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Road Trippin': Family tradition and authentic Italian eats make La Cantina a must visit

One of the owners, Ava Plaszczak, talks about the family history and authentic homemade recipes that are menue standards at La Cantina in Paw Paw, Michigan. (WWMT)

La Cantina

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Sitting between the Paw Paw River and Maple Lake is a family-owned staple: La Cantina.

For the past 82 years, La Cantina has served authentic homemade recipes that keep families coming back for generations.

"My grandparents started the restaurant in 1936 and we are the third generation running it today," part-owner Ava Plaszczak said. "It has been a destination for many families in the area."

La Cantina has strong family ties, revealed in the pictures of the family filling a glass case at the front of the restaurant to the recipes created more than 80 years ago that are still being used today.

"One of our famous dishes is the La Cantina Chicken, which was one of my grandmother's recipes," Plaszczak said. "Its made with our La Cantina Red Wine Vinegar dressing that we de-glaze. You're going to see our pizza, which is really famous. People come from all over to have pizza here. Our ribs, our homemade lasagna with the sausage and we have spaghetti and meatballs, which is a very common draw, because everybody loves spaghetti and meatballs."

The food keeps people coming back for more, but the wine shop allows them to take a taste of La Cantina with them when they leave.

"We feature many local wines from the area and the state, and we feature wines from all over the world." Plaszczak said.

La Cantina is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m. and closing at 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

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