Traverse City Cider House – 2.0
As a Traverse City local, when Northern Naturals Cider House closed its doors last fall, I wept for fans of the cider house. Famous for its rotation of live music, large groups of loyal regulars and the friendliest staff in Traverse City, Northern Natural’s disappearance from Front Street in Traverse City was a bit of a head-scratcher for everyone in town. It certainly didn’t close for lack of business, quality food or fervent supporters.
Whatever the circumstances of the closing, the cider faithful were soon relieved to learn of Manager Jen Gregory’s plans to open up her own cider house just a block west of the old Northern Naturals location. After a few months of whirlwind work to get the new location up to Jen’s high standards, Taproot Cider House opened at the end of January to much fanfare. I attended the soft opening, and was absolutely thrilled with what I found – an updated, yet still rustic decor, and an eclectic menu that retained the favorites from Northern Naturals, while adding new items like a chicken pesto pizza that is absolutely to die for. Many of the same staff from Northern Naturals came down to work at Taproot, and it was like catching up with old friends with them at the soft opening.
As you plan your downtown Traverse City brewery tour, you’d be wise to include Taproot as one of your stops. Taproot keeps cider as its main attraction, as any establishment with cider in its name should do. But Taproot also has liquor and beer, meaning no matter who you’re with, they’re bound to find a beverage to adequately wet their whistle. A personal favorite of mine is the traditional house cider, which is as delicious as it is dry. There will be no sugar-induced cider headaches from Northern Natural cider, which is exactly how we like it.
As mentioned above, the food selection has expanded greatly under Taproot, with a few personal pizzas that look almost as good as they taste being my favorite addition. All ingredients are sourced as locally as frequently as possible, and the freshness is palpable to all. There are gluten free options aplenty, and we brought along a Celiac guinea pig to see if Taproot prepared their food properly. It was no surprise that our Celiac sufferer reported no issues from his Taproot gestations. In fact, we saw him at the cider house again the very next day for more delicious grub!
Be sure to check out Taproot Cider House’s Facebook page for daily specials and other announcements. To book your tour of top-notch Traverse City hot spots like Taproot, The Workshop and Rare Bird, go here to book the best tour in town!