12 Best Restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Must-Try Places to Eat in Grand Rapids | Michigan

12 Best Restaurants in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Once dominated by pizza and brewpubs, Grand Rapids’ dining scene has expanded to offer exciting culinary diversity. From farm-to-table fare to global cuisines, foodies will find plenty to savor. Many restaurants emphasize locally sourced ingredients showcasing Michigan’s agricultural bounty. The city’s strong beer culture also means you can pair your meal with exceptional craft brews. Here are 12 of the best restaurants to try in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

No.RestaurantSpecialty
1Brewery VivantEuropean-influenced farmhouse cuisine
2Tallulah’s TacosFast casual Mexican dishes
3The Green WellMiddle Eastern flair, garden-inspired cuisine
4Lucy’sCreative comfort food
5GroveRelaxed fine dining, seasonal tasting menus
6Stella’sFamily-style Italian
7MaruContemporary sushi
8Grove (Repeat)Fine dining with housemade pasta
9Butcher’s UnionCarnivorous delights, whole animal cookery
10Le KabobLebanese classics
11Brick Road PizzaArtisanal pizza with creative toppings
12Terra GRSeasonal New American cuisine

Long known as a beer and furniture town, Grand Rapids has seen its reputation grow as an emerging Midwest food destination. With new restaurants consistently opening, the city offers appetizing options from creative comfort foods to fine globally inspired dining. Many eateries focus on procuring ingredients from the city’s ubiquitous urban farms and surrounding countryside.

Grand Rapids’ immigrant communities add international flavors with Mexican, Middle Eastern, Asian and European fare. Food festivals like Restaurant Week GR showcase special prix fixe menus. Top notch farmers markets supply restaurants with just-picked produce. From cozy cafes to dress-up dinner spots, Grand Rapids’ diverse and delectable dining scene impresses.

1. Farmhouse Inspired Fare at Brewery Vivant

Name and Location: Brewery Vivant is a farmhouse brewery and Belgian-inspired restaurant located at 925 Cherry St SE in Grand Rapids, MI.

History and Significance: Opened in 2010, Brewery Vivant encompasses a LEED certified building pairing its sustainably-crafted beers with European-influenced pub fare prepared using locally-sourced ingredients when possible to minimize their operation’s environmental footprint while delighting patrons’ palates.

What to Expect: Guests enjoy rustic dishes like wild mushroom toast, charcuterie boards, mussels steamed in-house beer or wood-fired pizzas alongside a wide selection of Belgian and French-style ales brewed on premises utilizing old world methods with contemporary Michigan twists.

Visitor Information: Brewery Vivant serves daily lunch and dinner with happy hour specials. No reservations required. Family and pet-friendly.

Housed inside a former chapel, Brewery Vivant combines award-winning beers with European-influenced farmhouse cuisine. Their Belgian and French country-style ales pair perfectly with menu items cooked from scratch using seasonal ingredients.

Savor dishes like the charcuterie board loaded with housemade pâtés, sausages and mustards. Burgundian Escargot comes blanketed in garlic-parsley butter and breadcrumbs. Don’t skip Vivant’s Belgian staple frites cooked twice in custom beef fat for crispy perfection. Their diverse beer list includes options like a cherry-infused Contemplation brew. With inspired food and drink in a striking setting, dining at Brewery Vivant encapsulates Grand Rapids’ best.

2. Tallulah’s Tacos for Mexican Flavors

Name and Location: Tallulah’s Taco Shop brings festive California-style Mexican street eats to Grand Rapids with its original location at 819 Cherry St SE.

History and Significance: First launched in 2013 from a tricked-out taco trailer, husband-wife owners expanded Tallulah’s into a brick-and-mortar matching its laidback SoCal inspiration through tacos overflowing with zesty protein fillings, burritos wrapped in foil plus frozen margaritas helping liberate the daily grind.

What to Expect: Customizable tacos like spicy shrimp salad or citrus-marinated pork carnitas pair with burrito bowls brimming with cilantro rice, beans, pico de gallo and other preferred additions while cold cocktails wash it all down for informal meals focused on vibrant ingredients over rules.

