What’s New on the Ludington Food & Beer Scene

If you haven’t been to Ludington in a few years, you might not recognize the downtown—home to nine new foodie hotspots since March 2015 (and a not-so-secret nanobrewery a few miles from town). Get a taste of what’s been happening on the food scene.

Opening Soon!

519 S. James St. | 231.335.4060
Opening in mid-May, this 1,800-square-foot tap room will have around 10 beers on draft when they open with plans to grow to 20-plus beers and ciders on tap—which you’ll also be able to enjoy on the almost 1,500-square-foot patio. Brewmaster Tom Buchanan of Jamesport Brewing has joined the team along with Chef Robert White who will be firing out appetizers, soups, pizzas, grilled entrees, and sandwiches.


New to Downtown!

320 S. James St. | 231.425.9111

Opening on December 27, 2016, Timbers was a late Christmas present to downtown. The new gastropub is located in the old James Street Station—the property has been a tavern or bar for 130 years. The two-story restaurant and bar has a stage for live music upstairs, space for private events, and a deck on the harbor featuring a smaller, take-out menu for boaters who want to dock and get food to go. The Sports Den and Martini Bar overlook Lake Michigan and the marina—prime spots to watch the sunset.

130 W. Ludington Ave. | 231.843.6555
Chow down on Charleston-inspired cuisine in an intimate, bistro setting, with (you guessed it!) 14 tables. Chef Howard Iles serves foods from states where he’s lived and trained—California, Maryland, South Carolina and Louisiana—like shrimp and grits, po boys, Charleston she crab soup, and steamed mussels. Stay tuned for their new wine bar opening this fall in the lower level.

222 W. Ludington Ave. | 231.843.6328
This specialty grocery and meat shop offers a full-service deli, fresh produce, in-house meats, a coffee bar and pastries, plus a full-service bar in the back serving wine, beer and cocktails. Big Hart Brewing has several brews on tap to enjoy while shopping or to take home in growlers. (Tip: Stop by the deli for a sandwich and then head to the beach for a picnic!)

103 E. Dowland St. | 231.843.9495
Enjoy a Bacon Squealer or Felony Fritter at the latest “precinct” in the Cops & Doughnuts chain. The original bakery was started by nine police officers in Clare and has expanded to locations across the state. The McDonald’s Precinct is located in Ludington’s historic McDonald’s Bakery, which has been in operation since 1898.

103 E. Ludington Ave. | 231.425.3981
Deck out your frozen yogurt with over 50 toppings like chocolate chunks, sprinkles, graham crackers, M&M’s, gummies, brownies and way more. The frozen yogurt and coffee bar
 features 12 flavors of Palazzolo’s frozen yogurt, bubble tea, smoothies, gourmet treats, popcorn and candy. There’s also a party room available for rent.

225 S. James St. | 231.425.3933
Place your order at the counter for The Q’s famous slow-cooked beef brisket, pork loin ribs, smoked chicken or chopped pork with a side of mac n’ cheese and baked beans. The meat is smoked fresh daily over locally sourced wood and everything is made in-house including the famous Q Sauce—a tomato based sweet sauce packing just the right amount of heat. (Tip: Fishermen, check out The Q’s “Smoke-N-Ship” services. They’ll prep, cure and ship your fish to your home.)

106 N. James Street | 231.923.3890
This cozy take-out storefront is not only Ludington’s first Thai restaurant, but it’s a local favorite. Owner Lupe Rangel and his wife Ning, who hails from Thailand and cooks all the entrees, serve 8–10 savory dishes daily on the evolving menu like pad thai, drunken noodle, red and yellow curry, and spicy Thai basil.

Address: Undisclosed … only the bold seek ’em out (on S. Stiles Road) | 231.794.1399
The region’s first production-only nanobrowery started in a retrofitted barn in a backyard somewhere in Scottville (6 miles from downtown Ludington). Enjoy owner Andy Thomas’ beer on tap at Blu Moon Bistro and Chuckwagon Pizza, or go on a quest to find the brewery and purchase beer on site in growlers, bottles or cans. Starving Artist has regular visiting hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 12–5 p.m., though visits and tours outside of these hours can be scheduled by appointment.

209 South James St. | 231.843.3663
The Ludington Pub joined the downtown restaurant scene in March 2015 offering a relaxed atmosphere with good food and live music. Stop by for 50-cent wings every Sunday or the house-specialty Jack Bacon Burger—a char-grilled burger patty topped with crispy bacon, jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, tomato, and mayo served on a pretzel roll.


More Local Hotspots in Northern Michigan: