Text: R. Collins
Many restaurants may be on lockdown for now, but no virus seems to be able to keep Grand Rapids’ food lovers at bay. From the ever-committed Saturday and Sunday brunch crowd to chronic snack enthusiasts and dinner devotees, Grand Rapids is seeing former restaurant-goers’ and patrons’ steadfast commitment to their favorite eating spots; whether it involves dropping in for curbside pick-up or purchasing gift cards for later.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of places around town where folks can still get the goods—and lots of them—to satisfy nearly any craving. Be sure to follow your favorites on their social media accounts; many are posting time-sensitive deals to connect with patrons during this extended stay-at-home period. Whatever the case, enjoy your local favorites and remember to tip as usual.
Rising Grinds Café | 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids
Those sacred afternoon hours on a hard-earned weekend only get better with the Rising Grinds Café’s Soul Food Saturdays and Sundays. The Madison neighborhood favorite began as a coffee training center for young adults as part of the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation. Its menu now includes coffee and espresso drinks alongside classic breakfast and lunch plates like spicy Creole Shrimp & Grits, the Rising Grinds Club Sandwich, and Chicken & Waffles.
In the case of the café’s Soul Food weekends, you can walk away with generous portions of soul food staples, like barbecue chicken or ribs, cornbread, mac and cheese, collard greens, and potato salad. Call in your order and find their Soul Food Saturday + Sunday menu on their Facebook page.
Tuesday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Westsider Café | 1180 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids
For an equally as savory, all-day breakfast, brunch, and lunch joint on the opposite side of town, try the Westsider Café, a beloved early bird operation in the West Side neighborhood. While you’d typically huddle on the patio with friends and loved ones—or yourself and reading material—patiently waiting to be called by the Westsider’s excellent service staff, you can now get your weekend favorites curbside and bring them home.
The Westsider is now open weekends and its menu is as vast as ever. Polish classics like pierogis and Golabki are stacked by sandwich, skillet, and omelet offerings, as well as a giant breakfast platter section, where delights like biscuits and gravy and Cuban eggs reside. Stay up-to-date on their Facebook page and keep the like button pressed; when the café is operating normally, they post photos of daily one-time specials to pique patron interest. It works!
Friday-Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Facebook Westsider Cafe
Vander Mill | 505 Ball Ave, Grand Rapids | 14921 Cleveland Street, Spring Lake
When looking for a nice weekend snack to share with at-home loved ones, try Vander Mill’s fresh cinnamon spice donuts and pair with a pack of canned cider to-go. Both the restaurant’s Spring Lake and Grand Rapids locations have been offering Saturday pick-up, but donuts are in high demand so be sure to get there early. Stay up to date on their Facebook page.
Pick up hours for both locations:
Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Call ahead to verify)
The Mitten Brewing Co.| 527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids
The Mitten Brewing Co. is the Leonard neighborhood’s one and only charitable, vintage-baseball-themed microbrewery and pizza joint. Thankfully, you can still get all your favorite pizza and beer combinations curbside, and gluten-free options are a plus.
The Mitten takes advantage of the pizza genre’s ability to get creative; pies like The Westerdog—a chili dog and pizza pie fusion—and the Chicken and Waffles are options for those who don’t want to choose favorites. Don’t worry, they have the classics too, and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches. The curbside operation also covers freshly poured beer pints and to-go cans like the Peanuts and Crackerjacks porter and the Bean Ball Blonde ale, among many others.
Stay updated via their Facebook page for special deals and goings on. On Tuesdays, you can get a dollar off all to-go pints and Wednesdays offer no upcharge for all vegan and gluten-free menu items. Pair these with The Mitten’s own gluten-free beers: the Brut Lager and Rally Cap NEIPA.
Grand Rapids location hours:
Monday-Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday-Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery| 428 Bridge St. NW., Grand Rapids
For more creative pizza fixings, head south to the Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery over on Bridge Street. At Jolly Pumpkin, you’ll find everything from artisan pizzas to truffle fries and gourmet salads, as well as the brewery’s signature, barrel-aged wild ales and Northpeak Brewing Company drafts too.
The limited pizza menu is available for carryout or delivery, and you can also order bottled and canned beer and liquor, and sides like chips and cookies. Pickle lovers will likely find a favorite in the Pickle Pizza, a savory blend of roasted garlic cream sauce, house-made pickle chips, dill sauce, mozzarella and parmesan. If you’d rather save some savoring for later, purchase a $50 gift card to get an extra free $10 gift card or a $100 card to get an extra $25. Check their Facebook page for frequent updates.
