Marquette

Marquette really has it all: a stunning location, beautiful historic buildings, an active, outdoors-oriented population, a progressive character and great local eateries. The latter two qualities may be somewhat related, in the sense that residents and visitors are interested in trying new things and experiencing different cultures through cuisine. Case in point: I was impressed by the fact that there’s a Thai restaurant in Marquette, while many Michigan cities south of the bridge are without one. Yet when I mentioned this to a resident, she said playfully, “Well, there are actually three … but one good one!”

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of visiting this “college town,” one of our favorite Michigan cities. Wandering through the quaint downtown area, the bland barrage of chain restaurants found almost the world over – and indeed, right outside of Marquette’s city center – doesn’t exist. I opt for a small adventure at a locally owned eatery over the witheringly predictable fare of a chain restaurant every time, so strolling through Marquette is like being a kid in a candy store. The appeal of the home-grown establishment is much more than just the potential gamble; it’s also experiencing regional culture, supporting the community and the greater likelihood that ingredients and offerings are locally sourced.

Our first night in Marquette, we visited the Vierling Restaurant and Marquette Harbor Brewery for our second time. Whitefish was the special, and whitefish we ate, washed down with beer from their brewery. The ambiance at the Vierling is welcoming and cozy and the food and brew were delicious. I highly recommend the sampler of beers to get an in-depth taste of their offerings.

The next morning, we headed over to Dead River Coffee for fresh brew of a different sort, rather than choking down sub par campfire coffee. We were rewarded with tall mugs of rich coffee, roasted and brewed onsite and served in a funky, friendly space.

Nearby sits Marquette Baking Co., where we sampled an outrageously good Pesto Parmesan loaf. But it was bagels we were craving, so we were off to the Third Street Bagel Co. for lox bagel sandwiches adorned with capers. We enjoyed them so much, we were back the next morning for one last bite before we hit the road again, bound for home.

Not only does Marquette have an outstanding selection of local restaurants, cafés and pubs, but they also have a Food Co-op with an array of goods that rivals many boutique grocers and health food stores downstate. I couldn’t leave without picking up fish sausage from Thill’s Fish House, a six-pack of Lift Bridge Brown Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company and some organic dark chocolate.

I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Marquette.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’ve never been to Marquette, but it sounds like the sort of place I’d absolutely love about 9 months/year and hate 3 months/year. Long winter nights.


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