I have always found the Pure Michigan radio spiels to be smooth and enticing, but I never really took them as reality. I don’t even know if there is a spiel for Leland – if there isn’t there should be if for no other reason than to highlight Fishtown. When I told people I was going to Leland for the #MittenTrip, the first thing out of their mouths was, “You have to go to Fishtown,” and I began to think that everyone was over-hyping the experience. I was wrong. Fishtown is quintessential small-town America, with quaint boutiques brimming with local, artesian goods, a candy store, and plenty of places to eat.
Where to Eat in Fishtown
The Village Cheese Shanty
The Village Cheese Shanty is possibly the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Right at the main entrance to Fishtown, the Shanty is hard to miss, with the long line out the door, and the smell of their famous pretzel bread wafting in the air. Inside, the walls are lined with craft beer (six-packs and single bottles) and different potato chips, salsas, and sauces, not to mention the cases full of cheeses and meats. Plan on bringing cash or your checkbook – they don’t accept credit cards.
Where to Shop in Fishtown
Down the dock, Leland Gal was probably the most vibrant store in all of Fishtown! From the moment you walk through the door, it’s hard not to smile. All of the prints on all of the products are designed and inspired by the founder, Maggie Mielczarek (who has a background in art education), and everything is one of a kind. She was kind enough to gift Awesome Mitten a Spinnaker Wallet and a sweet key chain – both of which will be awesome summer accessories!
Dam Candy Store
The Dam Candy Store represents every little kid’s dream come true, even if you’re still just a kid at heart! Big enough to fit maybe 15 people in the store, the Dam Candy Store features walls lined with shelves full of candy, an ice cream counter, and some specialty treats. One of my favorite items was the mystery bag, a large brown paper bag filled with a mix of mysterious candy. With all of the delicious treats, I don’t think you could actually go wrong.
Fishtown in Winter
Having discovered the beauty of Fishtown in Winter, Guinness and Carhartt made it the backdrop for their 2021 St. Patrick’s Day ad, sharing what makes winter in Michigan so special with the entire nation!