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Shipwreck Cafe

August 26, 2021

  • 11691 Lacore Road
  • Empire, MI 49630
  • (231) 835-2580
  • Website
  • Menu

Man, did we do a lot of hiking.

We only had two days to see as much as we could at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore so we packed in as much as we could.

We started our day with breakfast in Beulah followed by a hike at Treat Farm Trail then lunch in Glen Arbor. We took a short break and headed back to our AirbNb in Thompsonville then back at it with a hike at the Empire Bluff Trail outside of Honor.

After all that, we weren’t done. It was dinner time and we promised the kids a swim in Lake Michigan.

A friend of mine spends a lot of his summer in Empire. He suggested a couple of places for meals and one of them worked out perfectly for us.

We stopped at Shipwreck Cafe right on the main road through Empire. The small take-out sandwich shop is near the corner of Lacore Road (or M-22) and Front Street. There is no inside dine-in seating but they have some picnic tables outside if you need a place to eat. The building almost looks like it began life as a house but was turned in to some kind of commercial property several years ago before being converted into the restaurant.

We all masked up to go in to order since we weren’t really sure what we wanted. It’s a good thing we did because I ended up finding a special that wasn’t on the menu.

My pick for sandwich was a Cuban. This hot, pressed sandwich comes with their delicious bread, fire roasted pork, ham, salami, pickles, mayo, mustard, and mozzarella. I will never understand the mayo on Cubans but I didn’t notice it when I ordered or I would have left it off. Fortunately, there wasn’t much so it didn’t effect the taste of the sandwich too much. I love Cubans and this was a delicious Cuban. The pork was super tender and the mustard pickle combination always give it that juicy, vinegary flavor.

J’s sandwich was the Fitzgerald. This sandwich was supposed to come on a pretzel roll but it came on a sub roll instead. J was looking for the pretzel but actually really loved the bread so it wasn’t that big of deal. Between the bread was turkey, bacon, Havarti cheese, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, and a herb mayo.

We got both of the kids the Tug Boat. This is the kids meal sandwich which comes on a sub roll with choice of turkey or ham and colby jack cheese. Both kids chose ham but L really only wanted a cheese sandwich. She took the ham off and gave it to me. There was A LOT of ham on these sandwiches for the kids. B ate about half but was distracted (I’ll get to why in a second).

Our bill for the four sandwiches was a little under $30 before tip. We didn’t do any drinks because there was a gas station next door so I ran over there to get Gatorade and Pepsi (Shipwreck had Coke products) while we were waiting for our food.

The reason we picked Shipwreck…was for a couple of reasons actually. It came highly recommended from a friend who spends a lot of time in Empire…and it’s portability. The same friend also clued us in to a “locals beach.” We grabbed sandwiches then headed back to Honor to hang out at Peterson Road Beach which is still part of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sandwiches were perfect. We sat on a blanket, ate dinner, then swam until the sun went down. It was a perfect end to the day in Northern Michigan.

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