Horse Show Food Guide: Traverse City Horse Shows

By Tatum Mitchell

Horse show cuisine is an experience like no other. As most horse people know, every show grounds has trademark foods that are simply “a must.” We reached out to some of our readers to get their favorites from Traverse City.  

“I have a special place in my heart for Traverse City,” NCEA rider Brooke Giacin says. “The city’s cuisine is top notch, from its cherry pie to its sushi.”

For a Celebratory Dinner:

  • The Boat House—“‘[It’s] beautiful, right on the bay, and the food is great,” says Traci Brooks of Balmoral Farm. “Just be sure to make reservations, because it’s a popular spot.”
  • Trattoria Stella 
  • Red Ginger

For Mexican Food:

  • Mama Lu’s Taco Shop—“[It’s] one of my favorite restaurants ever. Street tacos and margaritas that I literally think about year round,” says rider and trainer Emily Vogel.  
  • Red Mesa

For Carb Cravings:

  • The Flying Noodle—“[It’s] owned by the same people who run Mama Lu’s,” says Vogel. “Some of the best pasta I have had.”
  • Bubbas —“Good burgers and tots,” says Vogel. 

For a Caffeine Boost:

  • Mundos Roasting & Co.
  • Cuppa Joe

For a Sweet Treat:

  • Bardon’s Wonder Freeze 
  • Milk & Honey—Has vegan and allergy friendly ice cream options.

Other crowd favorites: 

  • White on Rice—“It’s a sushi and Japanese food truck. It’s nice to have a break from regular horse show foods with clean and fresh food,” says NCEA rider Madi Mitchell.
  • That’sa Pizza—“It’s the best pizza I’ve ever had,” says NCEA rider Christy Rogalny.
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