Who Makes the Best Mackinac Island Fudge?

Who makes the best fudge on Mackinac Island? You decide! Grab your family and test out the flavors of these seven Mackinac Island Fudge shops.

When you hear the words “Mackinac Island,” it’s very likely the next word you think of is “fudge.” 

One stroll down Main Street, and you’re sure to smell the confectionary-filled breeze and see the streets filled with kids and adults alike glued to window fronts watching the traditional techniques used to give Mackinac Island fudge its signature flavor.

More than 10,000 pounds of fudge is handcrafted on the Mackinac Island daily during peak tourism season, earning this little island the title of the Fudge Capital of the World.

Want to know more about Mackinac Island? Check out our guides for how to get here, where to stay and what to eat, where to rent bikes (no cars allowed!) and historic attractions you must visit.

Why is Mackinac Island famous for its fudge?

The fudge fad first started in the 1880s when Rom Murdick opened the first real candy store on the island. In addition to candy, the store sold fudge and also gave a behind-the-scenes look to how the candy and fudge were made. Visitors loved it! 

According to the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, Murdick was the first person to make fudge on marble slabs, which gives it the unique flavor Mackinac Island Fudge is known for today.

Fudge Tasting at Mackinac Island
A marble countertop, like the one seen here at Joann’s Fudge, is a key part of the process of giving Mackinac Island fudge its original taste. Photo Credit: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

Over time, fudge and fudge making became a tasty attraction on the island, with it all going back to the technique used by Murdick to achieve the signature local flavor. 

A fudge for every taste, and some to take home, too

Now, Mackinac Island has 13 fudge shops sprinkled throughout the island and even hosts the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August. In addition to the traditional flavors we all know and love, the kids will also love picking out fun flavors like s’mores, birthday cake and apple pie.

Mackinac Island fudge taste
To achieve the famous Mackinac Island fudge taste, most fudge shops on the island cook their fudge in traditional copper kettles. Photo Credit: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

While many of these locations now offer online ordering (and even shipping for those who want to enjoy Mackinac Island in the comfort of home), many of the fudge shops on the island are set up so visitors can watch the fudge-making process. This is an essential part of what makes Mackinac Island Fudge not only something you can eat but an experience to enjoy. 

Kids especially love to watch the thick liquid poured onto slabs of marble and worked until it looks like the fudgy bricks that everyone loves to eat. These are Mackinac Island memories in the making for families.

Where to find Mackinac Island Fudge

Joann’s Fudge

Joann’s is the only store that makes its fudge year-round on the island, serving up over 20 different flavors. Joann’s fudge is slowly cooked in traditional copper kettles over a gas flame, then hand crafted on marble slabs. Not staying on the island but need a fudge fix? Joann’s also has a location in Mackinaw City at 303 E. Central open from May to October.

  • Address: 7309 Main St. and 7408 Main St.
  • Phone: 906-847-3707
  • Website: joannsfudge.com

Kilwins Chocolate and Fudge Shop

Kilwins’ fudge comes from original recipes developed by Don and Katy Kilwin in 1948 after they purchased a marble table. Chocolate remains the top seller, but consider trying out the signature turtle fudge or sea-salt caramel fudge for the best Kilwins experience.

May’s Fudge and Candy Shop

May’s fudge recipe has been passed down for four generations, but their flavors add a new, modern take. Top-sellers include their famous English toffee, peanut brittle, Peco Flake and clusters, but be sure to leave room for the love potion, birthday cake, cherry, maple nut and other flavors you’ll only find at May’s.

Murray Hotel Fudge Company

Open to the public from May through October, Murray’s fudge is made fresh daily. In addition to their traditional creamy fudge flavors, they also play around with innovative flavors that keep guests coming back for more. You can’t go wrong with a slice of the s’mores, blueberry cheesecake, Heath bar, tiger, heavenly goo, coconut bonbon or caramel apple pie fudge. Located in the lobby of the Murray Hotel, right on Mackinac Island’s Main Street.

Original Murdick’s Fudge

If you’re looking for Mackinac Island Fudge, why not visit the place where it all started? The original fudge shop opened in 1887, and Murdick’s now serves up more than 15 flavors of handcrafted fudge. It’s made with all natural, Michigan ingredients using copper kettles and marble slabs to achieve the quintessential Mackinac Island Fudge taste.

Ryba’s Fudge Shops

On the island, you’re bound to see Ryba’s signature pink box being carried around somewhere. Ryba’s decadent fudge recipe and process spans over four generations, all beginning with Harry Ryba, known as the “Fudge King” of Mackinac Island. Here, tourists —  lovingly referred to as “Fudgies” — are often found watching the fudge makers handcrafting the fudge from copper pots to marble countertops to that signature pink box.

  • Address: 7245 Main St.
  • Phone: 800-44-RYBAS
  • Website: ryba.com

Sanders Fudge and Candy Shop

Since its opening by Fred Sanders in 1875, Sanders still follows the same simple standards using the finest quality ingredients for their fudge. It’s that commitment to expertise that has landed Sanders candy on the shelves of your favorite national retail stores.

Continue making your road trip plan for Mackinac Island with our help! Check out our guides for:

Content brought to you by Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers. Visit buyfordnow.com. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide.

Tara Jones
Tara Jones
Tara Jones is a nationally award-winning digital journalist with experience working in audience development and growth. She specializes in branded content creation and strategy, SEO and newsletter strategies. Throughout her career, Tara has helped launch a digital news website from scratch and has led several newsrooms in various capacities.

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