What it is: In the downtown of the Cherry Capital of the World, just a few short blocks south of the bay, 7 Monks Taproom is largely focused on Trappist ales and Michigan craft. Popular with tourists as well as locals, the 46 tap handles offer a range of new, local, and world-classic. The kitchen keeps it interesting, too, recently introducing a weekly Pierogies & Pilsners night that pairs creatively stuffed, house-made pierogi with lagers from the likes of New Hampshire’s Schilling Beer or Traverse City’s own Farm Club, among others.
Why it’s great: Northern Michigan has no shortage of great breweries, but there’s really just one top-notch beer bar at the tip of the Mitt, and 7 Monks is it. For more than a decade, it’s been the destination for specialty beers from in-state providers such as Short’s, Speciation, and Wax Wings, while also continuing to spread the gospel of Belgian ales from the likes of Orval, Chimay, and Westmalle. Nor have they rested on their laurels—dedication to classics includes a Lukr side-pull handle to pour those lagers. Meanwhile, this may be one of the only bars on Planet Earth where you can order a Taras Boulba and a can of Smooj. —Karl Klockars
Hours: 3 p.m.–11 p.m., Monday–Wednesday; 3 p.m.–midnight, Thursday & Friday; noon–midnight, Saturday; noon–10 p.m., Sunday
Address: 128 South Union St., Traverse City, Michigan