February 24, 2024
Clarkston Michigan Restaurants

A 6-Step Culinary Journey Of Clarkston Michigan Restaurants

Clarkston, Michigan, maybe a small town, but it boasts a big appetite for delicious cuisine and a vibrant restaurant scene that rivals many larger cities. From cozy cafes to upscale dining, Clarkston Michigan restaurants offer a variety of eateries that cater to every taste and occasion. In this article, we’ll explore some of the town’s most beloved dining spots, uncover hidden gems, and delve into what makes Clarkston a must-visit destination for food lovers.

The Heart of Clarkston’s Culinary Excellence

Union Woodshop: A Barbecue Haven

One cannot talk about Clarkston’s restaurant scene without mentioning the Union Woodshop, a place that has become synonymous with the town itself. This barbecue joint is not just a local favorite; it has gained national recognition, thanks in part to a visit from celebrity chef Guy Fieri on his show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The Woodshop specializes in slow-cooked meats, homemade sauces, and a cozy, rustic atmosphere that makes diners feel right at home.

Reviews - Union Woodshop
Google
Tiffany - Makes the best Old Fashions in Clarkston. Union Woodshop has a Great selection of Bourbon.
Google
The prices have went up since switching to
A Le Carte style menu, bill was 100$ for just my husband and I but the food was AMAZING! The ribs, greens and Mac n cheese is my FAV.

I wish they had a combo style menu to help with the cost like before.
Google
They tossed my brisket dinner after only 5 minutes...got to my car and realized I had forgotten my takeout....I about cried after spending that much money on dinner the host didn't even try to go get it for me...we drove an hour and 24 min to get there too 😥
Google
Ate here on a Saturday afternoon between lunch and dinner. My husband was craving bbq for his birthday so we decided to try this place out since we had never been there and it had good reviews.

They sat us at a table in the bar area right next to the only other table that had people sitting there. We had to wait a few minutes for a waitress to stop by and take our drink order, it took a long time to get two beers even though we were sitting in the bar area.

We ordered the burnt ends appetizer. They were tasty, but were served room temperature, we wished they had been warmer. They were glazed in bbq sauce but they didn’t have that caramelized crust on them that you usually get with burnt ends.

We tried asking questions about the different bbq meats and how much she thought we should get, but her answers were really short and she seemed annoyed that we were asking. My husband explained that we had never been there before and were used to bbq places with meat platters and this place doesn’t have that. She said she thought we had been there before, but I have no idea why she would think that. After that, she was sickly sweet to us and heavy on the hons, dears, etc.

We ended up getting the brisket, pulled pork, ribs, a hot link, fries, cole slaw, cheesy potatoes, and Mac & cheese. The only thing that came out remotely hot was the Mac & cheese because they baked the cheese on top of it before bringing it out. Everything else was room temperature or cold.

The pulled pork was the tastiest item we had. The ribs were tough and dry. The brisket was fine, but would have been better warm. The hot link had large pieces of actual gristle in it that were hard and uncomfortable to bit into.

I was so excited about getting the cheesy potatoes because I love making them at home and I never see them in a restaurant. The cheese sauce for the potatoes was really good, but was lukewarm. The potatoes themselves were still kind of crunchy and that was super disappointing.

Our waitress didn’t come and check on us very often after we received our food. My husband ordered a second beer, and was almost done with his meal by the time she brought it to him.

Overall, we were very disappointed with our experience here and my husband was bummed this was the birthday meal he chose. I’ll have a hard time wanting to come back or recommending this place.
Google
We recently hosted our wedding at the Shop Shop, and it was an unforgettable experience! From the moment we approached the Union Joint catering staff on Oct 31 for our December 31 wedding, we were met with exceptional service. Chris, in particular, went above and beyond to ensure every detail was perfect. On the big day, the staff, including Jamie, Liv, and Rhonda, were incredibly professional and attentive, impressing not only us but all of our guests. The food was outstanding, and our guests couldn't stop raving about it. Our special day was truly magical, thanks to the wonderful team at the Shop Shop. Thank you for making our wedding day unforgettable!
Google
We recently hosted our wedding at the Chop Chop, and it was an unforgettable experience! From the moment we approached the Union Joint catering staff on Oct 31 for our December 31 wedding, we were met with exceptional service. Kris, in particular, went above and beyond to ensure every detail was perfect. On the big day, the staff, including Jamie, Liv, and Rhonda, were incredibly professional and attentive, impressing not only us but all of our guests. The food was outstanding, and our guests couldn't stop raving about it. Our special day was truly magical, thanks to the wonderful team at the Chop Chop. Thank you for making our wedding day unforgettable!

