Aside from being the Cherry Capital and a foodie paradise, Traverse City is also a centerpiece of Michigan’s farm-to-table movement. What’s all the buzz about? Keep reading.
MICHIGAN—Most Michiganders have heard the benefits of shopping local. But in Traverse City, many local restaurants are taking that social creed one step further—they’re cooking locally grown food.
At its core, a farm-to-table restaurant invests in the local food economy and prioritizes fresh ingredients that are available locally. And for Traverse City’s farm-to-table restaurants, paying attention to the source of their ingredients is paying some delicious dividends.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best farm-to-table experiences for newlyweds in the Cherry Capital:
The Cooks’ House
115 Wellington St. in Traverse City
The bastion of local sustainable foods in Traverse City is the Cooks’ House, a cozy little house about one block from Front Street. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali counts the Cooks’ House as one of his favorite restaurants in Michigan—and for good reason. Chefs Jen Blakeslee and Eric Patterson curate a daily menu of culinary offerings using only locally-sourced ingredients that make the most of northwest Michigan’s regional delicacies.
Taproot Cider House
300 E Front St #104 in Traverse City
With a rustic, farm-inspired interior and a sidewalk patio right downtown, Taproot Cider House keeps things cozy and local. In addition to supporting local farmers, they also support local breweries, wineries, distilleries, and book local musicians. Cocktails are made with homemade syrups, and they pair perfectly with farm-fresh salads, pizzas, bowls and more.
Aerie Restaurant and Lounge
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd. in Acme
Aerie Restaurant and Lounge is housed on the sixteenth floor of the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The breathtaking floor-to-ceiling views of the Grand Traverse Bay alone make a visit to Aerie worth it, but the farm-fresh menu makes that visit even sweeter. Traverse City’s iconic tart cherries are incorporated across the menu, from the salads to the craft cocktails. Chef Auston Minnich also cultivates a celebration of other Michigan ingredients in the cuisine, from freshwater fish to farm-raised meats, with, of course, plenty of regional wine.
14039 Peninsula Drive in Traverse City
With stunning views of Bowers Harbor Cove along the Old Mission Peninsula, the Boathouse joins the farm-to-table experience with gorgeous waterfront dining. Owner Doug Kosch harvests many of the restaurant’s fruits, vegetables, and herbs from his own 10-acre family farm, Malem Farms, and uses as many local and in-season ingredients as possible.
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