Although we planned our trip to Ludington around running a race, no girls’ trip would be complete without enjoying some delicious food at local eateries! Going to unique to the area restaurants is one of my favorite things about going out of town. I love experiencing what locations have to offer through their food. And I love to share the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful with others, so here’s a tour of our Ludington food experience!
- Luciano’s Ristoranti: Located in downtown Ludington, Luciano’s is definitely the definition of why you can’t judge a book by its cover. When we walked into the restaurant I was feeling a little unsure. It looks like a hole in the wall pizza joint but with a fancy menu. We had heard great things about the place and pizza is definitely my favorite pre-race meal. We all ended up ordering our own pizza. I chose a personal pizza with mushrooms, onions and black olives. It was absolutely delicious! Not too greasy, which is a huge plus before a race, and the crust was somehow soft while still being crispy. Definitely give Luciano’s a big thumbs up for their pizza! I have heard that their other dishes are delicious too. If you stop by this place, definitely don’t let the decor throw you off – it may look like you’re off the beaten path a bit, but the food is yummy.
- Ludington Bay Brewing Company: For lunch after the race on Saturday we decided to try the Ludington Bay Brewing Company. This is a newer restaurant and looks the part. It had lots of indoor and outdoor seating and the typical “brewery” feel. We were intrigued by the beer selections – I personally wanted to try the “Oh My Chai!” brown ale. We all tried a taste of their two ciders, which were both tasty as well. For my meal I opted for the pulled pork sandwich – one of my go-to favorite meals. It was AWESOME. Perfect post-race meal, and the “Oh My Chai!” was super yummy.
KRAVE: After lunch we played some putt-putt golf and went for a walk on the pier. We worked up our appetites and needed some dessert, so we decided to give KRAVE – a Fro Yo place – a try. They had lots of interesting choices for frozen yogurt flavors, and tons of toppings. Some of the toppings were your typical choices – candy, cookies, sprinkles, etc. But one of the best toppings that was available was different flavors of cookie dough! I decided to try two different flavors of frozen yogurt – graham for one and I think the other was fudgy brownie or chocolate peanut butter or some other chocolate flavor. Anyway, they were pretty good, although not much better than other places that I have tried before. I think we were more impressed by their t-shirts that said “Abs are great but have you tried froyo?”
- Barley & Rye: For dinner Saturday night, we had originally planned to go to the Mitten Bar, but they were super busy, so we asked the guys working construction outside where they would recommend. They pointed us to Barley & Rye, just a couple doors down, and it did not disappoint. The drink that Paula and I ordered was super delicious – some sort of strawberry moonshine concoction that was light, fizzy and just sweet enough. I ordered the BLT chopped salad for dinner that was really delicious – even though they forgot to put the avocado on it. Their menu items had unique and fun names. I definitely would like to go back there and try some of their sandwiches; I was just feelin’ salad after having pizza the night before and a sandwich at lunch. We enjoyed the atmosphere plus the food and drink was good – definitely a place I’d go again.
- Cafe 106: We had been looking forward to this restaurant since before we even arrived in Ludington. We had seen nothing but good reviews and our friend from Ludington said she would definitely recommend it. I was thrilled and excited to try their eggs benedict – one of my very favorite dishes. Paula was anxious to give their cinnamon roll pancakes a whirl. Like Luciano’s, the look of Cafe 106 leaves something to be desired. You expect a hip, new feeling because of the name, the sign, and the design of their menu. But once again it was a hole in the wall, mom & pop’s restaurant type feeling and decor. Unlike Luciano’s, the food matched the decor – extremely disappointing. For the price of her pancakes, Paula was expected to get enough pancakes that she wouldn’t be able to finish them, but instead she got three small (like maybe the size of your hand) pancakes and said the taste did not live up to the hype. Kendra and I both ordered eggs benedict – she got the traditional and I got the turkey, bacon and avocado benedict. While I did get the avocado that I missed out on the night before, the eggs benedict was not eggs benedict. I’m not sure what sauce was on there, but it definitely wasn’t hollaindaise. It was so disappointing after having been hyped up about this place for days! We were all bummed and left hungry because we just couldn’t finish our meals, it was that unappealing.
- Northern Exposure Cafe: On our way home from Ludington, we decided to stop for lunch, especially since we had not gotten our fill at breakfast. We stopped at a “middle of nowhere” restaurant that got good reviews in Baldwin. Kendra especially wanted to stop there because of the name – Northern Exposure apparently was one of her dad’s favorite shows. The restaurant lived up to it’s reviews, which was very refreshing. I only got a plan ole grilled cheese with fries, but even that was super yummy. The girls both got chicken ranch wraps and said they were delicious. We were happy to fill up our bellies with some good food before hitting the road to home.
Overall we really enjoyed our tour of Ludington through these different restaurants! The are all places I would go again with the exception of probably KRAVE and definitely Cafe 106 (although I just really want to believe that they had an experienced cook that day or something because dang the reviews were so good – either that or people don’t know what eggs benedict is supposed to be like!). I know there are probably plenty of other restaurants out there in Ludington to try, so if I ever get a chance to go back for a visit, I’ll definitely try some more!