401 E. Lake St.
Petoskey Michigan 49770United States
Calling all epicureans! This gourmet food and wine shop is simply divine.
Symons General Store is much more than your typical fancy food shop. It was a trailblazer in establishing the region's now-flourishing food scene. In 1960, owner Tom Symons had a vision to convert a historic building into a hub of good flavor. He stocked the shop initially with coffee and spices and later expanded to offer a spectacular wine cellar. Today, you'll find a dazzling deli and bakery case as well, with pillowy croissants and ripe cheeses (many from the Midwest). Big glass jars hold cornichons, olives -- and penny candy. Tall shelves hold a dazzling array of jars, tins and boxes: mustards, jams, chutneys, imported cookies and coffee. The wine cellar is truly a basement-level affair, with a low wood ceiling, rustic stone walls and swooping light fixtures made out of old corks. (Note that unless you're a wine guru, you'll probably want to ask for help in making a selection; unlike in some wine shops, there isn't much signage explaining what all these fantastic vintages are.) For all the flavor packed inside, Symons is actually not a very big shop. On a busy day, maneuvering between the shelves and other customers can be tough. But it's absolutely worth a visit, even if you'll totally blow your vacation budget buying anything.