A Taste of the Great Lakes at Scalawags

Fresh, crispy Great Lakes whitefish and a cute paper towel holder

Fresh, crispy Great Lakes whitefish and a cute paper towel holder

Passing through Mackinaw City at an odd time of day I decided to do some research and sample the popular Scalawags Whitefish & Chips, a locally owned chain with two diners (the other one is in Traverse City) that invite you to, “Take a bite out of the Great Lakes.”

It was only another hour’s drive to Blue Skies but I was ready for a luncher (late lunch/early supper). Scalawags did not disappoint. Friendly young people greeted me from the step-up-and-order counter; the server said the most popular item on the menu is the basket with two pieces of  whitefish served with fries, hushpuppies, house-made Cole slaw and tartar sauce. Scalawags also dishes walleye and perch, but whitefish is the top catch.

The freshly made whitefish chowder tempted but I opted for the one-piece whitefish basket and it was plenty.

If you’re looking for a deep fried piece of unidentifiable white food substance dripping in grease, go fish elsewhere.scalawags-sign_0672

This “Wild Great Lakes Whitefish” was flaky and tasty, and looked like whitefish. The creamy Cole slaw was delish. I’ve never been a fan of hushpuppies but the fries were good. Nothing was too greasy; it must be the trans fat-free oils they use.

A couple at the next table raved about the whitefish chowder. It’s now officially on my To Taste list.

The Scalawags dining room is decorated with fishing and nautical items, and a server delivers your order in a paper lined plastic basket. Pop and water are self-serve. In lieu of napkins there’s a roll of paper towel on the table.

Nothing fancy, just good and reasonably priced food from a Michigan company.

Two fins up for Scalawags.

Scalawags Whitefish & Chips is open seven days in season.
226 East Central, Mackinaw City, Michigan
(231) 436-7777
Located in Area B on the map


Scalawags has a year ’round location in Traverse City, Michigan at 303 State Street; (231) 933-8700
(Area C on the map)

Visitor Info Clicks:
Mackinaw City
Pure Michigan







All stories and photos copyright Kath Usitalo unless otherwise noted