Farm-to-table eating in Fennville: a field guide to Michigan’s great southwest

SaugatuckLighthouse RusticKitchen This is for my friend Wendy, and my sister Cynthia. And for Amber, who reached out on Facebook. And friends of my friend Pete. 

And the other fine people who have visited Pinecone Meadow Farm or want to have a lush local experience in southwest Michigan’s fruit belt. 

Wendy has rented Pinecone Meadow Farm for two glorious weeks.  I’m avoiding withdrawal by co-hosting a pop up brunch in Chicago on August 18 at Lizzie’s Bake Shoppe, featuring delectables from my friends at Wisconsin CheeseCome join us!

But for Wendy (and other visitors), delicious food awaits, quite close to the source.  Here are my recommendations for visitors.

Go to the farmers’ market (of course)

There are great farmers’ markets in South Haven and Holland on Saturdays, and more intimate ones in Saugatuck and Fennville on Friday afternoons. 

Find more farmers’ markets at the Michigan Farmers Markets Association.

Eat and drink

Eat at Salt of the Earth. Amazing pasture-raised burgers on house-baked buns, with great beer and wine from our favorite state.  Check out the restaurant garden a short block away.

Tipple at the Virtue Cider and Fenn Valley Winery, practically neighbors on 122nd Avenue.  (That’s Fenn FennValleyBarn RusticKitchen Valley’s green barn on the right.) You’ll find tasting rooms all over, and the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail can help you plan your adventure.

And if a brewery is more your style, head to New Holland Brewing

Get great coffee – roasted in house – at Uncommon Grounds Cafe in Saugatuck.  And at Simpatico in Holland.

Stop at Evergreen Lane Creamery for goat cheese.

Go fruit picking

Pick organic blueberries at Pleasant Hill Farm, owned by author Joan Donaldson and her husband John Van Voorhees, who works their farm with oxen Henry and Buck. 

Pick strawberries or blueberries at Earl’s Farm Market.  Buy a frozen pie and pass it off as your own. Get Sherman’s ice cream to enjoy on their terrace.

Cranes RusticKitchen Fennville Pick apples and peaches at Crane’s.  Get doughnuts like my grandmother made, and a frozen pie from Crane’s Pie Pantry and pass it off as your own. (That’s the Crane’s log cabin on the left.)

Indulge in baked deliciousness

Crane’s simple doughnuts are great, and you can also score some crazy-delicious ones at Golden Brown Bakery, in business for more than 75 years in downtown South Haven.

Get Seedy Salt bread from the wood-fired oven at Kismet Farm and Bakery. And oh, the cardamom brioche rolls.  And pizza!  

If you’re driving through Stevensville, stop for croissants at Bit of Swiss.

But wait, there’s more

The area has wonderful beaches, golf, garden walks, antiques and more, to fill a weekend or a month.  Midwest Living has a great guide.

Your turn – what would you recommend in southwest Michigan?

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  1. YAY! Yes Michigan! …and, upcoming Michigan Fiber Festival…on your side of town! heehee

  2. A bit late to this post, but if you’re in the area, check out Butch’s Drydock in Holland for dinner. White tablecloth casual, with an excellent wine selection.

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