Tag Archives: Fennville

Root Cafe, Salt of the Earth — Return to Fennville, MI

Fennville was only about 20 miles out of our way on the drive back to Chicago from Empire and proved to offer a welcome alternative to the Farmhouse Cafe in Douglas that had a 45-60 minute wait for sandwiches on our trip up north. Instead, we waltzed in and out of the Root Cafe in downtown Fennville in a matter of minutes with great food and service to dine on a dog-friendly patio. Perfect! It has a broad menu – we tried the Cuban sandwich, the turkey sandwich and the mixed salad greens with pulled chicken and bacon. It also has excellent homemade lemonade (pulp and all)! We stopped in Fennville maybe 10 years ago en route to up north and ate at the Blue Goose Cafe, which was fine. Roots Cafe is an even better option.

Tile from Kuilema Pottery
Dining al fresco at Root Cafe

The cafe also shared space with a gallery with lots of local or near-local ceramics, (kuilema pottery in Grand Rapids) so I did a wee bit of shopping too. It also sells rustic bread from the well-regarded restaurant /bakery(dinner only) a few doors down called Salt of the Earth, which serves new American cuisines made with seasonal fare from local farmers and producers.

We noticed there is also a cute little Children’s on the small main drag, that looked like a good stop for our grandchildren, next trip!

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Filed under Michigan, up north

Fennville, saugatuck, on the road to Traverse City

img_0290GOrgeous fall day as we drove the second leg of our trip up north from an okay comfort inn in Joliet to TC. first stop, Crane’s apple orchard empire outside the sweet town of Fennville. “From your Iowa plates, you must not be part of the field trip,” said a cheerful guy directing traffic to rudimentary parking spots near the pick your own orchards. We picked our very own mutsu apples, one of my favorite breeds not readily found in Iowa and also discovered the cameo apple. We stopped nearby at the cranes cider mill and restaurant. Full of fall tourists, good not-too-sweet cider and many pie varieties. The restaurant had a clever “pie flight” with slivers of several varieties but we went on to Saugatuck, a pretty resort town I had somehow never been to. We ate lunch outside at a cute new diner called Grow. Clever food (my fresh take on a Michigan salad had Israeli couscous as well as pulled chicken, dried cherries, goat cheese and greens. Dirck had excellent fish tacos (which I don’t usually like but these had batter fried white fish, which provided some crunch and a good cause that kept them from being dry.)


We hope to stay on our return trip at a cool Airbnb in fennville (“modern cabin in the woods”) that was booked. Next time. There appear to be some cool retro motels that are affordable. Just saw our first birch trees. Now I know we are up north!!

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