Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dining in Frankenmuth, Michigan

Eighty-five miles north of where I live is the quaint city of Frankenmuth, commonly referred to as "Michigan's Little Bavaria."  It was settled and named in 1845 by conservative Lutheran immigrants from Germany, with the purpose of spreading Christianity to the Chippewa Indian tribe.

In 1928 the Zehnder family [residents of Frankenmuth] purchased the New Exchange Hotel  and renovated it to resemble George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon.   The new restaurant, called Zehnder's, opened for business on Mother's Day 1929.  Zehnder's is now a world famous restaurant, with capabilities of accommodating 1,500 guests at one time.   Every year close to one million people enjoy their special all-you-can-eat, family style chicken dinners.
We've gone to Zehnder's for Thanksgiving dinner for the past two years, but not this year.
Tiffany & Marissa with the Zehnder's chicken mascot.
Lori [our daughter], with her daughters, Marissa & Tiffany
Across the street from Zehnder's is the Bavarian Inn.  It was once the restaurant of  Fischer's Hotel, and was purchased by the Zehnder family in 1950.   After a vacation to Bavaria, Germany the building was remodeled in Bavarian architecture and charm, and expanded to seat 1,200 guests.
For a while, the Bavarian Inn offered occasional Saturday teas which my girlfriends and I attended.   The photos below are from their 2009 Winter Tea.
 Blooming Tea Centerpiece



The tea was from tea bags and was good, but looked a bit unsightly on the tea table.

Hors d' Oeuvres [including a chicken lollipop]


[L-R:  Sandy, Lori and Me]

A good time was had by all, and it was nice to see men and children in attendance too.



  1. What a nice restaurant. I enjoyed seeing you, your family, and friends. You mentioned you've gone there for Thanksgiving the past two years, but not this year. It will be interesting to see what you do this year.

  2. That does look like a fun place to visit. We, too, have a "Bavarian" themed town about 45 minutes away, called Helen, GA. (It's actually only about 26 miles but the road is NOT straight!) It was a planned theme, to attract tourists, and if there's a tearoom there, I haven't heard of it. It's also a fun place to visit, but it would be even better if we could go there for tea!

  3. So nice to see my tea friends!

  4. I always enjoy your tea adventures. The chicken dinner place reminded me of a similar place we use to love in Kansas. I still make their cole slaw recipe. Have a delightful Thanksgiving no matter what you do.

  5. When I get to Michigan to see you, I want to go here! I just love regional restaurants in the U.S. ... we have such a marvelous variety of them!


Thank you for visiting my blog. If you would like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!