The 5 Lansing restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’

The 5 Lansing restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’

By Dorothy Scott

June 14, 2024

Lansing’s elite local digs have been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” many times. Here’s where you can taste the city’s Guy Fieri-approved dishes.

Guy Fieri’s been visiting hot hometown restaurants on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” since 2007, including transitioning the series into a remote, cook-along version during COVID-19 lockdowns. Over the years, he’s visited Michigan many times, including several stops in Lansing. If you’re going to come to the Great Lake State, you can’t miss Mid-Michigan, right?

Right. Because Lansing has a lot to offer, and not just its historic landmarks. In fact, the restaurants that Guy Fieri helped put on the map in an even bigger way represent the best that Lansing has to offer: hometown pride in the form of sizzling BBQ, sensational fish, scrumptious Mediterranean food, and more.

Here’s every Lansing restaurant that’s appeared on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” — because we know your taste buds are tingling.

1. Meat BBQ

Address: 1224 Turner Rd, Lansing, MI 48906

Episode: “Ocean Coasts and Great Lake” (Season 27, Episode 5; 2017)

Description: Founded by pitmaster Sean Johnson, Meat BBQ is one of the hottest spots for Southern fare in Lansing — more on that “one of” in a bit — and it’s even appeared on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” more than once. The Food Network series’ cameras popped by for a follow-up segment in 2021 to “[see] how we have been doing the last few years,” as the restaurant wrote in an excited Facebook post.

But just what does Meat BBQ have on the menu? Well, yes, you’re in for mounds of meat, including items called Meat Mountain (a baked amalgamation of meat, mashed potatoes, corn, bacon, and more) and The Logg Sampler (four meats plus plenty of sides). Your meat options here include pork ribs, pulled chicken, smoked turkey, smoked wings, and more, meaning there’s something for every meat eater’s diet.

Want something classic? Order wings. Want something leaner? Order turkey. No matter what you choose, just don’t forget to check out the French Fry Bar section of the menu because no meal has ever been hampered by Garlic Parmesan Fries. Oh, and there’s a hefty list of beers and cocktails to devour, too.

If all of this sounds divine to you, you’re not alone. Meat BBQ’s customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with one Tripadvisor review calling it a “religious experience,” writing, “This place was featured on Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives and it’s no surprise. The food here is outstanding! … This is our new favorite place!!!!” Likewise, a Yelp reviewer proclaimed, “Meat BBQ is one of the best reasons to live in the greater Lansing area.” According to Yelp, some of the most popular dishes from Meat BBQ include beef brisket, smoked turkey, and pork ribs. (We’ll take one of each. Thank you!)

2. Capital City BBQ

Address: 1026 W Saginaw St, Lansing, MI 48915

Episode: “A Passport of Flavor” (Season 27, Episode 6; 2017)

Description: Capital City BBQ is Lansing’s other premier Southern eaterie, but it has a unique twist: It also specializes in Vietnamese cuisine. That’s right: You can order a bowl of soul-warming pho and a rack of tender baby back ribs at the same joint. 

The menu is much more vast than this oversimplification, though. Here, you can take a gander at the BBQ sandwich menu, which includes themed creations centered around Thanksgiving, BLTs, and more, in addition to BBQ dinners and a full Vietnamese menu. On the latter, you’ll find bánh mì, spring rolls, rice plates, noodle salads, and more alongside the aforementioned pho. (If you ask us, the best combination of BBQ  and Vietnamese foods might be enjoying some homemade cornbread with piping-hot pho. Thank us later!) Capital City BBQ even sells a variety of cheesecakes that rotate. For example, one week’s cheesecake menu included lemon, strawberry, KitKat, chocolate, and more. 

Capital City BBQ’s time on TV has certainly worked in its favor, with folks writing in their online reviews that they fell in love with this fusion joint because of “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” For example, one Yelp reviewer wrote, “Saw this establishment on the food network and I happened to be in Lansing MI for work. … I was greeted by the owner who super nice and helpful when navigating the menu. If you find yourself in Lansing, MI its a must try!!” Just note that there appears to be some discrepancy in the restaurant’s flavors. Some reviews mention wanting more flavor in the dishes, while others, for instance, say, “Pretty good beef pho. A bit pricey, but well flavored/seasoned soup. Thanks a lot will come back.” You may just have to give this spot a try to decide for yourself.

3. Zaytoon Mediterranean

Address: 940 Elmwood Rd, Lansing, MI 48917

Episode: “A Passport of Flavor” (Season 27, Episode 6; 2017)

Description: Appearing in the same episode as Capital City BBQ, Zaytoon Mediterranean is a departure from the hearty, deeply carnivorous menus of the previous two establishments, showing just how much culinary diversity Lansing has to offer. In fact, Zaytoon’s Facebook page goes so far as to say it has “Lansing’s best shawarma,” which makes sense considering the restaurant is all about “authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.” (And, yes, that’s Guy Fieri graffiti on a sheet pan in Zaytoon’s Facebook profile picture.)

