Glen Arbor, MI is one of the best towns on the Leelanau Peninsula, and receives many visitors during the peak summer months. After visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, hiking the many trails around the town, or spending the afternoon relaxing on the beach, you’ll want to wind down at a great nearby restaurant.
While I’m not a local, I’ve been vacationing in Glen Arbor on an annual basis for close to 30 years, and have watched some great restaurants pop up in the area. Here are my favorite restaurants in and around Glen Arbor, MI, listed in no particular order.
5705 South Lake Street, Glen Arbor, MI 49636 | (231) 334-2530 | Website
If you’re looking for a restaurant with great food and a great view, Blu is your best choice. Blu is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and offers scenic views of North and South Manitou Islands and Sleeping Bear Bay.
Blu is probably the most upscale restaurant on this list, but their food backs up their upscale environment.
4566 W. MacFarlane Road, Maple City, MI 49664 | (231) 334-3900 | Website
This is a must visit for anyone looking for some high-quality Italian food. With a great selection of wine and a constantly changing list of specials and new recipes based on fresh ingredients, you’re bound to find food items that the whole family will enjoy.
The Veal Saltimbocca and the Tortellini are two of my favorites from their menu, but I tend to order from what they currently have on their specials menu.
Their location is technically not in Glen Arbor, but they’re right along the southern edge of Big Glen Lake in Burdickville, so they deserve to be on this list.
6487 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor, MI 49636 | (231) 334-3754 | Website
A local favorite, Arts Tavern is located in the center of Glen Arbor and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have great burgers and a wide selection that caters to all tastes and ages. If you plan on doing any shopping around Glen Arbor, Arts Tavern is conveniently located and is a great spot to grab a quick bite to eat.
When hosting friends from out of town, I like to go kayaking down the Crystal River and finish the trip by going to Arts Tavern for lunch or dinner. They’re well known for their burgers, so if that’s something you’re craving then this is a great place to check out.
5858 Manitou View, Glen Arbor, MI 49636 | (231) 334-6444 | Website
On a nice summer day, it’s great to eat outside and that’s the kind of environment Boondocks provides. They have a big deck area. They’re a great family restaurant with food that everyone will like. They also provide live music every night of the week from Father’s Day through Labor Day weekend, which makes it an excellent location to enjoy some great food and adult beverages from local businesses.
Good Harbor Grill
6584 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor MI 49636 | (231) 334-3555 | Website
If you want to sample some local ingredients from a restaurant that makes excellent food, Good Harbor Grill is a great place to visit. It’s a casual environment restaurant that is located in downtown Glen Arbor, making it a great spot to grab some food while shopping or walking around. It should be noted that they are only open between Memorial Day through Labor Day.
9001 South Dunn’s Farm Road, Maple City, MI 49664 | 231-334-3944 | Website
La Becasse is a fantastic French style restaurant located right around the corner from Trattoria Funistrada in Burdickville. La Becasse does an excellent job at providing high quality ingredients from local vendors. On their website you will find a large list of wineries, farmers and grocers that supply them with ingredients that make up their menu items.
1 Woodridge Road, Glen Arbor, MI 49636 | (231) 334-5222 | Website
Nonna’s is located in the Homestead Resort and offers contemporary Italian cuisine. If you are staying in or near the Homestead, it is a convenient spot to grab some great food and boutique wines. During the winter season they keep their stone fireplaces active, which makes it a great destination during the winter months after partaking in any outdoor activity.