West Michigan’s Favorite Restaurants, Cafés, and Brewpubs
We’ve got your list of where to eat in Grand Rapids!
No doubt about it, West Michigan has been blessed with some amazing restaurants, cafés, and brewpubs. But despite the vast selection, not every restaurant is perfect for eating with kids.
We’ve amassed a list of some fantastic places to take your kids to eat, morning, noon and night.
Earlier this year, parents voted on their favorite places to eat and hang out in greater Grand Rapids in our first ever GRANDTASTIC AWARDS. These are the places your peers think are the best!
Winners are noted with our Grandtastic logo- look for this item in the list to find them easily:
Where Families Love to Eat in Grand Rapids
If we have missed one you love, PLEASE – we would love to hear about it in the comments section. In the meantime, we hope you fine on on our list that you haven’t tried before that will now strike your fancy!
Coffee, Breakfast and Brunch
Anna’s House A popular spot for breakfast in Michigan, this Plainfield corridor landmark, now with four locations, has eclectic breakfasts to please every palate. Offering a variety of specialty coffees and delightful smoothies, make sure you try the Hippie Hash and the Twilight French Toast when you go!
Byron Family Restaurant Located in Byron Center, Byron Family Restaurant has their focus right in their name: family. Great breakfasts, sandwiches, and down home cooking will greet you when you walk in the doors.
Mr. Burger Offering multiple locations throughout the Grand Rapids area, this West Michigan staple will be turning 50 in 2017! Mr. Burger offers breakfast throught the entire day, so if you’re looking to scratch that breafast itch at 6 PM, never fear, Mr. Burger is there for you, and since they serve pie, too, you can end your eggs and bacon with a nice slice of cherry or apple pie.
Omelette Shoppe Founded in Traverse City, this restaurant specializes in breakfast and wants you to know it! Grand Rapids boasts two locations of this breakfast spot and if you have yet to stop in, be sure to try their cinnamon rolls when you do, they are simply wonderful!
Real Food Cafe Open Tuesday thru Sunday from 6:00 AM to 2 PM, this Alger Heights landmark now has two locations with a sister store located in the Plainfield corridor. Be sure to come bearing cash as credit is not accepted, though an ATM is located just inside each location. If you’re looking for flavor, be sure to try the Bananas Foster Pancakes – your tastebuds haven’t danced until they’ve danced to the delightful flavors running through these delightful pastries!Wolfgang’s Restaurant
Originally called Just Breakfast, this
restaurant has been in the family and serving delicious, hearty breakfast for over 39 years. Located in Eastown, this restaurant is quite popular with families and the college crowd. Look for traditional breakfasts along with fun specials at this landmark restaurant.
Lunch and Midday Snacks
Corner Bar Located in downtown Rockford, perfectly situated on a corner and known for amazing hot dogs, this great restaurant has both a walk up window with a limited menu and a sit down area located inside. If you’re lucky you might witness someone attempting to eat their way through 12 hot dogs and win the standing hot dog eating contest and get their picture on the wall of fame!
Culver’s with multiple locations throughought the midwest, there is likely a Culver’s near you. Culver’s Flavor of the Day custard is a favorite in many a household. Some Culver’s even offer a ‘happy hour’ on their small shakes and/or deals on their pints of Custard. Families love the free frozen yogurt scoop with kids’ meals. Check with your local Culver’s for their local deals!
Grand Traverse Pie Company Started in Traverse City, this wonderful cafe serves pie by the slice, or whole if you prefer. They also serve quiche, pot pie, and seasonal pasties along with delightful and delectable pastries. But though they’re known for pies, their sandwiches, salads and soups are top notch and worth stopping in for. The broccoli cheese soup is especially delicious, especially when you end your meal with a slice of peach crumb pie!
Olga’s Kitchen A Michigan born restaurant, this cafe features sandwich wraps made on their homemade bread, Greek inspired soups, and addictive Snackers served with almond cheese. In the Grand Rapids area Olga’s Kitchen can be found in East Grand Rapids and at Woodland Mall.
Pizza Ranch Ever find yourself longing for an endless supply of pizza? And soda? And the best fried chicken you’ve ever had? Pizza Ranch will come to your rescue! And because they care about your health, they also have a salad bar. And because they know you need dessert they also have dessert pizza and ice cream. Pizza Ranch on 28th street currently offers kids eat free on Tuesdays and all Pizza Ranches have a rewards program where points add up and surprises are given on your birthday.
Steak ‘n Shake Offering burgers and shakes, there’s a good chance, there’s one of these great greasy spoons near you. There’s something a little extra special about the Cookies and Creme shake; if you ever get a chance to try it, chances are you’ll go back for another.
Happy Hour and Evening Casual Eats
Applebee’s Grill and Bar With locations throughout most of the United States, it’s an easy choice for vacation travels. Grand Rapids locations sponsor kids nights on Tuesdays, in which kids eat for just $1.49 – $2.49/each. A favorite appetizer that is still on the menu after more than twenty years is the creamy, cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip; copied by many a restaurant, it has been perfected by Applebee’s.