The Fed: Gourmet Dining in a Historic Setting

The Fed is a must-visit for those seeking a more upscale dining experience. Housed in a beautifully restored 1920s bank building, The Fed offers a menu that combines modern American cuisine with international flavors. The ambiance is as exquisite as the food, with the original bank vault serving as a unique backdrop for an intimate dining experience.

Reviews - The Fed
Google
Tiffany - Makes the best Old Fashions in Clarkston. Union Woodshop has a Great selection of Bourbon.
Google
Wow. How have I waited this long to experience this place? Truly an experience. Went for brunch and I’ll be back for dinner. The atmosphere is unmatched. The cappuccino and avacado toast I had was beyond delish! All the other food I saw come out looked amazing as well. The service was attentive and quick. Highly recommend.
Google
The prices have went up since switching to
A Le Carte style menu, bill was 100$ for just my husband and I but the food was AMAZING! The ribs, greens and Mac n cheese is my FAV.

I wish they had a combo style menu to help with the cost like before.
Google
They tossed my brisket dinner after only 5 minutes...got to my car and realized I had forgotten my takeout....I about cried after spending that much money on dinner the host didn't even try to go get it for me...we drove an hour and 24 min to get there too 😥
Google
By far, the worst "upscale" restaurant I've ever been to. 2 long islands with no buzz what so ever. The charcuterie board looked as though it was a serving for an infant. It took 2 hours for our meals to arrive. My wife said the duck was good. My filet, on the other hand, was roughly 4oz, dry, and tasted like nothing but pepper. Our bill was $190 before a tip. By far, the biggest rip off in Clarkston! Only positive was the atmosphere, but even that got boring after waiting for 2 hours.
Google
Ate here on a Saturday afternoon between lunch and dinner. My husband was craving bbq for his birthday so we decided to try this place out since we had never been there and it had good reviews.

They sat us at a table in the bar area right next to the only other table that had people sitting there. We had to wait a few minutes for a waitress to stop by and take our drink order, it took a long time to get two beers even though we were sitting in the bar area.

We ordered the burnt ends appetizer. They were tasty, but were served room temperature, we wished they had been warmer. They were glazed in bbq sauce but they didn’t have that caramelized crust on them that you usually get with burnt ends.

We tried asking questions about the different bbq meats and how much she thought we should get, but her answers were really short and she seemed annoyed that we were asking. My husband explained that we had never been there before and were used to bbq places with meat platters and this place doesn’t have that. She said she thought we had been there before, but I have no idea why she would think that. After that, she was sickly sweet to us and heavy on the hons, dears, etc.

We ended up getting the brisket, pulled pork, ribs, a hot link, fries, cole slaw, cheesy potatoes, and Mac & cheese. The only thing that came out remotely hot was the Mac & cheese because they baked the cheese on top of it before bringing it out. Everything else was room temperature or cold.

The pulled pork was the tastiest item we had. The ribs were tough and dry. The brisket was fine, but would have been better warm. The hot link had large pieces of actual gristle in it that were hard and uncomfortable to bit into.

I was so excited about getting the cheesy potatoes because I love making them at home and I never see them in a restaurant. The cheese sauce for the potatoes was really good, but was lukewarm. The potatoes themselves were still kind of crunchy and that was super disappointing.

Our waitress didn’t come and check on us very often after we received our food. My husband ordered a second beer, and was almost done with his meal by the time she brought it to him.

Overall, we were very disappointed with our experience here and my husband was bummed this was the birthday meal he chose. I’ll have a hard time wanting to come back or recommending this place.

Casual Eats and Sweet Treats

Honcho: Latin Street Food and Coffee

Clarkston’s culinary diversity is on full display at Honcho. This casual eatery serves up a fusion of Latin American street food alongside specialty coffee drinks. It’s the perfect spot for a laid-back lunch or a caffeine fix, with a menu that’s as vibrant as the colorful decor.

