20 Best Saugatuck Restaurants to Try

Saugatuck is a small town in the great Midwestern state of Michigan. It’s known as an artsy beach spot, set right on the Kalamazoo River and the bay of Lake Michigan. Saugatuck is a popular Michigan summer getaway for anyone seeking some picturesque peace and quiet. The atmosphere is all around friendly, and the Saugatuck restaurants have fantastic food to match. 

When you’re not relaxing on the sandy shores or strolling the galleries, there are a plethora of tasty places to grab a bite around town. From classic comfort foods to upscale eats and everything in between, you’re sure to find a plate you love in this haven for the hungry. It’s often coupled together with its twin city Douglas, and between the two a fun foodie adventure awaits at these best Saugatuck restaurants. 


The Best Saugatuck Restaurants


Marro’s

Marro’s is a seasonal eatery focused on authentic Italian fare. A favorite in Saugatuck, it’s been around for decades. It has a refined and lively atmosphere, always full of happy patrons sharing wine and pizza pies together. Enjoy the charming piano lounge inside as well. 

The menu offers classic handmade pastas alongside exciting entrees like Veal Osso Bucco and savory seafood plates. It’s set on the scenic Kalamazoo River and is family owned, something you can feel as soon as you walk in. 


The Belvedere

For fine dining in Saugatuck, the Belvedere is a beloved institution and one of the best restaurants in Saugatuck. It’s part of a charming boutique hotel but has become a destination in its own right. The food features European and American flavors. Each dish is a delight and made entirely from scratch, like the Veal Sweetbreads Au Gratin or the Pansotti. 

Choose between two, three, and four courses for a feast you won’t soon forget. The atmosphere is refined and relaxed at the same time, with some added cozy ambiance from the wood burning fireplace. The historic facade was built way back in 1913, and today the fully-restored estate covers over five acres. Reservations are recommended here especially in the summer.


Wicks Park Bar and Grille

Wick’s is a neighborhood joint right on Water Street and is one of my favorite Saugatuck restaurants. They offer plenty of locally brewed beverages from the bar, like craft beers, ciders, and boozes. The atmosphere is cute and kitschy, and the menu is very eclectic. 

Relax, unwind, and get down to some live music on the weekends. There’s an array of elevated comfort foods like pizzas, burgers, and even the famous shrimp tacos. Watch boats sail leisurely down the Kalamazoo River at this picturesque place to have a bite. 


Everyday People Cafe

This stylish cafe offers carefully curated creative cuisine using all fresh produce. The wine garden is a lush and lovely scene to spend some time in, and the menu even comes with all the perfect pairings. The atmosphere is relaxed and rustic. 

Blues and Jazz music fills the air from local live performances. The Chilean Sea Bass marinated in shiro miso sake and served over scallion rice with sweet and sour baby eggplant, lemon ginger beurre blanc, chilli crunch, and pea shoots may just be one of our favorite plates in town. 


Bodie’s Chophouse

Bodie’s Chophouse is a premier pick for an upscale experience in Saugatuck. The ambiance offers a chic elegance with the combo of wood grain, leather, and white table cloths. As expected, the main draw is their prime steaks. They have many kinds of cuts, cooked just the way you want. 

There are some spectacular starters, like escargot or bone marrow, and sharing plates, such as lobster mac and truffle fries. They have an extensive list of handcrafted classic cocktails, from a negroni to a French 75. For high quality eats, this house really has the chops. 


Grow Cafe and Bistro and the Trap

Grow is all about local! They provide creative plates, with everything from healthy and hearty fares to fresh and light snacks. The ambiance is cozy and inviting. Share some nibbles such as Baked Goat Cheese or a savory sandwich like the Falafel Burger. 

It’s a super hip pick for a beautiful brunch as well. Indulge in some local beers and ciders, sangria, mimosas, or even CBD sparkling water or hard kombucha. For non-imbibers, the lavender lemonade is heavenly. After all, what’s better on a Sunday in Saugatuck than a Carnitas Skillet or some Carrot Cake Pancakes at Grow?


Phil’s Bar and Grille

A fun neighborhood haunt in Saugatuck, Phil’s is a casual eatery for comforting fares. It has all the favorite American bar foods with a modern twist. It’s all around reasonably priced for good food with speedy service. 

The Scallop Pad Thai, Fresh Lake Perch, and the Baby Back Ribs slow roasted in Guinness are gorgeous choices here. It’s often busy with locals, so it’s a great spot if you’re trying to get away from the tourist trends. This no-frills space that serves up surprisingly good grub.  


The Butler

Set in the heart of downtown Saugatuck, the Butler boasts some of the best bites around. This local operation began in 1961 and has been legendary ever since. They feature specialty burgers and fresh seafood dishes that are super delicious. 

The Stuffed Crab Chicken and Cedar Plank Salmon are special standouts here. Their outdoor dining offers sweeping vistas of the Kalamazoo harbor, boardwalk, and boats and is the perfect place to sit on a Michigan fall day. The atmosphere is both lively and lovely. It’s a wonderful waterfront way to enjoy the foodie scene in Saugatuck. 


Pumpernickel’s Eatery

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, any meal is mouthwatering at Pumpernickel’s. They inspire to nurture the human spirit and then nourish their bellies. It’s a cute community gathering place where everyone is welcome. 

The decor is chic and modern, with simple furnishings and plenty of plants. The Truffle Mushroom Ravioli and the Shrimp Ceviche are just a couple of the most delicious dishes. The specialty cocktails are some of the best drinks in town. 


