A list of the must-see spots for eating and drinking in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Don’t miss this guide when you’re planning your foodie adventure in West Michigan.
Last month I partnered with Experience Grand Rapids to host the city’s very first food blogger press trip: #TasteofGR. Having attended numerous media tours around the country, I felt it was time to show everyone what my town has to offer. Lucky for me, the city agreed.
We welcomed four food bloggers from Chicago and Detroit: Monique, Maggie, Megan and Jocelyn. Our mission was simple: spend two and a half days sampling the region’s thriving food, beer, and wine scene. Sounds easy enough right?
The five of us were hosted at the newly renovated Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. My husband and I had our wedding reception in the ballroom over 10 years ago so it was a special treat to experience the beautifully updated and modernized guest rooms for the first time.
Located right in downtown Grand Rapids within walking distance for over 200 restaurants and bars, our hotel was in the ideal spot for a weekend full of culinary delights and tasty treats. The views of the river and skyline from our rooms were truly breathtaking.
Whether you’re a foodie yourself or simply like to visit new cities and eat delicious food and drink along the way, here is my ultimate foodie guide to Grand Rapids:
Grab Breakfast at San Chez: Located just a half mile from the hotel, San Chez offers the ideal breakfast menu. Featuring an array of fresh smoothies, omelets, biscuits and more, this restaurant was a huge hit with all of the ladies. Insider Tip: If you don’t make it for breakfast, head there for dinner and check out their extensive Spanish tapas menu.
Shop, Eat, and Explore the Downtown Market: Featuring 24 food vendor stalls and several sit-down restaurants, I take every out of town visitor to the Downtown Market to sip, shop, eat and explore. Don’t miss the steak tacos at Tacos El Cuñado and be sure to grab a loaf of the tordu bread at Field & Fire Bakery.
Dine at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck: With just two of these restaurant concepts in the world (one in Grand Rapids and the other in Dubai), The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck is not to be missed. Located in the lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza, it couldn’t be more convenient. A few of my favorite menu items include the Hong Kong Style Steamed Salmon, Chinese Chicken Salad and Sautéed Mushrooms and Shishito Peppers.
Take a Pasta Making Class at The Local Epicurean: As food bloggers, we love any opportunity to get our hands messy and play in the kitchen. Whether you live locally or are heading to Grand Rapids in the future, I highly recommend taking a pasta-making class at The Local Epicurean. We had so much fun making homemade ravioli and the girls even got to take them home!
Visit Founders Brewery: Named one of the 19 US Breweries To You Need to Experience In Person, there was no way we could bring a group of food writers to Grand Rapids and not have them swing by Founders Brewery Co. for a taste and tour. If you visit, grab a pint of my favorite brew: All Day IPA.
Check out the Wine, Beer & Food Festival: If you happen to be visiting in November, be sure to plan your trip around the Grand Rapids Wine, Beer & Food Festival. We go every single year and always love sampling new beers, learning about new wines and tasting local restaurant menus.
Whatever you do, grab your friends and family and have fun eating and drinking your way through Grand Rapids! If you’ve visited before, I’d love to hear your favorite foodie hotspot!
Your fork is waiting.
Disclosure: Experience Grand Rapids compensated me for my time to help plan, host, and write about this press trip. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this! I’m making a quick trip to Grand Rapids for work next week and definitely plan to hit up the market and some breweries, but now I know I’ll be getting tacos as well!
Question for you, as I’ll be staying in East Grand Rapids, not downtown, if I wanted to be simply dropped off by Uber or taxi, would the market be a good location to start? Safe enough for strolling around, hitting up some breweries and places for snacks for a few hours?
Oh I’m so excited for you!! I live in East Grand Rapids!! How perfect! Yes the market is great location to start! Don’t miss Founders too. :) Have fun!
Not to worry, Founders is first on the list. ;) Thanks!
I love your passion for Michigan!! I think I need to make my way out there asap and explore more of your beautiful (and tasty!) state!
I had so much fun when you came out here!!! Can’t wait to see you again in 2016!!
Get your guest room ready – I’m coming to visit and we’re going to Tacos El Cuñado!!!! Matt is coming too!
Ahhh yes girl!! That needs to happen one day!! xoxo
Never been to Grand Rapids, but would lov to. Food looks awesome and the Grand Plaza Hotel looks amazing, too!
I hope you can get out here one day lady!! It’s beautiful – very similar to Oregon with the lush beauty!
What a great time!! All looks like so much fun!! Would love to go and check out Grand Rapids and do all that you did!! Right up my foodie alley!!
I hope you get here one day Tara!!
Yum yum yummy yum. GR has such an amazing food scene for such a small city. I love breakfast at San Chez- truly underrated. My other faves are Terra, Harmony brewing (when you need a break from Founders!), and Uncle Cheetahs soup for lunch. Great idea, great round up!
There are so many good options!! Love the ones you added!!
Grand Rapids looks grand ;) Looks like my kind of town and it sounds like you ladies had such a fun time. Can’t wait to check out the city in the near future!
I can’t wait for you to come check it out soon!!! xoxo
What a fun and awesome idea Liz! I think I need to come to Grand Rapids to see what this city is all about!
Oh man I would love that!!!