One of the most exciting things about traveling is trying new food places and hidden eats that you do not have back home. I have traveled all over the United States and I can confidently say some of my favorite cuisine comes from small lake towns (Two Harbors through Grand Marais) along Lake Superior’s Highway 61 of the North Shore. I adore all of the local, “mom and pop” shops that feature tasty, fresh food that is sustainable, fresh and one of a kind. This entry lists the best food places along the north shore that I have had the pleasure of trying. If you try anything from the list or add it to your itinerary, please let me know, take a selfie and tag me on Instagram @thetravelingwildflowerr . I would love to hear about your experience! Enjoy!

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  1. Betty’s Pies- Two Harbors
Welcome to the legendary Betty’s Pies!

Whether it’s welcoming you to the North Shore or sending you off to your safe travels home, Betty’s Pies is a MUST-HAVE place to try. Well-known to most Minnesotans, Betty’s Pies started off as a fishing shack off Highway 61 in 1957. Over time, this amazing place has turned from a fishing shack, to a cafe, to a lunch and dinner place with a lot of added seating options for guests. If we try Betty’s Pies on our drive back home, we usually order an entire pie to bring home with us. This has become a tradition because yes…it’s THAT good! Let us know what your favorite Betty’s Pie is in the comments section! Click the link below to explore pie options and the menu!

Click here for more information: Betty’s Pies

2. Vanilla Bean- Two Harbors and Duluth

Photo Credit: Vanilla Bean Facebook

Vanilla Bean has an eatery in Duluth and Two Harbors. We are familiar with the Two Harbors option, which features delicious Scandinavian and Norwegian brunch all day long. There is also the option to order online, request gluten-free options and explore their vegetarian options on the menu. Definitely a neat, cultural experience to add to your itinerary!

Click here to see the menu for Vanilla Bean.

3. Blackwoods Grill & Bar- Two Harbors and Duluth

Photo credit: Blackwoods Grill and Bar Facebook Page.

Our last trip to Grand Marais was during fall of 2021 (we are heading back June of 2022) and we were STARVING as we passed through Two Harbors. Blackwoods Grill and Bar caught our eye & seemed like a place we could eat A LOT considering it is a steakhouse. My kids had the Bulldog Bites and I had the unique Wisconsin cheese curds for appetizers. I tried Walleye caught from the Boundary Waters for my entree, my partner had Ribeye Steak and my kids had the Cavatappi pasta. They also have an extensive gluten-free menu. We enjoyed our experience here & it was right off Highway 61.

Click here to see the menu for Blackwoods Grill and Bar.

4. 5th Street Malt Shoppe- Two Harbors

Photo credit to Restarauntji.com

Has it been a long, hot drive and you are traveling with your kiddos, needing a pick-me-up? Try this adorable little mom and pop shop called 5th Street Malt Shoppe. It’s right off Highway 61 and interestingly enough, right next to Dairy Queen. As a traveler, my advice is to forgo any food chains or options you have at home and try something new. There menu expands across different ice cream flavors, sundaes, cones, floats and malts.

Click here to view 5th Street Malt Shoppe’s menu.

5. Cove Point Crossings- Silver Bay

Photo credit to Cove Point Crossing’s Facebook.

Are you approaching Beaver Bay and hungry or needing to refuel after visiting Black Beach in Silver Bay? Visit the kid-friendly Cove Point Crossings for some delicious appetizers (jalapeno cheese curds!), burgers, sandwiches and pizzas!

Are you feeling in a hurry to get to your cabin? You have plenty of options for which take and bake pizza at Cove Point Crossings you want to bring to cook at your destination. Better than Papa Murphy’s take and bake!

Click here to view Cove Point Crossings menu.

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6. Schroeder Baking Company- Schroeder

My coffee stop for the trip to Grand Marais through Highway 61.

Schroeder’s Baking Company is the perfect stop for breakfast or lunch. Their pastries are baked fresh daily and you can pick up a pizza ready to go or call ahead to order a take and bake pizza. There is also the option to call and order your lunch ahead of time to have ready to go on your next outdoor adventure. This is a feature we like to use on our trip as we are usually hiking or exploring the outdoors. Their to-go options make a picnic by the lake easy- especially when you have kids!

