Central U.P.- Proof I will turn any vacation into a food destination.

In my dreams, all my vacations are abroad and filled with luxurious amenities and food. Unfortunately, that’s neither practical or economical. To scratch our travel itch, in the summer, we try to explore places that aren’t too far from home. In recent years, a lot of those trips have focused around the Great Lakes. There are so many unique, picturesque places to explore on the lakes. That’s what brought us to the central part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this summer. I was a little bummed I wouldn’t be able to experience the foodie adventures that I look for in most of our trips. But luckily, upon further research, I was able to find some really interesting and fun food finds. Here were my favorite:

🍴Seriously delicious burgers from the adorably vintage Mickey-Lu-Bar-B-Q. Although, technically not in the U.P. it is right on the border in Marinette, WI. We enjoyed their really tasty charbroiled burgers. Even though they are on the small side, one was still plenty for each of us. We also had shared a butterscotch shake. Felt like me and my husband were on a date in the 1950’s!

🍴Hearty breakfast at Swedish Pantry. Escanaba, Michigan of Swedish pancakes and meatballs. Swedish pancakes are richer than regular pancakes, using more egg and butter. I want to try to make them at home! And let’s face it,who doesn’t like breakfast meatballs!

🍴Trenary Toast Cafe! Trenary toast is a U.P. food favorite, it’s a twice baked Finnish coffee bread. I had read about these little crunchies and had to give them a try. I was excited to see they also had a café in Marquette. They had some really fun open faced breakfast and lunch sandwiches served on finnish limpu bread. My husband got a avocado toast that he really enjoyed. I had the Squeaky Cheese, which was a leipäjuusto cheese (Finnish squeaky cheese) served on toast with cloudberry preserves. It was a unique and delicious find!

🍴We got to try two more U.P. foods at Lawry’s Pasty Shop, Inc. The pasty and the cudighi! Pasties are meat hand pie that was brought to the U.P by Cornish immigrants, who came to work the mines. It’s stuffed with beef and root vegetables (usually potatoes and rutabaga). It was a warm, comforting and filling treat! The cudighi is an Italian sausage sandwich using spices you would find in Scandinavian mulled wine. It’s a messy, gooey sandwich that was unique and delicious. Another one I want to try making at home!

I hope you are able to try some of these places if you are ever in the area. We only were able to explore the central U.P. during this trip. I’m sure there are many other hidden gems in the western U.P and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Would love to hear from others 🙂

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