Traverse City is a foodie’s delight. This is no secret, as Traverse City’s food scene continues to earn national accolades as a dining destination. Recognition comes from Condé Nast Traveler as an “Up-and-Coming Food City” and Zagat as one of “6 Hot U.S. Food Destinations to Visit This Summer.” Traverse City has many world-class, farm-to-table restaurants such as Cook’s House, Alliance, and Trattoria Stella. It’s no surprise that this small town’s foodie culture continues to gain attention.
Traverse City’s downtown area has some of the best restaurants around. However, some of the best food in the region can also be had in out-of-the-way locations. If you want to experience an unexpected dining delight, try heading northwest of downtown Traverse City to the small town of Cedar. Cedar is situated among the beautiful, rolling hills of the Leelanau Peninsula.
Cedar Sol Hydro Farm
Come to Cedar and you’ll find some of the most delicious, authentic, and wonderfully simple Mexican food. You won’t taste anything better north of the border (certainly in northern Michigan!) than at the Cedar Sol Hydro Farm.
The farm features a quaint, rustic-looking roadside taco stand. Here they serve delicious beef, chicken, pork, chorizo, and vegetarian tacos. They also have quesadillas and taco salad. The pico de gallo and guacamole are made fresh daily.
The establishment’s owners didn’t set out to serve food. They’re farmers who began slinging tacos almost by happenstance. One of their workers is a great Mexican cook and makes tacos for them. They decided to start offering his delicious fare to the public. They still grow vegetables on the farm using hydroponic growing techniques. These days, however, most of their lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro satisfy the demands of their roadside taco stand.
I visited Cedar Sol with my family for the first time on a recent Friday night during “Polka Fest” weekend in Cedar (yes, there’s a Polka Fest in Cedar). Cedar Sol is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was a beautiful night to munch on tacos, chips, and guacamole while watching the sun descend over the farm and hills in the background. There are stunning views to enjoy along with the great food. Cedar Sol is only a 15-minute drive from my house. I will definitely find reasons to drive up the peninsula as often as possible this summer to satisfy my taco cravings.
It’s hard to find really delicious, authentic Mexican food. The last place you might expect to find it is at a roadside stand in a small, one-stoplight town in the Leelanau Peninsula. But that’s what makes Cedar Sol such a delight – it’s no frills, fresh food from the farm, and served up with passion. It’s one of the best-kept food secrets in a region.
Have you been to the Cedar Sol Hydro Farm? Where is your favorite place to get tacos?