Bravo! After undergoing extensive (and expensive) renovations, Donckers Old Time Fudge shoppe is now an ice cream and sandwich shoppe as well. The new owners have poured a penny or two into restoring this place to its early 20th century look, with a marble-top ice cream counter, traditional pumps for syrup and soda, and real milkshake machines. Upstairs there is a sandwich counter with a large and comfortable seating area. It's great to see these old-time places flourishing - Donckers is a welcome addition to our lunch and snacking options!
A local couple, who we met in Marquette last time we were docked in the harbor, highly recommended The Coffee Cup to us. This building, once an automobile showroom, has been tastefully redone and turned into a family business, which has become a popular breakfast and lunch café with the locals. The Coffee Cup serves such things as Café Moka, a mixture of expresso, cocoa, and whip cream; yogurt parfaits, crumb cake with whip cream, cinnamon rolls, pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, and a variety of other sweet rolls. We were also told that you purchase a very good light lunch of home made soups and wraps at The Coffee Cup. We never got over there to try the lunch, be we did have a breakfast here. I had a blueberry crumb cake, which was tasty, and of great quality, but very sweet. My husband also said that his choice was very sweet. Compared to the scones we had at Baby Cakes, we found our breakfast to be sweeter than we normally like. So, if you have a sweet tooth, and want to hang out with the locals, this is definitely the choice for you. Their motto is, Sit long and Drinks lots!, and I must say that there seemed to be a number of locals lingering over their coffee and bakery item.
Chocolay, it sounds like it is full of Chocolate items, but the name has nothing to do with Chocolate. There is a Chocolay River (the restaurant isn’t on it) in the Marquette area, and a number of things, including a golf course and a quary are named Chocolay. The Cafe is open from 6:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Monday – Saturday, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at reasonable prices. In fact, you can get breakfast at any time of the day if you wish. Their bakery items are made from scratch, as are their soups, chili, and pot roasts. For breakfast you can choose from such items as eggs, breakfast sandwichs or wraps, pancakes, French toast, and oatmeal. A few of the possible lunch choices are salads, grilled chicken, sandwiches and wraps, two styles of hamburgers, steak burger, rib-eye sandwich, pasties ( a traditional U.P. food), soups, and a tuna salad sandwich. For dinner you might enjoy the pot roast, chicken breast entries, steak, ham, or shrimp. Chocolay also features fresh baked breads, muffins, and brownies.
It's a Euro-cafe by day, stylin' and "scene-ish" bar at night: L'Attitude. Newly opened in December 2007, this place has swiftly established itself as a local favorite. At lunch, try out the generously portioned salads or the scrumptious pot pie. For dinner, L'attitude serves smaller plates that are tasty such as a plate of California rolls or Shrimp Scampi. The design and layout of the cafe is excellent: this used to be the ground floor of a warehouse, and before that, the waiting room for a commuter train! Exposed brick and original tiled flooring are complemented by soft-toned woods. And enormous picture windows look out over Elwood Mattson Park and Lake Superior!
Babycakes is the muffin bakery of choice in the upper peninsula. The location is great - right across the street from the Federal Court House and Post Office. Babycakes has excellent service, good coffee, and a warm interior. At lunchtime, Babycakes serves very good soups and salads.
Favorite Dish: Muffins: Almond poppyseed and Banana Chocolate Chip;
Soups: African Sweet Potato and Broccoli Cheese
So far everyone I know is very impressed with the new Cajun/Creole place that opened in spring 2006. Myself included - if they keep up the quality, this will certainly become a staple of the U.P. dining scene. The food is quite good, the service attentive, and the atmosphere is charming in its own way.
Lagniappe - a creole word - is located in the basement of the "Matrix" nightclub in downtown Marquette. There was an Italian/pizza place here in the 1970s and 80s, but for the last 20 years the space was vacant. Recently, however, the young owner of the nightclub entered into a business venture with a local restauranteur, and the results seem very promising.
The large menu features favorites from the Gulf Coast, and the portion sizes seem to be enormous. Monday nights the restaurant features Louisiana-style music.
