Located in the heart of Oakland County, Clarkston is brimming with historic charm, tasty food, unique shops and lots of fun.
BY JAISHREE DREPAUL-BRUDER
Where to Eat + Drink in Clarkston
BRIONI CAFE & DELI
Leave your worries at the door of this quaint little cafe and deli that dishes up delicious deli sandwiches and comforting soups, plus locally made bread, pastries, and coffee. Insider Tip: You can’t go wrong with their popular Italian Stallion grilled sandwich. Smoked ham, hard salami, mortadella, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and spicy mixed giardiniera in olive oil on paesano bread make it a crowd-pleaser.
7151 N. Main St.
CLARKSTON UNION BAR & KITCHEN
Located in what was once a former church, Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen — complete with stained glass and pew seating sets — sets the scene for a soul-satisfying experience. Folks come from miles around for their famous mac and cheese — they’ve made it a show-stopper by using high-quality Vermont sharp cheddar and Pinconning cheese from Michigan. It’s so good that in 2015 USA Today touted this Clarkston hotspot as one of the top 10 places in the country to dig into the American classic.
54 S. Main St.
THE FED COMMUNITY
Owners Sarah and James Schneider opened the doors of The Fed Community in 2017 and have been encouraging everyone who walks through the doors to feel at home. At The Fed, you can fill up on the tastiest farm-to-table American fare Clarkston has to offer. Sophisticated, yet no-fuss food is brought to your table by friendly servers who are attentive but never intrusive. Interesting fact: The location first housed a bank that was built at the turn of the century. The Schneiders have since transformed the former vault room into an intimate and classy one-of-a-kind dining area.
15 S. Main St.
15TH STREET TAVERN
Everyone is a regular at this local hotspot where you can treat yourself to some truly terrific pub fare. The servers are always friendly and warm, and the beer is always flowing and ice cold. A vibrant game room, live music Thursday through Saturday, and an all-season patio make this the perfect place to live your best life in Clarkston.
10081 S. Ortonville Road
At any given time, you’ll find Honcho alive with happy patrons catching up on life over casual Latin American street fare, coffees, and cocktails. Stop in and see for yourself why their regular patrons are loyal to Honcho’s Birria egg rolls made with dried chili-braised shredded beef and Monterey Jack cheese, served with a side of beef consommé for dipping, and topped with chopped scallions. Or try another local favorite: Korean pork tacos featuring Woodshop pulled pork tossed in Korean BBQ sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds and Malay radish slaw.
3 E. Church St.
KRUSE’S DEER LAKE INN
With something for everyone, you won’t leave hungry or unsatisfied. The menu is overflowing with plenty of creative and lip-smacking seafood options. Think of a seafood pan roast teeming with shrimp, lobster, scallops, imperial cream, rice, and garlic toast. It’s a perfect place for an unforgettable date night or family celebration.
7504 Dixie Highway
OLD VILLAGE CAFE
You won’t find a better breakfast in town. Start your day with a generous stack of their pancakes or a satisfying three-egg omelet. Or stop in for lunch and indulge in a juicy burger, soup, or sandwich.
2 S. Main St.
PARKER’S HILLTOP BREWERY
This local brewpub is a go-to for thirst-quenching beers, creative cock-tails, and generous plates of food rang-ing from sandwiches to pizza and pasta. Rub shoulders with friendly locals in a game of darts or pool in their game area. Insider Tip: Try their Willy’s Pie pizza covered with house-made apple jalapeno BBQ sauce, cedar smoked pulled pork, pickled onions, and white BBQ sauce.
6110 Dixie Highway
RUDY’S MARKET & CATERING
Choose from a smattering of deli specialties ranging from corned beef wraps to Italian submarines. If you’ve got the inner strength to choose just one thing, go for their made-to-order “famous pizza,” which has made this small and cozy shop a local staple for more than 50 years. Bonus: You can also grab some wine and fine market items — such as marinated chicken breasts and baked fish trays — on your way out.
