Dinner is Served: 6 Reservation-Worthy Restaurants in Southwest Michigan

On the nights you’d rather make a reservation than a home-cooked meal, Southwest Michigan has a smorgasbord of options to cater to every craving. You don’t have to travel far to get tasty Italian, mouth-watering steaks, freshly-caught fish, or fire-oven pizza.  In this fourth installment of our five-part series celebrating Restaurant Month in Berrien County, we’re featuring dinner options for date night, family night, and every reason in between.  

Charcuterie board at Plank’s Tavern on the Water

Plank’s Tavern on the Water

Our Restaurant Month dinner special is brought to you by Plank’s Tavern on the Water at the Inn at Harbor Shores. With its cozy, upscale atmosphere Plank’s is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner, family meal or gathering with good friends. Enjoy dinner out on the patio even during unpredictable spring weather with several super-toasty patio heaters. Plank’s also recently installed new glass barriers on the patio, which block the wind but not the amazing harbor view. Start with an inventive charcuterie board featuring artisan-cured meats, aged cheeses, pickled vegetables and house-made accompaniments, then elevate your burger experience with the Waygu Burger, featuring corn cob-smoked pepper bacon and sweet onion aioli and served with seriously addictive truffle parmesan fries and the chef’s homemade ketchup. Plank’s is open 7 days a week, so you don’t have to wait for date night!

RyeBelles Restaurant and Bar

Rooftop dining at its finest, RyeBelles offers a meal with a view in downtown St. Joseph. Established in 2011, this local favorite is family-owned and operated and known throughout the area for the handcrafted food and pleasurable dining experience. Diners can enjoy Filet Mignon, Sea Scallops, or Stone Fired Pizza while watching the sunset over Lake Michigan. And if you’d rather skip the cool night air on the rooftop, the ambiance inside the dining room is both inviting and intimate. Offering a full bar complete with local drafts, wine, and cocktails, RyeBelles is a sure bet for date night or an evening out with friends. 

Grand Mere Inn

Traveling along the coast is another dining establishment known for its high-quality food and stunning sunsets. Established by the Racine Family in 1980, Grand Mere Inn offers a cozy, cottage-style dining room overlooking Lake Michigan in Stevensville.  Guests can choose from lake perch, walleye, premium steaks, chicken, duck, seafood, and more casual fare. Their support of local farmers, wineries, and breweries is obvious, as their menu includes items and ingredients from Vergot Farms, Falak Farms, Lemon Creek, Tabor Hill, and Domaine Berrien Cellars. Order the Blackened Swordfish or Alaskan King Crab Legs with a bottle of Pinot Noir and enjoy an exquisite dining experience. Grand Mere Inn is the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion or a normal Friday night. 

Mustard Crusted Salmon with French Lentils at Bread + Bar

Bread + Bar by Bit of Swiss

Along the banks of the St. Joseph River in Benton Harbor is a restaurant known for its unique name and delectable menu. Bread + Bar by Bit of Swiss offers a comfortable dining area perfect for intimate dinners or small parties and a seasonal patio for dining al fresco. The menu items are made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients and paired with Bit of Swiss artisan bread prepared daily. Described as “authentic Midwest American rustic food experience meets Classical French preparation,” their ever-changing menu includes items such as Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin and Mustard Crusted Salmon. The bar includes a full list of wine, beer, and fun cocktails for guests to enjoy over conversations and celebrations. 

D’Agostino’s Navajo Bar and Grill

If you haven’t tried D’Agostino’s Navajo Bar and Grill yet, plan a visit to Bridgman for your next night out. For over 60 years, this family-owned business has offered quality food and friendly service to its community. Specializing in old-world Italian classics, “The Navajo” (as it’s referred to by locals) combines fresh ingredients with gourmet flavors to ensure dining satisfaction for all. But you can find more than Chicken Picatta and Asiago Bruschetta on the menu, as hand-cut steaks, prime rib, and BBQ pizza also make the cut. And, as any regular can tell you, the appetizers alone are worth the trip – do yourself a favor and order the Crab Baked Mushrooms and Tuscan Spinach dip. 

The Mark III Restaurant

If you’re in the mood for Tex-Mex, The Mark III Restaurant has you covered. Serving up burritos as big as your head since 1972, longtime residents of Southwest Michigan go to The Mark in St. Joseph for Fish Tacos, Sheet Pan Nachos, and fresh guacamole. But that’s not all. Their menu also includes delicious salads, sandwiches, steaks, and seafood. This highly rated restaurant combines friendly service with a fun and relaxing atmosphere, making it a great spot for unwinding after-work with colleagues or a night out with the family.

For additional dining ideas in Berrien County, check out our full Chamber member directory of food and beverage locations at SMRChamber.com and map out your plan to eat local for Restaurant Month!

About the Writer: Stacey Martin is a local author and freelance writer with a passion for promoting Southwest Michigan. Find more of her writing at staceymartinwrites.com. She is the author of We Grow Kids Here and New Girl at Church, and the creator and host of “The Folks Back Home” podcast.

Dinner (and this article) are brought to you by Plank’s Tavern on the Water! With its inventive, delicious menu, upscale ambiance, heated patio dining, and unbeatable views, it’s the perfect spot for date night, family night, or a gathering with good friends.

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