Posted by: mikeeatsdetroit | October 21, 2008

Cider Mill Review (Finally)

Apologies for the lack of updates lately. October has been an extremely busy month, but I did find time a few weeks ago to sample four of Metro Detroit’s more popular Cider Mills along with guest reviewer Kyle Bauer. But first a couple of disclaimers

*There is absolutely nothing wrong with a couple of dudes broing it up at a cider mill together, listening to sports talk radio, scoping out babes or getting a characeture done together. Sure, traditionally it’s more of a date activity but if you’re having no luck with the ladies and just want some cider and doughnuts it’s perfectly acceptable.

*Pumpkins are to be picked at an orchard, not a grocery store. Buying pumpkins at a grocery store is as unamerican as driving around in your Toyota Prius, eating Lashish take out.

Yates Cider Mill *Best All Around Cider Mill Experience

To be fair I can’t include Yates in the ranking system since it’s been a fall instution for me since I was a kid. Every fall there has been two places my parents would always take me and my siblings, Yates Cider Mill and Miller’s Big Red. The cider and doughnuts set the standard for which I judge all cider and doughnuts. The doughnuts being are a textbook example of just enough crunch on the outside with the inside being warm and chewy and the cider a perfect mix of tangy and sweet. Cider Mills aren’t just about the cider and dougnuts, walking trails and other diversion are almost equally as important. Allthough the swinging bridge  across the street from Yates has been gone for years they still offer a scenic mile long walking trail with plenty of side trails and off chutes.

Yates Cider Mill

1990 E Avon Rd Rochester MI


Spicer Orchards *Best Dougnuts

When I googled “Cider Mills M-59” Spicer Orchards was the first search returned. It’s not a Cider Mill per se but out of all the places we hit Spicer wins the best dougnut award. If Yates is the standard spicers takes it up a notch with the outside being a tad bit crispier with a little bit more cinnamon. Spicer’s dougnuts are  bigger than most cider mill dougnuts, more comparable to something you’d find at a Dunkin Doughnuts. If you don’t feel like picking your own apples theres a whole petting zoo villiage on the premises along with a corn maze right across the street.

Spicer Orchards

10411 Clyde Rd Fenton MI


Paint Creek Cider Mill *Best Walking Trail

I have to start off by saying that if you don’t get to the doughnuts at a Cider Mill within 10 minutes of them being made, you might as well just buy them at the store. This was our first stop at 10 am and I have a feeling the doughnuts had been ready for awhile since they were room temperature with no crispness on the outside. I did go back about an hour later for a plain dougnut fresh out of the oven (or whatever they make doughnuts with) and it was noticeably better so I may have to go back one more time before giving the dougnuts a thumbs up or thumbs down. The one huge advantage Paint Creek has is the fact it backs right up to The Paint Creek Trial which is a walking/jogging/biking/rollerblading trail that stretches all over God’s green earth, or at least Oakland County.  Shout out to Paint Creek Animal Clinic. Kyle and I found Jersey here on the trail and dropped him off at the Clinic.

Jersey happened to be a patient of theirs and he seemed happy to be there, which is incredible because whenever we take my dog to the vet he tucks his tail between his legs and pees on the floor.

Paint Creek Cider Mill

4480 Orion Rd. Rochester MI


Franklin Cider Mill

Along with Yates, Franklin seems to be the other big name when it comes to Cider Mills in the Metro Detroit Area. I hate to use the word “overrated” but I’m going to have to. Frankin has only one choice of doughnut; plain with Cinnamon baked into the dough, which sounded good before I bit into it and realized that the cinnamon could barely be tasted. The website claims to offer hayrides but I didn’t see any being run while I was there. Once I got past the beauty of downtown Franklin and the building it seemed that the Franklin Cider Mill was nothing but a glorified road side stand with smaller portions and higher prices. To be fair I went on a Friday afternoon, perhaps they have more to offer on a Saturday or Sunday but the three other cider mills were packed and had everything up and running.

Franklin Cider Mill

7450 Franklin Rd. Franklin MI




  1. That’s as straight as a rainbow.

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