Bagger Dave’s Mitten state born and raised, this build-your-own burger joint has stretched out it’s wings and expanded into other states. Known for craft sodas and hand cut french fries, don’t forget to also try the fresh fried sweet potato chips with Honey Cinnamon Salt Sauce or Caramel Sauce. And your kids won’t forget the train that travels along a track located near the ceiling – look up and be entertained!
Buffalo Wild Wings Like them hot or not? Like them bone out or bone in? No matter how you like your wings BDubs has you covered. But did you know that BDubs has more than just wings? People could burst into song about the variety of apps and other eats BDubs offers; mini corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, nachos, burgers, chicken sandwiches, fried mushrooms, pretzels, onion rings, 3 types of fried potatoes, fried cheese curds, wraps, and if you’re feeling healthy they even have salads! It’s no wonder BDubs is a popular game day spot! And with all the TV’s throughout the restaurant and the provided crayons and coloring paper, your kiddos are sure to never be bored.
Red Robin Known for great burgers and steak fries, you may not know that Red Robin has an extensive, kid friendly kids menu, too. Kids don’t have to have fries as their side, there are other, healthy and yummy sides they could have, and if they finish their side and want more, it works just like the bottomless fries – ask for another, and you will get another!
Please always double check with restaurants about deals mentioned on GrandRapidsKids.com, as they may change at any time.
Russ’ Restaurants Family Diner If you grew up in West Michigan, you’re probably familiar with this family friendly restaurant. Russ’ has family friendly prices, and easy-to-please food. Setting up kids with crayons and coloring paper right away, they’re also given crackers to abate their hunger and help meal time go better. Russ’ seasonal lasagne has a wonderfully homemade flavor and their chicken and rice soup is just the right thing for take out when you’re sick and in bed. Russ’ home style cooking is a West Michigan tradition!
Twisted Rooster If you ever get the chance to go with a large group and eat your way through the appetizer menu at Twisted Rooster, it would be an adventure you will not forget. During regular and late night happy hour all appetizers are only $4/each. Highly recommended on the appetizer menu are the Maple Mustard Fried Pickles (amazing), the Tater Tots (so creamy), and the Flash Fried Calamari (just wow).
Now with five locations in the Grand Rapids area, this West Michigan restaurant
specializes in Italian pastas, appetizers, and pizzas. Uccello’s has great kids and lunch specials that make it a popular spot for families. Check out their pizza puffs for appetizer goodness and the Chicken Marsala for a delicate and delicious sauce over succulent, perfect chicken.
Amazing Breweries and Other Artisanal Eats
Big Bob’s Pizza Have you been to Big Bob’s Pizza? The Taco Pizza is simply wonderful! Bob’s Pizza is located close enough to Reed’s lake to get a pizza to go and enjoy your pizza by the lake. However, if you enjoy your pizza inside, the staff at Big Bob’s will treat you like family.
Downtown Market Not technically a single restaurant, the Downtown Market is actually a collection of small restaurants and shops conveniently clustered together in one location. The Downtown Market is a great place to go for a meal when your family just cannot agree on where to eat. Bonus: you can eat on the balcony with a view of the city, or eat overlooking the food court. Wherever you decide to get your food from at the Downtown Market, you’ll be sure to get some amazing and unique eats.
Harmony Hall Harmony Hall pairs the tasty brews of Harmony Brewing Company, with family-friendly German fare. Beer plus a menu that the kids and adults will enjoy (sausages, anyone?) is why this place is popular among, well, everyone. Try their house-made soft pretzel. Better yet, order two – you’ll devour them both, anyway!
The Electric Cheetah This is where kids can get their own craft beer…er, root beer! Known not just for their delicious craft root beer (including some on tap!), The Electric Cheetah earned its reputation through their craft mac and cheese dishes that are craved by adults and children alike. And if mac and cheese sounds a little young for you, the rest of their menu is sure to please, with “real food prepared from scratch using high quality, natural, local and organic ingredients.”
Gus’s Original Founded by the son of the owner of Red Hot Inn, this pizza joint off the East Beltline andLeonard has a variety of unique pizzas and sandwiches, a full coffee bar, and boasts old fashioned ice cream from Moo-ville Creamery. Build your own pizza, or try one off the menu; if you like BBQ, pizza, you’ll love Gus’s version!
The B.O.B. Although the B.O.B. is a collection of restaurants and not a single, standalone restaurant, this Gilmore Collection building holds family-friendly goodness. Bobarinos, specifically has wonderful mac-n-cheese for the kiddos, and some great pizzas for both kids and adults alike. Being able to get veggies and dips for the kids as a side is a plus to this restaurant that no parent can ignore. If you can handle the spice, the Buffalo Chicken Rolls are possibly the best appetizer in the whole Gilmore Collection.
The Score Now offering valet parking, The Score has become a Northside hotspot! Beach volleyball, vast amounts of outside seating, and really tasty pizza have launched The Score into one of the top spots for kid-friendly eats in the Grand Rapids area!
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