The Farmhouse Deli and Pantry

The Farmhouse is a fan favorite and one of the best Saugatuck restaurants. They’re fully dedicated to local delicacies, creating regional artisan sandwiches, soups, salads, and baked goods. The Cubano, Vegan Bahn Mi, and Belly Busters are some cult classics. 

All the ingredients are simple, fresh, and local. You can also get gourmet meats, cheeses, and ingredients to make your own picture-perfect picnic or snacks at home. There are plenty of vegan and gluten free choices to try here as well. 


Salt of the Earth

Salt of the Earth is the mecca of Midwest fares. It’s a contemporary rustic restaurant cooking with ingredients from local farms, all from scratch and prepared by hand. High quality produce, meat, and dairy rule the roost here, with an always seasonal selection. 

They really live up to their motto of honest food and friendly folks. Sip on some state craft beers and creative cocktails. Share some Aged Cheddar Perogies or Crispy Pork Belly or dive into a bit of Homemade Pasta or Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower all by your lonesome. 


The Mermaid Bar and Grille

Family owned and fully festive, Mermaid is a dockside waterfront dream for any diner. The patio seating overlooking the Kalamazoo River is a stunning scene. The menu is seafood forward with some creative twists. The space has a cool retro chic feel, and the wine list is over 30 pages long. 

For standout seafood they’ve got the Jar of Gold, which is crab, lobster, melted butter, chive, and naan. The Frutti de Mare is also impressive, with scallops, shrimp, mussels, fresh fish, pappardelle, artichokes, parmesan, and tomato lobster sauce. Of course, the BBQ menu has some stellar selections as well, like a Cheesy Brisket Roll. 


The Barge

This waterfront gem in Saugatuck is warm and welcoming and on a warm summer day heading here is one of the best things to do in Saugatuck. Feast on the freshest fish with the most stunning surroundings. From either the upper or lower levels you can soak up sweeping river views all around. 

The Crab Cakes come highly recommended, as do the Mahi Tacos. The ambiance is ideal for basking in the warm sun and sipping a refreshing cocktail. The Barge is one of the best Saugatuck restaurants for background and for bites. 


Coast 236

Bright and airy, Coast 236 is a charming spot to enjoy the spirit of Saugatuck. They craft coastal inspired cuisines, and each plate feels truly thoughtful. Everything is sourced sustainably from the land and the sea. It’s a refreshing mix of the predictable and surprising. 

It’s a fun vibe around happy hour for sure, try a few varietals with a wine flight or a specialty cocktail like a Beet This Cosmo. There’s live music and even cooking classes on some days. Inside you’ll find a cozy dining room with a fireplace and outside a gorgeous garden. 


Scooters Cafe and Pizzeria

For a laidback place to grab the perfect slice in Saugatuck, try Scooters! It’s a real lowkey neighborhood haunt and has a classic old school Midwestern feel. There’s more than just pizza on the menu here as well. 

Dig into some wings, pastas, salads, and subs for a little something different. They have local and international wines and beers and a full bar if you’re so inclined. Scooters is simple but superb for a cheesy pizza pie in the city. 


Borrowed Time

Borrowed Time is an adorable bistro. The menu is simple, but the flavors pack a punch. Elevated meats are the focus, with plates like Cider Braised Pork Belly and Green Chorizo Chicken Meatballs. The hospitality here is unparalleled. 

It’s a wine bar with options for shared small plates or a three-course extravaganza. The varietals are from all around the world and always changing. The wooden deck is idyllic, and the interior is just as cute, furnished with warm woods and twinkle lights. This is a super place to save some room for dessert. 


J Paul’s Restaurant and Wine Lounge

Set in a historic 19th century house, J Paul’s is a stylish dining destination. A charming garden complete with a pond surrounds the property, which can be viewed from the expansive deck on a warm sunny Michigan day. 

The decor is modern and hip to match the menu. They use fresh ingredients from local purveyors or from their very own grounds. The Seared Duck and Vegan Risotto really shine. J Paul’s is a delightful hidden gem of the area and is proudly LGBTQ owned and operated.


Saugatuck Brewing Company

More than just masterful craft beer, Saugatuck Brewing Company is also a haven for phenomenal fares and one of the most awesome Michigan breweries. They’ve got all the classic bar bites like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. We love to go here and chow down on their creative apps and some delicious drafts. 

The Bavarian Jumbo Pretzel with beer cheese really pairs well with many of the tasty taps on deck. You can order a 16, 12, or 5 ounce pour of any brew, and we especially recommend the Go Hazy IPA. As they say at SBC, here’s to happy!


Southerner 

Inspired by the 1950’s pilgrimage of people from the Appalachian to the frozen tundra of Michigan seeking auto industry work, the Southerner brings all the soul food flavor to the Midwest. It’s a self-proclaimed fried chicken joint but certainly has an upscale country feel. 

The space is simple and sundrenched. The Pulled Pork Sandwich and Catfish Po Boy are a few other fantastic down-home fares available. Don’t forget the fixings, like Mac and Cheese or Braised Greens on the side, of course with a flaky biscuit.  


El Burrito Feliz 

El Burrito Feliz is a no frills authentic Mexican spot to chow down. If you’re hankering for a pitcher of margaritas and an order of Tacos de Carne Asada or Fajitas Nachos, there’s no better place. It’s open late and super affordable. 

The decor is bright and vibrant, perfect for a festive feast of quesadillas. The scenic street seating is picturesque and great for people watching and the inside is both traditional and down to earth. Plus, who doesn’t love free chips and salsa? The burritos are legendary, so be sure to go hungry and ready to bust a gut. 


READ MORE MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed this guide on the best restaurants in Saugatuck. Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Michigan.

Plan For Your Trip

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.