Mackinac Island Fudge: A Guide to 7 Shops With the Most Mouth-Watering Treats

By Isaac Constans

May 17, 2023

Want to eat a pound of fudge for dinner? We won’t blame you. See which shop best tickles your fancy.

On a recent Mackinac Island trip, I learned a fundamental lesson: If you go, don’t go for the food. Now, I don’t know how many people expect a grand culinary experience on the island, but a picnic on a rock with a view with sandwiches picked up from Doud’s grocery store will likely please more than any sit-down restaurant.

Unsurprisingly, what the food lacked, the fudge packed in abundance. And thanks to a Murray Hotel early bird discount, I was able to sink my teeth into a few flavors for a reasonable price.

Mackinac Island has a fun history with fudge, which you can read in full here. But the long and short of it is that the Murdicks got there first. The Murdick men, employed to work on the awning of the Grand Hotel, brought the family to live on the island, and word soon spread of matriarch Sara Murdick’s confectionary talents around the small fur-trading island. 

Murdick’s Candy Kitchen opened in 1887, and Rome Murdick mastered his mother’s recipe. 

The rest is history.

Now, the island sells 10,000 pounds of fudge daily during peak season. And there are several fudge shops on the island that tourists—or so-called Fudgies—flock to. 

We’ve listed them below, with a taste of the reviews for each.

Note: Many of these fudge shops have multiple locations on Mackinac Island and in surrounding cities. We have listed the main locations on the island as listed by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. Please visit their website for more information.

The Original Murdick’s Fudge

7363 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.4 stars on Google and 4 stars on Yelp

The Original Murdick’s Fudge is legendary; the lines out the door will tell you. Murdick’s uses all-natural and gluten-free ingredients, including Michigan cherries and maple syrup.

Ryba’s Fudge Shop

https://www.instagram.com/p/CrGlvJhs-2A/

7245 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.3 stars on Google and 4 stars on Yelp

Ryba’s has four shops on the island, so that should tell you it’s popular. They make for great places to watch fudge demonstrations. With four generations of family ownership in Michigan, hailing from Detroit, Ryba’s boasts a proud history as well.

Murray Hotel Fudge Company

7260 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI 49757

5 stars on Google and 4.5 stars on Yelp

The historic Murray Hotel is an artsy and charming staple of Mackinac Island’s downtown. But its fudge is in many ways still the new kid on the block. That’s not to say it’s lacking in flavor—in fact, the candymakers often infuse a twist on tradition by throwing in pretzels, blueberries, and Butterfingers into their creations.

Sanders Candy

7330 Main St., Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.5 stars on Google and 4 stars on Yelp

The candy king of Michigan has two stores on Mackinac Island, and if the bumpy cakes and peanut butter candies don’t do the trick, the fudge will. Sanders offers ice cream with hot fudge sauce on top—perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

May’s Candy

7351 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.7 stars on Google and 4.5 stars on Yelp

Harold May, a candymaker from Kansas, took his talents to Mackinac Island in the 1930s. During the sugar rations of the Great Depression, May was so successful that he bought out Murdick’s business. The generations-old business is still run by family candymakers with the same recipes from its 1881 Kansas roots. 

Kilwins

7416 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.5 stars on Google and 4 stars on Yelp

Come here for candy and fudge galore. Kilwins was founded in nearby Petoskey in 1947, and its success has taken it around the country—including to Mackinac Island. Beyond its fudge, Kilwinsalso boasts signature caramel apples and ice creams.

Joann’s Fudge

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cg9MzWpM198/

7309 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

4.7 stars on Google and 4.5 stars on Yelp

Joann’s fudge has nearly 30 flavors, which are as authentic as they come.  Established in 1969, they use a copper kettle and gas flame to heat the fudge to the perfect temperature. The third-generation family business uses only fresh butter, heavy whipping cream, and freshly ground cocoa beans—no powdered ingredients here.

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