Each year over 500,000 tourists make their way to the Soo Locks to visit one of the country’s most vital pieces of infrastructure. With a vast offering of lodging options, it’s easy and affordable to find a place to stay. But what about a place to eat?
Using rankings from our friends at TripAdvisor, we can come to a conclusion on the five most popular restaurants for visitors in Sault Ste. Marie. Whether you’re planning a summer trip to the Soo, reminiscing on previous visits, or a local wondering if your personal rankings match TripAdvisor’s, check out these top five places to grab something to eat in the Soo.
Out of the top five eateries in the Soo, the Palace has the richest history dating back to the early 1900s. This Portage Avenue favorite specializes in amazing Mexican food, fantastic margaritas and a prime location in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The Palace also deserves recognition for having some of the finest hamburgers in the Soo.
“Good food with a Mexican theme. The restaurant is larger than it first appears. They have an outstanding selection of various Tequilas so a Margarita is in order for guests 21 and older. Reasonable prices and large portions. Be sure to order the Queso,” exclaimed TripAdvisor user Charlie W. from South Carolina.
Whether you’re hungry for homemade Stromboli or looking to pair a delicious wine with an artisan entrée, Karl’s Cuisine is the place for you. If you’re driving westward on Portage Avenue, Karl’s is hard to miss with its building modeled after a ship. Out of the 44 restaurants TripAdvisor has listed in Sault Ste. Marie, Karl’s may take the cake (or cheesecake if you will…) on fine dining locations in the Soo. As an added bonus, Karl’s is located directly across from the Soo Locks!
“When I am in towns like this, which cater to tourists, I don’t expect great food, but Karl’s has some great food. If you have the chance, get the crab-stuffed white fish. It is amazing. You can also watch freighters go through the locks from the restaurant,” wrote one TripAdvisor user.
The most recently established entrant into the top five restaurants according to TripAdvisor is the Wicked Sister. Sitting along Ashmun Street, the Wicked Sister has put a modern twist on a diverse menu featuring craft hamburgers, clever entrees and a fully stocked bar. Don’t forget to ask about their specialty tater tots when you visit.
“We came from Pittsburgh, PA where there are many great places to choose from and this place was on par with the best Pittsburgh has to offer!! The Food was all fresh homemade even the Tots (stuffed with corned beef…)!! Service top notch and the tap list was awesome. We had lunch and dinner there on the same day it was so good,” chimed in a user from the Keystone State.
With a handful of locations in the Upper Peninsula, the original Clyde’s Drive-In near the Sugar Island ferry dock comes in second place in TripAdvisor’s ranking. Clyde’s perfectly marries nostalgic drive-in favorites and freighter watching to complement what is arguably the most unique eatery in Sault Ste. Marie.
“The burgers were incredible!! We ordered our food and went over to Rotary Park had lunch and watched the freighters. The menu includes much more than burgers. Very easy relaxing way to have lunch,” reviewed an Appleton, Wisc. user on TripAdvisor.
It may come to no surprise for locals, but the top restaurant in the Soo, according to TripAdvisor, is the West Pier Drive-In. This small, 1950s throwback drive-in is located near the west entrance of the Soo Locks just a short hop underneath the International Bridge. A huge appetite is an absolute must for this burger joint, with some offerings eclipsing the one-pound mark. For locals, a common conversation piece is deciding whether you like Clyde’s Drive-In or West Pier Drive-In best and the best part is there is no right or wrong answer.
“Stopped in here when in the Soo over the 7/19/19 weekend. Wanted to find something unique and iconic to the area for lunch – and boy was this IT!! Barely had put the car in park and a server was at our window to take our order. Decided to try the cheeseburger- and the mushrooms. WOW. Huge, juicy, extremely flavorful- could not stop eating even though I wasn’t starving in the first place. This is a MUST stop! Will be back…,” one of the many TripAdvisors, who left a rave review about the West Pier, said.