The Grand Rapids Dining Guide for Families, Dates, Outdoor Eats, Allergy-Friendly Spots and More

Your Guide to Grand Rapids Dining

Picking a place to go out to eat in Grand Rapids is nearly impossible. We have so many tasty options these days!

I love the deliciously familiar places that have been a staple in my life (I will love you forever, San Chez), all while still wanting to try every single new spot that pops up.

West Side Social Tavern

I also don’t have an endless supply of babysitters, so sometimes my kids tag along–which brings up another set of criteria when it comes to picking a spot to dine out.

Will they have a high chair? Do they have food my kids will eat? Will they be entirely out of place? 

Corelife Eatery

We pulled all our resources on dining out in the Grand Rapids area and put them right here. We broke it down by category (date night? kids? food allergies?) to make finding the perfect restaurant for any occasion a piece of cake!

Navigate the List

To make browsing easier, we broke the list into sections. Use these buttons to get to the section you’re interested in faster.

Restaurants and Eatery Ideas That Kids and Adults Will Love

Looking for a place that’s great for your kids? From where you can feed those constantly growing bodies inexpensively (or free!) to where you can find options to accommodate any food allergy–we’ve got you covered!

teens kids volunteer grand rapids

West Michigan is a mecca for unique dining experiences that are great for the whole family! You can grab the best burger in Grand Rapids from Stella’s Lounge and challenge your kids to a game in their retro arcade. Or stop at the iconic Yesterdog in Eastown for a gourmet hot dog to make you feel like a kid again.

Want a meal out as a family but have food sensitivities to be mindful of? There are a growing number of restaurants going the extra mile to provide allergy-friendly service. From locally-owned favorites, like Noble and The Old Goat, to chain restaurants, you can get great eats for everyone!

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our HUGE list of where to get cheap or even better, FREE, kids meals any day of the week. When I need a break from cooking, this is the first place I look!

There are even more kid-friendly spots around Grand Rapids — including where you can get a taste of ‘The D’ right here in West Michigan. PLUS, some innovative ice cream creations for when that sweet tooth strikes.

Beer aficionados need not worry – the local brewery scene has a lot of family-friendly breweries around Grand Rapids, too.

Date Night Restaurants and Other Places Adults Love to Eat

It’s so important to leave the kids behind from time to time! Here are some of our top places to indulge your taste buds when you have a babysitter at home.

Our Big List of Grand Rapids Restaurants makes it easy to find an eatery near you – we’ve broken it down by location and mapped them out! Downtown? Bistro Bella Vita or Luna are great options. On the Westside? Butcher’s Union is a must.

You can taste or cook your way through several of the options on our 101 Interesting Date Night Ideas list! Coffee and dessert are the sweetest way to end a date night. Or get hands-on and make your own pasta, chocolate truffles, and cheese at the Local Epicurean.

Another interesting idea is to get a flight – an indecisive diner’s dream! (That’s me.) Surprisingly, there are several places around town with food flights – pizza, wine, grits and more.

Personally, I want a place with a solid mac and cheese dish. Not for the kids – for me! We did a huge taste test of local creations and found the best adult mac n cheese around Grand Rapids.

Outdoor Restaurant Picks – Patios, Decks and Some Waterfront Views

While there are many ways to my heart: a good restaurant patio is near the top of the list. I will always wait a little longer to sit in the sunshine! There are a TON of outdoor dining options with patio, decks, and even those with a view of the water, in Grand Rapids and by the Lakeshore.

I love how the Food Truck scene has skyrocketed in Grand Rapids! As the weather warms up, you’ll want to make sure you grab a bite from the 10 Hottest Food Trucks in Town. Everyone (picky kids included) will find something they love!

Restaurants and Caterers for Those Large Groups

Holiday and Special Occasion Eats

Grand Rapids is full of fun places to have a special meal–whether it’s a birthday, a baby shower, or celebrating a holiday. You can enjoy a Mother’s Day Brunch, a nice Easter meal or breakfast with Santa

My friend group started going out for baby showers instead of making someone host…and it’s the best idea we’ve ever had! No one has to stress and prep and clean their house.

And if you do decide to keep things at home but want to pass on the cooking, our Big List of Grand Rapids Caterers is full of reader favorites.

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