Order one of these hunks at Shipwreck Café, then take ’em exploring at Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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Shipwreck Café | 11691 S. Lacore Rd. (M-22), Empire | Shipwreck Website

Sometimes you NEED a sandwich. And not just any old PB&J or a couple slices of turkey with a squirt of mustard. We’re talking two-hands-required stacks of meat and veg between thick slices of (preferably salty) bread slathered with sauce. A fancy toothpick-in-the-center-holding-it-all-together sandwich. Enter Shipwreck Cafe.

Three sandwiches

Photo by Allison Jarrell

The unassuming eatery in Empire sits on M-22, a few blocks from Empire Beach, right in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (just around the corner from the park’s visitor center, in fact). Inside, story clippings about area shipwrecks dot the dining counter and Great Lakes maps line the walls. A nautical-inspired menu starts with the popular Fitzgerald—turkey, bacon, homemade pretzel bun—followed by offerings like the Rouse Simmons, piled with roast beef, cheddar and pickled onions, or the Three Brothers with its capicola, prosciutto and salami on an Italian herb roll. (Don’t get wrecked: You’ll regret it if you don’t grab a chocolate cherry cookie.)

Woman holding one sandwich

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Woman holding three sandwiches

Photo by Allison Jarrell

More Grab & Go Local Foodie Adventures:

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell