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Best Restaurants in South Haven Michigan: Top Picks for 2023

South Haven, Michigan, a charming lakeside town, offers an impressive array of culinary delights for visitors and locals alike. From casual eateries to upscale dining establishments, there’s no shortage of dining options in the area. This article will explore some of the best restaurants in South Haven, focusing on their specialties and unique offerings.


As you stroll through the quaint streets of South Haven, you’ll discover a mix of traditional American fare, authentic international cuisine, and creative culinary experiences. Whether you’re in the mood for farm-to-table delicacies or fresh seafood dishes, South Haven’s dining scene is sure to have something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top restaurants in this lovely Michigan town and uncover what makes each one stand out.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore exceptional South Haven restaurants with diverse cuisine styles
  • Discover unique food offerings and local favorite dining spots
  • Learn about South Haven’s vibrant dining scene and its accessibility for all visitors

Top South Haven Restaurants

Italian Restaurants

South Haven offers some great Italian dining options, one of which is Maria’s Taste of Italy. Known for their delicious pasta dishes and friendly atmosphere, Maria’s is a must-try for Italian food lovers.

American Restaurants

For those craving American cuisine, The Lodge is a popular choice. This restaurant offers a diverse menu of American favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

Mexican Restaurants

Su Casa Restaurante serves up delicious, authentic Mexican food in South Haven. With their wide variety of flavorful dishes, it’s easy to see why this spot is a local favorite.

South Haven Brewpubs

Craft beer enthusiasts will love exploring South Haven’s brewpub scene. Two popular spots include South Haven Brewpub and Three Blondes Brewing, both of which offer an array of locally brewed beers and tasty bites.

Seafood Restaurants

South Haven’s waterfront location provides an abundance of seafood options, particularly when it comes to fresh perch. Be sure to check out the many restaurants and eateries that serve up delicious seafood dishes with locally-sourced ingredients.

Pizza Restaurants

When it comes to pizza, South Haven has several fantastic options. From traditional pies to more inventive creations, you’re sure to find a pizzeria that satisfies your craving.

Barbecue Spots

For some mouthwatering barbecue, South Haven offers a variety of spots for you to try. Local favorites feature slow-cooked meats and flavorful sauces, making for a satisfying meal.

Southwest Michigan Restaurants

South Haven is just one of many great dining destinations in Southwest Michigan. Be sure to explore other nearby towns for excellent restaurants, cafes, and bars to suit any palate.

Sandwich and Salad Options

If you’re seeking lighter fare, South Haven has plenty of sandwich and salad options. Fresh avocado, a popular ingredient in many local dishes, can be found in various eateries across the area.

Asian Cuisine Restaurants

From sushi to Chinese cuisine, South Haven offers a variety of Asian dining options. Sample sushi rolls, stir-fries, and noodle bowls at the town’s many Asian-inspired restaurants.

Defining Restaurant Features

South Haven, Michigan offers a diverse range of dining options that cater to various tastes and preferences. Many of these establishments provide unique experiences and culinary delights that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Craft beer is a notable feature in several restaurants in the area, offering patrons a wide selection of locally brewed and international beers to pair with their meals. This enhances the overall dining experience, allowing guests to indulge in exciting flavor combinations.

Outdoor seating is another appealing aspect of many South Haven restaurants. When weather permits, these establishments offer outdoor dining areas, providing stunning views and a refreshing ambiance. This feature allows patrons to enjoy the beautiful scenery while savoring their meals in a relaxed atmosphere.

In South Haven, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes, and hamburgers are no exception. These juicy, flavorful handheld delights can be found in many local eateries, making them a staple for those who crave the classic American dish.

For those with a penchant for breakfast foods, eggs benedict is an exceptional choice. Several South Haven restaurants specialize in creating deliciously rich and savory eggs benedict, ensuring that those in search of the perfect breakfast spot won’t be disappointed.

Finally, crab cakes are a popular choice for seafood lovers visiting the area. Crafted with tender crab meat and complemented by the perfect blend of seasoning, these delectable dishes can be found at various South Haven establishments, offering a taste of the local coastal cuisine.

Across South Haven, these defining restaurant features contribute to a memorable dining experience for visitors and residents alike. With options ranging from craft beer to crab cakes, there’s truly something for everyone in this charming Michigan town.

Bars and Pubs

When it comes to bars and pubs in South Haven, Michigan, there are several options to choose from, each offering a unique experience for any patron. With a focus on great drinks, tasty food, and welcoming atmospheres, these establishments provide everything needed for a good night out.

Captain Lou’s is an American-style bar and restaurant located on the waterfront. The establishment is known for its cold brews, delicious pub grub, and a vibrant outdoor patio overlooking the water. Live music is a frequent feature, adding to the lively atmosphere that Captain Lou’s is famous for.