Visitor Information: Tallulah’s original Grand Rapids location accepts counter-service orders 11am-9pm daily with additional metro spots also available. Kid and dog friendly patio seating onsite.

For fast casual Mexican dishes bursting with bright flavors, check out Tallulah’s Tacos. This tiny taqueria serves up tacos, burritos and nachos packed with taste. Carnitas, carne asada and crispy fish fill stuffed-full corn tortillas you can customize with extras like guacamole and pico de gallo.

Their diverse taco options range from spicy shrimp to roasted cauliflower. Wash it all down with horchata, Mexican Coke or a margarita. Additional locations allow you to get your fix across Grand Rapids. For authentic and affordable Mexican food done right, Tallulah’s Tacos satisfies big flavor cravings.

3. Middle Eastern Flair at The Green Well

Name and Location: The Green Well brings contemporary gastropub fare with a Middle Eastern twist to Grand Rapids inside an historic building at 924 Cherry Street SE mixed among popular East Hills establishments.

History and Significance: Since opening in 2016, The Green Well combines exotic Levantine spice blends and components into familiar pub plates and house specialties paying homage to the region’s cuisine through flavor profiles transporting senses eager for eloquent escape from the ordinary.

What to Expect: Signature small sharable plates like the Green Falafel or Mumbai Street Corn supplemented by various kebabs, lavash flatbread wraps and family-style platters meant for sampling alongside a smartly curated beer, wine and craft cocktail lineup encouraging convivial relaxation.

Visitor Information: The Green Well serves dinner daily plus weekend brunch. Reservations accommodated for groups 6+. Street parking available.

The Green Well brings a taste of the Middle East to Grand Rapids with their garden-inspired cuisine. Fresh ingredients shine in dishes like their Falafel Tahini Bowl loaded with greens, hummus and pickled vegetables.

Their popular Green Plate features chicken schawarma wrapped in a rice and veggie stuffed collard leaf. Daily stews, salads and rotating small plates keep the menu seasonal. The Well Burger tops locally sourced beef with harissa and feta. Their cool drinking den offers craft cocktails along with weekend brunch. With color and flavor at every turn, The Green Well represents Grand Rapids diverse culinary offerings.

4. Creative Comfort Food at Lucy’s

Name and Location: Lucy’s Cafe is a cozy New American comfort food bistro located downtown at 807 Bridge St NW in Grand Rapids.

History and Significance: Opened in 1993, Lucy’s Cafe earned loyal regulars with its scratch-made morning staples, hearty lunch options, baked treats and craft coffee program. Weekly rotating specials keep familiar favorites fresh using seasonal ingredients.

What to Expect: Diners savor plates ranging from French toast stuffed with lemon mascarpone and blueberries to turkey Reubens on grilled marbled rye. Quiche, salads and sandwiches hit comfort cravings at all hours while baked goods satisfy on the run.

Visitor Information: Lucy’s Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and snacks weekdays 7am to 5pm. Weekend hours vary. Street parking or nearby lots available. Offers limited counter seating.

For playful twists on American comfort classics, Lucy’s delights diners with clever taste combinations. Their Fried Chicken & Waffles arrive as chicken fried in a shrimp cream gravy atop a sweet potato waffle.

Lucy’s serves up the best of land and sea with their Surf & Turf Burger flanking Wagyu beef with lobster. Even sides get an upgrade like Brussel Bacon Hash browned potatoes mingled with brussel sprout leaves and bacon. Save room for desserts like the Salted Caramel Pot de Crème. Enjoy these creative comforts in Lucy’s hip industrial warehouse setting.

5. Relaxed Fine Dining at Grove

Name and Location: Grove is an upscale yet unpretentious contemporary American restaurant located along Monroe Center St NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

History and Significance: Opened in 2011 amidst Grand Rapids’ rising national dining profile, Grove delivered sophisticated seasonal New American cuisine in a chill urban loft environment contrasting stuffier outdated notions of fine dining, earning acclaim for quality matched by hospitable midwestern charm.

