Try these unique U.P. foods and eat like a local!

Posted on May 19th, 2020

Not all the adventures in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are breathtaking wilderness trails, gorgeous Great Lakes or its fascinating centuries upon centuries of backstory. Our regional cuisine tasting adventures can be some of the best parts of your visit. Try these U.P.-centric foods and you’ll be eating like a local in no time.

Pasty Photo credit: Andrew Rakowski

Pasties

Pasties (pronounced pass-tees) are an iconic U.P. meal. These savory meat pies were the original fast-food of copper miners and lumberjacks. Brought here from the mining region of Cornwell, England, U.P. wives would fill the rolled-out dough with leftover beef, potato, onion and rutabaga, fold the pastry in half, seal the edges and bake. Legend says the miners would take these golden pastries into the mines and re-heat them on a shovel over their lantern candles. Today, you can buy them steamy hot with a variety of fillings from these local shops. Don’t go back home without eating at least one!

Pasties in the UP

 

 

Thimbleberries Photo credit: Cutoffinthekeweenaw

Thimbleberries

These small, delicate berries grow wild in the U.P. and are widely sought after by locals and visitors. Their unique tart flavor, similar to raspberries and currants, makes the perfect jam and jelly to spread on muffins and toast. Pick up a jar of thimbleberry jam at any of these UP stores:

The Jam Lady, Eagle River

The Jampot, Eagle Harbor

Northwoods General Store & Coffeehouse, Wakefield

Thimbleberry Shoppe, Copper Harbor

The Wood’n Spoon, Mohawk

 

Whitefish Photo credit: Lia Wang

Great Lakes Whitefish

Some of the best tasting freshwater fish you will ever have is whitefish reeled in from the deep, cold waters of Lakes Michigan and Superior. With a firmer flesh and a more delicate flavor than fish caught from warmer waters, you will enjoy every tasty morsel baked, broiled or pan-fried at these locations. Also, check out the Fish Fries (typically on Fridays) — they are a U.P. tradition!

Brown Fisheries Fish House, Paradise

The Buck Inn, Escanaba

Carla’s Restaurant & Lake Shore Motel, Baraga

Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn Restaurant, Curtis

The Dock Grill and Bar, Garden

The Fish Basket, Munising

Fitzgerald’s, Eagle River

Freshwater Inn, Gladstone

Gunslingers Saloon, Sault Ste. Marie

Hudson’s Classic Grill, Marquette

Joey’s Seafood & Grill, Houghton

Log Cabin on the Bay, Gladstone

Nahma Inn, Nahma

Peterson’s Fish Market/4-Suns Fish & Chips Outdoor Cafe, Hancock

Quincy’s, Dollar Bay

Swallow Inn, Rapid River

Thills Fish House, Marquette

Up North Lodge, Gwinn

Wildwood Truckstop & Restaurant, Hermansville

 

Cudighi

This spicy Italian sausage originated in northern Italy, but many claim it’s an Ishpeming original. Check out Congress Pizza, Lawry’s Pasty Shop, Paisanos Pizza & Cudighi or Ralph’s Italian Deli, to find the best.

 

Trenary Toast Photo credit: Trenary Home Bakery

Trenary Toast

This twice-baked Swedish coffee bread known as Trenary Toast has been a U.P. favorite since 1928. Choose from a variety of flavors from plain to cinnamon to cardamon to vanilla or get a sampler pack. Dip it in a hot beverage or slather with a creamy topping such as butter or your favorite nut butter. All Trenary Toast comes in a brown bag and will keep for a year! Buy it right off the shelves at the Tenary Bakery (in Tenary) or one of the hundreds of locations in the U.P. and beyond.

 

Craft Beer Photo Credit: Aimee (@keweenawphd)

Craft Beer

You can’t talk U.P. food without mentioning craft beer. After all, Michigan is becoming one of the hottest brewery tour destinations in America and you’ll find that beer tastes better UP here! Pick your U.P. brewpub stops.

 

Which of these U.P. foods are you most curious about trying? Customize a “Taste of the U.P.”  itinerary and have fun discovering deliciousness along the way.

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