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Hidden gems of the West End

Raise your hand if you knew about the little piece of heaven that is the West End. Don’t worry, I didn’t either until I started working at the GINCC. I live in Marquette so it never crossed my mind to seek out hiking trails and restaurants in Ishpeming or Negaunee … even though it’s only a 15-minute drive.

Did you know that the West End has quite a few vegetarian and vegan food options? NEITHER DID I. At this point, I feel like I eat at the same four restaurants in Marquette. I hate to admit this but I am a pizza addict. Like actually addicted. I’ve always been hesitant to go full vegan just because I like pizza that much. Guess what? Congress Pizza, a local favorite, has vegan pizza! I literally drive from Marquette to pick one up every cheat day.

Another favorite of mine is Rare Earth Goods & Cafe in downtown Ishpeming. I honestly wish I knew about it sooner. Think of it as kind of a hippie paradise where you can find that elusive vegan cheese nowhere else in the UP has and eat locally sourced, organic healthy food from their cafe. Besides food and local beer & wine selections, they also showcase and sell arts and crafts from local artists. I highly, highly recommend checking it out during your next trip to Ishpeming.

What about pasties you might ask? Irontown Pasties has you covered. Their spicy vegan pasty is one of my favorites! These are made to order so make sure to call an hour ahead of time.

Does anyone else hate pumping gas in the winter? SO DO I. I know this is a total “first-world problem” but I dread getting gas in the winter. My fingers get so cold. I somehow just figured out that Jubilee Foods Fuel is a full-service station. I repeat full-service, as in they pump your gas for you! Maybe I’m the last person in town to figure this out, but I think it changed my life.

These are a few of my favorite things and places I discovered over my first month working on the West End. What are yours? Comment on our Facebook at facebook.com/GINCC and let me know what places I have to try!

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