Famous for its beautiful hiking trails in Ludington State Park, the historic S.S. Badger car ferry launch, and so much more, Ludington is one of the best small towns in Northern Michigan for outdoor activities, and also happens to have some of the best in fine dining, barbeque and southern style cooking restaurants. After a day on the lake, a hike on the trails or exploring the Big Sable Lighthouse, a breakfast, lunch or dinner stop at one of these spots is sure to make your trip.

1. Timbers of Ludington

320 S. James St. | 231.425.9111

With an upper deck with spacious outdoor seating with a view of Badger and Lake Michigan marina, Timbers is a two-story family-friendly environment that offers great food and drinks with a twist. This restaurant offers the best in hand steaks, chicken, fish, pasta and great gourmet hamburgers, all with a great view to pair.

2. The Thai Mango

106 N. James St. | 231.923.3890

For authentic and flavorful Thai-inspired dishes with a great downtown atmosphere, the Thai Mango brings you all of the classic Thai dishes like pad thai, curry dishes, egg rolls and more! Made with fresh ingredients and made to order, you can customize your Thai dinner and enjoy it at their outdoor seating.

3. Book Mark

201 S. Rath Ave. | 231.843.2537

Doubling as a book store and a bistro, this fun spot serves up delicious coffees, hot drinks and of course, books! Come warm yourself up with a hot latte and a good book on their outdoor patio in beautiful downtown Ludington.

4. Café 106

106 N. Rath Ave. | 231.425.3669

For a hearty breakfast made your way, Café 106 serves up eggs every style and has town favorites like the Baja chicken omelet and classic biscuits and gravy. Enjoy one of their filling breakfast skillets, a hot sandwich or a fresh salad on their outdoor patio in downtown Ludington.

6. Table 14

130 W. Ludington Ave. | 231.843.6555

A classic fine dining experience with a southern twist, Table 14 brings you the best in seafood options, prime cuts of meat, southern-style specialties like chicken and waffles and buttermilk fried chicken, you can find both light and hearty options on their ample menu. Enjoy their creations on their comfortable outdoor patio.

8. The Q Smokehouse

225 S. James St. | 231.425.3933

The best barbeque can be found right in downtown Ludington at the Q. Bringing you the best in smoked BBQ and southern homestyle sides and sauces, their menu is every meat-lover’s dream. You can enjoy their flavorful selection on their front outdoor patio under the Northern Michigan sun in beautiful Ludington.

6. Blu Moon Bistro & Café

125 S. James St. | 231.843.2001

With a diverse menu of salads, sandwiches, fusion bowls, vegan options and Spanish-inspired dishes, Blu Moon is the perfect lunch spot for a fresh and healthy lunch or dinner. With sushi available to order as well, you can enjoy Blu’s creations on their spacious upper deck outdoor seating.

Olivia Fellows was a 2020 intern at MyNorth Media. She will graduate from Grand Valley State University in 2021 with a Communications and Multi-Media Journalism degree, and serves as the News Editor for GVSU’s The Lanthorn.

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown