Enjoy The Best Saugatuck Restaurants & Artisans
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
Food Lovers Explore Amazing Saugatuck Restaurants and Artisans
It’s true. We love everything about food. We love searching for the best ingredients. And once we find them, we can’t wait to bake, cook, taste, and share … food, glorious food. And guess what? We’re happy to let you in on all of our secrets! A visit to Saugatuck means you get to to tour the orchards, vineyards, breweries, distilleries, tasting rooms, farmers’ markets, food trucks, and roadside stands that make up the second most diverse agricultural area of the country! All that goodness is being served up at Saugatuck’s amazing restaurants, bistros, pubs, and pantries. Local chefs are friends with the farmers and are regulars at the Farmers’ Markets … we know you’ll taste the difference this makes.
Food lovers delight! Come taste the good life in Saugatuck!
Watch the baby goats frolic while you taste the artisan cheese at Evergreen Lane Creamery. Join in the hustle and bustle of the Saugatuck, South Haven, and Holland Farmers’ Market. Pick strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins at Cranes, Earl’s, Dee’s, Pleasant Hill, and Krupkas. Tour the vineyards and taste the wines at Fenn Valley, 12 Corners, Cogdal, Wyncroft, Petter Wine Gallery, and Wine Sellers. Find out why Cider is all the rage when you sample at Virtue Farms, McIntosh, and Cranes. Sample the beers, or make your own, at Saugatuck Brewing. Order a handcrafted cocktail at Coppercraft … the local grains in your glass make this drink truly special.
You’ll have a hard time deciding among the best restaurants in Saugatuck, Michigan, but you certainly have a lot of options! Reserve a table at the Grand Rapids Area Restaurant Of The Year for 2015: Bowdies Chophouse just a few short blocks away from Wickwood Inn. Take in the river views and farm fresh flavors at The Southerner. Dine al fresco at Lucy’s Little Kitchen. Be sure and try the new Grow and the updated Pumpernickel’s, both in downtown Saugatuck. There are also the perennial Saugatuck favorites: Marro’s, Phil’s, Wick’s, Butler, Mermaid, Hercules, and Wally’s.
We’ve created a getaway guide with some local favorites, suggested stops and insider secrets to help you love life like a local. Use our tips as you will, but let your imagination be your guide!
Live Like A Local & Love Our Villages… Food Glorious Food!
We agree. It’s all about the Food! We know the Farmers are the real rockstars of our community. Thanks to their hard work, we’re surrounded by goodness. Finding fresh and interesting ingredients is easy. We love turning their harvest into tantalizing tastes. From the first scent of dark chocolate brownie bites, to our lavish spread of evening appetizers, to our house made gourmet brunch, Wickwood Inn is the place to celebrate food, glorious food. All of this is included in your stay, because life’s too short to worry about extra fees!
While you’re here, we want you to experience the very best this area has to offer a fellow food lover.
Get your taste buds ready . . . they may just squeal in delight!
1. Arrive in Saugatuck | Lunch at Lucy’s Little Kitchen OR Ida Red’s
Life’s too short to spend time looking for places to park. We’ve got you covered. Ease into our private parking lot and enjoy complimentary access your entire stay. Even better, you won’t have to walk far to take in the tastes of Saugatuck.
Lucy’s Little Kitchen (across the street from the Chain Ferry. Open weather permitting) embodies vacation. At Lucy’s, everything’s made from scratch. The fish arrives daily. Their Zero Proof Sugarcane Juice Bar is something you won’t find anywhere within 1500 miles. The Tuna Nachos and the Ceviche rise to to the top of our list, but we’ve enjoyed tasting our way through this entire menu.
If you’re more in the mood for dining indoors, head down Water Street to Ida Red’s. We think their lunch is one of the best kept secrets in town. Check the Specials Chalkboard when you walk in. If you’re lucky, they’ll be featuring a tostada. The orange juice is freshly squeezed and delicious. If there are any muffins left up at the counter, have them packed up for snacking later. You won’t be sorry. Make sure you have cash or your checkbook handy. No credits cards accepted here.
