Top 9 Unique Restaurants to Try in Leland, Michigan

The Riverside Inn / Source: The Riverside Inn

Leland is a charming village located on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. This popular summertime destination boasts stunning lake views, galleries, shops, wineries and excellent dining options

From lakefront restaurants to cozy bistros, Leland offers delicious cuisine to suit any taste. With creative dishes, lake views, and small town charm, these restaurants showcase the best of Leland’s food scene.

This list was written by my experiences, if you have other ideas, you can give them in the comment section below the article.

1. Bluebird Restaurant & Tavern

Address: 102 E River St, Leland, MI 49654

For all-American classics in a casual lakefront setting, visit the Bluebird Restaurant. This local favorite serves tasty comfort food and lake views.

The Bluebird offers classic diner fare like omelets, sandwiches, burgers, fried chicken, pot roast, and daily blue plate specials. Standout menu items include their fluffy buttermilk pancakes, BLT sandwich, and famous pasties – a nod to the region’s Cornish heritage.

The Bluebird’s dish / Source: Bluebird Leland

Beyond the staple diner food, the Bluebird’s picturesque location right on the Leland River truly makes it stand out. The big windows showcase gorgeous views of the water, passing boats, and Lake Michigan just beyond. Outside, the deck offers al fresco dockside dining. A perfect spot for sunsets!

2. The Leland Lodge

The Leland Lodge / Source: The Leland Lodge

Address: 565 Pearl St, Leland, MI 49654

The Leland Lodge is located right in the heart of downtown Leland. This lively gastropub offers a nice selection of Michigan craft beers on tap along with cocktails and pub fare classics. Menu favorites include their house ground burgers, fresh Lake Michigan whitefish sandwiches, brick oven pizzas, and fish tacos.

The Leland Lodge’s dish / Source: HRS

Beyond tasty food and drinks, the Leland Lodge creates an energetic vibe with regular live music, karaoke nights, trivia and bingo. The outdoor beer garden is perfect for soaking up those long summer days. Kid and dog friendly too!

3. Village Cheese Shanty

Village Cheese Shanty / Source: OnlyInYourState

Address: 199 W River St, Leland, MI 49654

For gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade fudge, visit Village Cheese Shanty. This charming walk-up eatery serves comforting fare with a waterfront view.

At Village Cheese Shanty, the menu focuses on ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches made with artisan bread and cheese varieties like brie, gouda, and Swiss. Try creative options like the Pesto Chicken Melt or the Cherry Grilled Cheese with Michigan dried cherries. Served with a cup of tomato basil soup, it’s pure comfort food.

Village Cheese Shanty Menu / Source: Village Cheese Shanty

In addition, the Cheese Shanty offers over 50 flavors of homemade, hand-dipped fudge. It’s the perfect place to grab a grilled cheese to go and stroll along Leland’s docks sampling fudge. Window service makes for quick, casual bites with a lake view. A local favorite for lunch or a snack!

4. Smoke on the Water BBQ

Smoke on the Water BBQ / Source: Times Herald

Address: 4474 Kalamazoo Ave, Caledonia, MI 49316

Smoke on the Water BBQ serves up incredible barbecue bites like St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken and sausage.

All the meats are smoked for hours using local Michigan maple and cherry wood for superior flavor. Round out your meal with sides like baked beans, potatoes salad and mac and cheese.

Smoke on the Water food / Source: Times Herald

In addition to great barbecue, Smoke offers indoor and outdoor seating right on Leland’s Fishtown docks. Take in the riverside scene while sipping local craft brews and savoring tender, smoky meats.

No visit to Leland is complete without experiencing the barbecue and views at Smoke on the Water. It’s finger-lickin’ good!

5. The Riverside Inn

The Riverside Inn / Source: The Riverside Inn

Address: 302 E River St, Leland, MI 49654

The Riverside Inn is a charming bed and breakfast located in downtown Leland, Michigan. Housed in a 19th century building on the banks of the Leland River, The Riverside Inn offers cozy, well-appointed accommodations and an excellent breakfast.

The Riverside Inn’s dish / Source: Michigan Blue Magazine

Guest rooms feature antique furnishings, fireplaces, and waterfall showers. The main house has beautiful wrap-around porches overlooking the river and Fishtown district.

