The Keweenaw Peninsula offers a blend of traditional American cuisine, local specialties, and influences from the region’s rich cultural heritage. From fresh fish and locally made sausage to Finnish cuisine and the coveted pasty, there are some delicious and unique foods in the Keweenaw. Follow along to find out what and where to eat to get the most authentic Keweenaw culinary experience.  


The pasty is probably one of the most sought-after foods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Pronounced “past-ee,” the pasty consists of a folded pastry case with a savory filling that typically includes seasoned meats and vegetables. This hearty hand-pie made its way to the Keweenaw thanks to Cornish miners who migrated to the area during the 19th century. Miners working deep underground in our regional copper mines would bring pasties with them for lunch. Most miners carried metal lunch pails with two compartments. They would fill the bottom compartment with hot tea and put their pasty in the upper compartment where it would retain some heat while they were working. 

While pasties were originally brought by Cornish immigrants, other cultural groups put their own spin on this tasty travel-ready meal. Cornish pasties typically consisted of sliced vegetables, including rutabaga. The Finnish miners usually made theirs with diced vegetables and added carrots to the list of ingredients.  

Toni’s Country Kitchen

The Keweenaw is home to several pasty shops that each make their pasties in a different way. 

Today, you will find many creative spin-offs of the traditional pasty. From vegetarian and breakfast pasties to turkey cranberry or spicy pasties... We guarantee there is pasty out there for everyone. Follow along the Keweenaw Pasty Trail to find your favorite. Or plan your Keweenaw vacation during the annual Pasty Festival in Calumet and immerse yourself in a unique celebration of this beloved local delicacy.  

Finnish Cuisine  

There were many ethnic groups that migrated to the Keweenaw during the peak of the copper mining boom. The eventual decline of the copper mining industry pushed many of these immigrant groups out of the area to seek work in other places. However, Finnish immigrants seemed to thrive in the Keweenaw and many settled here permanently. The Keweenaw offered a similar environment to that of their homeland, making it a comfortable location to live. Finns in the Keweenaw also developed many Finnish institutions, like churches, cooperatives, and societies that fostered a strong sense of community and cultural identity among Finnish settlers in the Keweenaw. Today, the Finnish-American population continues to thrive, and visitors will discover many ways in which the Finnish-American community has influenced the culture of the region. 

One of our favorite ways to experience Finnish-American heritage is through its cuisine. Experience pannakaku, a custardy Finnish pancake served with raspberry sauce at Suomi Restaurant. Or head to Nisu Bakery & Cafe in Hancock to try pulla, a sweet Finnish bread infused with aromatic cardamom. For more Finnish flavors, visit the Mohawk Superette. This roadside grocery store features a wide selection of grab-n-go meals, which have recently included Finnish specials like karjalan paisti, a Finnish hotpot or stew, and lohikeitto, a creamy salmon soup. Follow along with their Facebook page to see what specials they are offering.  

Rasberry jam being spread on finnish pancakes.

Pannakaku, a custardy Finnish Pancake, is always a Keweenaw favorite.

While the suggestions mentioned are great options for those looking to explore Finnish cuisine in the Keweenaw, it is certainly not an exhaustive list. There are several other restaurants serving up delicious Finnish treats, as well as gift stores that offer candies imported directly from Finland. And of course, don’t forget to pick up some Finnish squeaky cheese, juustoa, at the grocery store to bring along on your Keweenaw picnic.

Vollwerth’s Sausage & Meats 

Hancock, Michigan is home to Vollwerth’s meat company. The business was started in 1915 by German immigrant, Richard Vollwerth, and has been producing high quality sausage ever since. Vollwerth’s continues to operate as a family-owned business, with 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation family members involved in various positions. The Vollwerth’s products that you consume today are produced using recipes handed down from Richard Vollwerth that are prepared in a time honored, traditional way.  

Vollwerth’s meats can be found at grocery stores throughout the region. Grab some snack sticks or summer sausage for your road trip or enjoy the unique flavor of Pickled Polish Sausage or Braunschweiger. You will also find a nice selection of bratwurst and hot dogs, perfectly suited for grilling out or roasting over a fire.   

