Village Cheese Shanty; Leland Michigan

Happy Monday my loves! I’m really excited to share today’s post with you. Not only because it’s a place that I freakin’ love, but also because of this article that’s been being shared all over my Facebook! 

MLive spent weeks traveling around Michigan looking for the very best sub sandwich. And while I haven’t tried all the subs on list (don’t worry I’m making plans stop at the ones near us) I have a hard time believing that any of them are better than their #7 pick (sorry guys… it’s #1 in my book).

Personally, I just don’t think you can beat the homemade bread, spreads and views at The Village Cheese Shanty in Leland, Michigan.

Fishtown. Leland, Michigan.  

If you know anything about me, you know that my heart belongs in the perfectly picturesque beach towns of Northern Michigan. (Okay… half of my heart. The other half belong in the Canadian Rockies and Jackson Hole). Give me a sunny day, a bright blue lake, and a delicious hometown treat, and I’m the happiest girl alive.

Heading North on M22 you’ll find the quaint village of Leland. Along the street you’ll find shops and restaurants, a grocery store and a park. But head down the hill towards the lake, and you’ll find Fishtown, a historic site where you will be able to walk the docks of the weathered fishing village that now houses shops, smokehouses and the greatest sandwich shop to ever live… The Village Cheese Shanty.


The Cheese Shanty may be the easiest place to find in all of Leland. Why? Because the line goes out the door and up the steps even on a random Tuesday in April. And those people that are waiting? They’re not just tourists. They’re locals. (Yup. You know it’s good when the locals are willing to wait in line.) The Cheese Shanty prides itself on being “never trendy” and offering “better than fresh goods” to locals and tourists alike.

The line on a random Wednesday in April! You can’t even see it, but once you get inside, it wraps around inside too. 

Don’t believe me? Ask Mario Batali. He loves this place almost as much as I do.

Wandering up towards the Village Cheese Shanty will make you smile. This cozy little shanty is literally picture perfect in every way. Burst through the swinging doors and you’ll smell freshly baked bread, see 60+ specialty cheeses and local products and hear people ordering “Lake Effects”, “North Shores” and “Bears”.

Menu Board

Every April summer arrives to Leland a little bit early when the Cheese Shanty opens for business. Locals line up waiting to get a taste of their long lost loves. (Winter is REAL long in Northern Michigan.) In fact, so many locals show up on opening day, the world famous pretzel bread usually is sold out within a couple hours.

The Cheese Counter 

By the time Memorial Day Weekend rolls around (the start of summer for the rest of the world), the Cheese Shanty has already sold hundreds of sandwiches. And when the sleepy beach town of Leland becomes alive with tourists? You can expect them to sell hundreds just at lunch time.

Be still my heart. The North Shore is by far my favorite sandwich! 

So what are you waiting for? Let the Cheese Shanty pack your lunch for your perfect afternoon in Northern Michigan.

All this food… for $9!

Know Before You Go. There are a few things you should know before setting foot in Fishtown. The first? You will wait in line. Like I said above. It’s a popular place, rain or shine. So pack your patience. Next? The Village Cheese Shanty is CASH ONLY. So stop by the ATM before you hop in line. Last? This isn’t a sit down type of restaurant. Aside from a few picnic tables outside the shanty, you won’t find a place to eat. So be prepared to take it to go, and find yourself a perfect spot on the beach (or in the park) for a picnic.

What to Order. Whatever sandwich you choose, I suggest ordering it in a bag lunch. You get a cookie, a pickle, chips and pop with your mouthwatering sandwich and it’s such a good deal. (Sandwiches are $6.50… bag lunches are $9.25. Unless you want a beer with your bag lunch, then it’s $10.25.) I honestly don’t think you could choose a bad sandwich here. But my absolute favorite (and Trev’s too!) is The North Shore. (Turkey, Bacon, Swiss, Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber and herb-mayo. YUM.) This sandwich hasn’t won awards for nothing… it’s so good! My dad LOVES the Lake Effect (Chicken, Goat Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato and Pesto Mayo). Want to know who else picks this one as their favorite sandwich? Mario Batali. And he’s a professional chef. So you know it’s gotta be good! And my mom? She’s a big fan of the Shipwreck with Pretzel Bread. (Ham, Cheddar, Cucumber, Onion, Tomato, Lettuce an Herb Mayo.)

Local’s Tips

  • You can order the pretzel bread with any sandwich. So if the Blue Water is calling your name, but you don’t want to eat it on a pita, know you don’t have to! They’ll happily put it on pretzel bread or a baguette for you.
  • Get there early. They open at 9am. But get there around 11 to beat the lunch time rush. But if you don’t want to wait in line at all…
  • Call Ahead! They will take your order over the phone, and you basically get to cut the long line to pick it up. If you ask me, this is the BEST way to order your sandwiches! Put their number on your favorites list… you’ll be calling it a lot! 231.256.9141
  • Don’t get substitutions. The place is slammed all the time. Don’t confuse them with crazy substitutions. Plus, these sandwiches are perfect the way they are. And everyone knows… you don’t mess with perfection!
  • Check Facebook for Daily Specials. Craving something not on the menu? Check Facebook for their Daily Specials!

Ugh. My mouth is straight up watering right now just thinking about these amazing sammies! I need to get back to Leland ASAP.

Now, if you’ll excuse I have a kitten that needs to be snuggled! (He’s a bit upset with us… he had to go to the vet today.) Have a wonderful rest of your Monday! Fingers crossed I’m back tomorrow with a #traveltuesday post! (It should be up… it just may go up pretty late. Follow me on Insta for updates when the post goes live! Or subscribe to the blog. You know the drill!)


7 thoughts on “Village Cheese Shanty; Leland Michigan

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