2. Find the Right Flavors|Food Lover’s Exploration of Downtown Saugatuck
Start at the Old Hardware Building and find every culinary tool you could ever want at The Butler Pantry. This well-stocked kitchen store carries Emile Henry, Nordicware, Cuisinart, Nopro, OXO, RSVP, and other trusted brands, as well as a tasty selection of gourmet sauces, pastas, coffees and more.
Stay on this side of Butler and be ready to make your food sing! 18 varieties of salt. 5 kinds of cinnamon. An impressive array of herbs, spices, peppers, rubs, and teas. Everything is available in any amount. Spice Merchants certainly has something for you. We think the Black Truffle Salt has taken our popcorn to an entirely new level.
Head down Butler to taste the fruity flavors of the region at American Spoon. Sample your way through chutneys, preserves, marmalades, salsas, grilling sauces, and more. Don’t forget to buy a few things for tomorrow’s picnic, and don’t miss the Ginger Pear Chutney, Sour Cherry Spoon Fruit, and the Farmhouse Tomato Relish.
Round the corner to Culver and head to The Olive Mill. Here there’s an extensive variety of oils and vinegars, all available to sample. Beautifully bottled, the products make great gifts. Don’t miss the Roasted Walnut Oil, the Blood Orange Oil, and the Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Enjoy the boats along the docks. Whistle. Skip. Hum a tune. Make your way back to Wickwood.
Anytime After 3:00 p.m.
3. At Your Leisure | Begin To TasteThe Difference of Life at Wickwood
You smile as you take note of the fine art when you enter Wickwood, but it’s the smell in the air that really captivates. Definitely chocolate! Enjoy a steaming mug of locally roasted Simpatico coffee. Begin sampling the marvels that emerge from this tiny kitchen. Cookies! Chocolate chip, butterballs, sables, brownie bites . . . each perfectly sized. Sample them all as you settle into your well-appointed room.
4. Hit the Street Again | Taste Your Way Through Town
Head back out to visit Wine Sellers. New owner, Michael Gustaitis, brings experience and his Level III Advanced Sommelier certification to this well-stocked wine store. You’re sure to find exactly the right bottle to have in your room later on. Taste … and take in Michael’s knowledge and passion. Browse Michigan’s explosion of micro-brews. Peruse the selection of glasses, decanters, cigars, fine cheeses and chocolates. Continue sampling at Round Barn, Tabor Hill, and Fenn Valley tasting rooms.
5. One of the Real Reasons For This Vacation | Time To Experience Food From Julee Rosso
Every Thanksgiving, your entire meal is made from her recipes. Your copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook is dog eared, stained and tattered. You’re a long time fan of Julee Rosso’s award winning work. Now, you’re at Wickwood Inn. You decide to bring a bottle of wine you just bought. It will be perfect with the Smoky Potato and Arugula Soup. The selection of Salumi, Soppressetta and Prosciutto is impressive. When you taste the Spiced Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, you know you need the recipe. The Yellow and Red Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Burratta is beautiful and delicious. The flatbread with Pepperade, Mozzerella and Paremsan Shards is something you can’t wait to make at home.
6. Kick Off Your Shoes At Oval Beach | Sunset Stroll Along Sweetwater
Take the short drive (5 minutes) to our award-winning Oval Beach. Find out why Travel and Leisure exclaims, “Saugatuck has one of the World’s top 10 beaches!” Stroll. Sink your toes in the sand. Build a castle. Watch the sun slowly sink into the horizon.
7. Honest Food and Friendly Folks | Salt of The Earth | Downtown Fennville
Salt of the Earth serves up rustic American food, that directly from the farms around us. From your first sip of a Honey Don’t or a Fenn’s Mill Fizz, you get the flavor of the good tastes to come. We never skip the Farmer’s Greens for the table, and the Fried Brussels — on the menu since day one — have converted more than a few self-professed haters of brussels sprouts (we think it’s the house bacon that wins them over!) Try a series of Small Plates, a couple of Wood Fired Pizzas, or Fresh Sea Scallops, Grilled Hanger Steak, or Smoked Pork Shoulder from their entree section. Don’t overlook the ever-changing Fresh Board, as this represents the Chef Pietsch’s latest farm-fueled culinary creations.
8. Time For Sweet Talk | Return to Wickwood
No matter what time you arrive, we’ll welcome you with little something sweet. We love the combination of sweet, salt, and crunch. Dark chocolate almond bark always satisfies.
