Caro is a charming small town in Michigan’s Thumb region with a population of around 4,000 people. Despite its small size, Caro boasts some fantastic restaurants that serve up delicious food in relaxed and welcoming environments. From diners to fine dining, Caro’s food scene has something for everyone.
In this article, I’ll share my favorite restaurants in Caro based on the meals I’ve enjoyed at these local spots over the years. Let’s explore the diverse and mouthwatering dining options in Caro!
1. Mary’s Cafe
If you’re looking for a tasty, no-frills breakfast in Caro, Mary’s Cafe is the place to go. This quaint little diner has been serving up hearty breakfast classics for over 40 years.
The atmosphere at Mary’s is relaxed and welcoming – you’ll often see groups of friends and families enjoying meals together at the booths and tables. One of my go-to orders is the loaded hashbrowns topped with cheese, onions, peppers, ham, and sausage gravy. The gravy is so creamy and flavorful!
I also love their fluffy, buttermilk pancakes – I always get them with a side of crispy bacon. Mary’s makes great omelets too if you’re craving some veggies and cheese. For a sweet treat, try their freshly baked cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing.
Mary’s Cafe is open daily for breakfast and lunch, so it’s easy to fuel up in the morning or grab a bite midday when you’re exploring Caro. This local staple has remained popular for so long thanks to their tasty food, low prices, and cozy atmosphere.
2. Luigi’s Ristorante
For excellent Italian cuisine in Caro, Luigi’s Ristorante is my top recommendation. Luigi’s serves up homemade pastas, savory chicken and veal entrees, seafood specials and more in a warm, family-friendly environment.
Luigi’s pasta dishes like the baked ziti, lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs are all excellent choices. If you want a lighter option, I’d suggest the lemon garlic shrimp linguine. The shrimp is perfectly cooked and seasoned with garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. Luigi’s has daily seafood specials like crab cakes and grilled salmon that shouldn’t be missed either
Luigi’s has an extensive wine list, so I like to pair a nice Chianti with my meal. Save room for their tiramisu for dessert – it’s phenomenal!
The warm hospitality and authentic dishes at Luigi’s make it one of the best Italian restaurants in the Thumb region. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially on weekends.
3. The Chef’s Table
For a truly special dining experience in Caro, make a reservation at The Chef’s Table. Dining at The Chef’s Table feels like an event thanks to the upscale ambiance, attentive service, and culinary artistry.
One memorable appetizer was their seared sea scallops served atop a savory corn risotto. My favorite entrée is the coffee crusted filet mignon with Gorgonzola cream sauce – the steak melts in your mouth and the coffee rub offers unique flavor.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the lemon lavender pot de crème. Each course is expertly prepared with creative flavors that excite your palate. The Chef’s Table offers an extensive wine list with lots of excellent local options that pair perfectly with the food.
Be sure to make reservations in advance for the best seating options. For an intimate and memorable fine dining experience in Caro, The Chef’s Table is the pinnacle.
4. Carlo’s Pizzeria
For delicious pizza and Italian fare in Caro, Carlo’s Pizzeria is my go-to spot. This family-owned pizzeria dates back over 40 years and still delivers tasty food and warm hospitality.
Of course, I have to start my meal with an order of their famous garlic knots. These soft, garlicky bread knots are irresistible dipped in the zesty marinara sauce. As for pizza, Carlo’s has all the classic toppings as well as specialty options like Hawaiian, veggie, and buffalo chicken.
Carlo’s uses quality ingredients like fresh mozzarella and diced tomatoes on their pies – you can taste the difference! Besides pizza, their baked pasta dishes like ziti, manicotti and lasagna are excellent as well.
Carlo’s also offers salads, subs, calzones and wings for a well-rounded Italian menu. This is my most frequented restaurant in Caro because the food is consistently delicious and the staff provides wonderful service. Carlo’s is a Caro staple!
5. Sophia’s House of Pancakes
My favorite breakfast spot in Caro is Sophia’s House of Pancakes. Some of my go-tos are the cinnamon roll pancakes with cream cheese icing drizzled on top and their amazing red velvet pancakes made with real red velvet cake.
The banana pecan pancakes topped with whipped cream are satisfying if you want something a little healthier. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of Sophia’s pancake selections – each bite is pillowy perfection. Besides pancakes, their loaded hashbrowns and omelets made with fresh eggs also hit the spot in the morning.
Whether you’re dining solo or grabbing a booth with the whole family, Sophia’s House of Pancakes is the perfect spot for an indulgent, stick-to-your ribs breakfast in Caro!
6. Main Street Bistro
Main Street Bistro crafts fresh made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and soups using high quality ingredients. All of their soups are housemade – I always start my meal with a cup of their creamy tomato basil soup topped with Parmesan cheese. It’s the perfect appetizer on a chilly day.
For sandwiches, two of my favorites are the avocado BLT on thick sliced whole wheat bread and their roast beef sandwich piled high with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and horseradish mayo on a hoagie roll.
Beyond sandwiches, Main Street Bistro has excellent mixed green and grain bowls if you’re craving a healthy salad packed with veggies, herbs and lean proteins like grilled chicken or salmon.
With fresh, high-quality ingredients and thoughtful preparations, Main Street Bistro is my go-to for a satisfying and healthy lunch in downtown Caro.
7. Lettuce Eat
For delicious and nutritious salads in Caro, Lettuce Eat is my go-to spot. All of their dressings are housemade, like the creamy dill, maple balsamic vinaigrette, and lemon tahini. Lettuce Eat’s unique salad blends, like their pear gorgonzola and southwestern quinoa salads, are tasty and satisfying.
Their classic Caesar and Greek salads are exceptional as well. Besides salads, they also have great sandwiches like their turkey cranberry panini and chicken pesto wrap that work nicely as a salad topper. Everything at Lettuce Eat feels light yet completely filling.
Lettuce Eat is my top pick for a healthy, flavorful lunch full of fresh greens when I’m looking for something on the lighter side. Their friendly service and reasonable prices keep me coming back.
8. Oakwood Grill
When I’m looking for an indulgent steak dinner in Caro, The Oakwood Grill is my top choice. This upscale steakhouse serves USDA Prime steaks along with seafood, chops and classic side dishes in an elegant setting.
You really can’t beat their dry aged ribeyes and filet mignons cooked to tender perfection over an open wood fire. Before indulging in steak, I like to start with a Caesar salad and side of creamed spinach. When it comes to steak sides, the au gratin potatoes are a must and I always add on a side of grilled asparagus too.
Oakwood Grill’s wine list is extensive, so I ask my server for a bold California cabernet to pair with my steak. For special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays, I’ll spring for one of their decadent desserts like creme brûlée or molten lava cake.
The elegant atmosphere, exceptional service, and melt-in-your-mouth steaks make Oakwood Grill the top fine dining restaurant pick for steak lovers in Caro. It’s a splurge, but one worth every penny.
Hopefully these detailed reviews of the top restaurants in Caro help you plan an amazing dining experience during your visit! Let me know if you try any of my recommendations. Bon appétit!