4 Great Dining Experiences in Niles and Buchanan

To celebrate Restaurant Month, each week we’re highlighting a menu of culinary options, organized by region! this week we’re highlighting the southeast side of Berrien County, where you’ll find a unique and ever-evolving dining scene. Here are a few of our fave spots to eat, offering everything from BBQ to high tea:


Enjoy a culinary creation in an art gallery setting at Create in Niles. Watch artists paint live while you enjoy your meal, choosing from a diverse menu that offers vegetarian options, classic favorites, and unexpected creations including:

  • Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon & Beer Cheese
  • Beef Tenderloin Pasta
  • Chicken & Kluski Noodles w/Puff Pastry
  • Vegan Grilled Tofu Steaks

Visit CreateNiles.com or find their Facebook page for up-to-date information on the featured artists and menu specials.

Incidentally, the city of Niles is celebrating its own Restaurant Week, March 6-12. It’s a great time to go out to eat.

Apothica Teas

If you love Downton Abbey or Jane Austen novels, or are just curious about experiencing a traditional English tea service with a twist, Apothica Teas in Niles is a must-visit. This Victorian Steampunk-inspired tea room specializes in custom tea blends and light refreshments like:

  • Apple braised pork on brioche
  • Brown butter radish on crostini
  • Traditional English scone served with clotted cream and jam
  • Blueberry matcha truffle
  • Apricot-almond chicken salad on a house baked croissant

A full-menu High Tea, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, is offered by appointment only. Or, stop in any time for a pastry, quick bite, and cup of tea from Apothica’s wide selection. Visit ApothicaTeas.com to reserve a table, and check out their Facebook page for current specials.

River St. Joe

This Buchanan brewery/eatery has quickly acquired a loyal following due to its peaceful and scenic farmstead location, sustainable and organic farming practices, and of course, delicious food and drinks! A variety of outdoor seating options put nature front-and-center, and give energetic kids plenty of space to roam. A large menu of beers plus a selection of cider, wine, and house-crafted non-alcoholic beverages mean there’s a thirst-quencher for everyone in your group. The food menu offers inventive items like:

  • Mushrooms Kaltenbach – Roasted mushrooms over oregano rice
  • The Yardbird – Flatbread with BBQ chicken, slivered onions, and bleu cheese cream sauce
  • The Nora – wrap sandwich with garbanzo beans and lemon garlic sauce
  • Sweet Potato Cottage Pie – true comfort food with ground sirloin, carrots, and onions in wine sauce, topped with savory mashed sweet potato

Menus change seasonally, so check out RiverSaintJoe.com or their Facebook page to find out what’s being served today and learn about upcoming events at this popular space.

Fifteen-2-Twelve by Evelyn’s BBQ

Fans of the former Wheatberry restaurant on Red Bud Trail in Buchanan were thrilled to hear that the location had finally sold and would once again be operating as a neighborhood restaurant. Even better that Evelyn Mae’s BBQ, its new residents, was already well-known to local barbecue fans. Created by husband-wife team Anton and Ariel Lockett (and named for their firstborn daughter after her passing in 2018), Evelyn Mae’s BBQ started as a food truck and quickly garnered a loyal following. In their new physical location at Fifteen-2-Twelve (named for their address, 15212 Red Bud Trail), the team is offering up classic barbecue menu items like:

  • Chicken & Cornbread Waffles
  • Brisket Burnt Ends
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Pork Belly BLT

Plus a brunch menu featuring mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, and scrumptious dishes to fuel a lazy Sunday, like biscuits with brisket gravy, pulled pork hash and rosemary breakfast potatoes.

Check out the menu at EMBBQ.com, or look for Evelyn Mae’s Facebook page to learn more about rotating menu items and specials.

This March, make sure to visit southeast Berrien County for some of southwest Michigan’s best dining experiences!

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