MUSKEGON, MI – You’re visiting this Lake Michigan city on vacation or wrapping up a long day at the beach at Pere Marquette Park, and now you’re in search of a nearby restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat.
And, you’re looking for a unique dining experience, one where you can have a great meal and still spend time along the water.
We’ve got you covered, with four local eateries along lakes that are sure to leave you full and satisfied.
Whether you’re a tourist who’s new in town, or a local revisiting a favorite spot, keep scrolling to read these popular waterfront restaurants in Muskegon.
We would be a miss if we didn’t start with The Deck, Muskegon’s popular lakefront barbecue joint and bar. It is located on the beach along Lake Michigan at Pere Marquette Park.
If you’ve never been there, picture scenic beachfront dining, delicious food and cocktails, live music, and an “adult playground” full of outdoor games in the sand. The entire vibe will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a beach in Florida.
The Deck, which opened in summer 2014, is a popular spot at Pere Marquette for tourists and residents. In 2017, it was ranked among the best beach bars in America by Thrillist, a digital publication focused on food, drink and travel.
The restaurant, located at 1601 Beach Street, recently expanded to include 12,000 feet of beach property. The newly fenced-in beach area now houses an outdoor bar and a stage, volleyball and bocce ball courts, and games including cornhole.
“People want a fun place on the beach to just hang out, and that’s what we’re going to give them,” co-owner Fred Scharmer told MLive.
Some of their menu items include beach burrito bowls, handheld sandwiches and sliders, beach tacos and hot dogs. They’ve also got delicious cocktails that come in a 16 ounce cup or 32 ounce pail to quench your thirst.
The Deck is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Fridays from 11 am to 11 pm, Saturdays from noon to 11 pm and Sundays from noon to 8 pm
Dockers Fish House is a 10-minute walk or a quick drive from Lake Michigan, and serves up delicious seafood that’s perfect after a long day at the beach. The restaurant, featuring views of Muskegon Lake and the adjacent marina, has docks for customers to arrive by boat.
Located at the Harbor Towne Marina, off the channel between Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan, Dockers is a favorite lakeshore. The restaurant, located at 3505 Marina View Point, has been highlighted by MLive’s Michigan’s Best in the past as a top restaurant to visit in 2020.
Some of the local favorite dishes include the house fish and chips, the mussels appetizer plate, the tuna poke baja bowl, the spicy fish sandwich, and the crab and lobster mac and cheese.
The restaurant also serves up weekday specials from 3-6 pm including $3 off mussels on Mondays, $3 off nachos and tacos on Tuesdays, BOGO fish and chips on Wednesdays, and a $50 seafood boil on Thursdays.
There’s live music every week, with a summer schedule for live performances listed on the restaurant’s website.
Dockers is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11 pm, and Sundays from noon to 7 pm
The Lake House
Located right on Muskegon Lake, The Lake House Waterfront Grill offers marina-side dining that is casually elegant, with a professional, yet welcoming vibe.
The restaurant is located at 730 Terrace Point Road, connected to Muskegon’s waterfront hotel, The Shoreline Inn.
The restaurant has a beautiful patio area for outdoor dining, plus indoor seating if you’re looking to get out of the sun. You can also catch a fantastic sunset right from your seat, inside or out.
The menu includes burgers, sandwiches and entrees such as walleye, salmon and vegetable risotto, lake perch, and seafood pasta. You can find the full menu here.
The Lake House is open from 11:30 am to 9 pm on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays; from 4-9 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and 11:30 am to 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays.
Bear Lake Tavern
Bear Lake Tavern is located along the channel between Muskegon Lake and Bear Lake. Recent improvements also added more docks so you can arrive by boat, plus a popular tiki bar.
If you’re craving fish, we recommend making the drive there.
A North Muskegon staple since 1929, Bear Lake Tavern prides itself on premium cuisine rather than traditional bar food.
The tavern, located at 360 Ruddiman Drive, has everything from classic comforts to sea-to-table dishes and offers a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and cocktails.
The restaurant is North Muskegon’s home of the famous Yellow Belly Perch, a tavern tradition since 1929. The dish is a top seller at the tavern, selling for $22. It comes with lemon atop a lightly breaded and golden perch, French fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce on the side.
Another menu staple, the Tavern Burger, sells for $13 and offers foodies Angus Beef ground chuck, applewood bacon, smoked ham and cheddar cheese with a side of fries.
Bear Lake is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 10 pm, and Sundays from noon to 8 pm You can find their full menu on their website, linked here.
RELATED: Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Bear Lake Tavern offers sea-to-table dishes on the lakeshore
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