One of our Copper Country favorites is their Sauna Makkara ring bologna – a course-ground ring with beef and pork. Makkara is a traditional Finnish sausage that is often hung in the sauna. Enjoy a hot sauna, a cold beer, and jump in the lake before heating the sausage up on the sizzling hot stones of the sauna! 

Cudighi sandwich 

Cudighi Sandwiches are popular in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The sandwich first showed up in the 1930’s, when Italian immigrants introduced it to the region. So, what exactly is a cudighi sandwich? This sandwich consists of a sweet and spicy Italian sausage with flavors of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon served atop a homemade Italian bread.  It is often smothered with gooey mozzarella cheese and a tomato-based sauce. Some recipes also include mustard spread and caramelized onions. Try it for yourself at Gino’s in Hancock. Their cudighi is served on a hoagie roll and topped with sauteed green peppers, caramelized onions, pizza sauce, and mozzarella. The Ambassador in Houghton also serves up a traditional house-made cudighi sandwich using a recipe that’s over 50 years old! 

Turkey Dinner Sundays 

A meal that comes just once a year for most, has become a Sunday tradition in the Keweenaw. Head to Slim’s Cafe in Mohawk for turkey, homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a U.P. Thanksgiving favorite – mashed rutabaga. Served with cranberry sauce, gravy, a dinner roll, and an additional side, this turkey dinner will leave you feeling full and satisfied! Quincy’s Dining Co. in Dollar Bay also serves turkey (or ham) dinner on Sundays. Their dinner is the ultimate comfort food, featuring creamy mashed potatoes, a generous scoop of stuffing, and juicy turkey – all smothered in gravy. Soak up all that gravy with a fluffy dinner roll and let the flavors cranberry sauce and turkey meld together in a delightful symphony of savory and sweet goodness on your plate. 


Surrounded by Great Lake Superior and home to countless inland lakes and streams, the region provides essential habitat for a wide variety of fish species. Local restaurants take pride in sourcing their fish directly from the surrounding waters, ensuring that each bite is a true taste of the region's natural bounty. Whether you prefer the simplicity of a freshly caught trout cooked over an open flame or the elegance of a whitefish delicately prepared by a skilled chef, you'll find it all here in the Keweenaw.

Fish Fry Fridays 

Friday’s in the Upper Peninsula are popular days for Fish Fries. Our local restaurants feature everything from fried whitefish and perch to bluegill or walleye, depending on what’s on hand or in season. Expertly battered and fried to golden perfection, a Fish Fry Friday never disappoints. Served alongside sides like coleslaw, fries, or tartar sauce, these fish fries offer a satisfying meal that brings people together in celebration of the region’s productive fisheries.  

Dreamland fish fryFish Fry Fridays are always a hit in the Upper Peninsula.


Heart-healthy and packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, Great Lakes whitefish are not only vitamin rich but also flaky and delicious! There are many ways to cook this popular fish species, and our local restaurants all make it a little differently. Baked, deep fried, parmesan encrusted, and more... Follow along with our Keweenaw Whitefish Trail to find the whitefish dinner that satisfies your unique preferences.  

baked whitefishYou'll find whitefish dinner at many restaurants throughout the Keweenaw.

Smoked Fish & Dips 

Native Americans in the Great Lakes region have been smoking fish for generations as a form of food preservation that would carry their food supply through the harsher winter months. Smoking fish helps remove moisture from the fish and inhibits the growth of bacteria. It also adds a distinct smoky richness that complements the crunch of crackers perfectly.  

Today, the tradition of sharing smoked fish and crackers extends beyond restaurants and into social gatherings throughout the Keweenaw. Whether it's a family reunion, a weekend camping trip, or a casual get-together with friends, someone is bound to bring along a platter of locally smoked fish paired with crisp crackers. Some places even make the most delicious smoked fish dips.  

