Looking for the best places to eat and drink in Ludington, Michigan?
You’ll want to add these local restaurants, breweries, and wineries to your list for your next visit on vacation or during a day trip to West Michigan.
This article is written in partnership with Pure Ludington. All opinions are my own.
Coffee at Red Rooster Coffee & Community
207 S James St, Ludington, MI
When I visit a destination I always want to know where the good coffee shops are. Red Rooster Coffee & Community is a nice place to enjoy a great cup of coffee.
There is plenty of seating inside the cozy cafe or you can enjoy your drink at one of the small tables outside.
You have plenty of coffee styles to choose from including Nitro coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, and batch-brew coffee.
There is a great variety of house-made syrup flavors available along with tea, smoothies, and seasonal lemonade.
If you want a light bite to eat, there are organic cookies and scones, muffins, oatmeal, and organic bread and spread toppings available for purchase.
Great Breakfast or Brunch at Cafe 106
106 N Rath Ave, Ludington, MI
The Bananas Foster French toast is made with thick sliced French toast topped with caramelized bananas and sweet rum sauce.
The Homemade Corned Beef Hash and eggs are made with tender pieces of slow-roasted corned beef brisket mixed with potatoes, served with two farm-fresh eggs and toast.
I also want to note that the homemade strawberry preserves were so good.
We opted to split half of each entree so that we could enjoy a sweet and savory option for the best of both worlds.
Cafe 106 offers breakfast/ brunch cocktails including a Bloody Mary.
Make sure that you check out the beautiful photography displayed on the restaurant walls showcasing scenic images around Ludington by a local photographer.
If you’re traveling with your dog, Cafe 106 has a pet-friendly outdoor seating area with several tables.
Breakfast at Old Hamlin Restaurant
122 W Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI
Old Hamilin is one of the good old-fashioned family restaurants that generations of locals and tourists have continued to patronize over the years.
The family-owned restaurant dates back to 1942 and the dining room is a bit of a time capsule with familiar decor on the wall along with some family photos.
Their affordable prices, friendly service, and good food make it a great place to start your morning and a Ludington favorite.
I would also suggest a meal that includes toast with homemade bread available in white, wheat, or cinnamon raisin.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with their thick French toast made with their homemade bread.
If you prefer savory, you can’t go wrong with their daily breakfast special corn beef hash made with 2 extra large eggs, American fries, and toast.
Old Hamlin is open for lunch and dinner with a diverse menu. They have a salad bar, sandwiches, Mexican specialties, and much more.
Enjoy Rooftop Dining at The Blu Moon Bistro
125 S James St, Ludington, MI
Blu Moon Bistro has great food and offers a rooftop dining experience in beautiful downtown Ludington. The rooftop is open 7 days a week at 11:30 am, weather permitting.
The rooftop has seating at the bar in addition to tables on both outdoor decks that have tables with and without shade.
Enjoy a Drink at Blu Moon Bistro
The rooftop bar at Blu Moon Bistro offers a variety of specialty cocktails and mules, frozen drinks, draft beers, can beers, sake, cider, hard seltzer, wine, and non-alcoholic options.
Appetizers to Try at Blu Moon
Two words: Lobster Nachos.
The question isn’t if you should order them…the question is how much of the nachos you think you’ll be willing to share with your table.
Trust me, if you enjoy lobster, your taste buds will thank you for ordering this appetizer.
The lobster nachos are made with their secret lobster dill sauce recipe, tri-color chips, aged Colby jack cheese, salsa, sour cream, and scallions.
The hardwood wings are also worth trying as an appetizer or as an entree.
The dry-rubbed smoked wings are 48-hour brined, topped with your sauce of choice, and served with celery and carrots.
We tried the spicy garlic and sweet chili flavors which were both delicious!
For your entree, you can’t go wrong with fish or smoked pork tacos.
The downstairs portion of Blu Moon Bistro is open from 4 PM-10 PM Tuesday-Saturday with a menu that includes pasta, Spanish fusion, prime rib sandwiches, salads, and sushi.
Lunch at The Sandbox at Stearns Park and Beach
321 N Lakeshore Drive & 421 N Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, MI
You don’t have to leave the beach to grab a bite to eat. The Sandbox at Stearns Park and Beach is located at two concession locations within the park.
The North Beach concession is located near the Stearns Park entrance and the South Beach concession is near the pier and playground area of the park.