9 S. Main St.
Union Woodshop serves up some seriously good, fall-off-the-bone slow-smoked BBQ. Their beef brisket, finger-licking good ribs, and chicken go down easy with any of their craft beers. Pizzas that are lovingly crafted and caramelized in their wood-burning oven never disappoint. The scene is rustic; the service is splendid.
18 S. Main St.
Things to do in Clarkston
CLARKSTON FAMILY FARM
The Clarkston Family Farm is a positive community space that offers nature-based education. Inspiring the next generation to value nature, sustainability, and healthy food is a core goal. Sign up for a workshop, or stop in their market on a Wednesday or Thursday for some local produce, honey, candles, and handcrafted goods.
6800 Hubbard Road
CLARKSTON FOOD TRUCK RALLY
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2022 | 4:30-9 P.M.
Enjoy chowing down on all the best local eats available in Clarkston. Live music, kids’ entertainment, and a beer tent hold the promise of a memorable night with friends and family.
Neiman’s Family Market, 7121 Dixie Highway
CLARKSTON HERITAGE MUSEUM
Open since 1999, visitors can learn all about the area’s local history at Clarkston’s museum. Exhibits are changed twice a year and can include interesting artifacts like clothing, books, and photographs.
6495 Clarkston Road
FAIRYTALE FUN PLACE
Be your child’s hero and take them to Fairytale Fun Place. A large indoor playground, private party rooms, a pizza cafe, and a coffee and drink bar will keep children busy and parents happy. And if that’s not enough, there are weekly and monthly live interactive events featuring pirates, princesses, fairies, dinosaurs, and more!
7127 Dixie Highway
GO FOR THE GOLF
Looking to tee off? Clarkston has some glorious options for golf enthusiasts.
Twenty-seven holes of championship golf await at Pine Knob Golf Club, 5580 Waldon Road. Slope ratings range from 11 to 133, making it a perfect destination for golfers of all skill levels.
The award-winning Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club, 9085 Big Lake Road, is recognized as one of the Top 100 Public Golf Clubs in the United States by Golf Digest. The fairways and greens are always groomed to perfection and the course will appeal to players who re-fuse to shy away from a challenge.
Fountains Golf and Banquet Center, 6060 Maybee Road, features a laidback 18-hole course set in some beautiful scenery. They are also renowned for their friendly staff, who go out of their way to make sure that players always have the best experience.
Not only is Pine Knob Music Theatre the region’s best concert venue, it’s also recognized as one of the top amphitheaters in the world. The venue’s summer concert season always sees some of the world’s most popular entertainers taking to the stage, so get your tickets early!
33 Bob Seger Drive
Where to shop in Clarkston
DIGS CONSIGNMENT STUDIO
Digs Consignment Studio is the go-to for the most wonderful and unique items for your home. This locally owned treasure is also just a nice place to browse even if you’re not looking for something specific. Felt tooth fairy pillows, glazed honey pots, and small stone garden statues and trucker hats with cheeky sayings are just some of the cool things you’ll find.
5880 Dixie Highway
ESSENCE ON MAIN
This small shop on the main drag is a great stop for local food items, snacks, fresh coffee and sandwiches, kitchenware, and small gifts. Give yourself plenty of time to poke about on your own, or ask a friendly staffer to help you home in on the perfect items for a gift basket that they’ll create for you on the spot.
4 S. Main St.
FRANK & ME
Adorable, feminine clothes and accessories can be found at Franks & Me. Whatever your mood, you’ll find something that will steal your heart. Flattering denim jeans, whimsical blouses, and flouncy dresses are just some of the temptations.
20 S. Main St.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Clarkston, Society Boutique is one of the newer shops in town. Sip on a glass of champagne as you peruse trendy designer clothing, shoes, and accessories — or let one of their personal shoppers lead the way.
12 Main St.
UNION GENERAL STORE
This “modern” general store is truly a treasure trove. Delicious baked goods, beautiful houseware, children’s’ items, and intoxicating body care and beauty items are just some of the many things on offer. Insider Tip: Don’t miss out on their fresh-baked cupcakes!
50 S. Main St.
Where are your favorite places in Clarkston? Comment below.
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