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“Great new young chef!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Little Bohemia

Little Bohemia
540 W Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684
+1 231-946-6925
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Ranked #25 of 261 Restaurants in Traverse City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $5 - $18
Cuisines: Pub
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: LITTLE BOHEMIA, Traverse City's 2nd Oldest Tavern, was built as a hot dog stand in 1932, with Curb Side Service and outdoor seating, an annual ritual of making sauerkraut, and a Speak Easy in the basement. Folks would knock on the back door and go directly to the basement. One evening while closing up the owner was paid a visit by a couple of Al Capone’s men. They held him at gunpoint, warning him he’d better get his liquor from Capone or else! The men were chased off by an employee who was able to sneak out to his truck and get his shotgun; he surprised them; fortunately they never returned. Located in the heart of “Little Bohemia” as the area was known and being of Bohemian descent, the original owner named his business in honor of the Bohemian community that had settled on the west end of the city. Little Bohemia immediately became the gathering place on Saturday nights. At the end of prohibition, the building was expanded to include a tavern and its popularity continued to grow into a Traverse City landmark, now an icon and a premier destination in the city’s West End District. This traditional Michigan tavern has stood the test of time and still maintains its original name. Little Bohemia is blessed with fame in its own right, as the 2nd oldest tavern in Traverse City, but basks in the glory of the late Sir Walter Hagen. The golf legend, who settled on Long Lake after he retired, made a daily stop to “hold court” or play a few games of bumper pool and of course have a few drinks. Mr. Hagen lovingly referred to Little Bohemia as his “home away from home” and often spoke of it during his travels. In 1961, just as he walked off the course from his 1st British Open win, Arnold Palmer received a call from Walter Hagen; a call that was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. “The biggest thrill I got when I set a British Open record of 276 strokes at Troon, was to have Walter Hagen phone me from Little Bo’s in Traverse City to congratulate me,” said Palmer. “I didn’t even know The Haig knew I was alive until then. So when I went to Traverse City to honor him near the end of his life I had to go and visit this place he called his home.” The actual interview can be seen on YouTube; just search Arnold Palmer.Stop by for great home cooking and fast friendly service.
Traverse City, Michigan
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Great new young chef!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We stopped in at Little Bo's because everyone talks about the great, casual vibe and live music. Located on the west end of busy Front Street (across from the Grand Traverse Pie Company), there is a good-sized parking lot in the back.

When we were first seated, we were a little unsure. While the front was a comfortable bar area and the band was just tuning up, there was a room on the side with a really tacky painted mural (sorry if that offends the artist!), red checkered tablecloths and big table with a party of kids. Huh? Seemed a little late for the kiddies to still be up, but...

My burger and sweet potato fries were great. Our friends loved the gnocchi with thick slices of toast. One thing that was rather confusing: my husband wanted something different and asked about specials. The waitress almost seemed reluctant to tell him that the chef had a tuna steak special -- rare, with a spicy sauce -- which he ordered and loved! Later the young chef even came out to thank him for ordering it. We couldn't figure out why they seemed to be keeping the special a "secret". Weird. But we were impressed!

Is Little Bo's totally unique? No, probably not, But it is casual, lively, very friendly and the food and music was great! We'll definitely go back. And next time, we'll ask about the chef's specials!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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278 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Eaton Rapids
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The "Better Burger"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

I have been going "up to" Traverse City for many years, to visit family & friends and to enjoy the many attractions in one of the nicest areas in all of Michigan. Every time I visit the area, I always try to find a place that I have never been to before when dining, preferably a local establishment where I can get a good burger and a beer. A couple of weeks ago I was on a business trip in T. C., and "found" Little Bohemia. What a great find !! Although new to me, it has a long historical presence in the area with a really nice local feel and a great staff and owner. The cheeseburger I had was great ! They purchase their meat from a local meat market across the street, fresh every day, and it makes a difference. No doubt, the best Pub cheeseburger I have ever had in Traverse City. I will be back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Try the deserts! Pies and cobblers are unbelievable.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Dined once. German food was mediocre but not great. Cheeseburger was very good. Service (owner) was outstanding. This restaurant is on its way up. It is also an alternative to all the tourist traps. Has a great long standing, historical roadhouse atmosphere. The new chef will probably improve the menu. Must try and great nightly entertainment. Solid bar. Very friendly.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Great Place, Especially Handy for a Mixed Group”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

At Little Boho, the room is beautiful, the staff is friendly and the food is great. It is an excellent place to go if the people in your party all want different things: sandwiches and full meals, vegetarian or nouveau entrees and old-fashioned home cooking, ethnic (Little Boho has v good Italian and GREAT German) or plain American. Not many places can accommodate all sorts of people with ease! The atmosphere is perfect: not stuffy or snotty or stiff, just relaxed. There's a bar, but it's definitely a full-service restaurant, welcoming for families.

I especially like seeing the old, original coved ceilings and brickwork outside. Even the paint colors inside make me feel like I've gone back in time! I hope it never changes.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lil' Bo' Is The Best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

I visited Little Bohemia during a trip to Traverse City a few weeks ago and had a great dining experience. The hospitality shown to me by Nancy and her staff was excellent. I started off with Crabcakes which were excellent. Next on the meal was a half order of goulash which was delicious. The half order was the equivalent of a full order at most places. Then Nancy asked what I would like for dessert and I decided on apple crisp expecting it to be served in a small bowl. When Nancy brought the dessert, it almost filled a plate. Whipped cream filled the remaining plate. Multiple waitresses asked how everything was and if I needed anything. I would highly recommend Little Bohemia!!!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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