Restaurant Week: Great TC Food at a Decent Price!

Having fun at Shanty Creek's snow-tubing hill at Winter Wow!fest
Having fun at Shanty Creek’s snow-tubing hill at Winter Wow!fest


All right! Wasn’t that the greatest Cherry Capital Winter Wow!fest ever? After all those snowless days, who’d have guessed we’d get a nice deep snowfall on Friday night – just in time to make everything appropriately wintry on Saturday!

Everybody was in such a great mood all weekend – and I think it was a great idea to bring so many more events down to the area around Open Space Park. People really seemed to love getting involved in the games, the artwork and the music – and that  huge tubing hill Shanty Creek Resorts built in the middle of the parking lot was a major kid magnet!

Even though I’m in the tourism business, what really warms my heart is to see local residents enjoying themselves at these events, mixing in with visitors and sampling the best of what this area has to offer. In the end, that’s what it’s really about: enjoying the blessings we’ve been given, taking good care of them, and sharing them with folks who don’t have the good fortune to live here but who love this place just as much as we do.

Which is why I’m really excited that it’s almost time for Restaurant Week!

Get ready to make those dinner reservations, folks, because every night from Sunday (Feb. 27) to the following Saturday (March 5) you can enjoy a three-course meal at any of several excellent Traverse City restaurants for just $25 per person.

By now, everybody in the world should know that Traverse City is one of the great “foodie” towns in America. Wonderful restaurants, excellent wine, talented chefs, fresh ingredients. Heck, even Bon Appetit magazine thinks so! But it irks me sometimes to see how darned expensive this is all getting to be. Folks ought to be able to go out and enjoy a nice dinner once in a while without having to take out a second mortgage on their home.

I’m actually thinking about doing an article on restaurants in Traverse City where you can get a good meal – and I mean a good meal – for less than ten bucks per entrée. It can be done, especially at breakfast and lunch, so stay tuned.

Anyway, that’s why I love Restaurant Week, and why I’m really proud of the Downtown Traverse City Association for organizing this great event, and the Park Place Hotel, the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, WCCW radio, ABC 29&8, and My North Media/Traverse Magazine for stepping up to the plate and sponsoring it.  Restaurant Weeks have been popping up in communities all over the country and have proved to be a success, and Traverse City had its first one last year.

Cozy eating at Amical
Cozy eating at Amical

Here are the participating restaurants – and they’re good ones. I’m going to include links for each place, so if you click on their name it’ll take you directly to the restaurant – and where possible I’ve also listed their Restaurant Week menus.  As I said, get your reservations early – these will go fast! And do remember: this price doesn’t include the cost of beverages, taxes or gratuities, so don’t be so eager to get a good deal that you stiff your server. (Tacky, that.)

7 Monks Taproom

128 S. Union St.

(231) 421-8410


229 E. Front St.

(231) 941-8888

Apache Trout Grill

13671 S.W. Bayshore Dr.

(231) 947-7079

Restaurant Week Menu

The Bay Leaf

120 Park St.

(231) 421-5912

Restaurant Week Menu

Blue Tractor Cook Shop

423 S. Union St.

(231) 922-9515

Restaurant Week Menu

The Boathouse

14039 Peninsula Dr.

(231) 223-4030

Restaurant Week Menu

Chez Peres/Patisserie Amie

237 Lake Ave., Ste. 200

(231) 922-9645

CW’s Blue Water Bistro

Holiday Inn West Bay

615 E. Front St.

(231) 421-2128

Restaurant Week Menu


310 Cass St.

(231) 932-1310

Restaurant Week Menu

Hanna Bistro

118 Cass St.

(231) 946-8207

Restaurant Week Menu

Harrington’s by the Bay

13890 S.W. Bayshore Dr.

(231) 421.9393

Restaurant Week Menu

Mackinaw Brewing Co.

161 E. Front St.

(231) 933-1100

Restaurant Week Menu


300 E. State St.

(231) 946-5093

Restaurant Week Menu

Modes Bum Steer

125 E. State St.

(231) 947-9832

Restaurant Week Menu

North Peak Brewing Co.

400 W. Front St.

(231) 941-7325

Restaurant Week Menu

Phil’s on Front

236 E. Front St.

(231) 929-1710


128 E. Front St.

(231) 941-7632

Restaurant Week Menu

Red Ginger Restaurant

237 E. Front St.

(231) 944-1733

Restaurant Week Menu

Reflect at Cambria

255 Munson Ave.

(231) 778-9000

The Soul Hole

408 S. Union St.

(231) 929-7238

Restaurant Week Menu

Trattoria Stella

1200 W. 11th St (Village at the Grand Traverse Commons)

(231) 929-8989

Restaurant Week Menu

Travino, Traverse Wine & Grille

4341 M-72 East, Williamsburg

(231) 938-9496

The Union Cantina

127 S. Union St.

(231) 941-5038

Restaurant Week Menu

About mikelovestc

These days, I’m the media relations guy for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, but before that I spent 25 years as a reporter and columnist at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, a job that frequently took me out into the most remote backroads, forests, beaches and islands of the beautiful Grand Traverse Region. My strategy was pretty simple — just drive, paddle, ski or walk until you’re certain you’re lost, and then find somebody to talk to. It was a great job! I never intended to live in Traverse City. I grew up in Grand Rapids, spent four years in the Coast Guard in places like Miami Beach, Monterey and San Francisco, and when I finally graduated from college I took a summer job at the Miami Herald. To my surprise, I discovered I didn’t like the tropics nearly as much as I thought I would — and when the Record-Eagle offered me a job I took it, figuring I’d put in a year or two and head off to someplace like Seattle or Portland. What I discovered very quickly is that this place gets to you in a variety of unexpected ways. The beaches here are as lovely as anyplace else I’ve ever been, the weather is mild all year round — warm enough for swimming in September and cold enough for skiing in December — and just about the time you’re getting tired of one season you get another one every bit as pleasant. The people are laid-back and friendly, the music and arts scene is awesome, and the place still hasn’t gotten so sophisticated that a guy like me feels out of place.
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