F O O D I E: “Someone who enjoys food and the acting of consuming it”.

What a weird thing, to invent a word based on the desire to eat good food; real food. That having a preference to nourishing, fresh, tasty, and delicious foods requires a new title, creating a subcategory of people, of actual humans.

Isn’t that what food is supposed to be? Good and good for you?

What I admire about those of us that are active in the current (or future) food frenzy is our desire to learn: to educate ourselves and others on where food comes from, how it’s prepared, and what other animal/plant source offers more nutrients than the last. We’ve taught and continue to teach other a multitude of things – like how Fast doesn’t always mean good, and that Food doesn’t always mean natural.

Some people eat to live. Others live to eat. As long as you’re fueling yourself for you, who cares what title it carries.

So we delight in eating. We enjoy meals. If that makes us Foodies, so be it.

And we foodies relish life in Southwest Michigan. Michigan’s Sunset Coast provides plethora of locally-sourced, incomparable eats – and the following are some of our favorites:
Due to changing dining restrictions as we all navigate through Covid-19, please call the restaurant or check their website/social media for updated hours, menu, and availability.

The Filet from Timothy’s — holy. wow.

Timothy’s, Union Pier
16409 Red Arrow Hwy
Treat yourself to a symphony of Asian-inspired flavors, crafted so beautifully you’ll swear every dish was orchestrated specifically for you. Timothy’s offers fresh, creative, gorgeous meals that not only fill you, they perform for you. Their 12 for $12.50 features are a must, and the new Comfort Platters addition to their already lovely menu is just another reason to adore this place. With online ordering, curbside to-go, and outdoor dome seating coming soon, Timothy’s will absolutely become a staple for you in 2021.

Song Asian Cuisine, New Buffalo
301 W. Buffalo St
Tempura, soft shell crab, squid salad, pages and pages of sushi & sashimi! Song is a hidden dream in the bustling beach town of New Buffalo. The decor is floral and whimsical, and the menu is large, but not overwhelming. Lei Song and his family began filling our bellies with Chinese and Japanese deliciousness only four years ago, but will forever keep us, and many others, coming back for more. Call to place your order, and utilize their no-contact pick up. 

Oh. My. Av…ocado

Bread + Bar, Benton Harbor
645 Riverview Drive
Modern decor, chic lighting, and an air of relaxed business casual, Bread + Bar in Benton Harbor provides an unforgettable dining adventure. The scratch-made menu carries you into a gallery of flavors: artisan breads, European style cheeses, produce provided by local farmers. Order online, and watch their social media pages for changing dinner specials and menu!

Tello Italian Bistro, South Haven
524 Phoenix St
Stepping over the threshold of Tello in South Haven immediately transports you to romantic faraway Italy. The furniture is rustic, the artwork is funky, and the scent of garlic hangs in the air.  With an extensive list of wine, beer, and cocktails to-go, Tello has the perfect date night menu just waiting for you. Pizza, pasta, pecorino, Oh My! I could not choose a favorite entree if I tried, though you simply must try them all.

Iron Shoe Distillery, Niles
3 N 3rd St
A family-owned business serving delicious food sourced from family-owned farms — exactly what foodies love! Nestled above the river in Niles, Iron Shoe graces third street with a fun atmosphere and fantastic menu! Comforting foods like hot, crispy brussels sprouts, wings tossed in tantalizing homemade BBQ sauce, and a burger of the month that ALWAYS blows your mind, Iron Shoe Distillery brings artisan cocktails to your glass, and local ingredients right to your plate.

The Sovengard, Grand Rapids
443 Bridge St NW Suite 1
Outdoor biergarten, in-house grown herbs, the true definition of Farm To Table. Sovengard demonstrates dedication and commitment in the relaxed, Nordic-inspired, Welcome Home feel of their gorgeous dining spaces (bell tents are available by reservation in the outdoor garden!). Follow them on Instagram and you’ll get a daily dose of food art. With weekly specials, online ordering, fantastic presentation, and a menu that reads like poetry, this place transforms meal time into an event.

Too gorgeous to eat. But we did. All of it. Lei Song is an artist.

And this is just getting started! There are so many local restaurants and bistros that take pride in the product they serve, the experience they provide, and the memories made at their establishments. So invite your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your cousin’s coworkers– board the metaphorical Foodie Ferry and cruise up the Sunset Coast to each of these delicious destinations, and more.

Jocelyne Y Tuszynski