a laidback meal.

2. Alpine Tavern and Eatery

Alpine Tavern and Eatery
Alpine Tavern and Eatery / Source: Richard

Address: 220 S Otsego Ave #1, Gaylord, MI 49735

Alpine Tavern and Eatery brings a taste of Europe to downtown Gaylord with its Bavarian-inspired tavern fare.

Alpine Tavern' dish
Alpine Tavern’ dish / Source: Sarah Smith

The menu features German staples like schnitzel, spaetzle, bratwurst, Reuben sandwiches and giant pretzels. There are also American pub classics like burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Ensure you come hungry – all portions are sizable. Standout picks include the beer cheese soup, Nathan’s hot dog, and potato pancakes with applesauce.

Burgers and fries
Burgers and fries / Source: Jeff Colley

In addition to the tasty food, The Alpine Tavern houses an extensive selection of craft and import beers. With over 150 bottles and 24 rotating taps, beer lovers will think they died and went to heaven. There’s truly a brew for everyone – IPAs, stouts, ciders, lagers and more.

Alpine Tavern's craft beer
Alpine Tavern’s craft beer / Source: Dan DiGregorio

Alpine Tavern has a fun, laidback pub atmosphere with long community tables perfect for meeting new friends. There’s often live music on weekends. With its gastropub fare, incredible beer selection, and welcoming vibe, you’ll feel transported to Bavaria at The Alpine Tavern.

3. Mancino’s of Gaylord

Mancino's of Gaylord
Mancino’s of Gaylord / Source: Justin Cowen

Address: 1157 S Otsego Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735

Mancino’s is a popular local pizzeria and grill in Gaylord, known for its hearty calzones and New York-style pizza. The cozy restaurant has a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

Mancino's menu
Mancino’s menu / Source: Uber Eats

The menu features a variety of calzones with creative fillings like buffalo chicken, Greek, and bacon cheeseburger. Pizza options include build-your-own as well as specialty pies. Mancino’s also offers pasta, subs, salads and wings. For dessert, guests rave about the cinnamon sticks.

The calzones in particular stand out, made with hand-rolled dough stuffed with generous amounts of cheese and toppings. The Italian sausage calzone is a customer favorite. Pizzas are made fresh and have a delicious thin, crispy crust.

Mancino's dish
Mancino’s dish / Source: Mancino’s of Gaylord

Mancino’s has a nice selection of domestic and craft beers as well as wine to accompany your meal. There is seating for dining in, as well as takeout and delivery options.

4. Cops & Doughnuts – Jay’s Precinct

Cops & Doughnuts - Jay's Precinct
Cops & Doughnuts – Jay’s Precinct / Source: MapQuest

Address: 1151 S Otsego Ave. Gaylord, MI 49735

Cops & Doughnuts is a bakery and cafe that originated in Clare, Michigan and has expanded to multiple locations including Gaylord. The Jays Precinct location opened in Gaylord in 2019.

The cafe serves an extensive selection of freshly baked donuts, muffins, and other bakery treats along with coffee, espresso drinks, and breakfast/lunch fare like omelets, sandwiches, and soups.

Cops & Doughnuts display
Cops & Doughnuts display / Source: Tripadvisor

Specialties include the bacon maple long john donut and cake donuts in rotating flavors like blueberry, chocolate, and maple. The large donuts are made to order and have a soft, cake-like texture.

In addition to great food and coffee, Cops & Doughnuts embraces a fun police theme with decor, staff uniforms, and merchandise. There is seating for dining in and a drive-thru window for orders to go.

5. Drift Ice Cream Shop

Drift Ice Cream Shop
gaylord michigan restaurants / Source: Petoskey News-Review

Address: 125 N Otsego Ave, Gaylord, MI 49735

Drift Ice Cream Shop is a small batch ice cream parlor located in downtown Gaylord. The shop offers rotating seasonal flavors of homemade ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt made daily on-site.

Drift's menu
gaylord mi restaurants / Source: Michelle McDonald Vlastnik

Some customer favorites include Mackinac Island Fudge, Northern Michigan Cherry, and Superman with rainbow sprinkles. Over 20 standard and seasonal flavors are available on any given day. They also offer dairy-free sorbets and vegan options.

Superman ice cream
restaurants gaylord mi / Source: Awesome Mitten

In addition to cones and cups, Drift serves up ice cream on waffle cones baked fresh in-house, in milkshakes, floats, and sundaes. The cozy old-fashioned soda fountain atmosphere is very charming.

Drift uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients from dairies, farms, and markets around Michigan whenever possible. The friendly staff allow customers to try samples so you can find just the right flavor.

6. Sugar Me Sweet Cake Shop – Restaurants in Gaylord Michigan

Sugar Me Sweet Cake Shop
restaurants in gaylord mi / Source: Jenna Kanaziz

Address: 102 W Main St, Gaylord, MI 49735

Sugar Me Sweet Cake Shop is a bakery specializing in cakes, cupcakes, and other custom baked goods.

Sugar Me Sweet is known for its beautifully decorated cakes for all occasions. Options include cake flavors like vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, and marble in a variety of fillings and frostings. Their cupcakes are another top item, with gourmet flavors like salted caramel and cookies & cream.

Cake pop gift sets
gaylord restaurants / Source: Sugar Me Sweet Cake Shop

The bakery also offers specialty items like cheesecakes, pies, cookies, and pastries. Decorated sugar cookies are a fun treat for holidays or as gifts. Custom cakes can be ordered for weddings, birthdays, graduations, and more.

Custom cake
restaurants in gaylord / Source: Morgan Gavulic

Everything at Sugar Me Sweet is made from scratch using high-quality ingredients. Their cozy storefront has limited indoor seating but serves take-out orders as well. The experienced bakers are happy to consult on custom cake designs and deliver within Gaylord.

Gaylord offers some incredible dining gems, from casual eateries to fine dining destinations. No matter your tastes or budget, you’ll find plenty of great local restaurants to enjoy when visiting this northern Michigan town.

In conclusion, the diverse culinary scene in Gaylord, Michigan offers a delightful array of dining experiences that cater to every palate. From cozy cafes to upscale eateries, the restaurants in Gaylord, Michigan truly showcase the region’s rich flavors and culinary creativity. Whether you’re craving hearty comfort food or gourmet delights, exploring the vibrant restaurants in Gaylord, Michigan is sure to be a rewarding and delicious adventure.

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