Crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge brings many different things. Lake Superior, Tahquamenon Falls, Clyde’s and so much more. Okay, so maybe Clyde’s doesn’t quite fit that list. It has been around for almost as long as Lake Superior. Well, since the 40′s anyhow! There are three locations but only one that is open year around. That one is located just off US 2 in Manistique. Originally opened by Clyde in 1969, it has operated in the same car hop fashion since. They have a small dining room with seating for around 20 (I am guessing). Unlike the fast food chains of today, this Michigan owned restaurant will serve you a burger from fresh 100% ground beef and in about the same amount of time. They are quite fast even when they are swamped as they often are.
Cliff Blose has been with Clyde’s since 1972. With the help of his wife Gail and daughter Karen they run quite a nice little restaurant. Cliff and Gail purchased the Manistique location quite some time ago. This consistency and Cliffs commitment to keeping the same style and feeling has not just kept the restaurant very clean and comfortable, but also kept the food as good as it was in the early days. This committment to Clyde’s is evidenced by the plaque Cliff is holding commemorating their burger recently being voted the”Best Burger in the U.P”.
Drive in Starters
Clyde’s offers a great menu like you found in the 50′s. A few items, simple and cooked well! One item I really like is the deep fried cheese curds. They are something you can’t find at most restaurants. So, ask for these deep fried cheddar bits and give them a try. And what 50′s drive in experience would be complete without a shake? The strawberry shake was smooth and perfect. I don’t care for those icy shakes and this wasn’t.
Best Burger Award
Clyde’s was just voted best burger in the Upper Peninsula and for good reason. Just thinking about This burger is making my mouth water still. All of the burgers are made from fresh ground beef and cooked to order. However you want it cooked, with whatever toppings you choose, just the same way they fried them up in the 50′s. As you can see mine was a Big “C” with cheese and that is 3/4 of a pound of beef which was certainly more than I could eat.
They do have regular sized burgers, fish sandwiches, hot dogs, sloppy joes and everything you would expect at a drive in. I do, however, recommend that even if you don’t think you can finish it, you need to enjoy the flavor, style and massiveness of The Big “C”at least once in your life. It is a great burger to cut in half and share. Since we are at a burger joint you still must order a basket of fries. The Cheese curds or anything else may be a great compliment but while eating a Clyde’s burger you will find yourself looking for the fries.
The U.P. is still in the 50′s at Clyde’s
Bring the family out and let the server come to your window, just like the good old days. Cliff told us they have regulars from Detroit to Chicago and even a few of those cheese-heads in between. So, whether coming up with the snowmobile, or just planning a summer vacation in the beautiful U.P., make sure to check out the “Big C”or any of Clyde’s other burgers. It is after all the best burger north of the Mackinaw Bridge. Even if it is a bit out of your way, you, like me, will likely be back for more!
201 Chippewa Ave