St. Joseph, MI
St. Joseph is a little town in the West side of Michigan about 30 miles North of the Indiana border. It feels only natural that after 4 years of living in this beautiful city that I write a travel guide for it.
This place is actually considered a tourist town, believe it or not, and has some amazing beaches, restaurants, and things to do for the kiddos. There are also a ton of wineries and local breweries in the county so this travel guide isn’t just focusing on St. Joseph itself but also surrounding areas to get great food, beer, and wine.
Where to Stay
What to Eat
This was the first place we ever visited even before we moved here. We just looked for a place with great beer and this is what we found in downtown. They have over 70 tap handles with an ever-rotating list of beers and, of course, great burgers – the Farmhouse Burger is my favorite with sweet potato fries.
It’s on two different floors so there’s plenty of seating and they also have a terrace out back on the second level so you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy the view over the bluff.
My absolute favorite little place in downtown to grab a quick bite to eat and some amazing baked goods for the kiddos. I actually wrote a whole post and did my best to recreate their pasta salad they have from time-to-time.
If you’re doing a little shopping in downtown and want a great place to grab some lunch… this is the place.
Greenbush Brewery is just about a 15 minute drive down the road in Sawyer but I definitely consider it a top place for dinner over any of the other restaurants the opposite way in downtown St. Joseph.
The hubby and I discovered this brewery way back 4 years ago when we first moved hereand we have been here no less than 2-3 dozen times since. Whenever we don’t feel like cooking and are just looking for a place to grab a quick lunch or dinner with great food and great beer, this is usually the place we head to.
When we first discovered Greenbush, they only had the one little restaurant/brewery. In the 4 years since, they have grown quite a bit and opened an Annex across the street that sells all their beer and a huge craft cheese selection.
The Annex is also a great place to head over to and while you wait for your table because no matter what time you come, you might just have to wait anywhere from 5 minutes up to an hour or more. They are always busy and there is usually always a line out the door for people waiting to get in.
Since Greenbush is a local craft brewery they have a rotating beer menu that changes with the seasons. Their food menu is the same way. They have a smoker out back where they smoke chicken, brisket, and pork – which is what the hubby always gets when we go – and then they have a small menu of some rotating sandwich selections and entrees.
Oh! And they have a little Lego table for the kids to play at while the parents drink beer, chat, and wait for their food. How sweet is that?!?
This brewery is newer to the area and is originally a Chicago based brewery but they opened a brand new taphouse & restaurant in Brigeman – which is only a few minutes from St. Joseph.
The brewery is a wide open room that has a bar to the left and large picnic tables lining a windowed garage door wall to the right. The picnic tables run the length of the room all the way to the back and ended at a large window where they made the food. Inside the window were two huge brick fire pizza ovens and the kitchen.
The place is set up kind of like a luncheon where you order your food and beer from the bar area and they call your name to come and get your beer when it’s ready. If you order food, they’ll give you a table number and someone will bring the food to you.
Also, when you pay for the food and drinks, everything is included. Meaning that all taxes and tip are included in the price of whatever it is you are buying and I thought that was really nice. You can, of course tip, and all the tip money they collect is donated to a different local charity each month.
This place is also highly recommended for kiddos during the warmer months because they have a huge outdoor grassy area with picnic tables and a couple fire pits (for spring and fall) and you can just let the kiddos run around playing while you drink beer and wait for the food.
This is my favorite place to grab breakfast in Benton Harbor, right down the road from St. Joseph. They have a local, farm fresh menu and a cute little patio outside you can sit at in the summer.
Their menu also changes regularly with the local and seasonal offerings which makes it a great place to stop again and again.
While this place doesn’t have a full menu, it was worth the mention because they have some great beers and light snacks. If you’re just looking to go brewery hopping, this place is definitely worth a visit and should be on your list. They have a great little outdoor patio and the beers are perfect!
This is the place to go if you want a great meal with a great view. They are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor right in downtown St. Joesph. The patio out back overlooks the bluff and Lake Michigan so you can watch the gorgeous sunset while enjoying your meal.
This is our absolute favorite pizza place in town. We go here often… even my mom loves it and has to make a trip here every time she comes to visit.
They are located at the bottom of the bluff across from the carousel and right next to the Amtrak station and are always busy. In the summer expect a 1-2 hour or more wait or you can order you pizza from their pizza window and take it to go – which is what a ton of people do and then they head back to the beach.
I’ve been here about a handful of times and every time I visit there is always something new to try. They change the menu occasionally to always feature fresh, seasonal dishes so there is really something to enjoy year-round here.
The restaurant itself is small in comparison to a lot of other places but I think it just adds to the character of a brewpub. On one side of the restaurant is a huge wall of windows and out a door, around the corner is a sweet outdoor patio that you can sit and enjoy the gorgeous Michigan spring and summers.
Recently, they announced that they were building a brand beer garden addition that is supposed to be completed this spring. So, I cannot wait to go back and check it out once it’s finished!
Things to Do
St. Joseph is a quaint little town with fun shops and eats along the bluff. You won’t find the typical chain stores, but there are a variety of shops that sell souvenirs and other knick-knacks to remember your trip. There’s also a bunch of restaurants, ice cream shops, and a few wineries for you to try!
Head to the Beach
Two of my favorite beaches, Silver Beach and Lions Beach, are right in downtown St. Joseph and are the perfect way to spend the day. They both also have playgrounds and picnic areas for you to have lunch and let the kiddos play in something other than the water. I used to go down here on random days just to let the kids play on the playground and so we could get out of the house.
One of my favorite places! I love visiting the winery in the spring and summer. They have a food truck and live music in the vineyard on the weekends. They brewery and winery are open and you can grab pre-made drinks, brews, or growlers of your favorite things and spread out a blanket on the lawn and listen to live music while the kiddos run around and play.
St. Joseph Farmers Market (Seasonally)520-598 Lake Blvd, St. Joseph MI
Beautiful seasonal farmer’s market set up each weekend (during season) right on the bluff overlooking Silver Beach and Lake Michigan.
Take the Amtrak to Chicago for the Day
Done everything there is to do in St. Joseph? Take the Amtrak, located right in downtown, to Chicago for the day and explore Chicago! The hubby and I have done this many times and it’s the perfect getaway for the day. The train usually leaves at around 8am and comes back about 6-7ish.