Ways to Enjoy the Local Food Scene

Photo of a variety of food and drink sitting on a table at MN Traders copy
Photo courtesy MN Traders Co.

We’re diverse in many areas, and food is no exception. You could enjoy a different culinary delight each night you’re here no matter your mood! Fine dining, gourmet coffee, dockside dining, grab-n-go, and sweet treats. If you’re not in the mood to leave the lake, no problem. Take out or catering options mean you don’t have to!

Coffee Shops

Vacation coffee just tastes better. There’s no to-do list following your morning cup. Instead, you can take your time sipping, relaxing, and enjoying the start to your day. Or if you need to get a little work done, bring your laptop and take advantage of fast wi-fi. You’ll find iced coffees, espressos, cappuccinos, and even teas at local coffee shops around Brainerd, Nisswa, Pequot, and Crosslake!

Photo of scones sitting on a plate on a table in a bright dining room at StoneHouse Coffee copy
Photo courtesy Stonehouse Coffee and Roastery.
Photo of a woman holding a to-go cup of coffee from Stonehouse Coffee in front of the entrance to the coffee shop copy
Photo courtesy Stonehouse Coffee and Roastery.

Fine Dining

There aren’t many things better in life than enjoying a fine meal. Many of our local establishments have chefs that are consistently creating new and flavorful dishes. You’ll find unique twists on old favorites or contemporary plates that haven’t been seen before. Some of these restaurants need reservations. Resorts that have fine dining restaurants are open to the public.

If you’re looking for authentic Italian, check out Maucieri’s in Crosslake. A true family restaurant. The sauce, or gravy as they like to call it, is a family secret recipe passed down from Italy.

Norway Ridge Supper Club has 73 years of family traditions. Many of the original recipes are still used today. 

Bar Harbor Supper Club’s history dates back to 1937 when it started as a liquor and gambling nightspot. A rebuild and a few remodels later, this iconic hot spot features high quality food on the shores of Gull Lake!

Photo of delicious food from Bar Harbor Supper Club showing a plate of prime rib copy
Photo courtesy Bar Harbor.
Photo of delicious food from Bia Della showing a plate of a Chicken Picatta copy
Photo courtesy Baia Della.

Outdoor & Lakeside Dining

Minnesotans know how to maximize our time outside in the warm summer months, which includes outdoor and lakeside dining. One of the best parts of vacation is gathering your crew and finding a restaurant with a patio and nature views to enjoy an evening cocktail and a bite to eat.

Photo of a large red cabin building at Breezy Point Resort on a sunny summer day with blue skys next to a lake
Photo Courtesy Breezy Point Resort


Sometimes you just need grab a quick meal when you’re on the run to your next adventure. Burgers, fries, subs, soups, and pizza are just some of the quick bites you can find. What if you’re on the water? No problem. On some of our bigger chains of lakes you’ll find dockside food service. Grab food to go while watching the sun going down is the perfect end to a good day.

Photo of three plates of food and two beverages and a menu on a table in a bright dining room at Ernies on Gull
Photo courtesy Ernie's on Gull Lake.
Photo of a pizza and a tall glass of beer sitting on a plate on a table at Rafferty's Pizza in Nisswa copy
Photo courtesy Rafferty's Pizza, Nisswa.
Photo of a Burger and Fries sitting on a table with a bar in the background at Notch 8 Square
Photo courtesy Notch 8 Chowhouse and Drinkery.


If you’re entertaining for a crowd, but you’d rather not have to do the cooking. After all, you’re on vacation, right?! Luckily we have catering businesses that will work with you to create and deliver the perfect meal. Some may even come and set up, serve, and clean up for you too. Giving you more time to enjoy time at the lake.

Photo of a BBQ Smoker open and showing dozens of racks of ribs covered in BBQ sauce and cooking copy
Photo courtesy Pit Happens Catering.
Photo of several dozen wraps on a catering dish sitting on a table in a bright dining room at Sage on Laurel copy
Photo courtesy Sage on Laurel.
Photo of a yellow and purple food truck with an American Flag and a Minnesota Viking Flag parked on a lawn on a summer day copy
Photo courtesy Skol Food.

Sweet Treats

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer evening?! Or maybe some handmade chocolates (drool). You’ll also find some sweet pie that is almost too pretty to eat—almost. From homemade baked goods, oodles of ice cream, or even eclectic candy, you’ll feel like a kid again!

Photo of a box of cupcakes with frosting at Knotty Pine Bakery copy
Photo courtesy Knotty Pine Bakery.
Photo of a person holding an ice creame sandwhich made with cookies and standing in front of a door to a shop copy
Photo courtesy MN Traders Co.
Photo of a person holding an ice cream cone outside in front of a building on a summer day copy
Photo courtesy The Chocolate Ox.


Authentic Italian food. Gourmet coffee. BBQ. Burgers. Sushi. Walleye. When you’re on vacation, you can find many authentic and tasty dishes. A lot of restaurants change their menus often and offer specials that will keep your palate coming back for more.

The Quirky Meat Raffle

It’s a Minnesota thing. You’ll find meat raffles at bars and fraternal clubs from Brainerd, Pequot Lakes, and Crosslake. What is a meat raffle? Well, it’s charitable gambling (proceeds go to any number of organizations) with a side of meat. Head to a local watering hole, buy raffle tickets, and wait to hear if your number is called. There are usually several rounds and chances to win various meats and sometimes seafood

Photo of a large container holding packages of meat for a meat raffle at Dunmire's copy
Photo courtesy Dunmire's Bar & Grill.
Photo of a an older man behind a bar counter holding packages of meat for a meat raffle at The Woods copy
Photo courtesy b*merri gastropub at The Woods.



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