Sometimes, nothing beats a meal at a down-home, authentic mom and pop-style restaurant. To enjoy the feeling of eating in the dining room of your grandparent’s home, opt to eat at a mom and pop restaurant for your next meal. From classic Italian cuisine, to traditional American dishes, you’ll find delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere at these 10 great mom and pop eateries in Michigan!
Ferlito's Family Dining and Pizza in Grosse Pointe seems to have a particular fondness for the feast. With deals ranging from the Family Feast—a tray of pasta for five with antipasto salad and breadsticks for $31.95—to the Chicken Feast, the feast is a very big deal here. Not every meal can be a banquet, though, as Ferlito's will offer dine-in and carryout menus for those with smaller appetites, budgets, or any combination therein.
Fuzzy's in Saginaw boasts some rather noteworthy menu choices, more than sufficient to make it a great name in mom and pop restaurants. Best known for folded sandwiches on homemade bread, Fuzzy's will also offer 32 different flavors of ice cream, all from local Michigan sources. Yes, Moose Tracks is on the list, a Michigan favorite from a long way back. Those who need their meal elsewhere, meanwhile, can take advantage of takeout and delivery options, though it takes a $50 order to get Fuzzy's on the road.
A major part of Ithaca's dining scene, J.J. Ruby's is home to fare that many visitors consider the peak of mom and pop fare, focused on both “delicious” and “simple.” It's not just about the food, which seems to have great offerings in everything from strawberry shortcake to fish and chips, but it's also about excellent service, which is fairly routinely cited by patrons. Breakfast is also a special event, boasting pancakes the size of dinner plates for the best way to start the day: full.
Clare's own Ruckle's Pier is a fine answer to the mom and pop restaurant concept, by not only being open late, but by delivering some excellent food options as well. Burgers, pizza, soups and salads, all are on the menu here, but even here there's some deviation from the norm. For instance, check out their BLT and Philly pizzas, patterned after the sandwiches that bear their names. Throw in the Flatbread Pizza—which can boast pretty much any toppings offered on a regular pizza—and you've got a complete experience for anyone.
Constantine's own Meeks Mill is where a lot of Constantine folks' day starts. Home of some of the best breakfast around, backed up by some terrific lunch options, it all focuses on one key component: homemade bread. The homemade bread forms the basis for some truly impressive French toast, as well as the basis for sandwiches, regular toast and beyond. They're even open late on Fridays for dinner specials, including some all-you-can-eat fare that should kick off a weekend quite nicely.
Lydia's Down Home Cooking is one of Bridgman's leading attractions after the nuclear power plant, and the wide array of foods available explains, in part, why. Offering banana nut waffles, country fried steak, and several more items, this mom and pop operation runs the gamut in both American and Mexican dishes.
Sometimes the best mom-and-pop restaurants focus on unusual fare. That's what's going on at Grecian Island and Zeus' Coney Island, with two locations in Lansing and Brighton. Called one of Michigan's “hidden gems” by those who've tried it on TripAdvisor, Zeus' will offer up a variety of items ranging from a slate of Coney dogs—a Michigan favorite—to deli sandwiches to even authentic Greek fare from gyros to saganaki. Given that the saganaki is flamed tableside, you'll get access to one hot time of a show.
Movato, for its part, seems convinced that “Rich J.C. Korean Restaurant”, found in Ann Arbor, is how you pronounce “Mom and Pop Korean Restaurant” in Korean. Featuring an array of Korean standards from bibimbap to kimchi, all served up in a small but wholly friendly environment, those who come looking for a tasty slice of something out of the ordinary commonly walk away happy. That's one of the biggest measures of a mom-and-pop's success, and Rich J.C does the job and then some.
J&S Hamburg in Traverse City offers simple meals in an environment that screams classic diner. With airport decor lining the walls and some of the best dishes on the menu including fare like burgers and the classic Reuben sandwich along with breakfast options, it's an all-in-one mom and pop that delivers tasty value to its patrons.
Marquette's Sweet Water Cafe might well be what people like to think of when they think mom and pop. Small and simple above all else, serving good food and plenty of it. For those who want something a little more responsible, meanwhile, you'll get it here, and how: much of what's served here is locally-sourced, and features some unusual fare on top of it. Throw in the fact that alcohol is served in various varieties—craft beer, wine, cocktails and mixed drinks—and you've got a mom and pop operation that's about as complete as it can be.