9. Stretch Your Legs | Take In The Scenery at Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Enjoy the scenery as you wind your way to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Take in the birds, trees and topography as you hike. Cast of your shoes as you hit the sandy parts. You are now nearing Lake Michigan. Skip stones. Build a sand castle. Let time slip by. The scenery and solitude are sure work up an appetite.
10. The Breakfast You Wish You Made At Home | Gourmet Champagne Brunch
Sure, you like to cook. It’s not often, though, that you go to much trouble making breakfast. But you do love a luxurious brunch. You’ve found the perfect place. You’re hooked by the fresh fruit salads (you wish you had thought of combining Green Apple, Grapes, Honeydew and Kiwi with a Lime Mint Sauce and a sprinkling of Blueberries . . . it’s gorgeous!), and it only gets better from there. The Caramelized Onion and Bacon Strata is so light and packed with flavor. The Bismarcks with Mixed Berries and Lemon Curd Cream have just the right amount of sweetness and such an amazing texture. The Pistachio Sausage Patties . . . who would have thought? And what is that hint of spice? The warm Raspberry Razzle Dazzle Cake provides the perfect finishing touch.
11. A Great Source For Culinary Inspiration | Holland Farmers’ Market
Open on both Wednesday and Saturday, this market always inspires! Park on 8th if you can. Wind your way into the crowd and enjoy the impressive array of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, herbs, plants, flowers, meats, cheeses, and much more. All of our farmers are rockstars, and a few of our favorites at the Market include: Mud Lake, Birdsong, and Visser Farm.
12. Stroll Up 8th Street | Take A Sweet Step Back In Time
Drop off your goodies and stroll East on 8th. The shops entice. The brick-lined walks make for a scenic stroll. Visit Reader’s World, a longstanding independent bookstore. The Seasoned Home is stocked with teas and specialty kitchen items. Then head straight to the shop that brings out the best kid in all of us: The Peanut Store. Don’t be fooled. This store offers much more than Peanuts. The Fabiano family has welcomed people here for more than 100 years. Save room for an Ice Cream Nutty Paddle Pop after lunch. Classic!
13. Outdoor Seating | Indoor Pub | Window Front Fine Dining | Lunch At Butch’s
It doesn’t matter what mood you’re in, Butch’s Dry Dock has your perfect seat. White tablecloths in the front. High tops in the Pub. Umbrellas out on the deck. You won’t go wrong with the salads, soups, sandwiches and small plates offered throughout. The extensive wine, beer, and cocktail offerings here really stand out. Whether by the glass, bottle, from the retails shelves, or the cooler, Butch’s has something to quench your thirst. Within a block, you may also want to try Mizu Sushi, Hops, New Holland Brewing, or The Curragh.
14. Orchards & Vineyards Await | It’s time to Taste, Taste, Taste
Prepare for the ultimate picnic.
First up: Evergreen Lane Creamery. Delight in the La Mancha and Alpine goats. Don’t get too
distracted though, you’re here for cheese! Standouts include the spreadable and creamy Fresh Chèvre, and the jersey cow’s milk, Poet’s Tomme. These cheeses pair perfectly for your picnic!
Cheeses this special deserve the best bread. Turn the corner to Kismet Farm Bakery. Buy the perfect loaf. Kismet crafts their hearth-baked breads from scratch. No shortcuts. No artificial anything. No refined sugars. Most often, our favorite is The Original Seedy Salt: aromatic seeds crusted with a bit of French sea salt. Don’t hesitate to buy anything else available when you visit. It will all be delicious.
Next, Virtue Cider. Founder Gregory Hall, formerly of Goose Island Brewing, uses premium heirloom apples for his branch to bottle ciders. Head into their Tasting Room & Bottle Shop to try out their latest offerings. Red Streak is perfect any time of year. Sidra de Nava is Summer and blue skies. In cooler weather, The Mitten will keep you warm. Pick your favorite, purchase a pint, and head out to the tables for an impromptu picnic. Unpack your breads and cheeses. No fuss — only farm fresh foods and fantastic flavors.
From here, it’s a short jaunt across the street to Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellars, Your wagon tour awaits. Time speeds by as you sip wine all along the way. Stock up on your favorites in the tasting room after. We like the Riesling and the Meritage (delicious with pizza!)