Outside of the shawarma, popular dishes at Zaytoon include Crushed Lentil Soup, Greek Salad, and a few varieties of kabob combos, including beef and lamb. However, you can also order iconic Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel, to name a few. That said, some folks have grown wary of eating at Zaytoon in recent years, as former employees have come forward to speak on alleged cleanliness issues and pay disparities, including employees being offered drugs as payment instead of money (via Fox 47 News). Indeed, Zaytoon had received cleanliness violations from the Eaton County Health Department.

Despite its controversies, the restaurant sits at a pretty 4.3-star rating on Yelp. One review, which gave the Mediterranean hot spot a 1-star rating, mentions Zaytoon being completely out of soap during her visit, meaning neither guests nor employees could wash their hands in the restroom. Other reviews are positive and brag about how good the food is at Zaytoon. “My Fiancé and I treated my parents to Zaytoon while they were last in town and they loved it just as much as we do! … The portions were filling and everyone left satisfied,” one regular wrote in their review.

Ultimately, this might just be an eat-here-at-your-own-risk type of restaurant, but at least Guy Fieri had a good time.

4. Eastside Fish Fry & Grill

Address: 2417 E Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48912

Episode: “From Pied to Fried” (Season 27, Episode 8; 2017)

Description: Eastside Fish Fry & Grill’s food is so good that the locals have dubbed owner Henry Meyer’s wings “crack chicken,” according to the Lansing State Journal. With a name like that, we can’t blame Guy Fieri for stopping at this local hole-in-the-wall restaurant while he was in town. While Meyer doesn’t use this name for his chicken, he does know that his chicken is special, and so do his customers. “It’s the seasoning. … The chicken wings are addictive,” a customer told the Lansing State Journal. In addition to being featured on “Triple D,” Eastside is listed on Food Network’s website in its “top places to eat” list.

You can get a lot more than wings at Eastside, though. Here, you can peruse a long menu of seafood and chicken dishes, including chicken and waffles, popcorn shrimp, chicken sandwiches, gizzards, and many different types of fish (grouper, tilapia, catfish, mahi mahi — the list goes on). Equally long is Eastside’s list of side dishes. Here, you can enjoy everything from fried cheese curds and onion rings to baked beans, macaroni salad, okra, and even good ol’ bread and butter. You can basically get something new every time and still find things to try for the first time. Eastside even caters!

But what do customers actually love here (in addition to “crack chicken,” that is)? Folks on Tripadvisor particularly love the gizzards and deep-fried bacon (known on the menu as “pig skins”), as well as the catfish and shrimp. Folks on Yelp also love the food, though some reviewers have commented on incorrect orders and other organizational issues. Meanwhile, others have said the service is lovely, writing, “Really great food alongside with good service, I’ve been getting food here for years and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!”

5. The Cosmos

Address: 1200 N Larch St, Lansing, MI 48906

Episode: “Pizza, Pork and Peru” (Season 28, Episode 8; 2018)

Description: The Cosmos is a swanky hangout spot that allows guests to play arcade games during their stay. Of course, you’ll want to stop playing as soon as your order is ready, as The Cosmos’ wood-fired pizzas look to die for both on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” and in photos online. 

The Cosmos’ menu consists of unique pizzas that truly make your mouth water as soon as you start reading their descriptions. For example, the Italian Diavalo pizza is topped with roasted tomato aioli, spinach, mozzarella, salami, ham, capicola, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Doesn’t that sound divine? Another eye-grabbing pie is the chicken pesto pizza, which doesn’t skimp on the pesto if photos online are anything to go by.

Other delectable-sounding ingredients on the pizza menu include maple vinaigrette (Pear Pizza), cajun dust (The #9 in the World), jalapeno boursin cream (Runny Egg), and garlic cream sauce (Garlic Shrimp). But, really, they all sound amazing. That’s not the full menu, though. Outside of pizzas, one can bash on nachos, fries cooked in duck fat, Bacon and Fig Jam Bruschetta, wings, loaded fries, and so much more. Salads and desserts also grace the menu — if you’ve saved enough room. 

We know that The Cosmos’ food sounds good, but how does it actually fare? Well, Food Network calls the restaurant’s ‘zas “otherworldly,” and its star ratings online look golden, lighting up 4.5 on Tripadvisor and 4.2 on Yelp. “Everything was great! the service, the vibes and the popcorn from the vintage machine. Obviously the pizza was the star of the show,” one Yelp reviewer wrote. “I haven’t been here in a minute and forgot how amazing their pies are.” Yelp reviewers also note that they adore The Cosmos’ corn fritters, which make perfect arcade snack food. Meanwhile, a Tripadvisor reviewer found an unlikely favorite item: “The Ceasar salad was outstanding.” 

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.The 5 Lansing restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’The 5 Lansing restaurants Guy Fieri visited on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives’


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