Off the Beaten Path for Coast Guard Festival

So you’re coming in for our big weekend. The parade! The fireworks! You know the words AWESOME are always in our vocabulary this week.  Want to hear some great insider tips that you may not know about Grand Haven?

Here you go. These are local secrets.

Eating local –  It’s obvious that all the big names (you know who they are) will get a lot of traffic because let’s face it, they’re right there in town.  You can wait in long lines, for hours if you want OR you can check out some hidden treasures. You don’t have to fight the crowd to get a taste of local flavor. Here are some off the beaten path favorites of mine.

Take out Pizza – At the foot of the Ferrysburg exit you will find the famous Miss Lisa’s. Across the street is Appalonia’s.  They feature pizza that is a transplant of the famous Flint eatery.  They have to go and delivery pizza the best kept local secret around.  Generally it’s a stop and shop experience but if you look above the cash register you will see the menu for pizza.  We’re crazy about it.  Reminds me of the days we lived in Cincinnati and had access to Donato’s except this is more authentic Italian flavor. Check it out.

Finer Dining – Our local answer to Applebee’s is JW’s. A long established local eatery located at 7th and Washington, they feature local lake perch, local beer and local flavor. It’s a great dining experience that is pure Grand Haven.

Coffee – This is truly off the beaten path but I swear it’s worth it.  Fat Chix Coffee Cantina is located on Beechtree. Owned by Mary you are guaranteed to have a great conversation, lots of interesting things to look at, and amazing coffee.

Fast Food – Great Lakes Chili Dogs offers greek style chili dogs, burgers, brats, sandwiches, fresh pie and more.  Located on US31 (Beacon Blvd) at Taylor St., we are regulars at this establishment. They feature fast service, great food and newly installed television service for patrons.

Sandwich Shop – Did’s Deli has been around for as long as I can remember.  You’ll almost miss it as you turn on Harbor Drive towards the beach.  You’ll wonder what it is and I’ll tell you—it’s the best sandwich shop in town. A true deli with their own menu of favorites you’ve never tried, you have got to check this place out on your next trip.  For around $5 you’ll get something stacked high, on freshly baked bread, chips and your choice of drinks.  It’s not about anything fancy inside.  Did’s looks like it is fresh out of the 70’s, and I like it that way. It’s about the FOOD. If it’s been standing there for decades in Grand Haven.  Locals don’t put up with anything that doesn’t cut it in the off season. Did’s is old school awesome.

Sweets and treats – A new place that is a huge hit with the locals is the Village Baker. It’s located on M-104 in Spring Lake almost directly across from the famous ice cream place The Front Porch.  Village Baker offers fresh baked breads, more cakes, cookies, brownies and specialty treats than you can shake a stick at, and wonderful surprises like pizza.  Village Baker is an overnight sensation but DO expect a long line. It’s us. We’re there for the Pretzel bread at 11 am.

Please come and enjoy our beautiful city at it’s pinnacle of the season.  I hope you take  a suggestion or two on how you can spend your money locally. All of those food carts are fun for us but that is outside vendors coming in. The places I suggest are local places that keep the money HERE.  Take advice from this local—great food is here, you just have to go off the beaten path for it.

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