Notice: Lagniappe is open Monday through Friday, and is closed on the weekends. That's the way the owner-chef likes it. So be it!
1950s Americana - and not in a museum, but on the main street of our small town. This is a place that really deserves to be in the formica hall of fame! When I see people wandering around downtown Marquette in the morning, looking for an inexpensive place for breakfast, I direct them to the Coachlight. Yes we do have a Perkins out on the highway, but why support corporate restauranting when you can go to a place where the waitress will call you "honey". NOTE FOR OLD-TIMERS: The Coachlight has voluntarily gone completely no-smoking. Yes, the times they are a-changing.
The Upfront and Company restaurant serves lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 2:00A.M. In the summer it is also open on Mondays, 11:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. The late hour is due to the fact that this restaurant also operates as a nightclub. For lunch you can find appetizers such as Hot Crab Dip, Nachos Grande, Calamari, Quesadillas, and a Sampler Platter of various vegetables and chicken. Further lunch offerings are salads, soups, sandwiches, wood fired pizzas, calzones, and other entrees such as salmon, pork chops, shrimp, and ravioli. Dinners include many of the same items, plus more entrée choices including steaks. On Friday nights Upfront features a Fish Fay with your choice of Cajun Whitefish, Fried Perch, Fried Cod, or Baked Cod. No personal checks are accepted at Upfront, but you can use a variety of charge cards, and of course cash is always accepted.
We ate here as it came highly recommended by friends, whose culinary tastes I trust. I have to say, however that both my husband and I found it very average. I had Coconut Shrimp, and in all fairness I have to say the quality of the shrimp was good, and the panco breading wasn’t too heavy. It didn’t, however, have much of a coconut flavor. I tend to compare Coconut Shrimp with my all time favorite, the Coconut Shrimp served up in the Florida Everglades, and my husband’s, who developed an excellent recipe. Upfront wasn’t as good as either. This restaurant seems to be quite popular, however, so maybe I just got the wrong item off the menu.
When we were at the marina in 1999, it was recommended that we eat at the Vierling Restaurant, which was an easy walk from the marina. This restaurant has an antique bar, and stained glass windows and is housed in a restored l883 saloon and contains a microbrewery. We ate here twice during our stay, and although it came highly recommended from more than one local sailor we found that some items were outstanding, while others were not very good. The shrimp and whitefish were excellent, and the salad dressing was very good. The beef and soup, however, were poor. To be fair, I must say that EVERYONE who recommended this restaurant said to get the whitefish, which is their specialty. There were about five different choices of whitefish on the menu. I had an outstanding Whitefish Almandine, which had a bourbon white sauce, white mushrooms, and was topped with almonds. My husband had Cajon shrimp, which he said was also excellent. The first time we went, however, my husband was in the mood for a steak and I wanted the prime rib---we should have listened to our fellow sailor’s fish recommendation, as the meal wasn't very good. Since then, I have also had a friend say they didn't like the chicken meal they had at the Vierling, as it was dry. Be aware that the Vierling is closed on major holidays and Sundays.
Favorite Dish: Get the fish, or get shrimp. If you want anything else, choose another restaurant.
Some friends of ours who have a summer cottage near Marquette just love “Babycakes”. We have occasionally treated ourselves to a breakfast of sweet rolls at Babycakes, and found it quite good. Established in 1988, they advertise that they have sold over a million muffins. This is a bakery with a few tables where you may enjoy a breakfast or lunch. Babycakes offers brownies, breads, muffins, and other baked goods, as well as specialty coffees and teas, a soup-of-the day, and some sandwiches. So, if you are in the mood for a bakery treat for breakfast, or a light lunch, hang out with the locals at Babycakes.
These dogs have got the snap. You know...that perfect bite that a great hotdog has! It can be hard to find, but when you do find it, you appreciate it.
