Did you know that getting gravy with pasties could be a giveaway that you’re a tourist?
ST. IGNACE—Lehto’s Pasties have been a fixture of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since just after World War II. Founded in 1947, their pasties are said to be so good that they don’t need gravy, owners told MyNorth.com.
A quick refresher: Cornish pasties came to the Upper Peninsula in the 19th century with immigrant families who had come to the mines in search of work. Even as the UP has changed, pasties have stayed around ever since, becoming a culinary staple of Michigan.
A Lehto’s beef pasty contains beef, potato, rutabaga, and onions beneath the crust. The original Lehto’s location is still open for business on US-2 heading west from the Mackinac Bridge, and the family has another location in downtown St. Ignace.
Here are five quick fun facts about Lehto’s:
- The recipe has remained unchanged since 1947.
- You can see the Mackinac Bridge from the roadside parks half a mile from Lehto’s, making it the perfect place to pick up lunch and go for a picnic. There are also picnic tables outside of the restaurant.
- Lehto’s pasties come hot, cold, or frozen.
- The original sign still stands tall outside of the first location. It was most recently restored in 2022.
- Lehto’s used to sell hamburgers and other food items. No longer—the pasties are what you come for.