One of the best ways to enjoy all the fun, beauty, and excitement of the Mitten State is to take a road trip. No matter where you’re going, any road trip can be made even better with the best Michigan road trip snacks.
Whether you’re headed north on I-75, coast to coast on US-2, M-10, I-96, or I-94, or along the shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, or Lake Superior for incredible views, hungry travelers can satisfy their cravings with sweet and savory snacks made right here in Michigan!
Regardless of what you’re craving, there’s a famous Michigan food for travelers of all ages and there’s something satisfying about enjoying the best Michigan can offer while digging into your favorite Mitten State snack.
Better Made Chips
Whether you’re in a gas station or your local grocery store, you can start your snack expedition in the chip aisle. Here you’ll find scores of bags of Better Made potato chips, which have been produced in Detroit since the 1930s.
With more than a dozen flavors, including original, barbeque, salt and vinegar, and sour cream and onion, there’s a flavor for all taste buds.
Not only are they good to eat on their own, but Better Made Chips pair perfectly with sandwiches too!
Faygo and Vernors
Michiganders know Vernors as the ultimate cure-all for an unsettled stomach, but it’s also quite refreshing on its own.
Faygo, with its vast array of flavors, offers something for everyone. Many Michiganders love unique Faygo offerings like Red Pop and Rock N Rye, but there’s also Cotton Candy, Moon Mist, Orange, Cola, and Root Beer among other flavors.
The W.K. Kellogg Co. is located in Battle Creek – also known as Cereal City – and its delicious cereals, including Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, and Rice Krispies, are part of many Michiganders’ breakfasts.
But Kellanova (formerly the Kellogg Company) also has an impressive snack lineup that includes Rice Krispies Treats, Pop Tarts, and other snack foods. While not all of these treats are currently produced in Michigan, many of them were first introduced in the Mitten State and have become road trip staples.
Travelers looking to balance out the sweetness of pop and candy can reach for a bag of their favorite kind of jerky.
Many companies in Michigan make their own jerky flavors and, odds are, you don’t have to go far to find some. Some companies have storefronts, others sell it at festivals and craft shows.
Gas stations are often the best places to find it and some of them advertise themselves as jerky outlets to let customers know about their variety of offerings.
As the state that’s home to the National Cherry Festival, it only makes sense to include some cherry snacks on a Michigan road trip, right?
Montmorency cherries are grown all over the world, including in the Grand Traverse Bay region. If you’re a fan of trail mix, dried Montmorency cherries can be a tasty add-in to all of your other ingredients.
Dried Montmorency cherries can get a little pricey if you buy them from your local grocery store, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a tasty snack.
Cherry Republic Snacks
Sticking with Michigan cherry snacks, hungry travelers can stop into one of six different Cherry Republic locations around the state for a wealth of cherry goodness.
Those who seek deliciousness can choose goodies like dried cherries, cherry-flavored chocolate, cherry sour balls, cherry gummies, cherry licorice, cherry-dipped pretzels, and much more.
There’s plenty to choose from and the hungriest of customers may just find themselves leaving the store with more than they planned on buying.
The Cheese Capital of Michigan has been dishing out Colby-style Pinconning cheese for decades and Michiganders can’t get enough of the different sharpness levels offered at places like the Pinconning Cheese Co. & Fudge Shoppe.
Customers can choose from a variety of cheeses off the wheel (we recommend cutting it up before you travel), as well as cheese curds, string cheese, and much more.
While you’re there, we also recommend picking up some delicious Koegel products. A pickled bologna ring or a jar of pickled bologna can be a tasty centerpiece for those wanting to make meat and cheese snacks for a Michigan road trip.
A Michigan company? A teenage entrepreneur? A tasty array of sugar-free, healthy candies? Customers can get it all when they purchase Zolli Candy for a road trip.
Zolli Candy is the brainchild of Alina Morse, a native of Wolverine Lake, who founded Zolli Candy when she was 10 years old. These sweet offerings could be considered a healthy road trip snack compared to other name-brand candies.
Zolli candy can be bought online, but it can also be found in more than 25,000 stores around the nation and is the perfect snack for those who want healthier alternatives to regular candy, but are still craving something sweet.
Sanders Chocolates was founded by Frederick Sanders Schmidt, who opened a candy store in downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue. Sanders became known for its sweet treats, including ice cream floats, chocolates, and bumpy cake.
Today, chocolate enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of small-batch Sanders caramels and chocolates that are perfect for a road trip. Depending on the weather, you may want to keep them in a cooler to keep them solid.
Pickles on a road trip? Sure, why not; especially if you’re looking for something to pair with Koegel bologna and Pinconning cheese?
Though the company is headquartered in New Jersey, the first plant for distribution was built in Imlay City and Vlasic pickles continue to be processed there today. Additionally, the cucumbers used to make Vlasic’s crunchy pickles are grown in-state, including in Kalamazoo and Mount Pleasant.
If you’re looking for a road trip finger food, these crunchy, dill pickle spears go down easy on a relaxing drive.
Michigan Snacks to Sample Along the Way
Coming up with road trip snack ideas for a fun Michigan road trip is half the fun before the trip starts! There’s plenty to choose from for those looking for Michigan-made goodies, but there are also lots of Michigan staples you can stop and enjoy along your travels.
Superman Ice Cream
During summertime travels, it’s impossible to stop by a Michigan ice cream shop without seeing the familiar red, yellow, and blue colors of Superman ice cream in a cone.
The flavor can vary a little bit depending on where you go, but the flavors of the three colors are as follows: Blue Moon, lemon (or vanilla), and Red Pop (or black cherry).
This Midwest classic is enjoyed by customers of all ages and can be a great treat on a road trip. (We recommend grabbing a lot of napkins if you’re going to try and eat it in the car).
These bundles of beef, potatoes, and rutabagas wrapped in a golden, flaky crust are staples in the Upper Peninsula with dozens of shops offering their own takes on the pasty.
Whether you’re traveling through the U.P. on a road trip or you’re just looking for a spot to eat, hungry customers can’t go wrong with a pasty. These bundles of joy are filling, a great source of protein, and as any Michigander can tell you, they’re absolutely delicious.
Upon crossing the Mackinac Bridge, hungry customers can stop at Lethos in St. Ignace, or keep traveling north to find more pasty shops. Wherever you stop, it’s going to be delicious.
Mackinac Island Fudge
How delicious is Mackinac Island Fudge? It’s so delicious that there’s an ice cream flavor named after it!
Travelers with a sweet tooth can choose from any number of flavors, ranging from chocolate to maple to turtle to peanut butter. If travelers are lucky, they may even get to watch fudge being cooled and spread out as the shop.
Stepping into a fudge shop immediately invites the pleasing aroma of fudge and customers in most fudge shops can also ogle homemade chocolates, taffy, and popcorn.
Grab Your Michigan Snacks and Hit the Road
Whether travelers have visited every corner of Michigan or they’re looking for a new small town to visit, any trip through the Mitten State will only be enhanced by travelers’ favorite snacks.
Travelers looking for healthy snack options or the sweetest, most decadent in-state snacks can find the best of all worlds. Adventurers can be as healthy as they want or give in to their inner child and enjoy all of their favorite chips, candies, savory snacks, and so much more.
Travelers of all ages can find their favorite road trip snacks, hop in the car, and get ready to explore everything that’s awesome about Michigan.