Best Pasty in Michigan (2016)


A pasty embraces everything we love about sandwiches: a meal in portable form. Although you could argue it's not technically a sandwich, it's got meat (or veggies) surrounded by pie crust (bread-like, right?), and that's good enough for us! In fact, it was named by Zagat as the state sandwich of Michigan. With historical ties to English miners who immigrated to Michigan in the 1800s, many ethnic groups in Michigan adopted the pasty as a quick meal in the Copper County copper mines. Michigan has so embraced the pasty that there is an Annual Pasty Fest in Calumet every June.

  • Pasty Central

    Pasty Central

    Pasty Central, a pasty kitchen on the Upper Peninsula, make their U.P.-style pasties with beef, pork, potato, onion, carrot, rutabaga and a spice blend. Their Cornish pasty omits the carrots, and veggie and breakfast pasties are also on the menu. Online orders are available during the fall, winter and spring.
    Photo courtesy of

  • Muldoon's Pasties & Gifts

    Muldoon's Pasties & Gifts

    Pasties are prepared fresh and baked daily in the kitchen of Muldoon's Pasties & Gifts in Munising. The original beef pasty features beef, potato, onion and rutabaga, but those looking for something different can choose between chicken, veggie or dessert pasties.
    Photo courtesy of Muldoons Pasties & Gifts

  • Joe's Pasty Shop

    Joe's Pasty Shop

    Each pasty coming out of the oven at Joe's Pasty Shop is made by hand from largely locally sourced, all-natural ingredients. Joe's excels with its creative pasty fillings – things like Wisconsin maple pork, chicken cordon bleu, Reuben, Greek and bacon cheeseburger. A few styles are available with a whole-wheat crust.
    Photo courtesy of Joe's Pasty Shop

  • Lehto's Pasties

    Lehto's Pasties
    St. Ignace

    Mr. Lehto was honorably discharged from the army in 1946 and opened Lehto's Pasties in 1947 – one of Michigan's oldest iconic pasty shops. The traditional beef pasty comes stuffed with seasoned beef, potato, onions and rutabaga, but vegetarian and chicken versions are available as well.
    Photo courtesy of Lehto's Pasties

  • Lawry's Pasty Shop

    Lawry's Pasty Shop
    Ishpeming and Marquette

    Madelyne and Jim Lawry opened a small cafe serving pasties in 1946, and Lawry's Pasty Shop is still in the family, run by Madelyne's son Roger. Pasties are traditional beef or a vegetarian-friendly "Garden Medley," and you can buy them ready-to-eat or frozen, both full size and mini.
    Photo courtesy of Lawry's Pasty Shop

  • Toni's Country Kitchen

    Toni's Country Kitchen

    The Finnish-style pasties coming out of the ovens at Toni’s Country Kitchen are worth the drive, according to loyal fans of this famous local bakery. The meat pasties taste best fresh from the oven, but visitors can pick them up frozen to-go as well.
    Photo courtesy of Betsy Weber / Flickr

  • Jean Kay's Pasties & Subs

    Jean Kay's Pasties & Subs

    Jean Kay's in Marquette offers a substantial menu of sub sandwiches, salads and wraps, but it's their softball-sized pasties that earned this shop a place on our list. Diners have three flavors to choose from: steak, steak with rutabaga or veggie. Mini pasties are sold frozen by the dozen.
    Photo courtesy of Jean Kay's Pasties & Subs

  • Superior Pasties

    Superior Pasties

    Superior Pasties has been baking the state specialty using Michigan-sourced ingredients whenever possible since they opened shop in 1991. The menu has expanded past the traditional steak and chicken varieties to include pasty options like shepherd's pie, Italian, vegetable cheddar, Polish and chicken broccoli cheese.
    Photo courtesy of Superior Pasties

  • Connie's Kitchen

    Connie's Kitchen

    Connie's Kitchen in Calumet claims to bake the best pasties in the Upper Peninsula, and a horde of regulars agree. Connie's Kitchen has won the commercial division championship at PastyFest twice, and in addition to pasties, diners can get homemade soups, sandwiches and salads.
    Photo courtesy of Connie's Kitchen

  • Amy J's Pasty

    Amy J's Pasty

    Amy J’s Pasty & Bake Shop in the town of Hancock bakes piping hot Finnish-style pasties stuffed with seasoned meat and potatoes, as well as a vegetarian version. Save room for dessert, as the sweet bread and cinnamon rolls are both winners.
    Photo courtesy of Betsy Weber / Flickr

So who makes the best pasty? For the past four weeks 10Best and Sandwich America readers have been voting for their favorites from a pool of 20 nominees, and the results are in.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Pasty in Michigan are as follows:

  1. Pasty Central - Kearsarge
  2. Muldoon's Pasties & Gifts - Munising
  3. Joe's Pasty Shop - Ironwood
  4. Lehto's Pasties - St. Ignace
  5. Lawry's Pasty Shop - Ishpeming and Marquette
  6. Toni’s Country Kitchen - Laurium
  7. Jean Kay's Pasties & Subs - Marquette
  8. Superior Pasties - Livonia
  9. Connie's Kitchen - Calumet
  10. Amy J’s Pasty - Hancock

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Michael Eckert (editor of The Times Herald) and Kathleen Lavey (writer for Lansing State Journal) were chosen based on their knowledge of the Michigan pasty landscape.

Other nominees for Best Pasty in Michigan included Darrow’s Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City, Dobber's Pasties in Escanaba, Gram's Pasties in Escanaba, Hiawatha Pasties in Naubinway, Hunt's Mackinaw Pastie & Cookie Company in Mackinaw City, Irontown Pasties in Negaunee, The Pasty Oven in Quinnesec, The Pasty Shop in Southgate, Roy's Pasties & Bakery in Houghton and Wildwood Pasties in Moran.

Congratulations to all our winning pasties!

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AlertThe Experts

Michael Eckert

Michael Eckert

Michael Eckert

Kathleen Lavey

Kathleen Lavey

Kathleen Lavey

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Terry French

Terry French

Terry French