5 Insane Michigan Restaurants You Never Knew Existed!

Trust me, this list of "5 Insane Michigan Restaurants You Never Knew Existed" is KING! I LOVE whimsical, eclectic, wild and over-the-top restaurants with a touch of sophistication.

I'll keep adding to this list as I unearth establishments that makes me smile, say "heck yeah!" or drop my jaw.  If you have a suggestion, let me know!

Calling All Alice In Wonderland Fanatics!

The Mad Hatter, 185 N Old Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

OMG, I about lost my mind when I discovered this upscale Alice In Wonderland themed restaurant that isn't kid oriented.  You see, I am OBSESSED with all things Alice.

Afternoon tea anyone?  They have a fantastic brunch and delicious unique drinks.  Plus a very creative menu.  Tomato Basil Soup, Unicorn Salad and the Mad Queen's Chicken?  YES PLEASE!

Mad Hatter's interior decor plays perfectly with the story of Alice in Wonderland.  The upstairs is relaxed and eclectic (as you might hope) with a flair of sophistication. 

Plus you can watch the chefs preparing your meals in their open-kitchen.

OR, if you prefer, you may slip down the rabbit hole for a dreamy dining experience.   A seasonal outdoor patio is also available from April-November. 

What About The Oldest Bar and Business in Michigan?

Old Tavern Inn,  61088 Indian Lake Rd, Niles, MI 49120

If you love nostalgia, down home comfort food and a chance to visit Michigan's Oldest Bar and Business, check this place out! 

Founded in 1835, this restaurant is a great place to grab a beer and chat it up.  

Old Tavern Inn is located near a popular snowmobile trail so the place is packed in the winter with good vibes and conversation. 

Try their burgers, wings, hot ham and cheese, and goulash!  Low key with friendly service.  

Ever Dined In a Castle?  What About High Tea or Sunday Brunch?

Henderson Castle100 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo

I mean, it's a castle, people, I want some enthusiasm here!

Henderson Castle is a stunningly beautiful Bed and Breakfast located in Kalamazoo, Michigan that is open to the public.  Their special themed rooms promise a memorable, romantic evening.

This striking castle features a chophouse, spirits bar, high tea service, breakfast and an excellent Sunday brunch. 

  • Love wine?  Enjoy informative wine tasting or a cooking class!  
  • Want a tour?  Choose from a variety of tour packages including an Architectural Tour or Wine Connoisseur's Tour.   

Henderson Castle hosts TONS of events so check their website for the Haunted History of the Castle, Murder Mystery or Tea Parties!  Such a cool place!

What's Better Than Floating and Drinking? Seriously...

Idler Riverboat515 Williams St #10, South Haven, MI 49090

Oh my word, I LOVE this place.  We visit at least twice a summer to soak in the sun and friendly ambiance. 

There is nothing better than lounging on this permanently docked riverboat on a warm, sunny day while enjoying delicious food and drinks.  My nephew loves throwing bread to the ducks as they drift by the boat. 

Their top deck is first come, first serve so show up early as the boat is super busy during the summer. Reservations are accepted for parties 10 or more for their downstairs seating.

Trust me, this place rocks...(it's a boat, get it?). 

While there, check out the Best Things to Do in South Haven!

DRUM ROLL...For the Last, "5 Insane Michigan Restaurants You Never Knew Existed..." What About Dining and Shopping In An Asylum?

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, (Traverse City State Hospital). 830 Cottageview Dr #101, Traverse City, MI 49684

I'm so annoyed that I just learned about this FREAKIN' COOL place just last year.  

I immediately signed up for a tour so I could see this (hopefully haunted?) previous state hospital.  

This historic 1884 Victorian-Italianate styled asylum turned sprawling shopping & dining complex is unbelievable.  Just walking through the brick halls of the revamped asylum is one heck of an experience. 

I recommend grabbing a coffee and delicious baked goods as you wander around.  Check out the art displayed along the long brick halls.

Trattoria Stella-WOW!

In the cellar of Traverse City’s former mental asylum is some insanely good food. The Italian-focused menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh and in season.  You need to try the bruschetta with Traverse City cherries and the beef, pork, and cheeses from local farms is yummy.  Plus the atmosphere in Stella is very classy...check it out! 

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons offers guided tours which I highly recommend.  It's a great way to see the closed areas of the asylum and the very cool steam tunnels.

There's even nice hiking trails around the area.  If you are there on a Saturday, check out their farmers market. YOU MUST CHECK THIS PLACE OUT... SERIOUSLY.

If You Love Pizza (and who doesn't?)...

Check out our Best Michigan Pizza restaurants!  Over 165 pizza joints all voted by Michiganders!

Keep Reading!

9 Insane Restaurants You Just Gotta Check Out!

Visit Kalamazoo Michigan

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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