Best of Grand Rapids: F&B

By Vicki Arkoff, September 10, 2019

Within blocks of DeVos Place, a smorgasbord of cuisines awaits hungry and thirsty Connect Faith attendees. Trendsetting beer, food, art and music scenes line the growing Grand Rapids Food Trail.

Downtown Market This local favorite is a 20-vendor source for mouthwatering food stands and fresh produce including seasonal harvests, local specialties, cooking classes and fresh-picked goodies from the on-site greenhouse. For the freshest grilled meats, run to Slows Bar BQ; enjoy Mexican fare at Tacos El Cunado; or brunch with the locals at Social Kitchen & Bar featuring a bloody mary bar and build-your-own skillet feast. Indulge your sweet tooth with fresh-baked pastries, pies and cakes at Sweetie-licious.

Founder’s Brewing Co. With nearly 80 breweries within a 60-minute drive of downtown, Grand Rapids is world-renowned as USA’s “Beer City.” Founders Brewing Co. earned a reputation as one of the best craft brewers in the region and shares its knowledge through educational programming with tours, classes, and creative beer and food pairing events. And, just for fun, $2 buys you a Founders beer and screening of “Scream” at Celebration! Cinemas Oct. 30.

The Green Well Grand Rapids’ gastropubs care as much about the food and community as they do the beer. A case in point is the eco-conscious Green Well, which not only serves an extensive Michigan beer list, but also has an eclectic menu featuring delicious Michigan beef, pork, and chicken dishes and sandwiches, plus vegan options.

New Hotel Mertens Set in the footprint of a historic 1914 hotel, this traditional French brasserie celebrates Grand Rapids’ past. Indulge in continental classics such as croque monsieur, steak frites, coq au vin and housemade breads. You can also sample from the world’s largest Michigan wine list.   

Reserve Wine & Food Chef Luke VerHulst cooks up one of the city’s original farm-to-table menus starring local treats such as Michigan grass-fed rib-eye and moulard duck breast with Moose Lake wild rice and Michigan cherries. Reserve also has one of the finest happy hours in town weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. Groups can reserve private seating in the Champagne Room, The Vault, the Loft and Terrace.

Stella’s Lounge There are tons of gastropubs and beer bars in Beer City, but only Stella’s is named the best burger joint in the country for its blue cheese-stuffed half-pound patty. And just try to say no to the bacon fat popcorn.

Double Dip Depot Ice Cream You can’t go wrong with any of the 18 flavors of scoops, or set your imagination free with a custom flurry, smoothie or sundae at this sweet spot voted the No. 1 ice cream shop in West Michigan. Walk up, drive through or hang out for a round of mini-golf.

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