Pressing one’s ear to the rim of a beer glass at The Watershed Tavern & Grill’s bar, one can almost hear the small waves lapping against the shores of nearby Lake Lansing. The white Christmas lights strewn across the ceiling similarly evoke the outdoors with their semblance to a starry night sky. The owners of the cozy neighborhood pub didn’t have to look far for the inspirations behind this décor—Lake Lansing Park, with its lush trees and notoriously hungry lake monster, lies just across the street. Additionally, strains of music from live bands and DJs can be heard most evenings, adding to the bar's welcoming atmosphere. Though many visitors stop in thanks to the pub’s proximity to recreation as well as to Michigan State University and downtown Lansing, signature menu items such as the Shed chips ensures a steady stream of regulars. Seasoned, fried, and served with chunky blue-cheese dressing, the homemade sliced russet potatoes remain a staple, as do the home-style chicken Parmesan and spicy buffalo chicken wrap. The all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar is also a crowd-pleaser, offering crisp leafy greens and warming soup pours. High-definition televisions line the pub’s dark hardwood walls, causing draft brews and stacked sandwiches to teeter as Spartans fans slam their tables in celebration of touchdowns and strategic timeouts.
Buddies Pub & Grill’s menu is so diverse that the nachos alone come in four styles. They range from a Southern-style plate of chips crowned with barbecue beef and jalapeños to a meatless plate of garden nachos topped with extra veggies and love letters from local garden gnomes.
For over 15 years, the eatery has sated appetites with a massive menu that includes sandwiches, upscale steaks, and seafood. Assorted burgers and salads round out the menu, along with customizable pizzas with toppings such as pepperoni, Philly cheese steak, and banana peppers.
The restaurant's three locations feature interiors that also emphasize variety, with dining tables that are flanked by flat-screen TVs, pool tables, and high-stool bar tables.
Elk and wild boar make unlikely bar guests, but the stuffed trophies of both are regulars on the walls at Jimmy’s Pub alongside a cadre of vintage portraits. This East Lansing bar—which has the old-fashioned, outdoorsy air of a brick-paved street, complete with antique-style street lamps—has been serving frosty mugs of Fat Tire and Guinness brews for more than a decade. Behind the wooden, horseshoe-shaped bar, bartenders pour drafts and mix specialty martinis such as the Blue Angel, whose vodka, blue curaçao, and crème de cacao come together only when shaken at 7 Gs. A hefty menu of Italian and American bar bites complements the libations with plates of seven-layer lasagna, half-pound burgers, and pretzel-crusted salmon. Fifteen high-definition televisions broadcast sports games throughout the expansive dining space, and a jukebox thrums with peppy tunes.
There aren't many restaurants anymore where you can sit in the same booth your parents might have dined in 40 years ago. But such is the case at Beggar's Banquet. The self-proclaimed restaurant and saloon took root in 1973, founded by Bob Adler and named after his favorite Rolling Stones album. The pub-like main dining area remains down-to-earth and casual, welcoming guests with wood-paneled walls and stained-glass windows. The names of "beggulars" are etched on gold plates above the bar, and local families celebrate milestones in an elegant room dedicated to private parties. All of this, coupled with the nostalgic atmosphere and tasty, homestyle dishes, has helped Beggar’s Banquet earn praise as one of Lansing's best restaurants by 10Best.
Twenty ever-changing craft beers on tap and a wine list that ranges from malbecs to piesporters fuel the jovial ambiance. Cooks innovate creative spins on classic comfort food, adding muenster, havarti, and gouda to their baked mac 'n’ cheese and a blueberry compote to char-grilled pork chops. They also serve breakfast until 2 p.m., the time each day when orange juice magically transforms into soda pop.
More than 30 years ago, a neighborhood gas station reopened as Harrison Roadhouse—though it took years of work to transform the building into the popular neighborhood joint it is today. Service-bay doors became towering windows, barstools and tabletops replaced docks, and auto mechanics were swapped for wait staff. Exposed brick surrounds the now-unrecognizable interior, where glasses and silverware clink beneath Spartans sports flags and the hundreds of license plates that checker the walls. In the kitchen, grills sizzle with burgers, seafood, and steaks, and behind the bar, glasses brim with 24 different types of draft beer and cocktails. The bar offers drink and food specials throughout the week, including a weekly Friday fish fry, where unlimited seafood draws ravenous diners and walruses alike.
Though Lou and Harry?s Sports Bar is in a college town, that doesn?t mean you?ll eat like a college student while you?re there. To elevate their food, the chefs have upgraded sports bar staples such as burgers, pizzas, and wings with inventive flavors and toppings. Beefy burgers arrive at tables topped with with warm chili con queso or barbecue sauce-slathered onion rings, and wings come tossed in one of 14 mild to mouth-searing sauces. Pizzas emulate the flavors of Philly cheese steak and buffalo chicken, each big enough to share with friends or trade with someone in exchange for their group of friends. Games are always playing on the bar?s giant TV and in warmer weather, you can enjoy pints of more than 60 varieties of beer on the patio.