Culinary Schools in East Lansing

Home to Michigan State University, East Lansing is right in the center of Michigan state. This relatively small college town, with a population of some 48,000, is just east of its sister city and state capital Lansing. The MSU Spartan community is an entire city in itself, with an enrollment of more than 50,000 students hailing from all over the world.

Culinary Arts

Students choosing to attend one of the East Lansing cooking schools will feel right at home here in the midst of a diverse student population from every corner of the planet.

Famous East Lansing foods and restaurants

While East Lansing's food scene is not as exciting as some of Michigan's larger towns, there are some gems to be found here. It is true that some of the dining scene is a bit heavy on the chain restaurants, but like any good university town, East Lansing has solid ethnic food (think Thai and Indian), sandwich shops, and casual lunch eateries. Here are a few of our favorite picks in the area:

  • Black Cat Bistro: This restaurants features an all-black interior, and is known for sourcing local ingredients. Regulars love the goat cheese fritters, the full bar, and the generous happy hour.
  • Peanut Barrel: This Michigan State University favorite is laid-back and features American classics -- think burgers and great fries. It has both a view of the Red Cedar river and an award-winning outdoor patio, making it a nice play to lounge on summer days.
  • Swagath Indian Cuisine: Located in an unassuming strip mall, this Indian restaurant has been described as quite a gem. It serves an extensive buffet every day of the week and has more than 100 menu items.

While East Lansing is not famous for any food in particular, there are some legendary Michigan foods that are well liked and should be well known by students at East Lansing culinary schools. Michigan's food is the delicious result of its multiethnic heritage, which includes German, Greek, Polish, Scandinavian, Middle Eastern and others. They include fresh fish from two of the nation's fantastic Great Lakes, such as catfish, sunfish and whitefish, which is oftentimes smoked. In general, the Midwest is famous for comfort food, and Michigan is no exception.

If you've been to northern United States, you may have heard of Coney Islands, a type of diner that was introduced to Michigan by Greek immigrants. These diners are usually open 24 hours, and serve the "coney" -- a steamed hot dog topped with chili, onions and mustard. Another classic item is the Michigan pasty: an empanada-like dough pocket with a variety of fillings. It was brought to the state by Cornish immigrant miners who needed a meal that would stay warm even in deep mines -- or on a cold Michigan winter day. The state is also a leading producer of both asparagus and cherries, so it's no surprise that Michigan Chicken Salad includes cherries and apples.

East Lansing culinary career outlook

Now that you are probably nice and hungry, let's look at how much you could potentially earn after graduating from one of the East Lansing culinary schools. Please see the table below to get statewide information about earning for positions in the food and beverage sector, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Total Employment in Michigan (2014)

Average Salary in Michigan (2014)

% Job Growth in Michigan (2012-2022)





Butchers and Meat Cutters




Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

The BLS tracks data for both East Lansing and adjoining Lansing, so let's have a look at that information:



Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)

Lansing-East Lansing




Butchers and Meat Cutters



Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Students who choose to attend one of the culinary schools in East Lansing might be very happy with their decision to study in such a well-known college town. Selecting the specific school is a big decision, and we are here to help. Please have a look at the list below and get cooking!


  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Michigan, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mi.htm
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Lansing-East Lansing, MI, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29620.htm
  • MSU Facts: https://msu.edu/about/thisismsu/facts.html
  • The Peanut Barrel, http://www.peanutbarrel.com/
  • Swagath Indian Cuisine: http://swagathfoods.com/

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