Daily from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Martha’s Vineyard and Martha’s Pizza | 200 Union Ave NE, Grand Rapids
As a three-in-one Heritage Hill staple, the Martha’s Vineyard operation—including Martha’s Pizza and on-site deli—allows you to saddle up to the quaint gourmet grocer and leave with a couple slices of fresh pizza, a pint of ice cream, and a bottle of specialty wine in one visit. Consider your weekend stash set. It’s also fun to wander around inside and let your palatable horizons expand with every minute; fair trade chocolates from around the globe beckon from across the well-stocked wine library—fitted with helpful explanations—and sweets from the dessert counter can leave with you in single portions, as can a countless selection of craft beer bottles. Check out their grocery delivery and curbside pick-up options, as well as their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Martha’s Pizza: Daily from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Martha’s Vineyard: Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Schnitz Deli | 1315 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids
Together, Schnitz Deli and its neighbor Common Ground Coffee are a dream for casual lunch lovers, and especially those who enjoy perusing Fulton Street under clear skies. Now you can take coffee and espresso drinks from Common Ground to-go with any number of generous handhelds from the attached Schnitz Deli. Never have you seen so many Reubens in one place—the Philly Cheeseteak and Black Russian are also personal favorites. Schnitz Deli piles their ingredients high on fresh pumpernickel and rye bread or French and onion rolls made by the bakery, which also churns out a variety of loaves for the taking, from challah to multigrain. Cut your coupons on their website and check their twitter feed for daily soups and specials. On Mondays you can get 15 percent off your entire order.
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Call ahead to verify)
Grain Sandwich Shop | 812 Butterworth Street SW Suite A, Grand Rapids
For more sandwich options, call ahead to Grain Sandwich Shop, a mom-and-pop operation sourcing the freshest ingredients from local vendors like Cellar Door Preserves, Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery, and Sobie Meats.
On their updated menu you’ll find $12 sandwiches with fitting names like the Work From Home, a vegetarian friendly combo of ingredients like roasted sweet potato, walnut pesto, and honey goat cheese; and the Essential Employee, which features hand pulled chicken, garlic aioli, aged ale-house cheddar, and house-made pickles. You can also grab sides like a cup of tomato, basil, and goat cheese soup; Steenstra’s mini cookies; and house pickles—with a hint of jalapeno—or Great Lakes Potato Chips. Follow their Instagram for plenty of sandwich pictures and order for curbside pick-up or delivery from the shop’s Grand Rapids location.
Hancock Grand Rapids | 1157 Wealthy St SE Grand Rapids
Right now, you can get the delicious—and generously sized—Smash Burger that features a beef patty sourced from one of Grand Rapids’ finest butchers, Louise Earl Butcher, as well as pimento cheese, bread and butter pickles, iceberg lettuce, and Hancock’s own Fancy Sauce—which should probably come in bottle form. Also try the fried chicken tender or fish platters, spiced to your choosing and even better with sides—think smashed Yukons, waffle fries, coleslaw, and jalapeno-cheddar cornbread. Pair with a can of beer to better evoke the days when Hancock’s garage doors were rolled open and warm breezes greeted you and your chicken at the bar. Find new menu features and reminders on their Facebook page, and order online with Toast.
Daily from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Downtown Market | 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Typically, all 138,000 square-feet of Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market—and its spacious outdoor piazza—are buzzing with activity as folks circulate around the dozens of restaurant and retail vendors inside for items like artisan oils, hand pies, ready-made dishes, and bubble tea. The market is a year-round hub of local food innovation and education, and it includes a wealth of delicious dishes from market eateries and outposts from local favorites like Tacos El Cuñado and Field & Fire Bakery.
You’ll want to stay up to date with the downtown market’s daily features through their Facebook page for at least a very enjoyable and craving-inducing photo compilation. Enjoy the latest and greatest specials from available vendors like Rak Thai—one of the few Thai spots still open in the central downtown area—Juju bird, and Fish Lads. Many vendors offer curb-side pickup and home delivery through Uber Eats and Grubhub, but make sure to call participating vendors to verify.
Daily from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Ju Sushi & Lounge |1144 E Paris Ave SE, Ste 9 Grand Rapids
Ju Sushi & Lounge offers a comprehensive list of sushi rolls, from classic to specialty, as well as traditional Japanese entrees and, typically, a full-service bar. You’ll want to generously sample the specialty rolls, but don’t forget about the power of the entrée. Personally, the 10-ounce sirloin teriyaki is second-to-none and it comes grilled-to-order served with teriyaki sauce, sautéed bell peppers, onions, and steamed rice, though you can easily upgrade to fried rice. The service is prompt and the menu is vast and delicious—and currently discounted. Enjoy a special night in with takeout deals like $5.00 rangoons and dumplings, half-off bottles of wine and sake, and 15 percent off all full-priced items. See their Facebook page for details.
Monday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.