April 17, 2021

Janice Binkert | Author


April 17, 2021

No matter the weather, Traverse City’s newest breakfast and lunch restaurant, Benedict, radiates a welcome as warm as the sun with its light-filled, bright yellow-flecked interior and the smiles (recognizable even behind masks) of its owner, Leslie Elsen, and her friendly staff.... Read More >>

Traverse City's Hexenbelle

Feb. 13, 2021

One of Traverse City’s newest and most innovative restaurant/cafes, Hexenbelle, launched in November 2020, is the concept of Christian Geoghegan (head chef), Hanna Lane (head baker), and Heather Webber (head of the coffee/espresso program). The members of this young trio are alr... Read More >>

Fuel My Life

Jan. 30, 2021

The shopping, chopping, preparing, and portioning of mindfully nutritious food are perhaps some of the most daunting and time-consuming tasks in our daily efforts to eat and live healthfully. But what if you could get some of that time back? Time with your family and friends. Time for... Read More >>

Little Traverse Inn & Gastro Pub

Jan. 16, 2021

How often, especially in northwest Michigan, do you have the chance to sample both classic English pub fare and an array of authentic dishes from India — all in one place? Now picture yourself doing just that in a quaint, custom-built, private (and heated) dining “shanty&r... Read More >>

Chefs' Holiday Table

Dec. 5, 2020

One might imagine that professional chefs go all out for holiday meals at home with family, preparing all manner of elaborate festive fare, plated and garnished exquisitely. That’s not always the case, most say, but when they do cook on these occasions, what is more important to the... Read More >>

Farm Club

Oct. 31, 2020

To paraphrase the famous line from the 1989 film Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” That’s certainly what happened with the dream that Little Fleet’s Gary and Allison Jonas and Loma Farm’s Nic and Sara Theisen realized upon launching... Read More >>

Hopscotch Brick Oven & Taproom

Aug. 29, 2020

The menu is innovative, carefully curated and diverse. Yet there is no stove, grill, flat top, or fryer in the compact kitchen at Hopscotch. Head chef Justin Shafer and his crew cook everything in the restaurant’s double smoker or its 800-degree brick oven, with tantalizing resu... Read More >>


Aug. 15, 2020

Cynthia Henderson has been involved in the restaurant industry in one way or another since the age of 14, first in her native state of Florida, and as of 1999 in her adopted home of Leelanau County. After working for others for many years, she started the Bayside Grill in Northport and la... Read More >>

Small Batch at the Cupola

July 11, 2020

Adorning the Small Batch logo is a friendly-looking bee, wings outspread. It could be a symbol for Lauretta Reiss, creative director and owner of the restaurant, bakery, and catering service that falls under the Small Batch heading. Reiss is the essential heart and soul of the whole opera... Read More >>

The Tale of TC's Taste of India

Feb. 15, 2020

While its cuisine is exotic by Northern Michigan standards, Taste of India’s location — namely, the food court at Grand Traverse Mall — is quite the opposite. However, judging by the number of customers who line up daily at the ordering counter to feast on everything... Read More >>

Cook Up a New Valentine's Tradition

Feb. 8, 2020

Valentine’s Day is a time where we’re urged to splurge on fancy chocolates, an extravagant bouquet of flowers, dinner out at an elegant restaurant, and/or an appropriately embellished greeting card filled with sweet declarations of affection.
That said, it sur...

Tucker's of Northport

Feb. 1, 2020

It’s winter now, and the snow isn’t going away for a while. But you have choices: You can hibernate at home and wait for the thaw, or you can take advantage of all the fun things to do — and fun places to eat — during this quieter season in northern Michigan. O... Read More >>

Kingsley's Judson Market & Restaurant

Jan. 18, 2020

It’s not always easy to be the new kid on the block, but Judson Market & Restaurant, which debuted in Kingsley on Nov. 4, has been welcomed into the community with open arms. The ... Read More >>

The Thistle Pub & Grill

Dec. 21, 2019

On an early December morning, the outdoor temperature at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville registered 22 degrees (minus wind chill). Snowmaking machines on the slopes above Kinlochen Lodge roared like jet engines, spewing curtains of white powder on the natural base that had al... Read More >>

North Peak Brewing Company

Dec. 7, 2019

Located in a historic three-story yellow brick structure that has been a landmark in Traverse City since 1904, when it was built to house the Big Daylight Candy Factory. North Peak Brewing Company established its own place in the town’s history in 1997 when it opened as one of the t... Read More >>

Park Street Café

Nov. 30, 2019

Just in time for the holidays, this package could be exactly what you’ve been wishing for. Wrapped up right now in festive garland and lights, the cozy Park Street Café is a welcome oasis for gourmet coffee drinks and high-quality breakfast and lunch offerings – and... Read More >>

Right Brain Brewery's Naughty Girl Stout

Nov. 23, 2019

We are among those crazy (or not so crazy?) people who love the combination of chocolate and beer, who crave that play of rich and sweet against refreshing and bitter. And when it comes together in liquid form as a stout? Sign us up. But Right Brain Brewery’s Naughty Girl Stout (ABV... Read More >>

Harbor Springs' Willow

Nov. 23, 2019

Harbor Springs is the quintessence of a traditional Northern Michigan resort village. With its quaint downtown streets and shops, its sheltered harbor, and its stately “cottages” tucked away in wooded waterfront enclaves, it evokes a vintage Currier & Ives print. And i... Read More >>

Palette Bistro

Sept. 21, 2019

Opened just short of a decade ago in downtown Petoskey, Palette Bistro was recently named one of 2019’s “Top 9 Best Small Town Restaurants in Michigan” by the online magazine Only in Your State. That came as no surprise to the many full-time and seasonal residents of... Read More >>

The Riv is Back!

Sept. 14, 2019

Even the name conjures up cozy images: The Riverside Inn. And this historic inn and restaurant in Leland, housed in a classic Northern Michigan-style white clapboard “cottage,” delivers plenty of cozy, no matter the season. The banks of the winding Leland River outside its... Read More >>