If the words “Bird Burgers”, “Pint Night” and the rally cry, “Fire Up Chips!” triggers something deep down inside you, be warned, what follows may cause nostalgia overload. We’re taking you back (way back) to Thursday nights at The Bird, Tuesdays at O’Kelly’s and restorative mornings at Stan’s. Below is a list of CMU students, old and new, favorite local spots for food and drinks.

The Bird Bar & Grill

In Mt. Pleasant, “bird” is the word when it comes to students, professors, alumni and locals. This family-owned bar and grill, in the heart of Downtown Mt. Pleasant, has been serving the community for nearly 90 years. Along with a great atmosphere and even better selection of craft brews, The Bird offers a food menu that keeps people coming back. Our suggestions: Bird Burgers, pizza and it’s signature Moon Bread. 

The Bird Bar & Grill exterior in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Stan’s Famous Restaurant

⚠️ WARNING ⚠️ This is the place to fuel up after a long night or for a long day. Stan’s, located in Downtown Mt. Pleasant, is a Mt. Pleasant staple when it comes to locals, students and alumni. The combination of iconic breakfast foods, hot coffee and great service keeps them coming back. Weekend mornings are busy at this downtown diner and you may have to wait a few minutes before being seated, but trust us, it’s worth it! 

A delicious looking omelet at Stan's Famous Restaurant in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Marty’s Bar

This quaint, laid back, bar in Downtown Mt. Pleasant offers relief from packed pubs. Known as more of a “Townie” hot spot, Marty’s Bar is being discovered more and more by students. What we recommend: Drinks are always cheap and cold, you can’t beat that! As for food, stop by Marty’s and ask for the daily In-House Special; this dish features an 8 oz. N.Y. Strip steak, french fries or a baked potato, and your choice of salad, coleslaw or cottage cheese, all for only $8.50.

Marty's Bar exterior in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Dog Central

Featured on Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food, Dog Central is Mt. Pleasant’s premiere hot dog joint. With late night hours, wildly creative flavor combinations and over 100 cans of Michigan craft beer, this is a spot alumni wish was open during their time at CMU. 

Fun fact: Dog Central is owned and operated by CMU alumni Paul McFall, who opened the restaurant his senior year as a business student. 

Two hot dogs and a basket of french fries from Dog Central, a hot dog restaurant in downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

O’Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grille

O’Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grille is your one-stop-shop for everything college; the walls are lined with big screen TVs, daily drink specials, plenty of seating and a burger menu to boot! 

As you make your way through O’Kelly’s, head towards the back, make a left turn and you’ll find yourself walking into Wayside Central; when spoken of, a flood of memories pour into the minds of most CMU students, past and present. Today the Wayside is a dance club, not opening until 9 p.m., making it the go-to-spot for a night out with friends.

O'Kelly's Sports Bar & Grille exterior in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Some things have stayed the same, but many have changed when it comes to dining in the Mt. Pleasant area. We recommend revisiting the old but also checking out the new while you’re in town. What’s new: Summit Smokehouse & Tap Room, Midori Sush & Martini Lounge, Pure Vitality Juice Bar & Spa,  Wood Shop Social and Vin Trofeo’s Pizzeria & Pub.

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This list was originally featured in MLive’s article, If you went to Central Michigan, you most likely love these bars and restaurants, by John Gonzalez, featured writer for MLive and MLive’s Michigan’s Best and CMU alumni!