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Readers PICK BEST New Restaurant:
If you haven’t tried the amazing fare at Grove yet — well, shame on you.

Best of Grand Rapids
More than 200 reasons to love this city!
Your collective voice roared in nominating people, places and things from all corners of West Michigan.

By Dana Blinder and GRM staff
Photography by Johnny Quirin

The People’s Vote

A good time in Grand Rapids comes in many forms — downtown for drinks, dinner and dancing, at a book store with a buddy and a good cup of coffee, or cigar smokin’ and motorcycle ridin’.

We love this city as much as you do, but with a readership of almost 50,000 and a staff small enough to fit comfortably inside a coffee shop, we turn to you for an expert consensus when crafting our annual Best of Grand Rapids list.

The experts come in many forms, too, from the rough handwriting of dudes casting votes for best men’s apparel to the whimsical script proclaiming “my dad” as the best landscaping company.

Your collective voice roared in nominating people, places and things from all corners of West Michigan. This year we added eight new categories, capturing a wider range of tastes (literally) and preferences. And like last year, we weighed in with additional staff picks highlighting some quirky favorites around town.

Flip through this year’s guide. Rejoice knowing the pizza place you voted for made it, take faith in the fact that your dentist missing recognition means you’ll still be able to easily get an appointment, act on a new place or company listed and trust the collective opinion of Grand Rapids Magazine readers — after all, we certainly do.

Dining
Appetizers
The Best: San Chez
Other favorites: Bonefish Grill
Bistro Bella Vita

Bakery
The Best: Wealthy Street Bakery
Other favorites: Nantucket Baking Co.
Marge’s Donut Den

Breakfast
The Best: Real Food Café
Other favorites: Wolfgang’s
The Omelette Shoppe

Burger
The Best: Cottage Bar
Other favorites: Stella’s Lounge
Mr. Burger

Chef
The Best: Andrea McFarland/Women’s City Club
Other favorites: Eric Chaitin/Watermark Country Club
Tommy Fitzgerald/Café Stella

Chicken Wings
The Best: Buffalo Wild Wings
Other favorites: Wing Heaven
Quaker Steak & Lube

Date Night Restaurant
The Best: Leo’s
Other favorites: Bistro Bella Vita
Red’s on the River

Delicatessen
The Best: Schnitz Deli
Other favorites: Cherry Deli
Marie Catrib’s

Ice Cream Shop
The Best: Jersey Junction
Other favorites: Sundaes at the Cottage
Spoonlickers

New Restaurant
The Best: Grove
Other favorites: Trillium Haven
Crooked Goose

Outdoor/Deck Seating
The Best: Rose’s
Other favorites: Blue Water Grill
The Score

Pizza
The Best: Vitale’s/Vitale’s of Ada
Other favorites: Uccello’s
JT’s Pizza & Spirits

Ribs
The Best: Sam’s Joint
Other favorites: Brann’s
Famous Dave’s

Salsa
The Best: Beltline Bar
Other favorites: El Burrito Loco
Little Mexico

Sandwich
The Best: Schnitz Deli
Other favorites: Marie Catrib’s
Electric Cheetah

Seafood
The Best: Leo’s
Other favorites: Charley’s Crab
Bonefish Grill

Soup
The Best: Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop
Other favorites: Marie Catrib’s
Panera Bread

Steak
The Best: The Chop House
Other favorites: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Louis Benton Steakhouse

 

Readers PICK BEST Restaurant wine list:
102 wines means many trips to Reserve —
we’re OK with that.

Drinking
Bar/Pub/Joint/Watering Hole
The Best: HopCat
Other favorites: Founders Brewing Co.
The Winchester

Beer & Wine Merchant
The Best: Martha’s Vineyard
Other favorites: G.B. Russo & Son
The Crushed Grape

Brewery
The Best: Founders Brewing Co.
Other favorites: Brewery Vivant
HopCat

Coffeehouse
The Best: Biggby Coffee
Other favorites: MadCap Coffee Co.
Kava House

Restaurant Wine List
The Best: Reserve Wine & Food
Other favorites: Bar Divani
Bistro Bella Vita

Services
Animal Clinic
The Best: Cascade Hospital for Animals
Other favorites: Southkent Veterinary Hospital
Plymouth Road Animal Clinic

