Dining at Grand Hotel Mackinac Island

Dining at Grand Hotel

As I mentioned in my review of Grand Hotel, dining at Grand Hotel is an experience in itself. Not only are hotel guests are treated to breakfast and a five-course dinner each day at the Hotel, but they also operate a few off-site restaurants that are also worth looking into. Well I’m here to give the low-down on where to dine.

Warning: You may get hungry after reading this post.

Breakfast at Grand Hotel’s Main Dining Room

After passing through the parlor to the Main Dining Room, you’ll be greeted by the courteous Grand Hotel staff.  As you’re being guided to your seat, you may notice how long the Main Dining Room is. To the right you’ll notice the windows with the view of the porch. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Main Dining Room

We had a choice of the breakfast buffet or ordering things a la carte. The kids went with the breakfast buffet as soon as they saw their breakfast favs – french toast, pancakes, and yogurt. Other breakfast eats included eggs, sausage, cereal, oatmeal, an assortment of danishes, and fresh fruits. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Breakfast Buffet The whole family ordered strawberry banana smoothies – it may have been small, but it was so delicious! I went with the a la carte option and ordered Strawberry Cheesecake Brioche French Toast, while my husband ordered the NY strip steak. What a way to start the day! Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Breakfast Steak and French Toast The next day, we all also ordered a la carte but we weren’t as hungry so we stuck with made-to-order omelettes, yogurt parfaits, and fresh fruit.  I’d definitely recommend ordering a la carte. [Breakfast is included in rate.]

Afternoon Luncheon Buffet at Grand Hotel

Their lavish luncheon buffet is one that even visitors can try. When we were here two years ago, we had a chance to try it and it was wonderful. They offered tons of choices, it was somewhat overwhelming. Think cheeses, meats, soups, salads, desserts. One thing is for sure –  it was. so. good. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Grand Luncheon Buffet [Prices start at $30 for hotel guests and $47 for non-hotel guests.]

Afternoon Tea at Grand Hotel Parlor

This may have been one of my favorite dining experiences as I’m such a fan of tea time and I had a little one on one time with my little girl. She had a blast as it was a tea party come to life! While we munched on finger sandwiches and desserts, a harpist played tunes. [$40 per person] Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Girls Afternoon Teatime Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Afternoon Tea

Five-Course Dinner at Grand Hotel’s Main Dining Room

If there is one thing Grand Hotel is known for, it’s their five-course dinner. It’s even more special because there is a dress code. This little one was super excited to wear his “nice clothes” with his new accessories from the Gene + Giada kid subscription box. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Excited to dress up

Everyone is given a menu (even the kids), and the guests are given a choice from each category.  We started by ordering food for the kids, because you know hangry kids are not fun. The kids chose macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, and mini corn dogs from the kid’s menu. The portions are very large (especially the mac n cheese), but was surprised to find that they ate most of their food.
Our dining experience started with a choice of appetizer. I couldn’t resist their crab asparagus tart, while my husband tried the pate.
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Main Dinner Appetizer
Next up was soup and a Caesar Salad. We couldn’t resist trying the wild mushroom eggplant bisque. So so good!

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Main Dining Room Soup

At this point, we are pretty much stuffed. Alas we still had our entrees –  I chose whitefish, a regional fish, while my husband chose the venison. He said it was outstanding and was the first time he ate venison with no gamey taste at all.

Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Dinner Entree Fish

And we finally got to tried the famed Grand Hotel dessert, Grand Pecan Ball, a vanilla ice cream ball covered in pecans. So simple, but  delicious! A must try!

rand Hotel Mackinac Island - Grand Pecan Ball


Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor

Named after the owner’s dog, this classic ice cream parlor serves Michigan’s Hudsonville Ice Cream. They offer 24 different flavors, and believe me all those we tried were so yummy! The single serving scoops were HUGE ($4). Located outside the east end of the property. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Ice Cream Choices at Sadies

Off-site Restaurants owned by Grand Hotel

The Jockey Club at the Grand Stand, 1874 Cadotte Avenue, Mackinac Island

If you want a more casual option for dinner than a five-course meal, The Jockey Club is an excellent choice. We HIGHLY recommend dining here. Everything we had was FANTASTIC. Located by the golf course, we were seated under the fabric-lined tent decorated in Grand Hotel style. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Jockey Stand Tent I started with the lobster shrimp bisque and my husband ordered the Wagyu Beef Tartare. I’d order this again and again, and my husband would say the same. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Jockey Club Appetizers My husband ordered a Rossini Burger, a Wagyu burger with seared foie gras and mushrooms, and still craves it to this day. I had a parmesan crusted whitefish. It was almost too good to eat. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Jockey Club Entrees Dessert again was outstanding. Look at this deliciousness. The standouts were the creme brulee and Grand Pecan Ball (of course!) Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Jockey Club Desserts [Dinner included in rate]

Sushi Grand

Located at the bottom of Grand Hill, the Sushi Grand is the only sushi restaurant on the island.  While on the small side, the atmosphere is pretty cool with golds and reds. If you look up, you’ll see a cool map of Japan. Sushi Grand - Ceiling Map I have to say, presentation was excellent, but I have to admit it was a little pricey.  I stuck to a roll (almost too good to eat!) and my husband ordered the tonkatsu ramen and nigiri. Everything was just okay. We really wanted to love Sushi Grand, since we love sushi but it wasn’t our favorite. Sushi Grand Sushi Roll Sushi Grand - Tonkatsu Ramen Thankfully, the kids were able to order from the kids menu from next door, The Gatehouse, also a Grand Hotel affiliated restaurant. They stuck to mini corn dogs and chips. Sushi Grand - Mini Corn Dog

Cawthorne’s Village Inn, 1304 Hoban Street, Mackinac Island

Located across the street from Shepler’s Ferry on a side street, the Village Inn was recommended to us by one of the taxi horse drivers. If a local boasts about it, you know we need to try it. We had a very satisfying lunch munching on a Blackened Whitefish Sandwich. Grand Hotel Mackinac Island - Village Inn Restaurant

Other Grand Hotel restaurants to try

Woods Restaurant, 8655 Cudahy Circle, Mackinac Island [Located off-site]

This is the one restaurant I really wanted to try if we had time. Located in the interior of the island, the Tudor mansion serves casual food in this Bavarian-style restaurant. Grand Hotel offers carriage rides there. They have duckpin bowling available here.

The Gate House, 1547 Cadotte Avenue, Mackinac Island [Located off-site]

Another casual dining restaurant available for lunch and dinner. Located at the bottom of Grand Hill, next to Sushi Grand.

Fort Mackinac Tea Room, 7127 Huron Road, Mackinac Island [Located off-site. Admission required to enter Fort.]

This restaurant located inside Fort Mackinac probably gets the prize for restaurant with best view.

Carleton’s Tea Store, Grand Hotel Lower Level [Located on-site]

If you’re interested in a quick soup or sandwich, Carleton’s is convenient as it’s located on the Lobby Level of the hotel. Their tea selection is fantastic!

Fun Facts

  • Their Executive Chef, Chef Hans Burtscher hails from Austria and has been with the hotel since 1983.
  • The Hotel serves more than 4000 meals a day.
  • Not only do they serve thousands of meals a day, they also serve 3 meals a day to over 700 employees who work at Grand Hotel.
  • In 2016, Grand Hotel served 6,000 pounds of pecans and 6,400 pounds of bacon.
  • Remember those Grand Pecan Balls that we loved? Well, Grand Hotel serves over 60,000 each season.

A Grand Hotel Dining Guide_ Where to Eat and What to Expect on this Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan.