Ah, Grand Rapids; home of Gerald R. Ford, named one of the best places for young professionals, and sporting a depressing overcast from November to June. Luckily the people of West Michigan are exceptionally kind, making GR a lovely place to live. This winter why not fight the clouds of depression and head out to one of these restaurants, recommended by real, live, cheerful Grand Rapids dwellers.
For the Health Nut:
· Real Food Café: A diner style restaurant located on Eastern Avenue Southeast and Northland Dr. It is known for having excellent breakfasts, burgers, and sandwiches. But if you’re super hungry, come early or put a banana in your pocket; sometimes there is a long wait!
· Marie Catrib’s: You’ll fall in love with the atmosphere alone, but the breakfast, sandwiches, and falafel will make you want to set up a cot and live there forever. Marie Catrib’s inspires gluttony. The food is homemade and better than Grandma’s with fresh ingredients, fabulous taste, and flair! They also offer several vegan and gluten-free options, so the baby ducks are happy and safe.
For the Pizza Lover:
· Fred’s Pizza on Plainfield rivals the pizza of Italy with homemade crust and fresh toppings. Fred’s has been around since the early 1960’s and is still owned and run by a local Italian family that has a great rapport with customers and makes you feel like one of the family. If you can't take your darling to Rome, take her to Fred's. Very romantic.
· Larry’s Pizza: If you’re looking for entertainment, atmosphere, and great pizza, Larry’s is the place to go! With 22 specialty pizzas, a parade as pizza comes fresh from the oven, and the ability to get exactly what you want with personalized pizza requests, it’s hard not be satisfied.
For the Fancy Pants:
· Red’s on the River is a fine dining restaurant on the Rouge River in downtown Rockford. Their menu is expansive and they have a wine menu that even a Frenchman would cherish. They also add a little fun with events like International Cuisine Night, Saturday Morning Cooking School, and a fun, but gourmet, St. Paddy’s Day menu!
· Honey Creek Inn: With the best brews and burgers in town you really can’t go wrong spending an evening at the pub in historic Cannonsburg. This place puts traditional pub food to shame with its Polish inspired Irish cuisine specials accompanied by a Moose mascot named Ralph.
Other Restaurants I’ve yet to check out, but come highly recommended by the locals are as follows:
(Feel free to leave a review in the comments section!)
- Gaia Café: Located on Diamond Avenue
- Republic- South Division
- The Pita House Sami’s Gyro- Wealthy St.
- San Chez Tapas Bistro: Located on Fulton St.
- Sundance Grill: Two locations on Division and Pearl St.
- Yesterdogs: Wealthy Street