clock menu more-arrow no yes
Cousin Jenny's
Cousin Jenny's
Flickr

Road Trip Traverse City: 10 Meals for $10 or Less

How to make the best of one of Michigan's most celebrated food cities on a budget.

View as Map
Cousin Jenny's
| Flickr

Traverse City in Northern Michigan is widely recognized as one of the state's best food cities. TC features the popular National Cherry Festival each Fourth of July, but the city has much more than cherries to offer. Celebrity chef Mario Batali calls the area home during the summer, naming both The Cook's House and Frenchies Famous to his list of the nine top restaurants worldwide.

It's easy to splurge on all of the great food options, but what about a trip on a budget? Like, a really tight $10 or less per meal budget? It can be done, and done well. Here are the top 10 places to get a meal (food + beverage) in Traverse City for $10 or less (tip not included).

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Harvest Restaurant

Copy Link
113 E State St
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 486-6037
Visit Website
A hands-down favorite, they serve fresh, local fare that is globally inspired, for more than reasonable prices. Whether they’re serving grits, curry, or banh mi, the portions are generous and the quality of the food is excellent. Don’t miss their brunch deal, featuring one dish + coffee for $10 even. [Photo]

2. The Little Fleet

Copy Link
448 E Front St
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 943-1116
Visit Website
A full bar focusing on local beer, cider, and liquors, the drinks are top notch and not too expensive. They host a fleet of food trucks including Roaming Harvest (Harvest restaurant’s truck) and with careful ordering $10 for an alcoholic beverage and something to eat is both possible and delicious. [Photo]

3. Slabtown Cafe And Burgers

Copy Link
826 W Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 932-1760
Visit Website
The burgers are a local favorite, and the malts and shakes are a bargain at just $2.95 or $3.50. The burgers are flavorful, and a traditional only costs $3.25. The other burgers are a lot fancier, but the majority of the options stay $5 and under. That means that “fresh cut” fries coming in at $2.25 can be added to the meal no problem. Or splurge and upgrade to sweet potato for just $1 more. [Photo]

4. Ham Bonz

Copy Link
1108 E Eighth St
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 929-9288
Carnivores can find meat-centric breakfasts and lunches at Ham-Bonz, with “award-winning” barbeque and of course lots of ham. The portions are generous and the prices of most dishes fit the $10 or less requirement. The pancakes are one of the menu’s sleeper hits, and for less than $5 they’re a bargain. [Photo]

5. The Dish Cafe

Copy Link
108 S Union St
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 932-2233
Visit Website
Vegetarian and vegan friendly, they also welcome dogs on the patio and will even provide a bowl of water in case fido gets thirsty. This soup and sandwich place is ideal for lunch, and it’s pretty healthy too. [Photo]

6. Grand Traverse Pie Co. Downtown

Copy Link
101 N Park
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 933-3972
Visit Website
Stop in at the “original” location on Front Street for just a slice of their famous cherry pie and a coffee (that’s breakfast, right?) or branch out and try their quiche of the day (just $4.99, served with homemade pumpkin bread on the side) or a sandwich for lunch. [Photo]

7. Cousin Jenny's

Copy Link
129 S Union St
Traverse City, MI 49684
Pasties (pronounce it “pass-tee” or risk stripper jokes and endless embarrassment) are a Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula favorite. Based on the Cornish hand pie, they’re filling and a bargain at just $6.55 for a large (16 oz.) with fillings ranging from classic (steak) to veggie and even German-inspired. Add a housemade raspberry lemonade for just $1.89 and leave with a full stomach and a mostly full wallet. Just get there early, as they tend to sell out. [Photo]

8. The Omelette Shoppe

Copy Link
124 Cass St
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 946-0912
Visit Website
Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. is the magic time for an early breakfast. A two egg omelette with a side of toast and a small orange juice or two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and a small orange juice only costs $3.99. Those prices are hard to beat, but do keep in mind that substitutions are not available, so leave any picky eaters at home. [Photo]

9. The Green House Cafe

Copy Link
W. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 929-7687
A popular breakfast and brunch spot, the café serves modestly priced classic breakfasts like eggs and French toast, in addition to more creative fare. Try the baked oatmeal with apples, cherries, and almonds, topped with strawberries, bananas, and yogurt ($7. 95) for a filling and healthy start to the day, or the homemade biscuits with sausage gravy for a less healthy but just as filling option for only $6.75. [Photo]

10. Bistro Fou Fou

Copy Link
118 Cass St
Traverse City, MI 49684
Happy hour is the key to eating for less here, as their regular menu is upscale French with prices to match. A full meal isn’t likely, but stop by for an afternoon snack (just $3 for a glass of wine and $3-$5 for appetizers like steamed mussels, duck poutine, or brie en croute). [Photo]

1. Harvest Restaurant

113 E State St, Traverse City, MI 49684
A hands-down favorite, they serve fresh, local fare that is globally inspired, for more than reasonable prices. Whether they’re serving grits, curry, or banh mi, the portions are generous and the quality of the food is excellent. Don’t miss their brunch deal, featuring one dish + coffee for $10 even. [Photo]
113 E State St
Traverse City, MI 49684

2. The Little Fleet

448 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686
A full bar focusing on local beer, cider, and liquors, the drinks are top notch and not too expensive. They host a fleet of food trucks including Roaming Harvest (Harvest restaurant’s truck) and with careful ordering $10 for an alcoholic beverage and something to eat is both possible and delicious. [Photo]
448 E Front St
Traverse City, MI 49686

3. Slabtown Cafe And Burgers

826 W Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684
The burgers are a local favorite, and the malts and shakes are a bargain at just $2.95 or $3.50. The burgers are flavorful, and a traditional only costs $3.25. The other burgers are a lot fancier, but the majority of the options stay $5 and under. That means that “fresh cut” fries coming in at $2.25 can be added to the meal no problem. Or splurge and upgrade to sweet potato for just $1 more. [Photo]
826 W Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684

4. Ham Bonz

1108 E Eighth St, Traverse City, MI 49686
Carnivores can find meat-centric breakfasts and lunches at Ham-Bonz, with “award-winning” barbeque and of course lots of ham. The portions are generous and the prices of most dishes fit the $10 or less requirement. The pancakes are one of the menu’s sleeper hits, and for less than $5 they’re a bargain. [Photo]
1108 E Eighth St
Traverse City, MI 49686

5. The Dish Cafe

108 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Vegetarian and vegan friendly, they also welcome dogs on the patio and will even provide a bowl of water in case fido gets thirsty. This soup and sandwich place is ideal for lunch, and it’s pretty healthy too. [Photo]
108 S Union St
Traverse City, MI 49684

6. Grand Traverse Pie Co. Downtown

101 N Park, Traverse City, MI 49684
Stop in at the “original” location on Front Street for just a slice of their famous cherry pie and a coffee (that’s breakfast, right?) or branch out and try their quiche of the day (just $4.99, served with homemade pumpkin bread on the side) or a sandwich for lunch. [Photo]
101 N Park
Traverse City, MI 49684

7. Cousin Jenny's

129 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Pasties (pronounce it “pass-tee” or risk stripper jokes and endless embarrassment) are a Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula favorite. Based on the Cornish hand pie, they’re filling and a bargain at just $6.55 for a large (16 oz.) with fillings ranging from classic (steak) to veggie and even German-inspired. Add a housemade raspberry lemonade for just $1.89 and leave with a full stomach and a mostly full wallet. Just get there early, as they tend to sell out. [Photo]
129 S Union St
Traverse City, MI 49684

8. The Omelette Shoppe

124 Cass St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. is the magic time for an early breakfast. A two egg omelette with a side of toast and a small orange juice or two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and a small orange juice only costs $3.99. Those prices are hard to beat, but do keep in mind that substitutions are not available, so leave any picky eaters at home. [Photo]
124 Cass St
Traverse City, MI 49684

9. The Green House Cafe

W. Front St., Traverse City, MI 49684
A popular breakfast and brunch spot, the café serves modestly priced classic breakfasts like eggs and French toast, in addition to more creative fare. Try the baked oatmeal with apples, cherries, and almonds, topped with strawberries, bananas, and yogurt ($7. 95) for a filling and healthy start to the day, or the homemade biscuits with sausage gravy for a less healthy but just as filling option for only $6.75. [Photo]
W. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49684

10. Bistro Fou Fou

118 Cass St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Happy hour is the key to eating for less here, as their regular menu is upscale French with prices to match. A full meal isn’t likely, but stop by for an afternoon snack (just $3 for a glass of wine and $3-$5 for appetizers like steamed mussels, duck poutine, or brie en croute). [Photo]
118 Cass St
Traverse City, MI 49684

Related Maps