Anne Erickson


Michigan has some fantastic locally-owned restaurants. It goes without saying that we are tops when it comes to cuisine. So, what are the top-rated restaurants in each of Michigan’s biggest cities?

Yelp has fresh reviews up, and we’ve scoured the site to find the No. 1 rated Michigan restaurants in 10 of the state’s largest cities. Yelp, of course, is a place where local people can go and rate their favorite, and not-so-favorite, restaurants. Since it’s user-based and crowd-sourced, Yelp is pretty reliable when it comes to finding a good restaurant. I’ve found some diamonds by going through Yelp reviews.

It’s worth noting that restaurants have to be very good to get on this list. Michigan has around 17,000 licensed restaurants, according to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association. So, whittling it down to the top 10 was a task.

Read on for the full list of 10 of the best restaurants in Michigan according to Yelp reviews, one for each major city. Have you tried any of these? Most of them, I admit, I haven’t visited, but I’m determined to do so this year. Some of these dishes look so delicious, so look at this list as a guideline for trying some new favorite eating establishments this year.

  • BARDA Detroit - Detroit

    The highest-rated restaurant on Yelp in Detroit is BARDA Detroit. Their description on Yelp says, “BARDA Detroit is the first and only authentic Argentinian-inspired Restaurant in Detroit. Using ancestral methods of Patagonian cooking, BARDA’s open fire is the very soul of the restaurant’s dining experience. BARDA specializes in simple yet bold dishes, combining techniques and ingredients that reach far across vast geographical terrains.”

  • One Twenty Three Tavern - Grand Rapids

    Their description on Yelp says, “Comfort food available for takeout or delivery. Featuring daily specials, incredible burgers, and meatloaf that’ll rival your mother’s. You can find us on Uber Eats or call 616-900-9123 for pick-up.”

  • 501 Bar and Grill - Flint

    Their description on Yelp says, “Art Deco. Modernistic. Inviting with stylish sophistication and flair. 501 offers a unique menu delivering an array of tastes, including full-sized entrees and an assortment of small plates that are perfect for sharing amongst friends. Our full-service bar boasts plenty of craft beer on draught, a variety of fine wines, and carefully crafted cocktails.”

  • The Ocean Crab - Lansing

    Their description on Yelp says, “Juicy seafood never tasted so delicious.”

    Posted by The ocean crab on Saturday, October 22, 2022
  • The Filling Station Microbrewery - Traverse City

    Their description on Yelp says, “The Filling Station Microbrewery specializes in wood fired flatbreads and hand-crafted microbrews. Both our flatbreads and microbrews use the freshest ingredients available. We brew using both a 10 bbl and a 3 bbl brewing system. This allows us the freedom to create small batches of craft beer, in a variety of styles.”

  • Rare Earth Goods and Cafe - Marquette

    “This is an art co op and natural food store. Classes hosted to learn all types of crafts. Open mic,” according to their official Facebook page. They got great Yelp reviews!

    Rare Earth Goods & Café

    Natural Foods & Art Gallery

  • The BoardRoom - Saginaw

    Their description on Yelp says, “Bistro in Historic downtown Riverfront Saginaw featuring an upscale seasonal menu; curated wine, beer, and cocktails lists; and beautiful indoor and patio dining spaces.”

  • Union Rec - Ann Arbor

    Their website states, “From the moment the baristas unlock the doors for coffee and pastries, through service when the kitchen crew is crafting comfort food from three Americas (North, Central and South, to be precise) straight to the moment the bartenders turn off the TVs and lock the doors; this is game for anything. This joint was built to be fun like the upper bunk… where the stories and snickers from the fellow campers mean that sleep is the last thing on your mind… and the counselors are dedicated to making sure you’re having a time of it. It’s like that: a bit throwback and a bit forward at the same time. And it’s right at home here on Main Street between the Big House and downtown in Ann Arbor.”

  • Carlisle's - Muskegon

    Their website states, “Carlisle’s in downtown Muskegon offers your favorite classic gastropub dishes that tailor’s to any of your leisurely occasions. Take part in our good eats, our fun food and drink specials, live sports and fun entertainment, all in our warm, welcoming atmosphere. Kick back with family and friends before heading off to one of our many downtown happenings. Or, stay a while and enjoy the Carlisle’s experience.”

  • Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn - Mackinac Island

    Their description on Yelp says, “Welcome to our kitchen! A Mackinac Island tradition continues on, serving up traditional American fare with Jamaican influences. Enjoy renowned planked whitefish from the Straits of Mackinac alongside scratch-made dishes with vibes of the Islands.”

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