Reviews - Honcho Latin Street Food & Coffee
Google
Great coffee and food, atmosphere is unique and comforting.
Google
Love the tortilla soup and nacho with hot chicken. That is our go to. Prices are appropriate. Service is usually pretty good. Definitely worth a trip
Google
Had lunch at the bar, the server was EXCELLENT (I'm so bummed I can't remember her name!), Honcho tacos, margs, & cappuccino are my FAV and are always consistently delicious.
Google
Came for lunch and loved it! Coffee was surprisingly Amazing. Got a salted caramel latte. I got the green enchiladas and they were great! Super pleased. Kinda petty to charge 50 cents for sour cream without telling you though. I would definitely come back still!
Google
Good place to try out latin American food. The ambiance is great- they have outdoor seating in igloo like structure. This place gets busy so plan accordingly
Google
Went here on a whim...well because it says Latin street food, the staff was nice, pretty clean place. Food was "fusion style" while we enjoy traditional latino foods, but just my opinion, I'm sure most people will enjoy this place

Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen: Comfort Food Classics

The Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen is another local institution known for its mac & cheese that has been dubbed “Michigan’s Best” by several publications. Set in a converted church, the restaurant offers a unique atmosphere to enjoy comfort food favorites and an extensive selection of craft beers.

Reviews - Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen
Google
Awesome atmosphere and delicious unique food. Super cool vibe and in an old church AMEN!
Google
Food and service were great. Nice tap list too.
Google
Amazing food and good beers on tap!
Google
Always a good stop. Working in the area with my manager and gave him the best lunch in the mid MI area!

Not only is the food always worth the drive, the quality of ingredients used elevates every dish! The steak and mushroom soup was a winner. Depth of flavor is all I can think of.

Also a corn beef sandwich that was made in house boasts what a CBS is suppose to be.

Looking forward to next experience soon !
Google
Excelente!
Ambiente acolhedor, ótimo serviço!
Funcionários muito queridos!
Google
It's just ok, but definitely not as good as it's reputation. Food is higher priced, smaller portion size. Quality of food is very good just not worth $17 for a sandwich.

Kruse Deer Lake Inn

Kruse & Muer Deer Lake Inn is a charming, delightful restaurant in Clarkston, Michigan. This American-style eatery offers a range of delectable dishes that are expertly prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients. The inn’s rustic and cozy atmosphere and its stunning views of Deer Lake make it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner, family gathering, or a casual meal with friends. As part of the Kruse & Muer family of restaurants, Deer Lake Inn continues the tradition of providing quality food and exceptional service, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all guests.

Reviews - Kruse's Deer Lake Inn
Google
Made a reservation on Valentines Day. Was seated immediately. What appeared to be a manager brought bread and water, and advised our server would be right over. We then waited 25 minutes with no service and walked out.
Google
We made reservations over a week in advance for the night before Valentine's Day. Upon arriving, we were seated in short order. A nice corner table. After sitting there for a time, waiting for a waitress to drop by, the manager (I assume) asked us to move to a different table because some couple had requested the table we were sitting at. Ok, whatever. A little off-putting, honestly. It had been 5 minutes and no one had even stopped by to drop off a water, and already we are asked to move. We did not pick the table, that's where the host seated us. If it was set asside for some other couple, the host should have known that. Our new table had a great view of the bathrooms and service area. So there's that. Had the Manager been on his toes, he would have moved us to an even nicer table than the one we left. Not one that is worse. I guess in his mind, we were lucky to have a table at all. The wife had the maple river salmon, which was excellent. I had the crab stuffed shrimp, which was ok. Nothing special. For dessert, I had the chocolate mousse, which was more like pudding than mousse. My wife had the creme brulee, which was not great. It was more like vanilla pudding. Thin, and not rich at all. Oh, well. Could've been better overall. I expected better from a Kruse establishment. I suppose we will go again someday, but I'm not in any hurry to go.
Google
We made reservations over a week in advance for the night before Valentine's Day. Upon arriving, we were seated in short order. A nice corner table. Only, we were asked to move to a different shortly there after by the manager because some couple had requested that table. Ok, whatever. A little off-putting, honestly. Our new table had a great view of the bathrooms and service area. So there's that. The wife had the maple river salmon, which was excellent. I had the crab stuffed shrimp, which was ok - good. Nothing special. For dessert, I had the chocolate mousse, which was more like pudding than mousse. My wife had the creme brulee, which was not great. It was more like vanilla pudding. Not rich at all. Oh, well. Could've been better overall. I expected better from a Kruse establishment. I suppose we will go again but not in any hurry to.
Google
Great atmosphere, food, drink, and service!
Google
Outstanding lunch. 330 salad was amazing. I will be back soon for that. Also had the pasta Primavera which is the best I've had. Odd to add craisins and almonds but it enhanced the dish. As always bread is fabulous.
Google
Frankly, extremely disappointed in my meal this time. I really don’t think I want to go back any time soon. I ordered whitefish. I substituted broccoli for the vegetable. The meal was not hot nor warm. The broccoli was ice cold and almost raw. The fish was not warm. I’m taking a break.

