Grand Rapids Food & Fun Guide

 not your average coffee shop with sugar bomb treats - that early bird has an awesome breakfast & lunch menu with fresh, allergen friendly dishes. 

not your average coffee shop with sugar bomb treats - that early bird has an awesome breakfast & lunch menu with fresh, allergen friendly dishes. 

Grand Rapids, Michigan is known for good furniture, and beer. I swear I’m one of 5 people in “Beer City USA” who really would rather not have one. However, I have plenty of other favorites in this piece of the mitten state. Below are some of my favorite nutritionist approved eats, #GroceryCrawl stops, places to get your sweat on, and more in Grand Rapids.

If you’re looking for healthy-ish options and entertainment, read on for my picks!

 

Restaurants

 Salmon & Eggs at That Early Bird! For a GF option, order on a bed of greens.

Salmon & Eggs at That Early Bird! For a GF option, order on a bed of greens.

Breakfast

That Early Bird $$ - I wish all coffee shops had food offerings like Early Bird! Try some of their Rowster Coffee drinks or a matcha latte alongside delicious breakfast and lunch dishes.
My picks: Avocado Smash or the Salmon & Eggs (on spinach instead of an English muffin)

Anna’s House $ - There are several locations for this local favorite, and all of them have plenty of gluten free (GR) and dairy free dishes, local brands (including kombucha)!
My picks: Hippie Hash with no cheese, sour cream, or toast; add pork patties

Cherie Inn $ - A darling breakfast spot with GF friendly options.
My pick: Grilled Steak Benedict on sauteed spinach (instead of an English muffin)

 

lunch & dinner

 No sad salads! The Lad's Salad is loaded with in-season, fresh produce and wild-caught fish that changes daily.

No sad salads! The Lad's Salad is loaded with in-season, fresh produce and wild-caught fish that changes daily.

Fish Lads $$ - The best place for (mostly) wild caught fish and seafood. You can also eat at the counter.
My picks: Lad’s Salad (fish changes daily) packed with in-season produce; Cioppino; Oysters

San Chez Bistro $$ - My all time FAVORITE restaurant in Grand Rapids. This tapas restaurant is family-style with seasonal features and some of the best dessert ever. The staff is amazing.
My picks: Ensalada de Remolacha y Palma, Ensalada Mixta, Atun en Escabeche, Vieiras y Tocino, the Pastel de Queso (a changing goat cheesecake!)

 Dinner at Reserve Wine & Food

Dinner at Reserve Wine & Food

Reserve Wine & Food $$$ - For a really, really good dinner and the best grape juice.
My picks: 5 item charcuterie board! I go for the soft goat or sheep cheeses and the pork rillette.

Jaku Sushi $$ - SO many options! We like ordering to-go and enjoying at home.

 

Coffee & Tea

Lyon Street Cafe $ - Located around the corner from Martha’s Vineyard, next to Nantucket Bakery. The coffee is delicious with a nice selection of loose teas. I love the ambience here - just make sure you get there early to snag a spot.

Ferris Coffee $ - They have tons of delicious options in addition to standard coffee drinks and the staff is so friendly.
My pick: Unsweetened almond matcha latte (they make their own milk!) They offer df/gf treats, but I'm not sure if they are free of vegetable oils. 

Madcap Coffee $$ -  The most popular coffee roaster in town - they know a beautiful cup. The new location on Fulton St. is a short walk from the farmers market and they have sourdough waffles.

 

Better Sweets

 A peek inside Mokaya! 

A peek inside Mokaya! 

Mokaya $$$ - If I’m going to have chocolate, I want it to be some of their decadent handmade truffles. Each piece is a work of art!

Love’s Ice Cream $$ - Grassfed dairy ice cream and excellent dairy-free flavors like Cardamom Orange Blossom, Lavender Blueberry, and Madcap Coffee.

 

Grocery & Specialty

 Don't forget your reusable shopping bags when you head to the market!

Don't forget your reusable shopping bags when you head to the market!

Fulton Street Farmers Market - the oldest and largest farmers market in the city, and my favorite part of summer Saturday mornings. Grab tacos at What the Truck, flowers, pastured/grassfed meats and organic, in-season produce all in one trip.

E.A. Brady’s - a butcher shop featuring local, pastured meats.

Forest Hills Foods - I only stop here for meat, raw cheeses, and pastured eggs (when I can’t get them at the market). Their packaged goods and produce prices are higher than other local grocery stores, just FYI! They also have a kombucha bar featuring GT's brand (YUM).

 Some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from Groundswell Community Farm's CSA pick up.

Some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from Groundswell Community Farm's CSA pick up.

Groundswell Community Farm - We purchase our produce CSA through Groundswell and were very happy with our experience. This certified organic farm grows 300+ varieties of vegetables in Zeeland, MI. You can also see them on Saturdays at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in the summer and purchase a sample CSA before you sign up. And be sure to check out my CSA series from last season!

Two Sparrows Farm - a grassfed, pastured livestock farm and dairy located in Howard City, with herd share / raw milk pickups at the Fulton St. Farmers Market. We’ve split a quarter cow with another family and toured the farm with Whitney! You can follow their farm adventures on Instagram and schedule a tour.

Kingma’s Marketfor locally sourced products with a butcher shoppe and garden center. The new location in Ada has Fish Lads and Rowster Coffee counters!

Martha’s Vineyard - a destination for wine and beer, their amazing deli counter, specialty products, and more. They have a ridiculous gluten free carrot cake and my favorite dairy free (almond milk) cream cheese.

 

Fitness

 Working on proper squat form with instructor Andrea at FLEXcity Fitness.

Working on proper squat form with instructor Andrea at FLEXcity Fitness.

FLEXcity Fitness - a 56 minute HIIT class that makes cardio bearable! This small group class flies by quickly with short circuits on the treadmill, TRX bands, spin bike and weighted exercises. Trainers really take care to focus on form (so important)! I hate cardio, but I love this setup. See my video for what to expect from a class!

AM Yoga - my FAVORITE yoga studio! Drop in for a vinyasa class or check out their monthly community flow at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

MVP - There are several locations of this gym in the Grand Rapids area. The weight and locker rooms are very clean and you can relax after your workout in the sauna. 

 

Treat Yo Self

Cheeky Strut - This salon is owned by my friend and hair wizard KL - creator of Fluid Hair Painting. There are so many talented babes working here and their boutique is pretty damn cute.

Siren & Proper - The only place I trust with my brows (Christina Lynn + HD Brows = pure magic). They also do some seriously lush lash extensions.

 The SkinCeuticals counter at Grand Pearl Spa! I used to fill our bathroom cabinets with these goodies when I worked at Plastic Surgery Associates! 

The SkinCeuticals counter at Grand Pearl Spa! I used to fill our bathroom cabinets with these goodies when I worked at Plastic Surgery Associates! 

Grand Pearl Spa - a medispa for skincare treatments and physician-directed skincare products (hello, SkinCeuticals)! I see Rachel for skincare - tell her I say hello!
My picks: SkinCeuticals (especially CE Ferulic Serum), Jane Iredale makeup, HydraFacial, VI Peel, laser hair removal treatments

Rebel Reclaimed - It’s like every awesome Etsy shop exploded in this Q.T. shop! A go-to for gifts and paper goods. Never buy a sad Hallmark card again!

Black Lamb - Such a beautiful, curated shop with stunning housewares and jewelry for the perfect host gifts.

 

This isn't a sponsored post - I genuinely love all of these businesses and hope you will too.