View baked goods and the rest of Schroeder’s Baking Company menu here.

7. Coho Cafe & Bakery- Schroeder

Photo credit: NorthShoreVisitor.com

Whether you are wanting a quick cup of coffee, lunch on the go before a kayaking or hiking expedition or wanting to take the family out for dinner, Coho Bakery and Cafe has it all. They feature award winning pizzas and homemade bread. The view by Lake Superior and outdoor seating makes it a lovely stop no matter which way you are driving.

Enjoy the Coho Cafe & Bakery treats here!

8. Bluefin Grill- Tofte

Photo Credit: Blue Fin Bay Facebook

Bluefin Grill in Tofte is spectacular for the endless waterfront view and the wonderful, chef crafted meal. My partner and I wanted a night out to somewhere fancy, just the two of us. We chose Bluefin Grill for supper and were greeted by a wonderful lakefront view and a meal of salmon canapes (appetizer), Shrimp and Scallop Papparadelle (entree), caprese chicken sandwich and wine.

Click here to see what’s on the menu or to make a reservation!

9. Cascade Restaurant & Pub- Lutsen

Photo credit: Cascadelodgemn.com

When planning a road trip through Highway 61, Cascade Restaurant pairs perfectly if you are wanting to hike at the Cascade River State Park (one of my favorite hikes along the North Shore). In fact, it is walking distance from a couple of the trails that come up from under the bridge by the restaurant. They feature local fresh vegetables, fruit, fish and meat in all of their dishes. There is also a pub with craft drink specials to enjoy across from Lake Superior. Check out the full menu below!

View the full menu here!

10. Angry Trout- Grand Marais

When I travel solo or with my family, I try to choose new food options every time. Usually, we do this in Grand Marais. However, I do have a few exceptions-and Angry Trout is one of them. Besides the stunning location of being a restaurant offering guests the experience of dining indoor or outdoors on a floating dock looking out into the endless lake, the food is fresh, with fish coming in from the dock behind the store. The vibe of the restaurant is welcoming and authentic. There are also chairs set up on the harbor’s beach area so guests can eat on the beach by Angry Trout. I like to take a blanket here, lay it down and have a picnic with my kids.

I am a seafood fan, so Fish of the Day Chowder is my go to. They also have delicious Fried Shiitake Mushrooms and oysters as appetizers. I also love their fish and chips as well as their Fish of the Day Sandwich. If you go to Angry Trout, make sure to comment on this post what your favorite food was!

View the full menu here!

11. Hungry Hippie Tacos- Grand Marais and Duluth

Hungry Hippie Tacos is so successful, they are opening a second location in Duluth, Minnesota! I was in love with the interior of the restaurant. They definitely made me feel like I was not in Minnesota anymore. And their tacos? Oh. My. Goodness. Nothing compares. Truly, eating foods that are fresh and organic taste different and you feel different after consuming it. This is a perfect example of farm to table cuisine.

The special thing about Hunger Hippie Tacos is not only does the ingredients come from their farm, but they also have lodging options too! Make sure to check out the link under the picture.

Check out the full menu here!

12. Java Moose- Grand Marais

Java Moose overlooks Grand Marais harbor.

Remember I said there are some exceptions I make in Grand Marais when it comes to places I visit every time? Java Moose is also a place that makes it on my itinerary Every. Single. Time. I am obsessed with the Maple Latte made from local maple syrup. They also have great breakfast sandwiches and smoothies (my kids love this). My favorite thing to do is grab some coffee and walk across the street to the downtown Grand Marais harbor, taking in the beautiful views.

View the full menu here!

13. My Sister’s Place- Grand Marais

Photo Credit: MySistersPlaceRestaraunt.com

If you are looking for a unique dining experience, My Sister’s Place has been serving weary travelers since 1998. They have amazing burgers, pizza and fresh fish. You can also order online if needed. Travelers should note that they are closed on Mondays an Sundays.

View the full menu here!

14. The Fisherman’s Daughter at Dockside Fish Market- Grand Marais

Photo credit: The Fisherman’s Daughter Facebook and Instagram: @thefishermansdaughtergm

Are you wanting more than a dining experience? The Fisherman’s Daughter at Dockside Fish and Market offers a market place, deli and kitchen open Wednesday to Saturday. They have been providing a dock to table experience for years and give you the gift of access fresh, wild caught fish from Lake Superior. It doesn’t get more dock-to-table than this!

View the full menu here!

15. World’s Best Donuts- Grand Marais

Once again, I talked about places in Grand Marais we have to go to every time. Well, I urge you to try World’s Best Donuts & tell me you wouldn’t do the same thing! Their donuts are made fresh, daily. You are able to watch them prepare the donuts behind the counter. We like to bring our donuts with us to the Lake Shore and snack while we take in the views. I encourage you to go to World’s Best Donuts early in the morning to avoid the line. You can also order ahead of time, just know that you must order 24 hours in advance.

View the full menu here!

16. Sydney’s Frozen Custard (and pizza!)- Grand Marais

Pizza or ice cream? How about both? Sydney’s Custard & Pizza shop has you covered!

Located right by the entrance to walk the break wall to the harbor’s light house, Sydney’s Frozen Custard offers supper options for the family such as pizza, pitas, sandwiches salads and Chicago dogs. If you are wanting to swing by for an ice cream treat, you will be greeted by an extensive menu of options. Click the link below to see what options you have!

Explore the Sydney’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Frozen Custard menu here!

17. Voyager Brewing Company- Grand Marais

Photo Credit to Voyageur Brewing Company Facebook page.

Whether you want to enjoy the Lake Superior view from the taproom or rooftop, Voyager Brewing Company offers both with a nice cold beer to keep you company. Not only is there a variety of beers to sample, but delicious appetizers to go with it all.

View the full menu here!

18. Blue Water Cafe- Grand Marais

Photo credit to Blue Water Cafe Facebook page.

Blue Water cafe is a quiet little breakfast cafe with a large menu providing many options to pick from. Located in the heart of downtown Grand Marais, this family-friendly restaurant has become a place my children love to go during our stay up North. It is also right by the beach area of the harbor.

View the full breakfast menu here!

19. North Shore Winery- Grand Marais

Photo credit to NorthShoreWinery.US

Enjoy four tasting flights accompanied by appetizers, take a Wine 101 tour of the vineyard or bring a group of friends to experience the North Shore Winery. They also have the “Wine & Truffle tasting where you can pair the infamous Gunflint Trail chocolates with a delicious wine of your choice. Please note that they are closed on Wednesdays.

View your options to schedule your wine experience here!

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20. Mocha Moose- Two Harbors

If you are driving to the North Shore, you are missing A LOT if you do not take the scenic, Old Highway 61. Not only is the drive beautiful, but it’s littered with pop up gift shops (in the summer), small restaurants and cafes, and gift shops. Best of all- you won’t be back tracking at all because the old highway runs right along side the new one. If you are traveling North bound, you will see a turn right as you leave Duluth to the right labeled Scenic Drive, Old Highway 61. Take this and drive it until the end (by Two Harbors), where it merges back with the new Highway 61.

Our favorite stop was Mocha Moose. They have a lot of coffee options that are completely different from other places and a small, but delicious food menu. What makes this place unique is it is set up for you to take your time. They have tons of games, a piano and wonderful books to read. They also sell local art and goods in the coffee shop. I felt like I was in someone’s home when I was there- but it was such a welcoming feeling. There is also a patio on the side with a wildflower garden. This is going to become a staple stop for us during our future North Shore vacations.

For more information about Mocha Moose, click here!

Places We Want to Try:

  • The Rustic Inn in Castle Danger
  • Lemon Wolf Cafe in Beaver Bay
  • Tracks N Racks- Beaver Bay
  • Trestle Inn Restaurant & Saloon- Finland
  • And more to add!

Planning your trip to Minnesota’s North Shore along Lake Superior? Build your itinerary and plan your trip with these following posts!

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Are you interested in other vacations with a waterfront view? Check out the following posts featuring our trip to Gualala, California and Lake Pepin, Wisconsin!

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