I absolutely LOVE eating at The Jockey Club when I’m on Mackinac Island. It’s such a beautiful restaurant, situated directly across from Grand Hotel and next to the first tee of The Jewel Golf Course, and one that can’t be missed by anyone riding down the “main hill” of Mackinac Island. Stepping through the arch of Jockey Club is like stepping into another world where horse racing, the excitement that thrives under the warm summer sun, and gourmet dining all converge, and the experience of dining in a place like this can only be found at this jockey themed restaurant.
The Jockey Club at the Grand Stand
Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan (Across from Grand Hotel)
Address: 1874 Cadotte Avenue, Mackinac Island
Hours: [Seasonal] Luncheon from 11am – 5pm
Dinner from 5:30 pm – 9:00pm Daily
Food Type: Meat, Seafood, Soups & Salads
Price: $75+ per person
Dress Code: Cocktail
Reservations: Recommended for Dinner
Special Diets: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Pescatarian
The exterior’s peppy red and yellow colors convey a sense of youthful exuberance that is only heightened by its proximity to laughter on The Jewel golf course. Inside, the restaurant is even grander than the outside, with tartan carpet, jockey cap lighting fixtures, oil paintings dotting the walls, a full, wide bar, and other equestrian-themed paraphernalia, Jockey Club is fun, quirky, and regal all at once.
While there is no formal dress code, almost every diner was dressed in resort formalwear whenever we’ve visited. For women, think Lilly Pulitzer dresses, skirts, or chino shorts with an Oxford or polo, and for men, the dress typically looks like golfing attire or nicer. Whenever my husband and I have dinner at Jockey Club, we relish the opportunity to dress up, and wear outfits similar to what we would wear inside Grand Hotel’s main dining room. If you’d like some outfit inspiration or to see more of what we’ve worn to dinner on the island in the past, check out this post.
Variety of Dishes:4/5
Wait Time:With reservations, none
Like all other restaurants owned by Grand Hotel, Jockey Club uses only the freshest and finest ingredients available. The seafood is caught fresh daily from Lake Michigan, like the delightful whitefish, or is flown in directly from the source. Vegetables and garnishes are brought up daily from Detroit’s freshest sources, ensuring that each meal served to guests of Jockey Club will be flavorful, nutritious, and memorable. As you can see above, few restaurants in Michigan go so far above and beyond in the careful, creative, and entertaining presentation of dishes.
We love seeing the new and exciting ways our delectable meals will be plated, and the delightful preparation of each dish serves to enhance our entire dining experience. While you’re dining at Jockey Club, I highly recommend bellying up to the bar and ordering a specialty cocktail here. Their mocktails are also incredible for those who don’t imbibe or for younger people.
I cannot write this post in good conscience without acknowledging how absolutely incredible the staff of Jockey Club are. I was recently diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy, and when last I dined at Jockey Club, I informed my server and asked him for advice on what I should order. Not only did he return with an entire menu full of gluten-free options, but he also offered to customize anything that interested me on the main menu. He also informed the other serves and asked that special care be taken when preparing my meal, and the kindness and understanding in his voice when he did this was very touching.
I have had unkind things said to me by other wait staff in other places (although never anywhere on Mackinac Island), so it’s always a relief to have my inquiries greeted by compassion rather than scorn. If you or someone else in your party have any special dietary needs or allergen concerns, trust that Jockey Club’s phenomenal staff will take exceptional care of you and your meal, as will all other members of Grand Hotel’s family of restaurants, and rest assured that you will be treated with the dignity and respect that you deserve.
I love Jockey Club, and some of my favorite memories on Mackinac Island include sitting out on Jockey Club’s patio, enjoying a delectable, warm meal as the sun begins to set, and the breeze from the Straits of Mackinac plays with my hair. Whenever I think of warm summer days, delicious food shared with wonderful company, and a beautiful atmosphere, I think about the many meals I’ve enjoyed a Jockey Club.
Golfers are able to order boxed lunches if they call ahead so that they have a wonderful meal to enjoy out on the greens. Grand Hotel guests on the Modified American Plan for dining may opt to take dinners at Jockey Club instead of the main dining room, which is a great change of scenery for those enjoying extended stays or who wish to try a new restaurant during their time on Mackinac Island. Unlike the main dining room or other places inside Grand Hotell, tipping is expected at Jockey Club as a way of thanking the staff for their excellent service.
Verdict: I highly recommend visiting The Jockey Club!
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