Grand Rapids' Hidden Gems

By Jesse Sheridan on March 29, 2018

When you want to venture outside of the Dining Commons and your last bit of library focus disappears, don't fret. Grand Rapids has countless places that offer delicious food, magnificent lattes and splendid study vibes.

As an experienced barista and self-proclaimed food guru, I have taken my own knowledge and experiences and compiled a list of the top 10 hidden gems in Grand Rapids.

In no particular order, here's what made the cut.

1. Lyon Street Café

If you're looking for a quality latte and good vibes, Lyon Street Café is definitely the place for you. Located just outside of downtown, it's inviting aesthetic makes it the perfect place to stay warm and study hard.

2. Madcap Coffee

With three locations in GR, Madcap is the ultimate, hipster hangout. It offers delicious, hand-crafted beverages and a calming, study environment.

3. Downtown Market

The Downtown Market is the perfect place to take a Sunday afternoon stroll and grab a bite to eat. With options from pizza and barbeque, to seafood and Thai, to ice cream and cake, the market offers something for everyone.

4. Wolfgang's Restaurant

When you're craving mom's homemade French toast, I'd suggest heading to Wolfgang's. It might not be your mom's, but as the hottest breakfast spot in Eastown, it's sure to come pretty close. With a menu that offers virtually every breakfast favorite, it's a must-visit during your time in Grand Rapids.

5. The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand

Wealthy Street is lined with fantastic hidden gems. The Sparrows mirrors a coffee shop straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Its inviting atmosphere makes it the perfect place to read a good book or spend time catching up with a friend.

6. The Electric Cheetah

Continuing with the Wealthy Street theme, Electric Cheetah is the best deli spot in town. It's lunch and dinner menus are packed full of delectable sandwiches and salads, and mac and cheese that's out of this world. Oh, and don't forget to add a side of sweet potato fries (my personal favorite).

7. Gus's Original

You're probably not going to find Gus's on any other Grand Rapids restaurant list, but in my opinion, this place is underrated. It offers generous portions of tasty items, like soup, salad, sandwiches and pizza. The best part is, it's located catty-corner to Cornerstone and students get 20% off.

8. The Bitter End Coffeehouse

Located on the West Side of Grand Rapids, the bitter end is the ideal spot for late-nighters. Its coffee and tea-filled menu, along with its 24/7 schedule, makes it the perfect place to cram during finals week (or any week really).

9. Anna's House

With six locations in West Michigan, Anna's House is a classic that you don't want to miss out on. The restaurant is a crowd-pleaser, with its wide-variety of breakfast and lunch choices. It's well-known for its gigantic cinnamon roll and numerous gluten-free and vegan options.

More than likely, you're going to have to wait for a table, but trust me, it's worth it.

10. Ferris Coffee & Nut

If you're searching for the perfect hipster coffee shop, Ferris Coffee & Nut is the place for you. Its pleasing architecture makes for a relaxing environment, perfect for long study days. The downtown location is nice, but I prefer the original shop on the West Side (plus, there's free parking).

Whatever it is you're looking for, Grand Rapids is sure to have the answer. So, get out and enjoy one of the numerous places that are sure to hit the spot.

Category: Student Perspectives