Food / Atmosphere
Over the last 23 years, Dinghy's has established itself as one of the best local eateries Up North. Customers come from far and wide to enjoy the experience at Dinghy's—a landmark in Downtown Frankfort, in beautiful Benzie County, Michigan.
We pride ourselves on serving high quality and great tasting menu items made from scratch with the freshest ingredients, obtained from local sources when available. Nothing is served from a bag or box—except the fries. Dinghy's has become famous for the meats that we cook in our own smoker using local hardwoods. We now offer seven smoked meats on our menu: ribs, pulled pork bar-b-q, shaved tri-tip sirloin, chicken halves, turkey legs, chicken wings and andouille sausage. Meal after meal, day after day, we can promise consistently great food at a reasonable price. We are also confident that we have the best staff in the area. All of our servers are well experienced and possess the knack for making everyone feel like a member of the Dinghy’s extended family. They love what they do, and it shows.
The nautical theme of the restaurant highlights the history of the ferry boat fleet that steamed out of Frankfort harbor for 90 years, ending in 1982. The old car ferry signs that hang from the ceiling were taken from the pilot houses of those ferry boats and mark the days when those great ships sailed between the harbors of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Beautiful hand-crafted stained glass windows above the entry add to the nautical theme. For a great read on the history of the ferry boat fleet, see Grant Brown's Ninety Years Crossing Lake Michigan.
Several old maritime maps and photos adorn the walls, along with fish mounts that call attention to Frankfort’s charter fishing fleet and the quality outdoor experience that abounds in Benzie County. Behind the bar hangs the World Record Brown Trout caught on a 10 lb. line right across the street in Betsie Lake.
To enhance the customer experience, we undertook major renovations in the winter of 2011-2012, with the new bar as our crowning achievement. The new bar was constructed from the ground up with a base made of sturdy oak, and then topped with cherry wood cut from the hills of Crystal Lake. The workmanship is outstanding. The new shelving at the end of the bar displays the assortment of Dinghy’s t-shirts, baseball hats, our logo pint beer and shot glasses, and bottles of red wine served in-house or fot takeout.
Join our E-club and take advantage of coupons and other special offerings, and keep abreast of happenings in the Dinghy's family of friends. Ask your server for details. Join us on Facebook and check out our website—www.DinghysRestaurant.com—for more details on Dinghy's and for links to other businesses offering quality services in Benzie County. And then, just for fun, check out the photos and videos on the website. We remain open year 'round except for closing on major holidays, the occasional private party, and repair and maintenance projects. Check the website for announcements.
Entering his 19th season, our owner, Steve Christian, is actively involved within the community as Secretary and member of the Board of the Frankfort Elberta Chamber of Commerce, and as President of the Chamber's Foundation. Steve is also a member of the Board of Directors of a company based in Frankfort that is a major employer. Under Steve’s direction, community service is a priority for Dinghy’s. In addition to volunteer efforts, we give back to the community in the form of charitable donations to non-profit organizations in Benzie County—with a focus on the Frankfort and Elberta communities—roughly equal to 2.5% of the restaurant’s net income.
Thanks for visiting Dinghy's and we look forward to serving you again!