Another popular spot in South Haven is Three Blondes Brewing, offering an excellent array of craft beers. They also serve delicious American food, with their pizza being a standout item on the menu. The knowledgeable and friendly staff make it a great place to unwind and enjoy a drink.

If martinis are your beverage of choice, Taste is a must-visit. This cozy, brick-walled eatery offers an eclectic menu of small plates and an impressive selection of martinis. Helmed by chef Joel Gesiakowski, Taste is a top choice for those seeking quality drinks and delightful tapas.

For those who enjoy traditional pub atmospheres, Clementine’s is an ideal spot. This seafood pub offers a variety of draft beers and has a diverse menu to satiate any appetite. Their friendly service and convenient location make it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Lastly, Black River Tavern provides a classic pub experience with its menu of tasty dishes like wings, nachos, and fish and chips. Draught beer is available on tap, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy while they savor the exceptional food.

Unique Foodie Finds

South Haven, Michigan has developed its own foodie identity with a noticeable increase in seriously fabulous spots for feasting. One such gem is Taste. Located at 402 Phoenix St, Taste offers made-from-scratch, chef-inspired recipes that focus on small-plate cuisine. Their eclectic menu includes dishes like Chef’s Choice mac-n-cheese, potato pancakes, salmon, tuna tartare, blue gill, Korean chicken barbecue, sushi, and fish tacos, ensuring something for everyone.

Another noteworthy spot is Clementines. Situated at 922 reviews, this highly-rated restaurant offers a delectable seafood and pub dining experience. Patrons often indulge in fresh sushi dishes, like the spicy tuna roll, as well as a variety of salads. With a few beers on draft, you won’t be thirsty either.

When it comes to satisfying those cravings for unique dishes, South Haven doesn’t disappoint:

  • Meatballs: Many local eateries offer their spin on this classic, often incorporating locally sourced ingredients, fresh herbs, and rich, savory sauces. Keep an eye out for meatball offerings at various restaurants around town.
  • Chicken and Waffles: This delightful combination of sweet and savory is a must-try in South Haven. With the crispy fried chicken complementing fluffy, golden waffles, you’ll find yourself reaching for this southern-inspired dish at multiple establishments.

For coffee aficionados, The Flying Saucer is a must-visit. Located at 204 Center St, this coffee shop offers an adorable atmosphere with flying saucers as the theme. Their cold brew is highly recommended and has been praised as one of the best in the area.

Restaurant Accessibility

South Haven offers a variety of dining options with different levels of accessibility to suit the preferences and needs of its visitors. Many restaurants in the area provide delivery and takeout services, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable dining experience.

For those seeking delivery options, some top-rated South Haven restaurants offer their mouthwatering dishes straight to your door. Whether you’re craving sushi from Taste, American cuisine from Kitchen 527, or a dilly dilly pizza from Three Blondes Brewing, these establishments shatter the barriers between their scrumptious meals and your taste buds.

Additionally, many restaurants in South Haven enable patrons to enjoy their exquisite food in the comfort of their own homes through takeout services. Eateries such as The Lodge 90 and Clementines provide their unique and delectable menu items for takeout, making it simple for diners to experience the diverse culinary treasures South Haven has to offer.

Accessibility isn’t just about delivery and takeout. South Haven restaurants also pride themselves on their accommodating outdoor seating arrangements. Restaurants like The Lodge 90 understand the importance of a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere and endeavor to create memorable al fresco dining experiences under the Michigan skies.

Additional South Haven Dining


South Haven is home to several incredible local bakeries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Our recommendations for grabbing a sweet treat include:

  • (Example Bakery 1): Known for their delicious croissants and fruit-filled Danishes, this bakery is a South Haven favorite among locals and tourists alike.

  • (Example Bakery 2): A family-owned business famous for their fresh pastries and delightful cookies which come in a variety of flavors. Don’t miss their seasonal specials!

  • (Example Bakery 3): Perfect for fans of gourmet donuts and coffee, this bakery offers an extensive selection of donut flavors that change daily. Pair your treat with one of their speciality brewed coffees.

Los Ranchos

South Haven is also home to several authentic Mexican dining options. One of our top picks is Los Ranchos, which offers:

  • Traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, and fajitas
  • Vegetarian and vegan-friendly options
  • A casual atmosphere for a relaxed dining experience
  • A variety of tequila and margarita options for those seeking a taste of Mexico

Café Julia

For those seeking a cozy and quaint dining experience, look no further than Café Julia. This charming café in the heart of the South Haven boasts:

  • A diverse menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads, and light fare
  • Home-roasted, high-quality coffee and espresso beverages
  • Outdoor seating, perfect for warm-weather dining
  • A selection of local craft beers and wines for your enjoyment

Explore these additional South Haven dining options and experience the variety of flavors this charming town has to offer.

