Restaurants in Grand Marais aren’t exactly diverse, but they are hearty, serving unique takes on Northern American comfort food that are perfect for refueling after a hike on the Gunflint Trail or paddle through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Just 40 miles shy of the Canadian border, Grand Marais is a scenic small town that makes for one of the most popular weekend trips in Minnesota. If you’re planning on visiting the charming town, enhance your getaway by dining at some of the best restaurants in Grand Marais.
Unfortunately, the last time I visited Grand Marais, we got rained out, so I was only able to try Hungry Hippie Tacos. The remainder of the restaurants on this list come with phenomenal reviews from local diners.
Restaurants in Grand Marais needed a guest rating of at least four and a half stars to qualify for this list, hence why hotspots like Gun Flint Tavern and Blue Water Cafe didn’t quite make the cut (if you’re going to spend that hard-earned cash, it should be somewhere exceptional).
Keep in mind that several restaurants in Grand Marais are only open seasonally, closing in the winter when tourists thin out. Ensure the restaurant is open in advance if you’re visiting the town after early October.
The Fisherman’s Daughter at Dockside Fish Market
Address: 418 MN-61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Locally-caught fish are one of the biggest appeals to dining on the North Shore. Up and down the North Shore of Lake Superior, travelers can find Walleye, Trout, and Bass plates, plus smoked fish at specialty markets.
The Fisherman’s Daughter is among the best restaurants in Grand Marais for wild Lake Superior fish, serving lightly breaded fish and chips, a rotating selection of soup, cheese curds, and a “fish of the day” option.
Vegetarians and those that are gluten free aren’t excluded—the fast-casual restaurant offers options to accommodate those dietary restrictions.
After your meal, take some fish to go. The Fisherman’s Daughter at Dockside Fish Market also sells fresh and smoked fish by the pound, plus everything else you could need for a plentiful charcuterie board picnic by the lake.
The Naniboujou Lodge & Restaurant
Address: 20 Naniboujou Trail, Grand Marais, MN 55604
The Naniboujou Lodge & Restaurant is an establishment unlike anywhere else in Minnesota. One of the most unique hotels on the North Shore by far, the property is exploding with vibrant color and painted Cree Indian designs by French artist, Antoine Goufee.
Built as a private club in the 1920s, the property is now a hotel and restaurant in Grand Marais near the Devil’s Kettle trailhead and member of the National Register of Historic Places.
“The almost psychedelic Cree Indian designs covering the walls and ceiling are like a North Woods answer to the Sistine Chapel.”– The Naniboujou Lodge & Restaurant
Breakfast and dinner are served daily. Lunch is also offered, but wraps up for the season earlier than breakfast and dinner. The restaurant offers daily rotating breakfast and dinner specials ranging from raspberry cream cheese stuffed toast to buttermilk pancakes with maple sugar; and spinach lasagna to baked Walleye. The larger-than-life cinnamon rolls are a diner favorite.
Guests of the lodge are welcome to walk in for a meal. Those not staying at the resort need to make a reservation at least 12 hours in advance, with prepayment.
The Naniboujou Lodge is high on my “Minnesota bucket list.” I still can’t believe I didn’t realize that it’s in Grand Marais before the last time I was there.
Hungry Hippie Tacos
Address: 15 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Hungry Hippie Tacos is a standout fast-casual restaurant in Grand Marais (and honestly, the whole of Minnesota). I can honestly say that I’ve never been to a restaurant like it.
The trendy Grand Marais restaurant specializes in Northern frybread tacos that reinterpret the classic Native American bread. These aren’t your average taco—you’ll only need one to feel full.
Portions are generous and packed with flavor. I ordered the Idaho Love taco, the restaurant’s vegetarian option filled with savory garlic-roasted potatoes, rancher beans, sweet corn relish, and kale chimichurri.
Don’t skip the hot taters and dip with a side of chipotle sour cream. The tater tots are perfectly crispy and piled high.
While Hungry Hippie Tacos isn’t exactly the healthiest restaurant in Grand Marais, its unique take on Native cuisine is well-worth the extra calories and line that never seems to empty.
Hungry Hippie Tacos has an additional location in Duluth.
Poplar Haus Restaurant, Bar & Cabins
Address: 7890 Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Unlike the other restaurants in Grand Marais on this list, Poplar Haus Restaurant, Bar & Cabins isn’t located near the town’s buzzy downtown. In fact, it’s a whopping 32 miles away, but guests gush that it’s “so worth the journey.”
Instead, the secluded restaurant is nestled along the Gunflint Trail, a National Scenic Byway in Superior National Forest.
The bright, modern restaurant welcomes travelers exploring the great outdoors, serving elevated Midwestern favorites like walleye sandwiches, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, and fried pickles on its outdoor patio and chalet-like dining room.
Complementing its food menu is a selection of cocktails concocted with Minnesota-distilled spirits and syrups, locally brewed beer on tap, and a small wine list of the standard grapes.
Voyageur Brewing Company
Address: 233 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Craft beer is a big deal in Minnesota. Across the state, you’ll find innovative craft breweries that have received national recognition.
