Carpeted in verdant grass and shaded by massive trees, the 18-hole course at Tropical Falls Miniature Adventure Golf winds among small ponds, gushing fountains, and cascading waterfalls. Elsewhere, machines churn out pitches ranging from soft lobs to 80 mph fastballs in seven on-site batting cages, and three beach-volleyball courts host spring and summer leagues open to all, even human crabs prone to popping the ball during the serve.
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.
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.
In 2006, the founders of Dublin Square Irish Pub & Restaurant followed through on their longtime vision of bringing a small piece of their homeland to East Lansing?literally. Much of the pub's interior decor was gathered or built in Ireland then transported some 4,000 miles to its new home in Michigan. That includes the hand-carved mahogany bar, which was reassembled on-site by the same craftsmen who built it across the pond, where the wood would otherwise have toiled in obscurity as an ornate armoire.
Surrounded by these Irish relics, the pub's visitors can truly celebrate the craic?a term for the camaraderie and good cheer that abounds in a welcoming pub. They can also dig into classic Irish dishes, such as bangers and mash, a dish consisting of locally made Irish sausage, crispy haystack onions, and a side of Guinness mustard. The menu honors American favorites, too, including New York strip steaks and pizza. All of these meals come together over rounds of drinks that range from draft beers to international wines.
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.