What to Expect: Ever-evolving a la carte dinner entrees emphasize regional ingredients across meat and seafood preparations accompanied by housemade pastas and brick oven pizzas plus a living wall cultivated cocktail program. Dishes lean inventive without alienating less adventurous palates.

Visitor Information: Grove dinner reservations strongly recommended via OpenTable, especially weekends. Valet parking available alongside street options downtown. Smart casual attire.

Led by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Millar, Grove brings fine dining to Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. Their seasonal tasting menus present Millar’s culinary artistry through multiple courses like Hamachi Crudo in thai coconut milk.

Entrees may include seared scallops served alongside green tomato ravioli in a corn broth. Their drink pairings enhance the experience with wines, spirits and cocktails suited to each dish. While the cuisine is upscale, Grove maintains a welcoming vibe perfect for date nights and celebrations. Grove exemplifies how Grand Rapids’ food scene has branched into elevated dining.

6. Family-Style Italian at Stella’s

Name and Location: Stella’s Lounge brings prohibition-era vibes to Grand Rapids through bold Italian-American flavors plus live jazz and blues located at 53 Commerce Ave SW.

History and Significance: Opened in 2008 within a restored 1920s-era warehouse, Stella’s prohibition theme matches its menu and entertainment celebrating 20th century cultural touchpoints. Vintage decor intersects with modern bohemian designs plus family-style group dining pacing a lively dinner scene.

What to Expect: Hearty Italian-American classics range from chicken piccata chickpea pasta to NY strip steak alongside signature pizzas, sandwiches and starters for groups eager to sample flavors. Live music most nights. Full bar.

Visitor Information: Stella’s serves dinner daily, lunch Fridays. Reservations recommended for groups 6+ on weekends. Easy adjacent parking off Logan Street.

For hearty Italian cuisine served family-style, Stella’s satisfies cravings for pasta, pizza and more. Start with shareable appetizers like the Baked Artichoke Dip or Mussels Marinara steamed in tomato broth. Moving on to entrees, choose from homemade pastas like Butternut Squash Ravioli or Chicken Piccata atop linguine.

They serve wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, strombolis and calzones straight from their copper pizza oven. Daily features and specials like Lobster Ravioli spotlight seasonal ingredients. Stella’s welcoming ambiance and generous portions make every visit feel like Sunday dinner with family.

7. Runway-Style Sushi at Maru

Name and Location: Maru Sushi & Grill delivers contemporary Japanese fare with striking presentation to Grand Rapids’ East Hills dining corridor at 927 Cherry St SE.

History and Significance: Since debuting in 2009, contemporary Japanese eatery Maru Sushi & Grill pioneered an immersive sushi showcase through airport-style conveyors circling tables and open seating surrounding two chef stations allowing direct views crafting each roll with care, educating diners on traditions undergoing artful reinvention.

What to Expect: Dining at Maru centers around quality sashimi, signature rolls incorporating local ingredients when possible, ramen varieties and Japanese small plates supplemented by playful desserts and spirits for an experiential cultural night out.

Visitor Information: Maru Sushi & Grill accepts walk-ins plus reservations by phone. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Valet parking available during peak hours.

For contemporary sushi in sleek surrounds, Maru elevates Japanese cuisine in downtown Grand Rapids. Their vibrant rolls combine fresh fish and unconventional ingredients for treats like the Maru Maki with tuna, avocado, cilantro and seared beef. Nigiri and sashimi platters allow you to sample varieties like Scottish salmon and yellowtail.

Beyond sushi, options range from Kung Pao cauliflower to miso butterscotch cod. Handcrafted cocktails like their Lavender Bee’s Knees Saketini incorporate Asian flavors. With colorful cuisine in a hip downtown setting, Maru brings a dash of big city style.

