The Pasty Trail: Best Pasties in the U.P.

Michigan is known for its waterfalls, scenery and beer, but what about the pasties? Outside of Cornwall, the Upper Peninsula might be the most popular spot in the world for pasties.

It started with the mining community in the 1800s and has since extended to the rest of the U.P. as well as the L.P.

Where else can you find a pasty festival or a town where every restaurant has its own version of the pasty? That’s exactly what the U.P. has, which means it’s time to take a trip.

If you consider yourself a pasty lover, the map below covers every significant pasty shop (with the help of research) in the U.P. as well as the best route to take. Sure, it may be unlikely to hit up all these spots on one trip, but you can try.

pasty trail, pasty guy, upper peninsula, pasties

pastytrail2

Here are Google Maps for the first and second part.

In addition, there is plenty of scenery to take in along the way from the Mackinac Bridge to an abundance of waterfalls, to shorelines such as Pictured Rocks. And of course, camping.

For a fun, cheap trip, The Pasty Trail might be your new favorite thing.

  1. Mackinaw Pastie and Cookie Co., Mackinaw City – Review
  2. Bessie’s Original Homemade Pasties, St. Ignace – Review
  3. MJ’s Pasties, St. Ignace (Unfortunately, MJ’s is no longer with us)
  4. Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Paradise
tahquamenon falls, pasty trail

The Tahquamenon Falls are a must-visit along the Pasty Trail.

You can take the trail any way you want, but this is The Pasty Guy’s preferred method coming from the Lower Peninsula. Start with the east side and go around to finish at one of the best spots (Lehto’s).

There aren’t many places on the east side, so this also gets you started slowly, building your stomach up for the massive amount of pasty you’re set to engulf. The main reason the Tahquamenon Brewery is on here is because it’s a brewery and there are nearby falls and a State Park. Maybe it’s not the best pasty you’ll ever eat, but the views and adventure will surely override those feelings.

  1. Muldoon’s Pasties, Munising – Review
pictured rocks, pasty trail, munising

Just a little taste of Pictured Rocks.

Kill two birds with one stone, except please don’t kill any birds. You can’t do much better than visiting Pictured Rocks and Muldoon’s on the same day. Well, I can’t do much better.

  1. Jean Kay’s Pasties, Marquette – Review
  2. Crossroads Restaurant & Lounge, Marquette
  3. Lawry’s Pasty Shop, Marquette
  4. Irontown Pasties, Negaunee

Marquette has plenty going for itself: Lake Superior, Northern Michigan and an abundance of pasty shops. Jean Kay’s and Lawry’s are top of the line, while Irontown can be enjoyed on your way out of the city. Or if you want to hold off on Lawry’s while in Marquette, there’s another establishment right in Ishpeming.

  1. Roy’s Pasties & Bakery, Houghton – Review
  2. Kaleva Café, Hancock
  3. Pasty Central, Calumet
  4. Connie’s Kitchen, Calumet
  5. Toni’s Country Kitchen, Calumet
isle royale, pasty trail, copper harbor

If you happen to find yourself on Isle Royale it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

And now things get really exciting. Copper Country aka Keweenaw Peninsula – whatever you want to call it – is where you can find the world-known Pasty Fest in Calumet.

Anywhere you go here will have pasties, but the places I’ve found are considered the best, not to mention Pasty Central’s website is actually pasty.com.

If you want a pasty break (what?!), there’s always a few hours you could spend in Copper Hopper in the northernmost point of the peninsula. And if you really want adventure, take the ferry out to Isle Royale. You won’t be disappointed.

Another fun fact, ‘Pasty.net’ is the Internet provider in Keweenaw. I don’t know what else you need to know about this place to be sold.

  1. Syl’s Café, Ontonagon
  2. Joe’s Pasty Shop, Ironwood – Review; Rhinelander 

Believe it or not, but you’re almost halfway done with The Pasty Trail. I know, it’s flown by a little too quickly. At least you made it to the western end of the state and found Joe’s. When you make it there, you’ll know one thing: You love pasties (just look at their website). For more excitement, Potawatomi Falls is a little off the trail before getting to downtown Ironwood.

 

lakeoftheclouds

If you like to hike, the Porcupine Mountains are about an hour north of Ironwood and a great place to take a day or two to enjoy the land. Pictured: Lake of the Clouds

 

  1. The Pasty Corner, Iron River
  2. Pasty King Prime, Kingsford
  3. The Pasty Oven, Quinnesec – Review
bond falls, ontonagon, pasty trail

Bond Falls is one of the many waterfalls found along the trail.

And the trip east begins as does the journey along Route 2, which I like to call Pasty Road. There isn’t much to see outside of pasties until getting to Escanaba, but Bond Falls is only a short way north of Watersmeet. Pasty King Prime remains a ghost online, but one person on Trip Advisor labeled it the best ever. For those that want to try something different, The Pasty Oven has the rare Vegan Pasty, which I’m not sure exists anywhere else.

  1. Gram’s Pasties, Escanaba – Review
  2. Dobber’s Pasties, Escanaba – Review
kitch-iti-kipi, pasty trail, the big spring, manistique, palms book state park

Kitch-iti-kipi looks even cooler from the surface.

With Escanaba comes Lake Michigan and some great camping destinations, as well as the headquarters of Dobber’s Pasties (other shop found in Iron Mountain). But the main attraction in these parts is no doubt Gram’s, which prides itself on winning the ‘Best Pasty’ for the last however many years in Escanaba. I mean, good job. They don’t advertise being the best in the U.P. because, well, they aren’t. Sorry, Gram!

Just a little ways after Escanaba and north of Manistique (less than an hour out of the way) is the little-known Kitch-iti-kipi. It’s a big spring that goes 40-feet deep and you can see all the way to the bottom. Yeah, go there.

  1. Jack’s Fresh Market, Manistique – Review
  2. Hiawatha Pasties, Naubinway – Review
  3. Wildwood Pasties, Moran
  4. Lehto’s Pasties, St. Ignace – Review
  5. Suzy’s Pasties, St. Ignace – Review
  6. Taste of the U.P., St. Ignace – Review
pasty, pasty review, pasties, pasty guy, lehtos pasties, lehtos

Finish with one of the best, Lehto’s.

You’ve come to the final stretch and it’s purely pasty madness at this point getting closer to the bridge. So you don’t have to eat five pasties in one day, there are a number of camping sites along Route 2 that are on or near Lake Michigan. Either way, visiting Lehto’s is a must and what many (The Pasty Guy included) consider one of the best pasties around.

For more fun in the Lower Peninsula, there are plenty more pasty places to try. A little ways from the bridge, Petoskey and Traverse City are attractions in themselves, but also have a few shops. However, those will be part of The Pasty Trail 2… coming soon. Or if you want to visit the Detroit Pasty Trail

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4 thoughts on “The Pasty Trail: Best Pasties in the U.P.

  1. Reading this makes me hungry and homesick. Grew up in Niagara, Wi., just across the river from Mi. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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