Audie’s Restaurant in Mackinaw a Must Visit for Tourists and Families
One thing that changes from camping as adults and camping as adults with kids is dining habits. Vacations have to have some structure in lunch and dinner times. This means packing meals or finding restaurants that are family friendly. If you’re vacationing near Mackinaw anytime soon, I encourage you to check out Audie’s Restaurant, a long time staple located near the Mackinac Bridge. Don’t worry for those of you without kids or those looking for some upscale food, Audie’s has you covered too.
Audie’s has been “serving visitors since the Mackinac Bridge was built”. The restaurant is proud to say Northern Express readers voted it the “Best All-Around Restaurant”. A visit to TripAdvisor will back those claims, as the restaurant ranks among the top five in the popular tourist city. Trust me though that you have to visit this restaurant in person to get the full experience.
Audie’s is split into two separate dining areas. The one where we ate is the Family Room. This area of dining features a pictorial museum and real artifacts from the construction of the Mackinac Bridge. This side also has several taxidermy animals, which my young sons enjoyed looking at during dinner. This side of the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For those of you with kids, this side is great and very family friendly, as the name implies. Kids even get a “Michigan Chillers” themed menu inspired by the local Michigan author. One item of particular note is the Fresh Fruit Plate, which at $2.99 was a huge bargain, and also kept our kids occupied prior to entrees arriving.
I was more than pleased with the “English Style Fish & Chips”, featuring the catch of the day fish for $12.25. My wife ordered the Bison Burger, which at $9.99 was a great value and an equally tasty full size meal. I am wishing we had room for dessert, as Audie’s menu has a full page listed with items like Homemade Strawberry Shortcake and Worms ‘n Dirt. Again, if you have kids considering ordering this dessert featuring vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, oreos, and gummi worms.
The other side of Audie’s Restaurant is called The Chippewa Room which is a casual fine dining experience. You will pay a little bit more on this side, but with a menu from Culinary Institute of America graduate Nick Jaggi, you’ll be happy with your choice. This side of the restaurant features Native American décor and artifacts from tribes of the area. The Chippewa Room and its accompanying Welcome Lounge don’t open until 5pm.
If you’re interested, also consider checking out the restaurant’s other options like buffets, banquet dining, luncheons, and cruise dining options.
One of the things that impressed me the most with the restaurant was the staff. We had two managers and several servers visit our table throughout our meal to make sure everything was good. They all interacted with our two kids.
On your way out, be sure to check out the gift shop. Here you can buy a number of local foods like jams and salsas. The gift shop also has a lot of books by local authors, including signed copies of the “Michigan Chillers” series.
Ultimately the big difference between the two sides is the price of the menu items. On the Family Room side, dishes range from $5 to $15. On the Chippewa Room side, entrees are $20 on average. For us, the decision to choose the Family Room side had more to do with our children than pricing or the menu. Check out this long time gem in Mackinaw if you’re in the area. You’ll be glad you did. Be prepared for a short wait, as the restaurant isn’t an undiscovered gem after all these years of great service.
Audie’s Restaurant is located at 314 Nicolet Street. You can take exit 339 from I-75 to get thre. There is ample parking near the restaurant.
Have you been to Audie’s on any of your visits to the Mackinaw City area? Let us know what you thought in the comments below. Be sure to check out Audie’s on Facebook as well.