8. Housemade Pasta at Grove

Name and Location: Grove is an upscale yet unpretentious contemporary American restaurant located along Monroe Center St NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

History and Significance: Opened in 2011 amidst Grand Rapids’ rising national dining profile, Grove delivered sophisticated seasonal New American cuisine in a chill urban loft environment contrasting stuffier outdated notions of fine dining, earning acclaim for quality matched by hospitable midwestern charm.

What to Expect: Dinner entrees emphasize regional ingredients across meat and seafood preparations accompanied by housemade pastas like squid ink linguine with shrimp plus brick oven pizzas and a cocktail program utilizing the restaurant’s living herb wall.

Visitor Information: Grove dinner reservations strongly recommended via OpenTable, especially weekends. Valet parking available alongside street options downtown. Smart casual attire preferred.

Led by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Millar, Grove brings fine dining to Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. Their seasonal tasting menus present Millar’s culinary artistry through multiple courses like Hamachi Crudo in thai coconut milk. Entrees may include seared scallops served alongside green tomato ravioli in a corn broth.

Their drink pairings enhance the experience with wines, spirits and cocktails suited to each dish. While the cuisine is upscale, Grove maintains a welcoming vibe perfect for date nights and celebrations. Grove exemplifies how Grand Rapids’ food scene has branched into elevated dining.

9. Carnivorous Delights at Butcher’s Union

Name and Location: Butcher’s Union is an artisanal meat-centric eatery and provisions shop at 435 Ionia Ave SW in downtown Grand Rapids putting a gourmet spin on carnivorous cuisine sourcing from local farms when possible.

History and Significance: Founded in 2015 by experienced restauranteurs, Butcher’s Union celebrates both protein and craft in curating an ever-evolving meat-focused menu ranging from signatures like the “Impossible Burger” summiting burger perfection to grazeable charcuterie boards plusSunday prime rib specials and multicourse chef collaboration dinners advancing the envelop of what artfully sourced cooking can be.

What to Expect: Expect sublime preparations leveraging beef, poultry, game and pork cuts into creative dishes meant for sharing supplemented by craft cocktails and a well-considered beverage program saluting both Old World and regional producers. Take home gourmet goods available onsite.

Visitor Information: Butcher’s Union offers counter-style lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accommodated for large parties. Paid streetside parking at meters or public ramps nearby.

Meat lovers rejoice at Butcher’s Union, a hip Grand Rapids eatery celebrating whole animal cookery. Their in-house butchery crafts charcuterie, sausages, burgers and cuts like prime ribeye steak. Tailor your steak by selecting enhancements like bourbon shallot butter or truffle demi glace.

Daily features highlight different cuts and preparations. Brunch dazzles with specialties like Pork Belly Hash and homemade biscuits and gravy. With a chill vibe and cuisine catering to carnivores, Butcher’s Union takes meat to new heights.

10. Lebanese Classics at Le Kabob

Name and Location: Le Kabob is a Lebanese grill and buffet located along 28th Street SW in Wyoming, Michigan, just minutes southwest of downtown Grand Rapids and easily accessible off US-131.

History and Significance: Serving Grand Rapids diners since 1998, family-owned Le Kabob shares personal recipes perfected across generations by head chef Attallah Daniel originatting from Baalbek, Lebanon conveying cultural heritage through cuisine offering guests a welcoming Old World hospitality experience through accommodating service inlaid with integrity.

What to Expect: Expand palate horizons by sampling Le Kabob’s bountiful daily buffet featuring Lebanese staples like rich hummus, garden tabbouleh salad, chicken shawarma, seasoned rice plus homemade Middle Eastern desserts chasing the meal. Pair dishes family-style. BYOB friendly.

Visitor Information: Le Kabob serves dinner buffet Tuesday through Sunday, lunch buffet Fridays. Catering available. Belly dancers perform Friday and Saturday evenings. Reservations advised for large parties.

For authentic Lebanese staples, family-owned Le Kabob delivers big flavors. Their patio-wrapped dining room provides a taste of Beirut with menu standouts like Chicken Tawook featuring chicken marinated and grilled on skewers.

