Lehto’s Pasties

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This is not a car ad, just a busy place.

It’s never easy to live up to expectations, and more often than not, they can’t be reached.

So when I went to review my favorite pasty shop before The Pasty Guy became a thing, I expected Lehto’s Pasties to get full points. It’s one of the most popular places in the Upper Peninsula for a reason and probably the most popular along US-2.

In prime season, Lehto’s, on the west side of St. Ignace, always has a few cars in the parking lot. Every day, the pasties are made fresh by the same family and the menu is everything you need: beef pasty.

Sure, they also throw gravy on the menu, but that’s really just for show and for anyone that wants to gain a few extra pounds.

New ownership took over in 2012 when the Walker’s purchased it, but it wasn’t that big of a change since Lehto runs in their family. And so, the same recipe remains.

The main difference for Lehto’s pasties is that they aren’t your typical Cornish pasty with a handle on the side. Some shops can succeed without it, others not so much. Lehto’s succeeds.

pasty, pasty review, pasties, pasty guy, lehtos pasties, lehtosThe crust, most likely full of lard, is as good of a crust you can find. It’s flaky, has a good thickness, is maybe a little too greasy, and more than anything, makes you want more.

Unfortunately, without the handle, you don’t get much more. The two ends have that extra taste, but throughout the pasty – especially the Lehto’s pasty – I often wanted more crust to taste.

Most of that desire comes from what was inside. Unlike most shops, Lehto’s slices everything: potatoes, veggies, meat, everything. And partly because of that, the middle is a bit mushy, which is one of the downsides to this pasty.

Yes, it tastes good, but definitely not the most pleasing thing to the eye. While that doesn’t affect taste, it definitely knocks down the overall perception of it.pasty, pasty review, pasties, pasty guy, lehtos pasties, lehtos

Because of the mush, it was hard to tell exactly how much meat there was. Most bites contained an overload of potatoes. Along with the potatoes was an overload of salt, which was the main reason the inside stuffing overpowered the crust most of the way.

Either give me more crust, or make the inside less overpowering. You can taste the crust in every bite, sure, but often, you want more of it.

As for those that want gravy or ketchup, have a different pasty. Lehto’s pasties want no part of those additives and can easily be eaten by themselves.

Lehto’s had a big expectation to live up to and maybe they didn’t fully reach it, but they still remain one of the better shops to visit for a pasty.

Taste: 4 (out of 5)
Crust: 4.5 (out of 5)
Pasty Presentation: 2.5 (out of 5)
Maybe the most disappointing thing
The Shop: 3 (out of 3)
I think only three people work there. Make friends with them.
Would I come back for Pasties?: 2 (out of 2)

Total Pasty Rating: 16 (of 20 points)

(Reviewed Summer 2016)

14 thoughts on “Lehto’s Pasties

  1. I’m 66 years old John Letho worked on the boats with my grandfather I have been eating Letho Pasties since I was old enough to eat real food and other than my mom’s fried Chicken nothing compares to Letho’s pasties

  2. Lehto’s opened a second location in town here in St Ignace. They’re right across from Shepler’s, and expanded their menu a bit. I still prefer the traditional beef pastie, but they have some great chili and also terrific cookies. I’d be curious to read your evaluation if you had the time/inclination to visit St Ignace again!

    1. Yes! Wasn’t sure when it opened. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll have to visit soon. Woah, I see they have chicken and veggie now too… interesting.

  3. I found myself missing the rutabaga. Either its not in these pasties or there isn’t enough. Overall a good pasty though!

  4. I agree mostly on your assessment for Lehto’s pasties. I think you’re overly generous. We tried 3 different pasty places based on your recommendations during our trip. Lehto is certainly 3 place and we don’t see a reason to eat there again. Jacks Fresh Market in Manistique was fantastic followed by Jeans in Marquette. Both excellent! And we found your descriptions to be very accurate. Thank you! We look forward to trying more on our next trip to the UP! Thank you!

    1. Thanks for reading Deb. Glad I could help. Make sure to check out the pasty trails if you’re looking for a route to take or other things to do!

  5. I ran across your site while doing a search tonight. I have a strong opinion on Lehto’s. The USE TO be the best party in the UP. Before the shop was sold. The people who run it now claim nothing changed but they did. I knew it immediately the first time I grabbed a party there after the sale. Not the same, I have not been back since. But, ever since then I have been searching for a new favorite best pasty. I have yet to find one that tasted like the old Lehto’s. Maybe its just because thats where we always went. Right now I like Muldoons, my family likes Jean Kays. But this year I finally tried Roy’s in Houghton. Ya, might be a new fave. But its in Houghton and I don’t often make it that far. 🙂 So Muldoons is still my fave. Oh, and your thing about the handle is weird. 🙂 Sorry. I care about taste. Oh, and while I’m at it. People, stop putting catsup, gravy or anything else on your pasties!!!! Not suppose to have anything. If it needs it, its not very good. Looking forward to trying some I have not yet. Cheers. Cool site!

  6. My wife and I stopped there this labor day weekend (2021) and tried our first ever. All and all we were pleased. And plan returning there next time we get up to the U.P. ( we are from Elkhart, IN)

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