The White Buffalo is a full-service restaurant located in Mackinaw City, Michigan featuring American and traditional Native American cuisine to honor the significant contributions of the Native Americans to the Straits of Mackinac. Menu items are made-to-order using fresh ingredients that are locally sourced, farmed and raised in Michigan when seasonally possible.
A white buffalo is a very rare occurrence. Just one of every 10 million buffalo are born white. They are considered sacred among many Native tribes and are supposed to mean good fortune. The buffalo served in our restaurant comes from a herd that is pasture raised, is located within 10 miles of the restaurant, and includes one of the rare white buffalo.
Before European settlers came to the Straits area, fish and game, including buffalo, roamed the waters and land in great abundance. In the early 19th century, explorers reported seeing herds of buffalo that covered many square miles of land, and some people even claimed the fish were so plentiful that a person could walk across the water – on fish! As the commercial fishing and meat-packing industries developed, Michigan began shipping fish and game to other states, at unsustainable levels. This caused a drastic decline in the once-plentiful buffalo and fish populations. However, with a focus on sustainable farming and re-stocking our lakes and rivers with fish, we’re seeing these native species returning for this generation – and future generations – to enjoy.