Grand Rapidians have experienced an explosion of culinary gems over recent years. By mixing culinary cultures and creative tastes have breathed new life to the creation of many mouth-watering plates across our city. A recent Thrillist article named Grand Rapids the “Finest Place to Dine” in all of Michigan, and here are a few of our personal top picks! (in no particular order)
1. Butcher’s Union Opened in late 2016 and standing as an instant staple to the Grand Rapids’ West Side, Butcher’s Union offers a unique blend of food and cocktails with a focus on quality meat pairings. With available curbside, in-house, and courtyard seating, Butcher’s Union will leave you with an appreciation for Grand Rapids all within a comfortable up-scaled atmosphere. Stop by on Whiskey Vault Wednesday to enjoy a pairing of top-notch whiskey paired with an amazing meal.
Must Try: The Smoked Salmon Banh Mi: cold pecan smoked Faroe Island salmon, pickled red onion, crunchy slaw, cilantro, jalapeno, aioli, sweet & spicy sauce, grilled Field & Fire sourdough
2. Jolly Pumpkin Right down the street from Butchers Union you will find the Jolly Pumpkin. This new-age pizzeria has gained popularity across the State of Michigan only to find its most recent home here in Grand Rapids. Started by Ron Jefferies of Dexter, Michigan in 2004, the Jolly Pumpkin offers a plethora of fresh-out-of-the-oven wood-fired pizzas and in-house craft brews which are sure to be devoured.
Must Try: The Truffled Mushroom Pizza:Creamed shiitakes & creminis, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, truffle oil, dressed with arugula. Calabaza Blanca Ale: Brewed in Belgium’s bière blanche tradition, this Ale is spiced with hints of orange peel and coriander
3. Søvengård With a chic urban atmosphere and available open-air dining, the Søvengård of Grand Rapids’ West Side provides a big city dining experience with a Nordic twist. Placing focus on the quality of sourcing local farm-to-table ingredients, Søvengård has made a taste all their own by honing in on the simplicity of food to bring out bold flavors.
Must Try: The Berkshire Pork: Whey braised shoulder from E.A. Brady’s Butcher Shop, Whey-cider caramel, brown butter-fennel-squash puree, kale, spiced sunflower seed crumble.
4. Roots BrewShop Perfect for those early risers, Roots BrewShop provides a full menu of caffeinated drinks sure to wake you up in the morning and put a smile on your day. As the brainchild of Mallory Root, Roots BrewShop has made it their “driving purpose to build and support community,” all with a great coffee in hand. Be sure to mark your calendar for a Saturday morning brunch and experience their renowned waffles served from 8AM – Noon.
Must Try: Cappuccino & Bagel: Served with a variety of handmade cream cheese spreads or other in-house spread options.
5. The Mitten Brewing Company Head North to Leanord Street and you will find another unique eatery. The Mitten Brewing Company was quick to make friends with Grand Rapids locals upon its grand opening in 2012. Started by lifelong friends Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler, The Mitten Brewing Company made an extraordinary renovation of the Historic Fire Engine House No. 9 to mix the past with the future. Offering a full list of craft beers and artisan dining menu, you may need to make this location your next after work and weekend go-to.
Must Try: The Westerdog Pizza:Chili bean sauce, all-beef franks, Colby-Jack cheese, diced white onions, shredded kosher pickles, ketchup, yellow mustard. Tripple Crown Brown Ale: World Beer Cup Silver Medalist. A sessionable, malt-forward, English brown ale with light chocolate and roasted malt character.