We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Joe's Friendly Tavern

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Get directions
11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
Website
Today
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 11:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 135 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 60
    Excellent
  • 53
    Very good
  • 17
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Friendly Service and Great Food

You would expect to get friendly service since that is in their name - they lived up to that expectation and more! The food was great as well. Would definitely eat here again. Were with friends that have eaten there many times and they said the food is always great.

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 23, 2015
RenaeHesselink
,
Muskegon, Michigan
Add Photo Write a Review

135 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Muskegon, Michigan
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

You would expect to get friendly service since that is in their name - they lived up to that expectation and more! The food was great as well. Would definitely eat here again. Were with friends that have eaten there many times and they said the food is always great.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting Joe's Friendly Tavern & for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are happy you enjoyed the service and the food. At Joe's we are constantly striving to improve our menu so be sure to check in anytime for what's new. We have great daily & monthly features. Once again thank you and... More 

Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015 via mobile

We 1st visited in Sept 2014 with our children. The hamburger was amazing and freshly made. The root beer is expensive but soooo worth it. It's homeade!! We enjoyed it so much we made a detour on are trip to Traverse city this past July.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting Joe's Friendly Tavern and especially thank you for sharing your experience with the Trip Advisor community. It looks like you enjoyed two of our signature items, Joe's Draft Root beer and Joe's Burger. Our burgers are ground fresh daily in our own butcher shop. We feel the extra effort makes for one tasty burger. Did you... More 

Royal Oak, Michigan
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2015 via mobile

We were taking in some breathtaking sites on the lake - looks amazing in the winter - and stopped here for lunch. Joe's is spacious inside and looks sort of ordinary. The food however was great! I had a bacon Swiss burger with a fried egg on top perfectly cooked. She had a Reuben which was delicious and enormous. Nice... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the Trip Advisor community about the beauty of our area in the winter. It really is quite stunning. We are glad you overlooked our plain face and enjoyed your lunch with us. Yes, we are a little rough looking (our old building has seen some years) but we feel our food and service make up for... More 

Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

A great place to stop no matter what time of year! My kids love having there meals served on a frisbee in the summer! Definitely recommend!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you sharing your impression of Joe's Friendly Tavern. Even though most think of us as a summer destination the Empire area truly is a four seasons kind of a place. And us at Joe's.....well, we are here all year, serving up the same great food. We hope to see you again soon. More 

Frisco, Texas
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

This tavern is a nice restaurant in Empire and if you love root beer, this is your place. They serve root beer right off the tap and it's great! Their burgers and sandwiches are also very good. Be sure to visit Joe's if you're in Empire.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the folks in the Trip Advisor community about your experience at Joe's Friendly Tavern. We are glad you enjoyed our Root Beer (it is good, isn't it). We now have it available in bottles and are working on making it available for shipping through our on line store. Thank you again for visiting Joe's, we look... More 

Columbus, Ohio
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

This place is the greatest! All the employees and customers seem glad to be there. It is a cozy, not fancy neighborhood type place with a long bar and old style wooden walls. The best hamburgers ever but have sandwiches and fried fish, etc. on the menu. They have a couple of game machines to entertain the kids. Like the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for your review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. It's nice to be appreciated for what we are, a friendly neighborhood place with "up north" ambiance & tasty, fresh food. And yes.....we really are glad to be there and we look forward to seeing you again. More 

algonquin il
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

The waitress recommended their burgers. My husband and I split a buffalo onion burger and a bowl of tomato soup with bacon and blue cheese. The soup was especially great. I hope to try to duplicate it at home. Friendly staff.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thanks for mentioning our soups. They kind of get overshadowed by our Burgers (which we grind ourselves, fresh daily). Our soups are also homemade and we have two new choices each day in addition to our own Joe's Friendly Tavern Chili. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Joe's with the TA community. We hope we... More 

Baltimore, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

We were happily surprised by Joe's. The staff were all great and the food was excellent. My husband had the County Fair Burger, said it was one of the best burgers he has ever had.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and thank you for dinning at Joe's. The burgers you enjoyed are one of signature offerings. We grind the burger ourselves daily, right here on the premises. Again, thanks for sharing your experience with us. We hope to see you again. More 

Carmel, IN
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2014

Went to Joe's tonight as I have many times. Thought I should take a moment to share. I ordered a burger medium rare with a sunny side up egg - and onion. I love to cook and do it fairly well but I think a perfect egg is difficult. Not only was my egg perfect but my burger was cooked... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for you enthusiastic review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We are glad you enjoyed the food and service we offer. We hope we get the chance to serve you again. More 

1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Dont't order the special of the day. It was prime rib on a Friday. It came cold and bloody. We sent it back to the kitchen. Waitress was not nice. It came back a little less raw, thin and fatty. Waitress refused any substitutions for the squash which my husband does not like. For 14.99 it was not worth it.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. We do want to deliver a quality dinning experience to all our customers and we find all reviews valuable, the good and the bad. We are sorry you and your guests had a bad experience at Joe's. I surmised from the email you sent us that... More 

Travelers who viewed Joe's Friendly Tavern also viewed

Empire, Leelanau County
Glen Arbor, Leelanau County
 
Glen Arbor, Leelanau County
Empire, Leelanau County
 

Been to Joe's Friendly Tavern? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
  • Location: United States  >  Michigan (MI)  >  Leelanau County  >  Empire
  • Phone Number: +1 231-326-5506

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: American
Open Hours
Sunday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Monday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday
7:30 am - 11:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Joe's Friendly Tavern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?