Inside The Riverside Inn / Source: The Riverside Inn

The Riverside Inn is just a quick walk to Leland’s shops, galleries, restaurants and scenic riverfront park. With its peaceful setting, hospitable service, and walking access to Leland’s attractions, The Riverside Inn provides a quintessential Up North lodging experience.

6. Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company Breakfast Bistro

Leelanau Roasting Company / Source: mrmcw

Address: 101 S Main St, Leland, MI 49654

Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company Breakfast Bistro serves up incredible breakfast fare all day long in a cozy, sunny setting.

Specialties include a variety of egg scrambles loaded with veggies, meats and cheeses along with signature sandwiches and crepes. Everything is prepared from scratch using high quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

Leelanau Roasting Company’s dishes / Source: Yelp

Beyond the delicious food, the Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company Breakfast Bistro impresses with its fresh roasted coffee sourced through direct trade partnerships with farmers. Sip a pour-over, cold brew, espresso or specialty drink like a vanilla maple latte.

Leelanau Roasting Company’s coffee / Source: Yelp

The cheery interior with exposed brick walls and wood accents creates a warm, welcoming vibe. With its fantastic breakfast and lunch fare, incredible coffee, and cozy atmosphere, Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company Breakfast Bistro is a must-visit morning spot in downtown Leland.

7. Madcap Coffee Company

Madcap Coffee Company / Source: Madcap Coffee Company

Address: 106 N Main St, Leland, MI 49654

Madcap Coffee Company is a specialty coffee bar and roastery. Opened in 2013, Madcap serves expertly-crafted coffees and espresso drinks along with teas, pastries and light breakfast fare.

Madcap is dedicated to sourcing high quality coffee beans through direct trade partnerships with farmers across the globe. The baristas prepare coffee via pour over, Aeropress, French press or espresso on a hand-built Marco Arriva espresso machine.

Madcap’s coffee / Source: Madcap Coffee Company

Beyond coffee, Madcap offers Liege-style waffles, quiche, and baked goods from local Soul Filled Pantry. The minimalist space features reclaimed wood details and photos of their partner farms.

Madcap’s patry / Source: Katherine Lawrence

8. Bogey’s 19th Hole

Bogey’s 19th Hole / Source: Tripadvisor

Address: 565 Pearl St, Leland, MI 49654

Serving classic American fare and drinks, Bogey’s offers a fun, welcoming spot for meals or hangouts near the village golf course. The menu features staples like wings, nachos, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, and pasta dishes.

Bogey’s burger / Source: Tripadvisor

Those seeking a hearty breakfast can get eggs, omelets, corned beef hash and pancakes in the morning. Bogey’s also offers weekly specials like Taco Tuesdays and Prime Rib Fridays. With several TVs, patrons can catch live games and sports while dining.

The full bar pours Michigan craft beers on tap and cocktails like the signature Bogey Martini. With its unfussy dishes, full bar and golf course proximity, Bogey’s provides an accessible hangout morning, noon or night.

With its stunning lake backdrop, Leland offers some of northern Michigan’s top dining. From scenic waterfront restaurants to cozy bistros, this guide provides a great starting point for experiencing Leland’s exceptional food scene.

9. Dam Candy Store

Dam Candy Store / Source: Fine Art America

Address: 197 River St, Leland, MI 49654

Dam Candy Store is a delightful old-fashioned candy shop and soda fountain. Family-owned since 1927, Dam Candy Store transports visitors back in time with its charming nostalgic decor and massive selection of retro and gourmet candies.

Showcases contain hundreds of varieties – from salt water taffy and novelty candies to chocolate truffles and sugar-free options. You can also fill bags with your favorite bulk candies by the pound from barrels and bins throughout the store.

Dam Candy Store’s sweets / Source: MapQuest

With its old-timey vibes, sweet treats galore, and soda fountain delights, Dam Candy Store is a magical world of confectionary wonders in downtown Leland that delights kids and adults alike.

With its stunning lake backdrop, Leland offers some of northern Michigan’s top dining. From scenic waterfront restaurants to cozy bistros, this guide provides a great starting point for experiencing Leland’s exceptional food scene.

Whether you seek gourmet cuisine, barbecue with a view, or just a classic Up North pasty, Leland’s array of eateries will delight your taste buds and whet your appetite for more.

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