Pasties - The Best Ones

The U.P.’s Finnish immigrants followed the Cornish Miners traditions and adopted the pasty for use in the Copper Country mines. It became a staple food for hungry people spending long days in the outdoors. Today there are many variations of pasties, some better than others. Don’t assume if you’ve had one then you’ve had them all. I prefer a fresh pastie, never frozen, still warm and ready to eat out of a paper bag. The best ones don’t need ketchup or hot sauce to spruce them up. I’ve had many over the years, but only recently began ranking them, with my favorite being a 10. Each time traveling through the Yoop I’ll be sure to try a few more and share my findings. So far Muldoon’s in Munising takes my top thumbs up!!

Muldoon’s have jumped into first place as my favorite U.P. Pastie. They are located on the West side of Munising, made fresh daily in a small house. The pastie is fantastic, setting is perfect, you can eat them there or take to the road. The crust is tasty, and not overwhelming. It comes individually wrapped in a paper bag, warm and ready to enjoy!

Muldoon's in Munising - 906-387-5880

There’s a little Diner off M-28 in Autrain that makes my second favorite pastie. I usually buy them from the gas station across the street from the diner. They are fresh and warm on the counter wrapped in waxed paper. They don’t need ketchup, gravy or anything else. Just open them up and eat them the way the lumberjacks did decades ago. Crust is thinner and not as flaky.

AuTrain - 906-892-8131

Naubinway is one of those blink and you’ll miss it towns along U.S. 2 about 45 minutes West of the Mackinac Bridge. If you’re hungry and ready for a meal, these pasties are very good. The dough is more on the pie-like side. It’s flaky and thicker. You might want a beverage handy to help wash it down.  The pastie is filling and quite delicious. 

Hiawatha Pasties in Naubinway - 906-477-1148

Lehto's Pasties on US2 about 10 minutes west of St. Ignance. They are VERY good pasties. A number of the pastie shops near St. Ignance have frozen pasties they heat up for you when you ask for it. I've never had that at Lehto's. Fresh out of the oven served in a paper bag just like they should be. 

Co-Op Grocery

This is one of the coolest little grocery stores around! It reminds me of a miniature Whole Foods, but carrying just the freshest stuff and locally grown foods when in season. I bought some of the best shitake mushrooms I’ve ever had, and the sign on the display told me the short 7 miles they traveled to get there. This store is a true gem of a place in Marquette.

502 W Washington St, Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 225-0671

Jilbert's Ice Cream

Look for the big cow at Jilbert’s store in Marquette to experience ice cream straight from the source. But Jilbert’s Ice Cream can be found throughout the entire U.P. While traveling out of the U.P. we stopped for gas and got ice cream below the bridge. It wasn’t anywhere near the same. If you’re in the mood for Ice Cream, you can’t do wrong with Jilbert’s.

Located anywhere great ice cream is served

Clydes Drive In

While it might not be the healthiest food, if you love burgers and the classic drive in diner, then this is the spot. Feeling especially hungry? Then order the colossal Big C. The patty’s are made right there in front of you, not taken out a box frozen and already round. Believe me, there’s a difference!

St. Ignance and Manistique - 906-341-6021 (mstq) 643-8303 (St. Ig)

The Rice Paddy

Order your food about an hour in advance, and Aoy will serve you some of the best genuine Thai food you’ve ever had. She finishes it just before you arrive, so your experience is the best it can be. 

Not only is the food fantastic, but she’s an incredible lady. Each year Aoy travels back to Thailand to help children. She brings profits and her tip money to nourish and clothe young kids for the entire year.

Marquette - 906-225-0368 - 1720 Presque Isle Ave, 49855

Gustafson's Smoked Fish & Jerky

It might look like any old gas station, but you’d be wrong to pass up this gem. Tom Gustafson has my favorite smoked fish in the entire state. I am always filling orders to take a cooler full back downstate. Some like the salmon best, I tend to prefer the whitefish. My boys and I love the sausage sticks. I get the spicy one. There’s plenty of other fun stuff in the store as well; furs, U.P. artifacts, local syrup and jams.

Brevort - 906-292-5424 - 4467 US2,  49760

Johnny Dogs

Downstate we get one kind of hotdog, a Coney Dog. As good as they are, aren’t you ready for a bit of variety? Located near the fire station in downtown Munising, this spot is quickly becoming a local favorite. Grab a burger (never frozen) or a couple of dogs and enjoy them at the harbor.

Munising - 906-387-1300 - 106 Lynn St. Munising 49862

Sydney's Restaurant

A definite spot for me to stop at when in town or traveling on an empty stomach. Peggy runs the restaurant and takes pride in what she does. When you get a fish fry it’s not cod that was battered and shipped halfway around the world. It’s whitefish that probably came out of Lake Superior that morning still fresh and flapping.

Munising - 906-387-4067 - 400 Cedar St. Munising 49862