Each Sandbox concession in the park has some menu items that are unique to that specific location and some menu items that overlap at both locations.
You can eat your meal at a picnic table next to the concession area while enjoying a beautiful view of the water along the shores of Lake Michigan.
During our visit, we dined at the North Sandbox location that offers paninis and croissants for sandwich options.
I really enjoyed the Presto Pesto panini made with fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, tomato, and balsamic drizzle.
The Chicken salad for the croissant sandwich and handmade pretzels on the menu are sourced from Cluck Bucket. Cluck Bucket is a popular local restaurant located inside The Port in the heart of downtown Ludington.
I recommend the beer cheese for your dipping sauce. Other dip options are regular mustard and honey mustard.
The North Sandbox location also had sweet treats on the menu including homemade ice cream, popsicles, smoothie bars, classic novelty ice cream, and Dippin Dots.
While we didn’t dine at the South Sandbox location, it specializes in craft sliders with flavors influenced by beaches around the United States, plus hand-dipped ice cream and gourmet, beach-inspired milkshakes with fun toppings, along with a few homemade slushies.
Dine and Play at Stix Ludington
1963 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI
Stix Ludington is a restaurant that doubles as an entertainment center with 12 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a beautiful beer garden patio and pier, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and a venue that hosts live music (typically on weekends.)
I would recommend checking their hours before your visit because you’ll want to allow extra time to truly be able to relax and appreciate the Insta-worthy setting at every turn.
Stix is one of the best spots to visit for a meal or drink because there is something that appeals to everyone.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you may want to inquire about their areas for private events or private parties or their indoor and outdoor event spaces for large groups.
Indoor Dining at Stix
Stix has an upper and lower lounge area available for inside dining with a larger selection of menu items to choose from that’s a great environment for a date night or evening with friends or family.
The elegant nautical decor displays wooden boats from the ceiling as light fixtures and is showcased in the outdoor patio area.
The beautiful bar offers great drinks ranging from craft cocktails in addition to wine, good spirits, and craft beer.
We tried a few of the seasonal items on the dinner menu during our visit.
I tried the pecan crusted whitefish served with a brown butter sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans…but I subbed my green beans for asparagus.
My other friends ordered two different types of salads. The classic Caesar salad with chicken, homemade dressing, and garlic croutons.
And the Sail Wedge of Ludington salad with homemade bleu cheese dressing, eggs, bacon, and tomatoes.
For dessert, we tried the white chocolate creme brulee.
Outdoor Dining at Stix
The outdoor area for Stix is a VERY popular spot for hanging out, especially during busy summer months.
*We visited on a Monday evening closer to closing time which is why it wasn’t as crowded in my pictures.
If you want to dine in more of a fast-casual environment, the outdoor patio area is a great option, especially if you have younger kids.
There are plenty of picnic tables, Adirondack chairs around the fire pit areas, outdoor heaters, outdoor games including a cornhole area, and additional tables.
One of the best things about the outdoor patio area is the relaxed vibe.
The open setup makes it easier to keep an eye on your kids while they play and you enjoy a meal that’s way better than fast food.
Dining at the Bowling Alley
If you want to eat or drink while you bowl, there are cocktails and American classics available on the menu at Stix. You can check out the bowling menu here.
Dine With a Marina View at Crown and Cork
502 W Loomis St, Ludington, MI
Crown and Cork is located across from the Ludington Municipal Marina, only a block away from the main strip in downtown Ludington.
Guests can enjoy views of the marina from the large windows inside the restaurant or on the outdoor patio on a beautiful Ludington day.
There is also a nice designated kids’ play area to help occupy younger guests.
For an appetizer, we started with the delicious seared blackened ahi tuna. It was made with sashimi-grade ahi tuna, light cajun spices, and sesame seeds served with wasabi and soy sauce.
For our entrees, we tried the “Great Lakes Fish & Chips” made with beer battered walleye, lemon, house coleslaw, tartar sauce, and served with french fries.
The fish was cooked perfectly with a nice crisp on the outside and a large flakey filet on the inside.
We were also intrigued by the “Buttermilk fried chicken” made with boneless skinless breast, chorizo gravy, garlic sautéed seasonal vegetables, and baby roasted potatoes.
For dessert, we shared the “Crown Gem from Britter’s Twisted Whisk” (a local Ludington bakery) made with a specialty blondie brownie served warm with vanilla ice cream and peach bourbon sauce.