Visitors will find locally made smoked fish and smoked fish dips in several locations throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. Stop by Peterson’s Fish Market in Hancock or Jamsen’s Fish Market & Bakery in Copper Harbor. You can also find Keweenaw Fish Company items at grocery stores throughout the Keweenaw, including Mohawk Superette or Louies Fresh Market in Lake Linden. These locations also offer fresh fish fillets, in case you want to take it back to your cabin and grill out.  

Catch Your Own Fish 

Try your hand at catching dinner yourself. The Keweenaw is home to many professional guides that provide the equipment and knowledge necessary to target the species that you like to eat. Most guides will even fillet the fish for you. 

Foraged Flavors 

From fiddleheads in the spring to apple picking in the fall, the Keweenaw’s vast wilderness is home to some pretty tasty, foraged treats. Of course, the #1 rule of foraging is to always ensure that you have properly identified anything you decide to eat! Do your research and pick up a field guide before you set out on your Keweenaw foraging adventure. Learn more about foraging best practices in our Ultimate Springtime Guide to the Keweenaw

Spring Picks 

Spring is a time of reawakening in the Keweenaw. Trees bud, flowers bloom, and plants that are only forage-able during the spring mark the beginning of a new season. Some of our favorite forage-able springtime plants include ramps, fiddleheads, and dandelions. Ramps are a leafy, bulbous plant with a distinctive garlic/ onion flavor and smell. They are one of the first indicators that spring is here to stay. Fiddleheads are baby Ostrich Ferns before they unfurl their long, beautiful leaves. They are delicious when sauteed in butter and garlic. While these plants can be difficult to locate, they make delicious additions to meals like pastas, sandwiches, and soups. You can usually find ramps at the Keweenaw Co-Op (while in-season) in case you want to enjoy the flavor without venturing too deep into the woods. Be sure to look up how to properly and safely cook each ingredient before including it in your meal.  


The Keweenaw is home to an incredible variety of mushrooms, many of which are edible and believed to be very good for you! Foraging mushrooms can be extremely difficult, and it is absolutely essential that you take great care when picking mushrooms for human consumption. Make sure that you properly identify every wild mushroom that you intend to eat. Some spring favorites include chicken of the woods, chanterelles, puffballs, and morels. Edible mushrooms continue to grow throughout the summer season and into fall, when you will find lion’s mane, oyster mushrooms, and porcinis. One of the best times to hunt for mushrooms is after a good rain.  

Wild Berries of the Keweenaw 

One of our favorite things about summer is the wide variety of trailside berries that you can find. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and the most “Keweenaw” of all the berries... the Thimbleberry.  


Thimbleberries are one of the Keweenaw's prized trailside treats. 

While scooping up a handful of berries while you’re hiking is great, they can also be enjoyed in the form of preserves. There are many shops throughout the Keweenaw that sell a wide variety of jams and jellies made using locally grown berries. Treat yourself to some triple berry jam or indulge in a jar of thimbleberry jam. Keep in mind, these jams and jellies also make great gifts!  

Many restaurants use wild Keweenaw berries as ingredients for special menu items while they are in season. Be sure to give the Thimbleberry Margarita a try at Carmelita’s in Calumet! This delicious treat is available year-round. And if you really want to celebrate the berry good berries of the Keweenaw, plan your trip during the annual Chassell Strawberry Festival. This exciting festival has been well attended for over 75 years! 

Maple Syrup 

Maple syrup production is a cherished tradition that brings forth flavors unique to the region's forests. As winter transitions to spring, local maple trees awaken, signaling the start of the syrup-making season. Keweenaw maple syrup is known for its rich amber color and complex flavors, boasting hints of caramel, vanilla, and a subtle earthiness that reflect the area’s terroir.

Mason jars of maple syrup lined up show how the color of the syrup changes throughout the season.

Some Keweenaw farms tap maple trees and make delicious sweet syrups in the spring months. 

