Thomas Hays of Minneapolis produced this video of highlights from a recent trip to Duluth, Two Harbors and Gooseberry Falls. Perfect Duluth Day probably publishes about eight of these “trip to Duluth” videos a year, but this one has a pretty distinct style compared to others.
One conclusion can be easily drawn from the results of Perfect Duluth Day’s poll to name the best restaurant on Lake Superior’s North Shore: Grand Marais is the place to be. The top three restaurants are located there, including the perfect one, Gunflint Tavern.
Owner Jeff Gecas says it hasn’t always been easy. He and his wife Susan are “Deadheads” who decided to create the business “almost selfishly” in 1998 because there wasn’t anywhere to watch live music and drink microbrews on draft in Grand Marais. “We never had Bud or Miller Lite. We didn’t allow smoking. People said ‘They’ll never make it,'” Gecas remembers. “We’re now in our 19th year.”
Upending convention, the Tavern now offers music 260 nights a year and brews its own beer. With its eclectic menu, craft beer and live music several nights of the week, it has become a North Shore institution and a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
In an outpost like Grand Marais, one might be surprised to find bangers and mash, chicken mole and an Asian noodle bowl under the same roof. Casual fare like burgers and pizzas are available at the Gunflint Tavern too, as are finer dining options such as walleye, steak and mushroom ravioli.
Last week we compiled a list of nominees for the best restaurant on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The specific territory: Knife River to Grand Portage — basically anything in Lake or Cook counties was eligible for nomination.
Obviously several Duluth-area restaurants are technically “on the North Shore” — in particular the winner of PDD’s Perfect Restaurant Poll: New Scenic Café. For this poll we’re looking at places that are, at the very least, a serious bike ride from the Zenith City.
What’s the Perfect North Shore Restaurant? Vote now and have a say. Keep in mind that this is a runoff poll, so as time goes by the number of options will reduce. If the restaurant you initially voted for is eliminated, you may vote again among the remaining options.
Warm weather and wanderlust have Duluthians dreaming of a North Shore vacation. In this spirit, we’ve decided to conduct a poll to determine the best place to eat up the shore.
Before voting, we have to establish a list of nominees. What are the criteria for determining a North Shore Restaurant? After some debate, we’ve decided to include eateries on the shore located in Lake and Cook counties, from Knife River in the south to Grand Portage in the north.
While it might seem counterintuitive to some, this means the New Scenic Café is not included in the poll, since it is located in Duluth Township. It’s abundantly clear the Scenic is a favored restaurant; the café won PDD’s Perfect Restaurant Poll and has drawn accolades from foodies farther afield. For the purposes of this poll, we’re looking for restaurants that require a little more of an excursion from Duluth.
What’s the perfect North Shore restaurant (besides the New Scenic Café)? You tell us. We’ll round up the nominees and produce a poll in the coming days.
In the August/September issue of Surfer magazine, Justin Housman travels to Duluth to discover “that isolated Midwestern surf scene” on Lake Superior, where surfers “chisel boards free from the roofs of their snowbound cars, trudge through forests and thigh-deep snow, paddle out for a few frigid waves, then emerge from the water with icicles growing from their shocked, pink faces.”
Quick drone flyover at Devil’s Kettle Falls on the Brule River in Judge C. R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior. This specific set of falls, about 20 minutes east of Grand Marais, draws visitors far and wide for it’s unique mystery: half the river disappears into a hole (kettle) and no one knows where all that water goes.