15. What Will You Try Tonight? | Sips & Small Plates the Second Time Around
You could really get used to this . . . life here is festive, and it all centers around great food. Tonight, you reach for the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and try several of the Artisanal Cheese offerings. Perhaps the Montrachet is your favorite? There’s something about the Tomato Jam on the Seedy Salt Crostini that really makes you happy. The Crispy Zucchini Frites with Lemon are genius and the Fava Beans, Mint and Pecorino with Prosciutto Slivers atop Crostini makes for a perfect combination.
16. Head Out On The Blue Star | Pay A Visit To The Village Of Friendliness
Taste & Shop | Petter Wine Gallery
Across the bridge there’s J. Petter Gallery. Stop in. Visit the portion of the art gallery that has been converted into a retail Wine Shop and Tasting Room. Whether the wine comes from near or far, each bottle has been thoughtfully selected. Browse and taste. Pull up a cozy seat. Select from a 2, 4, or 6 ounce portion of the special offerings of the evening.
Dinner Downtown | Everyday People Cafe
We can’t decide which section of this restaurant we like best. No matter where you sit, you’re sure to enjoy what has become a favorite for locals and visitors. Put your name on the list then stroll through town. After shopping, cozy up to one of the two bars and start your night off with a Bell’s beer or glass of L.Mawby sparkling. Order the Drunken Shrimp Sambuca or the Spanish Tapas Plate for starters. Once seated, try the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna or the Gorgonzola Pork Chop. In the mood for something simpler? Gigi’s Greek Salad is fresh and tasty. The Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper Crusted Burger always satisfies.
17. Assess the Mood | Time For Music & Magic
We love all our little villages have to offer. There are lots of places you could now visit for a nightcap and a little live music. Find out who’s playing at The Brewery, The What Not, The Sand Bar, Coral Gables or at Wally’s. Hop around town and wear your dancing shoes.
Or, you know magic awaits at Wickwood. No reason to feel badly about calling it a night!
18. Brunch | Realize You Never Want To Leave This Place
By now relaxation has transformed you. Why is it so difficult to read the newspaper and sip another cup of coffee at home? No worries. Wickwood’s here the next time you need to getaway. But for now, you can’t wait to enjoy another brunch. This time, you start with the Four Citrus Salad with Honey Mint Sauce. Perfect. The Leek, Onion, Scallion, Chive and Garlic Scape Frittata with Goat Cheese and Gremolata is like nothing you have ever tasted. The Vanilla Sauce on the Baspberry Blueberry Bread Pudding is to die for, but then there’s the Glazed Walnut Scone with Dried Cherries. Thankfully, the portions are just right, so there’s room to continue tasting.
19. When It’s Time To Leave, You Hate To Go | Off To Pick Berries
Whether it’s strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples or pumpkins, there’s always something ripe and ready in our area orchards. Bring home bushels of goodness!
20. Still Time To Taste | Lunch at Phil’s
Cap Off Your Marquee Vacation | Head to Phil’s Bar & Grille For A Late Lunch
For ease, return to the parking lot at Wickwood. From here, it’s a short stroll to the Marquee spot on Butler Street: Phil’s Bar & Grille. The Broasted Chicken is the house favorite for a reason, but don’t be afraid to branch out. Try Tasso Pizza or Adobo Rubbed Ahi Tuna for starters. We’re a bit nutty for the Nutty Salad. Favorites from the sandwich menu: Portobello Sandwich, Fish Tacos or the Blackened Burger. Scallop Pad Thai (equally delicious prepared vegetarian), Walleye, or the Ribs from the entree menu. Have fun doodling with the crayons at your table. The animal crackers that come with your check do just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
21. Feeling Full Now But That Won’t Last | How About Dinner To Go? Perfect!
Time for one more stop. Farmhouse. Longtime local favorite chef, Christine Ferris, finally moved her catering operation into a storefront. What’s available in this gourmet shop depends on what’s currently available from our area farms. No matter what the season, you’re sure to find everything you need for tonight’s dinner back at home, including delicious vegetarian and gluten free options. Or . . . you COULD take one more trip to the beach for a perfect picnic! Your choice . . . but why not make the moment last? We vote for the beach!