Words by Marissa Bergen.
Eating can be a necessary function, or it can be a dining adventure. When thinking of the West Michigan area, there are plenty of unique and interesting places to eat. Here are just a few you can take the family to for a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Café Louis: Located in Kentwood, Café Louis is a great place to eat, drink and…do laundry?? Odd as that may sound, the café actually has an adjacent laundry room that is great for multi-taskers. They also have high speed, wi-fi, large screen TV’s a fireplace and great crepes and coffee!
The Score: If you like sports-themed dining, The Score is the place to be. The Grand Rapids restaurant has an outdoor entertainment venue that holds a dining area, 3 full sized beach volleyball courts and features live entertainment 7 days a week. Oh, and don’t forget about their exceptional menu!
Japanese Steakhouses: If you have not experienced a Japanese steakhouse, you are definitely well advised to add it to your bucket list. There’s nothing quite like watching these chefs prepare food right in front of you. There are a variety of restaurants in West Michigan that offer this unique dining experience including Fujiyama, Shanghai Ichiban, and Osaka all of which are located in Grand Rapids.
Chapbook Café: Eat smart and get smart while enjoying this unique dining experience. Located inside of Grand Rapids’ Schuler Books, this is a great place to get a fresh meal while browsing a terrific selection of books.
Bagger Dave’s: At Bagger Dave’s, it’s really the atmosphere that sells it. This is a burger restaurant your kids will love due to the trains overhead in the dining area which makes for unique décor, to say the least! The menu also includes some interesting specialty soda options that will bring a smile to anyone’s face. Michigan locations include Berkley, Birch Run, Cascade Township, Chesterfield and Grand Blanc.
Yesterdog: No ordinary hot dog stand, this Easttown eatery was made famous when it was featured as a main hang out for the characters in the movie America Pie. The restaurant is known for its vintage décor, great food and a simple six option menu.
Boatwerks: We’ve all heard of drive-through diners, but sail through?? Boatwerks accommodations are such that boats can drive up to the shore located right outside its entrance. The constant waterway traffic will provide constant entertainment throughout your delicious meal. The Grand Rapids restaurant also hosts live music and other events.
Craig’s Cruisers: When kids hear the family is going to Craig’s Cruisers, they are likely to jump out of their seats! This family fun center is a great place to go-kart, and play miniature golf and arcade games. Surprisingly enough, it also has great food including pizza and a salad buffet. The facility has locations in Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, and Silver Lake.
The Ice Cream Caboose: Going out for ice cream is fun, but it can be even more fun when you get to eat your frozen treats inside of a bright red train car! Open during the summer only, be sure to stop by this Alto, MI shop to enjoy ice cream, hamburgers, fries and more. Make a day of it by stopping by the nearby Boulder Ridge Animal Park.
Sandy Point Beach House: Nowhere else can you quite get that beach house experience as with West Olive’s Sandy Point Beach House. Not only can you enjoy the delicious food they serve, but they have areas where you can play bocce ball in the sand. Special bocce ball sets are provided for families with supervised kids.
Woody’s Press Box: When most think of food in a bowling alley, we think of the usual fare of hot dogs, burgers and pizza. Woody’s Press Box changes it up by offering a diverse menu including salads, wraps, soups, sandwiches, appetizers and, of course, pizza. They also host live music events. This cool little eatery is located at Spectrum Lanes Bowling Alley in Wyoming, MI.
Stella’s Lounge: Somewhat legendary in its hometown of Grand Rapids, this restaurant is known, not only for its great burgers, terrific vegetarian food and a wide selection of whiskey, it also has a great atmosphere. From its vintage arcade game to the rock n’ roll music that plays in the background, it’s an ideal place to grab a meal or spend a fun night on the town.
Salt of the Earth: The farm to table movement may be taking over in a big way, but you will literally see it happen at this Fennville restaurant. Eat a variety of fresh foods surrounded by West Michigan farmland while enjoying their live musical entertainment and other events.
Golden Harvest Restaurant: The long lines can attest to this Lansing spot’s selection of excellent food, but what sets the restaurant apart is its funky décor and underground playlist. The space serves brunch and breakfast and guarantees a party every morning!
Henderson Castle Inn and Winery: The Henderson Castle is a unique experience in and of itself. Established in 1895 and located in Kalamazoo, this historic piece of architecture has quite a history in the West Michigan community. It currently serves as a bed and breakfast and offers dining options like High Tea Service, Breakfast at the Castle and Henderson Castle Sunday Brunch. The castle also offers fine dining at the H Primerib Chophouse which is also located on the property.
Why just eat out when you can make it an adventure? West Michigan clearly has a number of places where you can eat delicious food while enjoying a unique atmosphere that takes it up a notch. Make your next meal one to remember by making it a priority to visit one of these dining destinations for your next meal.
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