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Joe's Friendly Tavern

Certificate of Excellence
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11015 W. Front St., Empire, MI 49630
+1 231-326-5506
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Today
7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Breakfast, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 208 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 90
    Excellent
  • 80
    Very good
  • 29
    Average
  • 7
    Poor
  • 2
    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
A go to Place in Empire

We stopped with a friend after riding the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail. During the middle of the afternoon so it was not crowded. Had a salad which was nice and fresh (and NOT head lettuce) and a burger. The food was properly cooked, the place seemed clean and the service was friendly. The prices... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed November 23, 2015
dave62
,
Michigan
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208 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The food was average and very overpriced. We were starving and paid way too much for a couple of sandwiches. If you are on a budget, I would suggest planning ahead and finding somewhere else to dine.

Helpful?
1 Thank Christine H
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for sharing your experience at Joe's. All our customer reviews are important to us, the positive along with the negative. As you can see by perusing our other customer reviews, most people find our food better than average (much better). As for our budget minded customers, Joe's offers a different hot lunch special every day for $8 (for... More 

East Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
172 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Enjoyed a hearty dinner at Joe's after snowshoeing in Sleeping Bear Dunes. Their burgers and Cubano are awesome. Best of all was the special brew - Joe's All-American Ale - brewed only for Joe's by New Holland Brewing.

Helpful?
Thank Rick B
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you choosing Joe's and thank you for taking the time to tell the folks in the TA community about us and our new Joe's American Ale that we now have on tap. We look forward to seeing you again, soon. More 

Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015

We had breakfast here on December 26th during a mini vacation to Sleeping Bear Dunes. The service and food did not disappoint, and the coffee cup was never empty! I highly recommend this establishment for a hearty and filling morning meal.

Helpful?
Thank KyleeMichigan
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

You can't go wrong with at Joe's Friendly Tavern breakfast. Thank you for helping to spread the word. More 

Michigan
Level Contributor
108 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2015

We stopped with a friend after riding the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail. During the middle of the afternoon so it was not crowded. Had a salad which was nice and fresh (and NOT head lettuce) and a burger. The food was properly cooked, the place seemed clean and the service was friendly. The prices were reasonable. I will return the... More 

Helpful?
Thank dave62
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the people in the Trip Advisor community about the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and for telling them about lunch at Joe's Friendly Tavern. We look forward to seeing you the next time you hit the trail. More 

Michigan
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

Walked from our Inn (Empire Lakeshore Inn) to have breakfast on a Sunday. They open at 7. Food and service is good. I would have preferred the coffee to be a bit better tasting but I guess I'm a picky coffee drinker). Prices were reasonable and I would go back again.

Helpful?
Thank KSOFCAL
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the Trip Advisor community about breakfast at Joe's. We serve breakfast til 11 daily and until noon on Sundays. More 

Glen Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

The organically delicious burgers, homemade soups, club sandwich, BLT, mouthwatering chocolate cake, cozy and fun atmosphere make this one of my favorite places to eat!! LOVE IT!!!

Helpful?
Thank Jennifer P
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for telling the Trip Advisor community about Joe's Friendly Tavern's tasty food and cozy atmosphere. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again.....soon. More 

Mishawaka, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2015

Happened to be visiting Halloween weekend and asked if they had anything planned. Turns out they have a wonderful tradition of having little ones trick or treat at the restaurant. Locals that live outside of town come in and set up tables and hand out candy while the kiddos parade by. It was a packed house for a while! Love... More 

Helpful?
Thank gram964
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

The Village of Empire has kind of become trick or treat central over the years. No traffic in a nice, compact, safe little town. Parents like to drop their kids off and then dine in Joe's or The Empire Village Inn while the little ghoulies do the town......and of course the trick or treaters all make their rounds through the... More 

Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2015 via mobile

Went to Joe's after a hike around Sleeping Bear Dunes. Great little place. Nothing fancy. But awesome burgers. Kid friendly. Decorated cute for Halloween too.

Helpful?
Thank Amanda G
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

We grind our burgers fresh everyday....that ads to the "awesome" factor. Glad you enjoyed them. I'll pass the word on to Jess (our official decorating fairy) that you liked her work. Come back for Christmas to see what she does for that. Thank you for taking the time to review us.....we look forward to seeing you again. More 

Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2015

Stopped in at Joes after a trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Had a Reuben sandwich that was delish...had great onion rings too...but the very best thing was the peanut butter pie! I'd drive all the way back to Michigan for that pie! Our waiter was very friendly and the place was clean...tavern atmosphere so don't expect anything fancy...but the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Travelfruit
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

Thank you for your very generous review, we are glad you enjoyed our restaurant. I'll pass the word to Logan (has to be him, we only have one waiter) that he did a good job and to Bonnie (the member of our wait staff that doubles as pie maker) that her peanut butter pie was a hit. See you the... More 

Oscoda, Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2015

If you are looking for a great place to eat while visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes make sure you drive down to the end of Front Street and stop in at Joe's Friendly Tavern! We are active outdoor enthusiasts and usually visit the dunes at least three times a year for many years and have always enjoyed our dining experience at... More 

Helpful?
Thank Paul B
Villageinnempire, Public Relations Manager at Joe's Friendly Tavern, responded to this review

We are glad you enjoy our area and our restaurant. We look forward to seeing you again. More 

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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, Pub

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children
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?