I got pumped reading all the posts. The Midwest doesn't often compete toe-to-toe with restaurants on either coast, but there's a couple places here in the MSU area that are more than fair:
Thai Food: The Thai Kitchen, Grand River, E. Lansing. About 3/4 miles east of MSU campus. I haven't had a bad item there yet, but I think the day shift cooks are better. Don't miss the iced tea!
Chinese Food: New China Restaurant, S. Cedar Street just south of the I-496 exit. Chinese ex-pats make the real thing. No ambience, just food. I am addicted to their General Tso's Chicken (extra spicy).
Baked Goods: Bake's N Cakes, Kalamazoo St., E. Lansing, (just about under I-127). Croissants to die for, decent coffee, wedding cakes that actually taste like cake!
Fancy/Schmancy: The English Inn, Rte 99 (MLK Blvd) 10-15 minutes south of Lansing toward Eaton Rapids. Big city prices, but the converted mansion, the nouvelle cuisine and the front-row service are all worth it. This place can hold its head up anywhere. $17 for the Sunday buffet, last I heard, is a great deal.
If you have another local favorite, please post it. I'm always willing to find another decent option around town...