I’m not going to lie, most of my food memories from our many trips to South Haven involve grilling out in the backyard, roasting corn or asparagus from our morning trip farmers market, and a huge bowl of freshly picked blueberries or cherries. With food as local and fresh as this, it’s hard not to feast at your own dinner table.
But there’s also plenty of times when the vacation bug hits me and my desire to cook anything is down to zero (Ok, let’s be honest, it rests pretty close to there a lot of the time!) but the good thing is that there are plenty of fun places to eat with your kids in South Haven.
Sure, it’s a small town that’s still finding its foodie identity, but with this list of South Haven Michigan restaurants, you’ll be all set for those mornings or evenings that you too find yourself unmotivated to flex your culinary muscles.
After all, that’s what vacations are for!
South Haven Michigan Restaurants Your Family Will Love
Bunde’s is a sweet little coffee shop and bakery located on North Shore Drive across the river from downtown. Nestled among condos and houses, you might need to arrive a bit early on a busy weekend or a summer morning to grab one of their popular pastries or breakfast sandwiches. Bunde’s is the only place in South Haven that serves Starbucks coffee and drinks in case you have a habit to feed (no judgement here!) Hours can be a little bit unpredictable, especially in the off-season, but that’s part of the charm of a small-town coffee shop. Make sure to check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date info.
Chomp Gourmet Hot Dogs
During the summer, stop by Chomp Gourmet Hot Dogs walk-up window before strolling down to the channel to watch the boats coming and going. From an authentic Chicago hot dog to creative options like a Hawaiian or chili dog, these aren’t your typical backyard bbq fare. There’s no seating available, but if you’re zipping around in your golf cart, you can order your dogs and then head to Kids Korner playground and have a picnic. Chomp is only open during the summer season.
Related Post: St. Joseph Michigan with Kids
Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery
Crane’s Pie Pantry is a little bit of a haul from South Haven in nearby Fennville, but it’s worth the 20-minute drive for some delicious pie and cider. This working orchard has a delicious restaurant that serves sandwiches and salads and even offers a brunch menu on the weekends. Plus, you can pop in for wine tastings and concerts during the summer evenings. Make sure to check their website for more info.
Sherman’s Dairy Bar
If you come to South Haven and skip Sherman’s Dairy Bar, I’m not sure we can be friends! This local ice cream manufacturer makes my favorite ice cream in the world, and no summer day is complete with a scoop. You can view their entire selection of flavors at their main store located on the east side of I-196 near Walmart. Be prepared to grab a number and wait to give your order, especially on summer nights after dinner. Sherman’s is also offered at a few other places in town like Captain Nemo’s restaurant or the North Beach Concessions Stand. Your thighs might not thank me, but your tastebuds will!
Related Post: South Haven With Kids – Fun Activities for Families
Clementine’s is the classic family restaurant in town and you can’t miss the big red building on the corner of Main and Center streets. The food is typical of a bar and grill type place with sandwiches, burgers, and fresh fried perch from Lake Michigan. Their famous onion ring stack comes on a tall wooden rod which is a fun appetizer to share with the table. Overall it’s a classic for a reason and typically is a crowd pleaser. The restaurant tends to get really busy during the summer so you might want to time your visit to off-peak hours to avoid a long wait.
Golden Brown Bakery
The Golden Brown Bakery on Main Street is as much a locals’ hangout as it is a place for weekly renters to grab some donuts. The bakery case on one side is full of yummy baked goods, including some Dutch specialties, and you can walk in and grab whatever you like to go or to eat at one of the sidewalk cafe tables outside. Or, go through the cafeteria-style line on the other side for hot breakfast and lunch items and then eat in the casual dining room. Both are great options for kids because they tend to be nice and quick.
For a fancier night out, you’ll want to head to Taste. This small-plate restaurant is a great pick for a big group or a date night. Most of the menu is small sharable plates so you get to try lots of things. Don’t miss the chef’s special mac and cheese of the day. Kids are certainly welcome. We’ve taken ours plenty of times for lunch or an early dinner but there isn’t a specific kids menu and later into dinner they might be more disruptive.
Brix Corner Oven
Wood-fired pizza and a huge outdoor seating area make Brix Corner Oven a great place to pop into for dinner (only open during the summer). There’s often a game of cornhole that will keep your kids busy while you sip on one of the many Michigan beers they have on tap. The restaurant is tucked back off of the main street in town so you’ll need to head south one block on Kalamazoo Street to Eagle Street.
Barden’s Farm Market
While Barden’s is not technically a restaurant, this year-round farm stand offers great produce, local products including some Michigan beers my husband loves, and an in-store bakery. It’s a nice place to grab local farm produce if you can’t make it to the town’s farmers market on Wednesday or Saturday mornings. Barden’s is on the corner of Phoenix Street and Blue Star Highway.
Where to Eat in South Haven Michigan
Whether you’re in town for a quick family weekend getaway or you’ve rented a house on the beach for the week, make sure you take some time to discover some of the flavors of South Haven. It’s one of our favorite Lake Michigan towns and it couldn’t be more kid-friendly.
And finally, don’t miss these ideas for things to do with kids in South Haven!
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Have you visited South Haven? What’s your favorite restaurant? Got a question about your upcoming trip? Make sure to leave a comment and I’ll make sure to answer it!
I am hoping to visit South Haven sometime next month! I haven’t been able to spend much time there yet.
It’s such a great lakeshore town, especially for families. They also have a lot of festivals and events throughout the summer that make it a great day trip too!
So many good ones to try! We hope to have a stop in South Haven during our summer road trip through the state, so I’m keeping these in mind.
Cheryl @ O the Places We Go says
South Haven is one of those places we’ve been meaning to explore more…and now eat! Thanks for the suggestions!
YUM! I’m glad you shared this – I’m headed up that way in about 2 weeks or so and will need to stop in at one of these places!
Enjoy your trip to South Haven! It really is a fun place to visit. I’d love to hear what treats you find 🙂
ahhh i spent 20 summers in south haven. i LOVE that place.
ps loved your guide on bloomington IN 🙂 it’s where i’ve spent the last 22 years!
Theo, so glad you enjoyed both posts! Thanks for the comment 🙂
What about the Curve Inn? Gino’s East pizza coming this summer!
Thanks for the suggestions. We can’t wait to check them out this summer!
Taste has a kids menu
Thanks for the update, Molly. I’ll add that to the post!
My husband and I got married in South Haven last year and are returning for an anniversary trip next weekend! We loved Clemintine’s last time and have been looking forward to returning. I just added Chomp’s Gourmet Hotdogs, Golden Brown Bakery, and Bardens Farm Market to our list! Thanks for the suggestions!
Sarah, I’m so glad I could add some other places to your list. We were just there and added Three Blondes Brewing to our list as well. It’s a brand new brewery opened on Phoenix St on the east side of the highway, past Sherman’s Dairy. Great beers and some interesting food choices. Enjoy South Haven!
We are planning on visiting for the first time this summer. We have been to St. Josheph but have also heard good things about South Haven. Any suggestions on places to stay? We have two little ones, 1 and 4 years old. Thanks!
Hi Amy, South Haven is awesome and a great option for families with littles. I don’t have a specific place to recommend for where to stay but I do know that it is mostly rentals with a few hotels near the highway. Rentals book up quickly but you can always call the folks at Visit South Haven (visitor’s center) and they can help you find something. Feel free to reach out with any other questions. I’m happy to help!