The Hottest Glen Arbor Restaurants in 2023

The Hottest Glen Arbor Restaurants in 2023

Discovering all that Glen Arbor has to offer is best done with guidance from a local professional like Robin Vilter, who knows the ins and outs of the town’s surrounding dunes, charming downtown, and great food scene. From fresh seafood to Italian cuisine and traditional American dishes, this town has it all. When visiting Glen Arbor or considering making the move to this small-town nature haven, check out the hottest restaurants in 2023 listed below.   


5705 South Lake Street, Glen Arbor, MI

With one of the most scenic dining views, Blu in Glen Arbor is perfectly positioned next to Sleeping Bear Bay and the Manitou Islands. The location itself is enough to make this restaurant one of the hottest in the upcoming year, although it’s the stellar cuisine that keeps diners visiting. This modern fine dining spot uses local ingredients and European techniques in its daily changing menus that highlight the product. Visitors also love the award-winning wine program offering tasteful pairings to dynamic dishes.

Diners visiting Wednesday through Saturday for dinner can enjoy appetizers like blue crab puffs, a light starter with sambal sweet and sour flavors. Entrees include the rack of lamb, with a green tomato jam and garlic confit, as well as a veal tenderloin with scallopini, artichoke, and polenta for a range of rich and hearty flavors. Indulge at the end of the meal with the dark chocolate mocha cake, made with ganache and served with creamy chocolate gelato.

Art’s Tavern

6487 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor, MI

On the other end of the dining scene, Art’s Tavern is one of the hottest Glen Arbor restaurants for its big personality and local drawing. Open every day of the week, Art’s first opened in 1934 and has served as a gathering place for the town ever since. Guests can enjoy a meal indoors surrounded by college football flags, play a game of pool when it isn’t in underground storage, or eat lunch and dinner on the back patio, which is festively lit at night.

Wake up early for breakfast specials named after town landmarks. The Sleeping Bear provides a traditional morning meal spread, while Lake Michigan’s malted pancakes pair well with the Irish coffee or the Café Skrewed, a rumchata cold brew. The lunch and dinner feature familiar favorites, with some of the best burgers, sandwiches, and chili in town. Don’t forget to check out their selection of local brews.

Cherry Public House

6026 South Lake Street, Glen Arbor, MI

Cherry Public House is another popular restaurant with locals in the area. To get to the restaurant, visitors must walk through the perennial gardens, following the crooked flagstone path lined with birch-tree logs. When indoor seating is scarce, outdoor patio dining is a great alternative providing stunning nature views. Guests can also stop by the Great Hall and The Winery on the way into the restaurant. True to its name, this spot has many cherry-inspired dishes and drinks to try in its rustic, cabin-esque venue.

To start off a meal, share a cherry sample platter with a mix of fruit-inspired creations like the cherry summer sausage, the cherry artisan mustard, and the spiced cherry preserves. Warm up with a house-made chili or try out the comfort food special that changes weekly. Generous burger options like the cherry bacon marmalade burger are savory delights, while the cherry emphasis shines in dessert options like the house-made ice cream and pies.

Good Harbor Grill

6584 Western Avenue, Glen Arbor, MI

One of the best Glen Arbor restaurants to visit in the summer, Good Harbor Grill’s blue exterior, nestled in overgrown flora, naturally exudes a quaint, small-town environment inviting guests in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Surrounded by the nautically themed décor, diners can count on dishes created with fresh, local ingredients. Enjoy a meal out on the spacious covered front porch, boxed in with annual blooms, or sit at a wooden table in the warm-toned interior.

For breakfast, fuel up with a fluffy Greek omelet with spinach, olives, and feta, or satisfy a morning sweet tooth with cinnamon French toast and strawberries. Lunch offers a range of filling sandwiches, salads, chilis, and wraps, while dinner sweeps the table with its meat and fish entrees. When in season, guests can order the Italian parmesan-encrusted walleye. Or try the Thai barbeque braised short rib, the strong savory flavors balanced out with tangy pickled veggies and rice.

Trattoria Funistrada

4566 West MacFarlane Road, Maple City, MI

Located only a few minutes from Glen Arbor, Trattoria Funistrada is the best place in town for authentic Italian cuisine. This restaurant’s elegant interior design offers neighborhood dining in a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. Sit along a cushioned leather booth with the whole family or reserve a table out on the front porch for surrounding views of the towering trees that commonly dot Glen Arbor, MI real estate. Whether out with the family, looking for a new date night spot, or interested in a great meal, this restaurant has you covered.

Longstanding appetizers like the mussels steamed with garlic and basil are featured alongside seasonal choices for a regularly changing selection. Pasta dishes stand out with options like the linguini with salmon, served with pine nuts for crunch, and a rich gorgonzola cream sauce. Guests can also try entrees like the Bistecca Balsamico, a NY strip steak that bursts with a black pepper seared flavor.

Ready to dine at these Glen Arbor spots?

Glen Arbor has plenty of popular restaurants that are sure to attract residents and visitors in the new year. From long-standing local favorites like Art’s Tavern with its eclectic design to restaurants nestled in nature oases, giving them a distinct Glen Arbor flare, the options are wide and varied in this town. If you’re interested in living a little closer to these local and vacation favorites, contact experienced agent Robin Vilter to guide you through your options in the area.

Robin Vilter

Robin Vilter


About the Author

I was raised in Cincinnati but always summered on the lake in Leland. Being able to spend my summers up here was such a gift. Starting at the age of twelve we were able to drive the boat into town or to the yacht club or to a friend's house. My days were jam-packed. I would wake up and teach sailing school at the Leland Yacht Club from nine to one, then take a nap on the dock or the beach, shower, then drive into Leland in the late afternoon where I had a job as a hostess. My sisters and I did this every summer and when we had a driver's license we had more options for employment. I started teaching sailing school in Omena and working at night waiting tables at The Cove in Leland. We stashed away thousands of dollars every summer. Yes, we worked our tails off, but it really did not seem like it since we were enjoying all the beauty of Leelanau at the same time.

I attended Miami University in Ohio and chose creative writing since that was my easiest subject. I’ve not yet written a novel, but have started about five. After graduation, I bought the Riverside Inn with my mother and my sister. I later sold my shares when I realized that being a single parent and working late nights did not pair well with my mental health. It took a decade to raise my kids and go through two divorces.

I Earned My Real Estate License in 2016

By that point, I had bought and sold houses seven times over the course of twelve years. I had to be a real estate expert by then, right? The simple truth is I love real estate! Why did I even bother going to college? I felt like I should have been doing this since I was eighteen. What I love most about real estate is establishing great relationships. Each new client is a wonderful surprise. We live in such a small community, yet I get to meet new people all the time and usually, they turn out to be great friends. The other thing I love is the variety. Every house is different, every client is different, and it all comes with its own unique challenges.
I decided to separate from Coldwell Banker in 2021. Real estate boomed in 2020 and 2021. I managed a huge amount of volume pretty much by myself. Coldwell offered the power of a big brand, but I figured I could somehow make up for that. I took a big leap and joined Five Star Real Estate. The marketing group with Five Star encouraged me to build on my familiarity with the area. Many of the residents have heard of me in some way shape or form and I could build on my good reputation.
I chose Robin Vilter Group as the name of my business. We chose the robin bird as the logo for my name but also because of the symbolism. The robin is Michigan's state bird. It symbolizes hope, renewal, rebirth, new beginnings, and new projects, and is a sign of good things to come.

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