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Summer Road Trip: Marquette Edition

The Upper Peninsula is a hot road trip destination for midwesterners these days. The famed Pictured Rocks draw many to the Central UP. Less than an hour away from these rocks is Marquette, Michigan, the UP’s largest city. Check out these spots in Marquette that feature locally grown and made food and goods. Please note, all business mentioned are open and operating currently. Face Masks are required for entry and service at all locations. Check each business’ website for more information on their COVID-19 protocols. 


Start your day with a cup of coffee. Velodrome Coffee Company has a seasonal menu featuring a Fruity Pebbles Latte made with Oat Milk, homemade ginger lemonade or a Lavender Basil Latte. For a more classic style brew try Dead River Coffee Roasters and challenge its owner, Theo, to a game of Cribbage. Be sure to pair your coffee with one of their sweet treats from Towner’s Pastry and Chocolate Shoppe. This patisserie located in Gwinn (about a 30 min drive from Marquette, which is well worth the trip) delivers freshly baked, classic style French pastries to Dead River daily. The Crib offers coffee and lattes via their pick up window for quick, contactless purchasing. 


For lunch, consider grabbing a bite at Iron Bay Restaurant and Lounge located steps away from Lake Superior. This historic eatery and tap room features housemade pies and fresh entrees made with locally sourced ingredients! Try their Whitefish Bites or Whitefish Tacos and do as the Yoopers do. 231 West Patisserie also has grab and go sandwiches and house made classic French desserts with a modern twist. We really like the caprese sandwich on a housemade buttery croissant. 


After a long day of exploring and adventuring, treat yourself to an adult beverage. Some of our favorites are Barrel + Beam which brews world-class farmhouse ales and sours. (Insider’s tip! We hear there’s a BBQ food truck parked in their parking lot all summer.) Blackrocks Brewery is a relaxed microbrewery in the heart of Marquette with an outdoor patio dreams are made of. Drifa Brewing Company is Michigan’s first cooperatively-owned craft brewery (one of about twelve in the nation!) and Marquette’s newest brewery offering a beer garden along the lakeside bike trail. If beer doesn’t do it for you, snag a glass of wine or classic cocktail from Zephyr Wine Bar.  Reservations are required due to COVID-19 (but no worries, you can make a reservation and be seated within 10 min). Zephyr has over 140 wines by the glass and two sommeliers on staff. Their charcuterie boards (featuring fresh baked french baguette from the Marquette Baking Company) and house made desserts are a must try, too!

Even More Fun!

If you’re looking for some entertainment, be sure to check out The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from 9AM-1PM. Superior Culture, a kombucha tap room, often has live music and performances on their patio. 

There are endless places to explore in the UP. Check out the UP Brew Trail for more ideas.

Sara Johnson is the Central UP Local Food Marketing Representative. She lives in Marquette. Contact her at

All photos courtesy of the featured businesses’ Instagram profile.

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