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All 7 Empire Restaurants

Joe's Friendly Tavern

11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
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Ranked #1 of 7 Restaurants in Empire
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details

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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    53
    17
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

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.

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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
55 reviews 55 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 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 

Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
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!

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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
9 helpful votes 9 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.

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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
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 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 

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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
21 helpful votes 21 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.

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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
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.

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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 

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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 

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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 

Lansing, Michigan
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014

Stumbled upon Joe's as we headed to the dunes - wonderful surprise! Great menu and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We started with a generous order of fried smelt that were fresh and tasty. Good balance between the breaded and the fish... Excellent tartar sauce came with. We both had burgers, my partner had the Joe (wasn't thrilled with... More 

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Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting our area and thank you for the kind review of Joe's Friendly Tavern. Glad to hear that Annie took good care of you, I will pass the word along to her. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again. More 

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Additional Information about Joe's Friendly Tavern

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

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?