Grand Marais is quaint town located on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota.
It’s best known for its scenic lighthouse, relaxing North Shore atmosphere, and perfect location for day-tripping to many of Minnesota’s best state parks.
But maybe our favorite part about Grand Marais? The fun and unique selection of food.
Whether you’re looking for world renown donuts, pizza with a cult following, a quaint fish shack, or some of the most unique tacos you’ve ever had… Grand Marais has got you covered!
In this post, we’re looking back on all our vacations to this awesome Lake Superior town, and we’re sharing our personal favorite choices for the the 11 best restaurants in Grand Marais!
Map of the Best Restaurants in Grand Marais, Minnesota
The #1 Must Eat: World’s Best Donuts
You can’t talk food in Grand Marais without mentioning the uber famous and boldly named “World’s Best Donuts.”
A family establishment since 1969, this place has been turning out fantastic donuts for decades. These donuts have been featured everywhere from Minnesota Monthly to The New York Times, who both agreed the donuts live up to the name. (Fun trivia: World’s Best Donuts changed its name in 1977 at the urging of its loyal customers, who constantly told the founder that she had the best donuts in the world!)
It seems whenever this place is open, there’s a line around the block. One bite into one of their famous cake donuts, and you’ll know why! (Although their glazed, long johns, and skizzle donuts are all fantastic as well.)
- Recommended: Any of the world famous cake donuts
- Website: World’s Best Donuts
The most popular pizza: Sven and Ole’s
You wouldn’t expect a pizza shop in Grand Marais to have a wild cult following. But if you start paying attention, you’ll start noticing Sven and Ole’s bumper sticks all over the country! (We’ve personally seen them as far away as Florida!)
Sure, this place has a marketing budget that would make McDonald’s proud. But at the end of the day, we were surprised to find that the pizza here actually is actually pretty good! We typically play it safe at Sven and Ole’s with a plain pepperoni, and the result is a tangy and tasty pizza that we can’t help but love.
- Recommended: Pepperoni Pizza
- Website: Sven and Ole’s
The coolest spot: Wunderbar Eatery & Glampground
For the most unique dining experience in Grand Marais, you’ve gotta head to Wunderbar. This quirky place is half restaurant, half campsite, and half game room. Yes, we realize that math doesn’t add up, but such is life at Wunderbar!
This place includes it all! A bar, a restaurant, sofa lounge chairs, big screen TVs, live music, a jukebox, a ping pong table, bonfires… are we missing anything? Probably, but that’s just why you’ll have to head to Wunderbar to see for yourself!
Update: Wunderbar closed in 2021 due to COVID. 🙁
- Recommended: Burgers and Fries, Grown Up Grilled Cheese
Most unique food: Hungry Hippie Tacos
Hungry Hippie Tacos is the type of innovative place you’d expect to see in the middle of downtown Minneapolis, but we’re oh so glad they decided to set up shop in Grand Marais!
Here, they’re most famous for their “Puff Tacos.” These tortillas are made by hand with a Minnesota wild rice blend, then fried to a puffy, crunchy combination and piled high with everything from traditional beef to their iconic sauerkraut!
The result is one of the most delicious and unique tacos you’ll find anywhere, and certainly one of the best restaurants in Grand Marais.
- Recommended: Any of the “Fry Bread” Tacos
- Website: Hungry Hippie
Best fish shack: Angry Trout Cafe
Angry Trout Cafe is an adorable indoor/outdoor space that, as the website explains, “was cobbled together out of an old commercial fishing shanty that clings to the edge of Grand Marais Harbor.”
If you’re looking for that fish-shack vibe, Angry Trout is your best bet in Grand Marais. Here, you’ll find a menu inspired by the local seafood, including shrimp, oysters, chowder, and the fresh catch fish of the day.
- Recommended: Fish and Chips
- Website: Angry Trout Cafe
Cool bar with a view: Gun Flint Tavern
On our first visit to Gunflint Tavern, we grabbed a Grilled Walleye sandwich that blew us away. We’ve been going back ever since!
In those return trips, we’ve also learned that Gunflint Tavern brews their own beer, and that beer happens to be fantastic! This is a great local spot with a rooftop deck that’s probably the best view in town.
- Recommended: Grilled Walleye Sandwich
- Website: Gun Flint Tavern
Our favorite coffee shop: Java Moose
Every good small town needs a wonderful coffee shop, and thankfully, Grand Marais has Java Moose.
Here, you’ll find great coffee and tea, plus a whole assortment of baked goods. But maybe the most underrated part about Java Moose? Their lunch menu.
We love grabbing a simple sandwich here and then bringing it with us for a picnic at Devil’s Kettle, Temperance River Gorge, Waywaugoing Bay Overlook, or any of the other awesome things to do along Minnesota’s North Shore.
- Recommended: Coffee, Tea, Basic Sandwiches (for a picnic later!)
- Website: Java Moose
Best ice cream: Sydney’s Frozen Custard
Along the same lines, every good small town needs an ice cream shop, and Grand Marais hit a home run here, too.
Sydney’s Frozen Custard is a delicious ice cream shop located right on the bay. As the name implies, they specialize in frozen custard. But two other things you might not immediately realize:
- This tiny hut actually has a beautiful rooftop, with amazing lake views.
- Their menu includes delicious wood fired pizza, as well as gyros, hot dogs, and more.
No question, Sydney’s is a Grand Marais must-eat!
- Recommended: Frozen Custard & Pizza
- Website: Sidney’s Frozen Custard & Pizza
The most popular brewery: Voyageur Brewing Company
Aside from tons of tap beer, the biggest brewery in Grand Marais also has a lengthy food menu that includes cheese curds, wings, tacos, sliders, and flat breads.
You can enjoy those bites, along with some craft beer, in any of the restaurant’s three different dining spaces. There’s the beautiful indoor taproom, a relaxing lower patio, and a stunning rooftop deck with views of Lake Superior.
- Recommended: Cheese Curds, Pretzels, Flat Breads, or Sliders
- Website: Voyageur Brewing
Best sitdown meal: Harbor House Grille
For a sitdown meal done right, we love Harbor House Grille.
This cute converted home features a quaint patio and cozy cottage interior, along with a thorough menu including everything from soup, salad, burgers, pizza, and fresh fish. It’s a restaurant that’s sure to please everyone in the group. And so far, everything we’ve tried has been delicious.
- Recommended: French Onion Soup, Fish Plates
- Website: Harbor House Grille
BONUS: Beth’s Fudge & Gifts
Okay, this is definitely not a restaurant, but the treats here are so delicious, we just had to include it on our list.
This little giftshop along the harbor includes over 30 unbelievable fudge flavors, along with some of the best taffy we’ve ever had. It’s an absolute must stop for a post-meal treat!
- Recommended: Vanilla Praline Fudge (but really… any of the 30+ flavors!) and Taffy (We especially love the Key Lime Pie!)
- Website: Beth’s Fudge