This distinctive taste is crafted through traditional methods, including tapping maple trees, collecting sap, and boiling it down in wood-fired evaporators. Whether drizzled over pancakes or used in recipes, maple syrup from the Keweenaw Peninsula embodies a delicious connection to nature and local heritage, delighting taste buds with its natural sweetness and depth of flavor. Pick up a bottle of this tasty syrup at grocery stores or gift shops throughout the region.  

Local Kombucha 

One local kombucha company has found a way to capture the essence of the Keweenaw’s natural splendor in fizzy, refreshing drinks. Headquartered in Laurium, MI, Living Proof Brewing Company sources their ingredients from local growers in the Keweenaw Peninsula, producing kombucha flavors that are unique to the region.  

Living Proof Kombucha bottle with Lake Superior in background.Grab a bottle of Living Proof Kombucha and enjoy refreshing flavors of the Keweenaw on the shores of Lake Superior. 

Try the Gingerbee and experience the delight of fresh honey crisp apples as they meld gently with the sweet and floral flavors of local honey, before giving way to a spicy, zesty ginger bite. Or experience the Thymekeeper, a kombucha made with tart raspberries and thyme, then finished with the sharp, yet warm aroma of caraway. This local company is always experimenting with new flavors, using ingredients that are fresh and in-season. Some incredible flavors that they have produced include Blueberry Lilac, Chaga-infused flavors, Thimbleberry, Strawberry basil, and more. You will find their newest specialty flavors on tap at our local farmers markets, or find their most popular flavors on shelves in many locations throughout the Keweenaw. The Orpheum Theater in Hancock also offers their kombucha on tap – a perfect drink to sip on during one of their shows! 

Craft Beer & Microbreweries 

Brewing beer has been a Keweenaw tradition since the peak of the copper mining boom. Some of the earliest Keweenaw breweries included Bosch Brewery, A.Hass Brewing Company, The Park Brewery, Knivel Brewing, and the Calumet Brewing Company. While these breweries have disappeared with the passing of time, new Keweenaw breweries have emerged throughout the years.

Two pints of craft beer at the KBC Taproom

Enjoy a craft beer at one of the Keweenaw's local breweries. 

Today, visitors can enjoy a craft beer at the Keweenaw Brewing Company, Copper Country Brewing at The Library Restaurant, the Red Jacket Brewing Company at the Michigan House Cafe, or in Michigan’s northernmost brewery, Brickside. Learn what makes each of these breweries unique on our Craft Breweries & Drinkeries Page.  

Pickled Eggs 

Once a bar staple in pubs nationwide, pickled eggs have become increasingly rare . However, they remain a Keweenaw favorite and can be found at select establishments throughout the region. While no two pickled egg recipes are alike, most of the Keweenaw’s pickled eggs are made with spicy hot sauce and served with pickled jalapenos. Guests are usually given salt, pepper, and hot sauce as garnish for their pickled egg. Some of our top recommendations for Keweenaw pickled eggs include the Douglass House Saloon (The Dog), Bill’s B&B, and the L&L Bar. Indulge in the spicy flavors of a Keweenaw pickled egg, sip on a local beer, and enjoy a conversation in one of the Upper Peninsula’s cozy neighborhood bars.  

Keweenaw Farm Fresh Options 

The Keweenaw is home to many professional farms tucked away in its vast wilderness, each cultivating a diverse range of crops and livestock suited to the region's climate. Our regional farmers take pride in the work that they do, taking advantage of the Keweenaw’s shorter growing seasons to produce food that is nutritious and delicious! Visitors can find locally grown produce, fish, mushrooms, and meats to fuel their trips to the Keweenaw by visiting one of our local farmers markets or the Keweenaw Co-Op. Frozen Farms of Calumet also a great spot if you are looking for high-quality Keweenaw meats.  

Many of our regional restaurants source ingredients from our local farms, offering creative menu items that showcase the freshest flavors of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Milly’s Pizza in Hancock is an excellent example, using in-season produce to develop new specialty pizzas each week. The Den in Houghton is another great example, producing limited time specials like sweet potato poutine flavored with locally grown spicy Hungarian chilles or delicious pho made with Frozen Farms beef.