You don’t have to look very far to find world-famous Mackinac Island fudge when you visit Michigan’s Mackinac Island. With more than a dozen fudge shops, the sugary treat is everywhere! For many Mackinac Island visitors, sampling the many decadent flavors of fudge is a highlight of their trip.
Yet, the popular Michigan delicacy is just one aspect of the food scene on Mackinac Island – and just one of many Michigan-made items for your mouth to savor during a visit. America’s favorite summertime travel destination features a diverse dining selection that caters to a variety of tastes, from a casual burger and beer at a downtown pub to a relaxing lunch on a waterfront patio to a delicious dinner in a four-star restaurant.
You can find a listing of Mackinac Island restaurants and get links to menus here. For Michigan-specific food and beverages, let this guide get you started on your culinary adventure on Mackinac Island:
- When you’re on Mackinac Island, of course you’ll want to taste Mackinac Island Fudge ice cream, too. It’s just as delicious as Mackinac Island fudge…almost! You can find Mackinac Island Fudge and two dozen other flavors of Michigan-made Hudsonville Ice Cream at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor on the grounds of Grand Hotel. Many of the downtown fudge shops also serve ice cream, so you can chase your Mackinac Island fudge with a cone or bowl of Mackinac Island Fudge! Fun fact: Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor is named after a world-champion show dog with ties to Mackinac Island!
- Michigan ranks No. 1 in the United States in the production of pickling cucumbers. Whether you prefer to take the pickle off your hamburger or not, you’re sure to enjoy the iconic fried pickles at Mackinac Island’s Cannonball Drive Inn, located about halfway around the island from downtown at British Landing. The fried pickles come breaded and served with ranch dressing for dipping, which makes for a tasty snack on a bike ride around Mackinac Island.
- Technically, Mackinac Island is part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the locals concoct a wide variety of mouthwatering pasties. The hearty dish is perhaps best represented on Mackinac Island at Millie’s on Main, which makes a Yooper Beef Pasty with ground beef, pork, potatoes, carrots, onion and rutabaga – all wrapped in a pastry. Tastes great and it’s filling, too!
- You may need a beverage to wash down that pasty. Fortunately, Michigan ranks sixth in the country with 400 craft breweries. On Mackinac Island there’s a nice variety of bars and restaurants where you can sample beers from many of those breweries. Check out the new Great Turtle Brewery & Distillery or stop by Mary’s Bistro Draught House where there are 50 craft beer taps pouring beers from Bell’s Brewery, Cheboygan Brewing, Keweenaw Brewing, New Holland Brewing, Odd Side Ales, Old Nation Brewery, Petoskey Brewing, Short’s Brewing and more.
- Being surrounded by water and some of the best fishing in the Great Lakes, it’s no wonder that Mackinac Island also offers many succulent fish dishes. For example, there’s the whitefish beurre blanc at the Chippewa Hotel’s Pink Pony. The smoked whitefish dip at Round Island Bar & Grill at Mission Point Resort. Even the Jamaican-inspired Kingston Kitchen at The Village Inn makes a renowned planked whitefish dinner. The list goes on and on. There’s whitefish everywhere, and you can’t go wrong with any of it!
- Michigan grows 70 percent of the country’s tart cherries. While Michigan cherries are tasty treats in their own right, they also make a wonderful ingredient in world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. Try the chocolate cherry at The Original Murdick’s Fudge, for example, or the double dark chocolate cherry walnut at Joann’s Fudge.
Of course, after a day or night of eating and drinking delicious Michigan-made food and beverages on Mackinac Island, you’ll need a place to stay. Just as you can find distinctive Michigan foods on Mackinac Island, you can find many unique hotels, resorts, B&Bs, cottages and condos on Mackinac Island, all with modern amenities and historic charm.