Combination platters allow you to sample their stuffed grape leaves, hummus, rice and more. Homey Lebanese comfort foods like the Kibbeh Casserole with lamb and pine nuts feel like a home-cooked meal. With friendly service and prices that encourage return visits, Le Kabob serves Grand Rapids’ best Middle Eastern cuisine.

11. Pizza Perfection at Brick Road Pizza

Name and Location: Brick Road Pizza occupies a 19th century fire barn at 1017 Wealthy St SE along East Grand Rapids’ picturesque Gaslight Village district.

History and Significance: Since 2012, Brick Road Pizza parlayed their obsessive attention towards crafting exceptional pies with organic ingredients into a Metro Grand Rapids staple for wood-fired sourdough Neapolitan pizza styles perfected using methods respecting old world tradition while appealing to modern preferences. Their success fueled expansion across Michigan.

What to Expect: Brick Road Pizza bakes 10-inch personal sized pizzas ideal for sampling different flavor combinations across simpler Margherita and pepperoni pies up through more daring culinary fusions showcasing regional ingredients playfully reinterpreted atop the ideal crust they built their esteemed reputation perfecting behind an 800-degree Stefano Ferrara oven imported from Naples.

Visitor Information: Brick Road Pizza serves dinner daily plus weekday lunch at its flagship Wealthy Street location with other metro spots in Eastown and Rockford. Online ordering available for take-out or delivery.

For artisanal pizza with creative toppings, Brick Road Pizza fires up specialty pies along with build-your-own options. Their signature Mighty Mac pie showcases plenty of cheesy goodness with six cheeses from mozzarella to gorgonzola.

Carnivores devour the Meat Mountain with its piled-high pepperoni, sausage, bacon and ham. Gluten-free and vegan diners have options too. Brick Road’s downtown Market Avenue location retains its 19th century building character, making it a perfect pizza pitstop after visiting the farmers market.

12. Seasonal New American at Terra GR

Name and Location: Terra GR brings contemporary farm-sourced Midwest comfort cuisine to downtown Grand Rapids inside GR’s Locale building at 50 Louis St NW.

History and Significance: Unveiled 2022 from James Beard-nominated chef Matthew Pietsch, Terra GR’s seasonal dinner menus honor regional bounty through considered technique allying ancestral cooking methods with contemporary presentation anchored in hospitality conveying culinary excellence through a relaxing, approachable fine dining experience.

What to Expect: Expect scratch-made pastas, grilled steaks, composed small plates and starters spotlighting locally-foraged mushrooms, responsibly-raised proteins from area purveyors plus mindfully sourced seafood and greens grown within their indoor garden complemented by a deliberately crafted bar program under an iconic Zahner metal facade.

Visitor Information: Terra GR reservations recommended via OpenTable or by phone. Valet parking and street options nearby. Cocktail bar accepts limited walk-ins for small plates without dining room booking.

Located within the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Terra GR delivers seasonal New American plates perfect for pairing with their artwork views. Thoughtfully constructed dishes utilize local produce, meat and cheese purveyors.

Recent standouts include Skuna Bay Salmon beside green pea-fava succootash, and a savory Duck Breast with blackberry sorghum glaze. Their Wine Spectator award-winning wine list offers 150+ selections. Reserve a table on the outdoor Lakeside Terrace during warm months. Elevated but not stuffy, Terra GR encapsulates Grand Rapids’ embrace of adventurous cuisine.

Conclusion

From old school Belgian and Lebanese joints to contemporary sushi bars, Grand Rapids dining choices reflect the city’s growing diversity. Locally-driven restaurants allow you to taste West Michigan’s agricultural bounty in seasonal New American cuisine.

Global influences like Mexican, Middle Eastern and Asian cooking add international flavor. Grand Rapids’ excellent brewery scene supplies the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Food festivals and markets showcase the city’s emerging foodie reputation. With options ranging from barbecue to brunch spots, Grand Rapids satisfies appetites and introduces diners to new culinary experiences.

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