A Taste of Italy in Clarkston

Bologna Trattoria Clarkston: Authentic Italian Cuisine

Bologna Trattoria Clarkston is a renowned Italian restaurant located in Clarkston, Michigan. This restaurant is known for its authentic Italian cuisine, offering a wide variety of dishes that are prepared with fresh, local ingredients. The menu at Bologna Trattoria Clarkston features traditional Italian dishes such as pasta, risotto, and tiramisu, among others. The restaurant is also praised for its warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly service, and excellent wine list. Whether you’re looking for a place to have a quiet dinner or celebrate a special occasion, Bologna Trattoria Clarkston offers a memorable dining experience.

Reviews - Bologna Trattoria
Google
Great little place to get some really good food. Parking is easy. The waitress was fun and added to the experience. The price was a bit higher than a franchise casual restaurant, but it was worth it for the quality and quantity of the food.

Great hidden gem, will definitely go again.

Went again and food was great. However, it took quite a bit longer than we expected to receive our food after salads. Also the Cesar salad was not worth the price.

Still intend to go again.
Google
Great little place to get some really good food. Parking is easy. The waitress was fun and added to the experience. The price was a bit higher than a franchise casual restaurant, but it was worth it for the quality and quantity of the food.

Great hidden gem, will definitely go again.
Google
This is my favorite Italian restaurant by far.. the amazing dishes all are great but usually get the chicken Marsala and the lasagna!! The staff is attentive and friendly. I have never had a bad experience from take out to dine in! The true Italian experience. ❤️
Google
I recently dined at a fantastic Italian restaurant and had a great experience. The service was attentive and the food was authentic Italian. They even brought out warm bread that was absolutely delicious. The cannolis, which are my favorite Italian dessert, were the best ones I have ever tried. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I will definitely be dining here again.
Google
Delicious food and service was perfect.
Google
Pizza and pasta are sooooo good especially when you’re craving some good Italian that you don’t want to wait an hour for. Food comes out quick too.

The Impact of Local Restaurants on Clarkston’s Economy

The restaurant industry is a significant contributor to Clarkston’s local economy. These establishments provide employment opportunities and attract visitors from neighboring areas, boosting tourism and supporting local suppliers. Restaurants like the ones mentioned above have helped put Clarkston on the map as a culinary destination, which in turn has positive ripple effects on the community.

Conclusion: Savoring Clarkston’s Culinary Delights

Clarkston, Michigan, may be small, but its restaurant scene is rich in flavor and variety. From smoky barbecue to gourmet dining and casual cafes to authentic Italian eateries, there’s something to satisfy every palate. These establishments are more than just places to eat; they are integral to the community, contributing to the local economy and the town’s charm. Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, dining in Clarkston is an experience that should not be missed. So next time you find yourself in this quaint Michigan town, indulge in the culinary delights that Clarkston offers.

Avatar Of Michaela Nolte

Michaela Nolte

Michaela is a history buff and loves to export historical markers and old buildings and seeks stories about Michigan and Great Lakes history. When she is not writing, you can find her with a good book sipping wine on the beach.

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