Voyageur Brewing Company is one of the most popular craft breweries in northern Minnesota. Based in Grand Marais, the brewery operates a taproom in a rustic, industrial space.
The Voyageur Brewing Company taproom is one of the few in Minnesota that offer a full food menu made in-house in addition to its lengthy list of beers on tap (due to restrictive liquor laws, most breweries in Minnesota do not have kitchens).
Small plates are made with locally sourced ingredients from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The brewery makes its bread out of leftover grain from the brewing process, pickles its own vegetables, and uses its own beer to make some of its signature sauces and batters to serve up considered takes on familiar bar bites such as cheese curds, wings, flatbreads, and sliders.
South of the Border Cafe
Address: 4 MN-61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
When I stumbled upon South of the Border Cafe I really thought it was a Mexican restaurant. Anywhere else, it probably would be.
Instead, the restaurant is an all-too-punny take on the familiar phrase (it’s south of the border from Canada, get it?), serving up classic American diner fare. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to recognize the cafe’s clever name.
South of the Border Cafe keeps things lowkey. It’s a casual, no-frills spot for non-pretentious, homestyle comfort food. Scrambled eggs, omelets, french toast, fried potatoes, pancakes, burgers, and fried fish are all on order here.
The cafe closes as late as 2 pm, and as early as noon, making it a top restaurant for breakfast in Grand Marais.
Don’t try paying by card—you’ll be directed to the nearest Holiday gas station for an ATM if you do.
Angry Trout Cafe
Address: 408 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Dining at a restaurant with a view of Lake Superior is one of the biggest perks of spending a weekend on the North Shore. While there are a few restaurants in Grand Marais to satisfy this desire, Angry Trout Cafe is the leading favorite for tourists and locals alike.
Conveniently situated on the shores of Lake Superior, Angry Trout Cafe offers indoor-outdoor dining with sweeping views of Lake Superior. Once a commercial fishing shanty, the space now serves organic, locally-grown produce and fresh Lake Superior Fish.
Not to be forgotten, of course, are the hand-harvested wild rice options (one of my favorite things to eat when up north). Plates consist of typical Northwoods nourishment, such as deep-fried fish, bison tenderloin, wild rice salad, and chicken sandwiches.
In an effort to provide transparency, Angry Trout Cafe lists where each of its sustainable ingredients are sourced from in addition to the makers who crafted the restaurant’s space and decor, further proving its commitment to supporting the local community.
The Crooked Spoon
Address: 17 Wisconsin St, Grand Marais, MN 55604
After a devastating fire, The Crooked Spoon has rebounded, operating a food truck at the location of its original space. A new dining room is to come, but for now, the beloved restaurant has pivoted away from the upscale dishes of its former menu to offer refreshed American classics to eager crowds.
A fish sandwich of battered Herring is of course, on the menu (it is on Lake Superior, after all), as is a rich blue cheese butter bugger and for the plant-based crowd,, a vegan burger topped with sweet mustard sauce.
To finish, try The Crooked Spoon’s french toast bread pudding, made with locally-tapped Maple Hill Farm maple syrup.
Address: 7 Broadway Ave, Grand Marais, MN 55604
There’s nothing like ice cream by the lake in the summer. Only recently opening its doors in Grand Marais, Superior Creamery seeks to serve some of the best on the North Shore.
The creamery specializes in small-batch ice cream made using Minnesotan dairy, but it doesn’t stop there. Unlike many ice cream shops, a brief, savory food menu is also available, highlighting lunch plates like a steak sandwich, cilantro lime shrimp, and grilled cheese.
For vegans and the lactose intolerant, dairy-free sorbet is available.
Superior Creamery is a short walk from Artist Point. Grab a scoop to-go and enjoy it on a beautiful stroll to the point.
My Sister’s Place
Address: 401 MN-61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Settle into My Sister’s Place’s eclectic, wood-paneled dining room for crispy pizza, fresh fish, colorful salads, and its signature creative burgers.
The restaurant’s Goober Burger, a heart-stopping stack of peanut butter and mayo on a patty gained national attention after catching the eye of food critic Andrew Zimmern, leading to a feature on The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods.
Other callout burger creations include the Spicy Kim, topped with kimchi, bacon, American cheese, and sambal mayo, and the Wild Wild Rice, a wild rice burger made especially with vegetarians in mind.
Restaurants in Grand Marais: FAQ
Angry Trout Cafe, Hungry Hippie Tacos, My Sister’s Place, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Voyageur Brewing Company are restaurants in Grand Marais that are open year-round, including the harsh winter months.
Angry Trout Cafe, Hungry Hippie Tacos, Poplar Haus Restaurant, My Sister’s Place, The Crooked Spoon, The Fisherman’s Daughter, and Voyageur Brewing Company are the best restaurants in Grand Marais with outdoor dining.
Blue Water Cafe, Java Moose Espresso Cafe, My Sister’s Place, South of the Border Cafe, The Naniboujou Lodge and Restaurant, and World’s Best Donuts are some of the best breakfast restaurants in Grand Marais.
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