My husband and I have come here several times: the dogs rock! Their Chicago Dog is spot-on, down to the poppyseed buns and even the celery salt; The Detroit Style Coney Dog is just as you'd suspect: messy, cheesy, coney goodness; but watch those Kraut Dogs...make sure the kraut is nice and fresh (apparently, they're not that popular up this way). The onion rings & fries are perfect! Surprisingly - there's a couple of salads and some Greek specialties on the menu as well (not to mention sliders and chicken sliders). Plus, if you can't get out to get them, they'll deliver to you!
Favorite Dish: It's all good - love it!
A new restaurant venture by Terry Doyle, proprietor of the successful Vierling Restaurant. The Union Grill specializes in soups, salads and sandwiches. You place your order at the counter, the food is prepared fresh, and then brought to your table - it's part fast-food, part sit-down restaurant. The Union Grill specializes in barbecue, with its own smoker on the premises.
The restaurant sells beer and wine as well as soft drinks and really good iced tea.
Favorite Dish: I like the barbecue chicken and pork sandwiches. The soups are always good as well.
A good variety of Szechuan/Hunan favorites, more attention being paid to individual dishes than at some of the other Chinese places in town. Mild to Spicy, and they can make any entree as hot or not as you wish. I like to order around the menu, but I always come back to the Kung Pao Chicken.
Lunch is a good deal here. They have those lunch specials where you get egg drop or sweet and sour soup, two of those Crab Rangoon things, and a decent entree for about seven dollars. Dinners are a little, but still good value.
The Rubaiyat features Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern style foods. I have not eaten in many Middle Eastern restaurants, and I found the different flavors and combinations of food delicious and interesting. There are even some interesting beverages to choose from such as the Ruby Pomegranate Spritzer, which is delicious, and Basil Lemonade. Or try Masala Iced Tea, which is a sweetened black tea, cinnamon, cloves, and fruit juice. The menu includes appetizers, salads, full dinners, variety platters, sandwiches, and wraps. There is also a children’s menu that will give your child a choice of more common foods that he or she is use to eating, in the event that they do not wish to try something more unusual.
Favorite Dish: I haven’t eaten here enough times to pick a favorite entrée, however I absolutely love the Ruby Mixed Salad. This is a combination of mixed greens topped with Gorgonzola, strawberries, red onions, caramelized pecans, and pomegranate vinaigrette. Although you will find this listed under salads on the menu, when you order a dinner, you can choose this as your side salad. For appetizers I love the Briouats, which is deep-fried Moroccan pastry filled with ground lamb, pine nuts, and spices served with a spicy roasted red pepper dipping sauce. I enjoyed the Balti Shrimp last time I was there. This shrimp is simmered in a spicy coconut, tomato, and chili curry sauce and served over basmati rice.
Open for lunch and dinner, Elizabeth’s Chop House is the place to go for that special meal. This restaurant is run by Certified Executive Chef Tom Wahlstrom and his wife Elizabeth, with the Chop House offering a fine dining experience with fresh seafood and steaks. You will also find pork chops, lamb chops, and chicken breast. For your salads, you will find a variety of in house made dressings. The presentation of the food is beautiful, and the quality is excellent. With Prime grade beef you can be sure that that your steaks will be excellent. Their prime rib is slow cooked in the traditional manner, and is outstanding. Go early if you are a prime rib fan, as it is available only as long as that day’s quantities last. If you love decant desserts, Elizabeth’s has some wonderful choices to choose from. Be aware, however, dessert cake portions are huge, so you may wish to get one cake with two forks if your appetite is not up to a large dessert.
The lunch menu offers appetizers found on the dinner menu, as well as some of the entrées and salads found on the dinner menu, along with sandwiches and burgers.
During warm weather you have the opportunity to dine outside on their back deck with a view of the lower Lake Superior Harbor.
Elizabeth’s is open Monday through Saturday 11AM to 10PM., and since there is no dress code, you do not have to worry about if you have brought appropriate clothing to dine at Elizabeth’s Chop House.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dinner is the slow cooked prime rib. For desert I like to share a moist, delicious carrot cake with my husband, or Crème Brulee, one of my all time favorite desserts.