Ice Cream at House of Flavors Restaurant
402 W Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI
House of Flavors is the best place to stop for a scoop of homemade ice cream.
They also have bragging rights from breaking the Guinness World Record for the “longest ice cream dessert” on June 11, 2016.
House of Flavors has a “cone room” for ice cream parlor patrons and a dining room for guests who want additional food beyond the ice cream menus.
The summer menu serves breakfast until 11:30 am and also includes homemade soup, fresh roasted turkeys, sandwiches, wraps, and salads.
I’ve been on a coconut kick lately so ice cream that includes it has become one of my new favorites.
If you’re unsure of how to narrow down all of the great choices, their amazing staff will help guide you and provide samples to help you make your final selection.
Wine Tasting at Pere Marquette Winery
1914 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI
Pere Marquette Winery is the perfect place to visit if you love to visit a local winery during your travels.
The Tasting Room for the winery has an interesting history as a converted equestrian tack room.
Pere Marquette produces high-quality wines that are grown from grapes at their vineyard.
Pere Marquette Winery offers a nice variety of red and white wines to choose from ranging from dry to sweet.
Guests can choose a tasting of 5, a flight of 4 wines, or by the glass.
We opted to enjoy our wine flight outside in the seating area along the covered barn. This is a nice stop before or after time on the Pere Marquette River or relaxing at the beach at Buttersville Park nearby.
Drink and Dine in a Historic Building at Jamesport Brewing Company
410 S James St, Ludington, MI
Jamesport Brewing Company is one of two local breweries in downtown Ludington with craft beer and delicious food and it happens to be inside a building that dates back to the late 1800s.
There is a nice outdoor beer garden for nice weather days or there is plenty of seating on the covered patio or dining areas inside.
We opted for a flight of beers that included the Blueberry Wheat (served with real Michigan blueberries), Peach Belgian, PBA Imperial Stout, and the Nitro Stout.
I’m typically not a huge beer drinker but I really enjoyed the Blueberry Wheat.
For an appetizer, I highly recommend their beer-battered cheddar jalapeno curds. They were honestly hard to stop eating because they were SO GOOD!
We also tried their pecan-crusted perch coated in pecans and fried, served with a cherry vinaigrette dressing for dipping.
I normally wouldn’t think to pair the two together because I typically use tarter sauce with fish. If you try the appetizer, let me know what you think.
For an entree, I recommend the cherry bourbon burger.
It’s a half-pound burger glazed with homemade cherry bourbon sauce, topped with melted pepper jack cheese and Sriracha fried onions served with fries and a pickle.
Enjoy a Flight of Beer at Ludington Bay Brewing Company
If you’re on the quest for more local beers, Ludington Bay Brewing Company is another great option a short walk across the street from Jamesport Brewing Company.
There are 20-24 different types of craft beer on tap daily at Ludington Bay Brewing Co.
We stopped in to try a flight of beer that included the following:
- Coconut Brown
- Peanut Butter Dark Stout
- Vanilla Jitterbean
- Peach Sour
- Where’s the Tequila (Sour)
My favorites were the sours but my friend LOVED their Vanilla Jitterbean.
I also want to note that they have really cool shapes for their beer flights.
I opted for the lighthouse flight holder in honor of the two lighthouses we visited during our trip.
We didn’t get a chance to try the food on their menu but next time I’m definitely ordering their crab rangoon pizza.
The brewery also has an outdoor patio if you want to enjoy your drinks outside.
Additional Restaurants to Try in Ludington, Michigan
- The Q Smokehouse – 225 S James St, Ludington, MI (Smoked bbq and southern home-style sides and sauces)
- Sportsman’s Restaurant and Bar – 111 W. Ludington Ave, Ludington MI (Family-owned bar/restaurant since 1955 serving pizza, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers) You can stop by for a drink at the adjoining Mitten Bar or Hoyt’s Next Door for beer and pinball.
- Lakeside Wiener Wagon And BBQ – 1-19 N Nelson Rd, Ludington, MI (Food truck with gourmet hot dogs food truck) and The 10 Spot, a group of five food trucks
- Chuck Wagon Pizza – 971 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI (Speciality pizza and sandwiches)
- Table 14 – 130 W Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI (Southern-inspired fine dining)
For additional dining suggestions, check out Pureludington.com/Dining.