Things to Do in South Haven

South Haven, Michigan, is a bustling beach town that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone.

One of the top outdoor attractions in South Haven is the Kal Haven Trail. This 33.5-mile long trail connects South Haven to Kalamazoo and is perfect for hiking, biking, and enjoying nature. The trail is also open for snowmobiling during the winter months, making it a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

For those interested in history and maritime culture, the Michigan Maritime Museum is a must-visit attraction. The museum showcases the rich maritime history of the Great Lakes region through exhibits, educational programs, and events. Visitors can learn about shipwrecks, lighthouses, and the lives of sailors while exploring the five separate buildings that make up the museum complex.

In addition to the Kal Haven Trail and Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven offers other exciting attractions such as:

  • Beaches: With multiple public beaches, including South Beach and North Beach, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball during the warmer months.
  • Festivals and events: South Haven hosts numerous annual events, including the National Blueberry Festival, HarborFest, and the South Haven Art Fair, among others. These events draw crowds and provide entertainment for visitors and locals alike.
  • Boating and fishing: The Black River, which runs through South Haven, offers opportunities for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Several marinas are available for boat rentals, and fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching a variety of fish species, such as salmon, lake trout, and bass.
  • Art and culture: South Haven is home to various art galleries and studios, as well as the historic Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum. Visitors can explore local art and learn about the life and work of Liberty Hyde Bailey, a renowned horticulturist, and South Haven native.

These activities, combined with the charm and beauty of South Haven, make for a memorable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Accommodations in South Haven

South Haven offers a range of accommodations to suit the needs of every visitor. From hotels and bed and breakfasts to inns and suites, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, ensuring a comfortable stay while you explore the best restaurants in the area.

Hotels are a popular choice for many travelers, with well-known chains like the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Baymont by Wyndham all available in South Haven. These hotels provide amenities like wifi, breakfast, and easy access to local attractions.

If you prefer a more intimate experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast. South Haven boasts several B&Bs that offer personalized service, cozy rooms, and a unique atmosphere. Among the best rated on Tripadvisor are establishments with 1,745 traveler reviews and 730 candid photos, sure to offer a memorable stay.

Old Harbor Inn is another great option for your stay in South Haven. This charming waterfront hotel overlooks the picturesque harbor and provides easy access to local attractions, such as the South Haven Lighthouses and the Michigan Maritime Museum.

For those looking for accommodations with a view, Lake Bluff Inn and Suites offers guests the opportunity to wake up to stunning views of Lake Michigan. This well-appointed inn combines the comforts of home with the beauty of the lakeside location, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

No matter what type of lodging you choose, you’ll be within easy reach of the best restaurants and attractions that South Haven has to offer. Make sure to sample the local cuisine at top-rated establishments like Taste or Kitchen 527, as well as exploring the beautiful natural scenery and historic sites around this lovely lakeside town.

Related South Haven Entities

South Haven, Michigan, a charming town located on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, offers a delightful array of dining options to satisfy every palate. Nestled along the Black River, this community boasts a rich culinary scene, with several notable restaurants.

Taste is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. Located at 402 Phoenix St, this cozy eatery offers a diverse menu of small plates and martinis. The sushi and spicy tuna roll come highly recommended as fresh and flavorful options.

Just a few steps away, at 527 Phoenix St, you’ll find Kitchen 527. A fantastic option for those craving burgers, sandwiches, or hand-breaded fried chicken. This establishment offers dine-in and carry-out services, making it a convenient choice for any meal.

Another must-visit is Clementine’s, known for its seafood and pub fare. Housed within the historic Hotel Nichols, patrons can enjoy a taste of Southwestern Michigan while experiencing the historic ambiance of South Haven.

Black River Tavern is yet another locale that offers delectable dishes. Positioned near the marina, this establishment provides a scenic view of the harbor, along with mouth-watering menu options.

For a more upscale dining experience, consider visiting Hawkshead Restaurant. This venue offers a stunning backdrop of South Haven’s natural beauty, with large windows overlooking the surrounding landscape.

Also worth mentioning is the iconic Sherman’s Dairy Bar, a family-friendly option featuring dessert and American cuisine. Located close to the riverboat pier, this quaint spot is perfect for indulging in a satisfying ice cream treat after strolling along the Kalamazoo River or Lake Michigan shores.

To quench your thirst, try the Rum Runner, a lively venue offering a variety of beverages in a relaxed atmosphere.

The South Haven community takes pride in every establishment that contributes to its thriving culinary landscape. With great food, beautiful scenery, and a diverse range of resorts and restaurants, South Haven, Michigan, will surely leave a lasting impression on any visitor.