Auto Repair
The Best: Verburg’s Automotive Services
Other favorites: Kool Chevrolet/Toyota
Community Automotive Repair

Bank
The Best: Macatawa Bank
Other favorites: Fifth Third Bank
Chase

Barber
The Best: Jude’s Barbershop
Other favorites: Great Clips
Forest Hills Barber Shop

Car Wash
The Best: Southland Auto Wash
Other favorites: Cascade Car Wash
Waterworks Car Wash

Caterer
The Best: Brann’s
Other favorites: Ramona’s Table
Applause Catering+Events

Chiropractic Center
The Best: Halliday Health Solutions
Other favorites: Harrison Chiropractic
Discover Chiropractic Center

Credit Union
The Best: Lake Michigan Credit Union
Other favorites: Consumers Credit Union
Option 1 Credit Union

Dentist
The Best: Thomas J. Lambert
Other favorites: Michael J. Crete
Bradley A. Dykstra

Dermatologist
The Best: Richard J. Ashack
Other favorites: Evelyn Vanderveen
Robert Lamberts

Dry Cleaner
The Best: Sheldon Cleaners
Other favorites: Curtis Cleaners
Afendoulis Cleaners & Tuxedos

Hair Salon
The Best: Design 1 Salon Spa
Other favorites: Panopoulos Salons
Attitudes Hair Studio

Housecleaning Service
The Best: Cascade Fresh Cleaning Co.
Other favorites: Merry Maids
Molly Maid of Southern Kent County

 

Readers PICK BEST Landscape Company:
Everettís Landscape Management: the cure for all brown thumbs.

Landscaping Company
The Best: Everett’s Landscape Management
Other favorites: Rooks Landscaping
Harder and Warner Landscaping

Law Firm
The Best: Varnum
Other favorites: Miller Johnson
McShane and Bowie

Manicure/Pedicure
The Best: Design 1 Salon Spa
Other favorites: Douglas J Aveda
Kim’s Nail & Spa

Plastic Surgeon
The Best: Bradley P. Bengtson
Other favorites: John D. Renucci
Scott R. Brundage

Real Estate Company
The Best: RE/MAX of Grand Rapids
Other favorites: Five Star Real Estate
Coldwell Banker

Retirement Community
The Best: Clark Retirement Community
Other favorites: MapleCreek
Porter Hills Retirement Communities & Services

Tattoo Parlor
The Best: Mos Eisleys
Other favorites: Screaming Needle Tattoo Co.
Love Tattoo

 

Readers PICK BEST Cigar Shop:
Stogie fans: Buffalo Tobacco Traders has four walk-in humidors + 40 years of experience.

Shopping
Antique Shop
The Best: Windsor Cottage
Other favorites: Bluedoor
Eastown Antiques

Art Gallery
The Best: LaFontsee Galleries
Other favorites: Gallery 154
Grand Gallery

Auto Dealership
The Best: Betten Imports
Other favorites: Fox Motors
Todd Wenzel Automotive

Bicycle Shop
The Best: Village Bike & Fitness
Other favorites: Freewheeler Bike Shop
Ada Bike Shop

Bookstore
The Best: Schuler Books & Music
Other favorites: Barnes & Noble
Kregel Parable Christian Stores

Cigar Shop
The Best: Buffalo Tobacco Traders
Other favorites: Tuttle’s Select Cigars & Tobaccos
Grand River Cigar

Florist
The Best: Eastern Floral
Other favorites: Kennedy’s Flower Shop
Daylily Floral

Furniture Store
The Best: Talsma Furniture
Other favorites: Design Quest
Northwestern Home Furnishings

Garden Center
The Best: Fruit Basket-Flowerland
Other favorites: Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
Countryside Greenhouse

Grocery Store
The Best: Meijer
Other favorites: D&W Fresh Market
Forest Hills Foods

Gourmet Food Shop
The Best: G.B. Russo & Son
Other favorites: Horrocks Market
Martha’s Vineyard

Home Accessories
The Best: Wealthy At Charles
Other favorites: UbU Home Furnishings
Daylily Floral

Home Audio/Video Store
The Best: AVI Group
Other favorites: Best Buy
Decker & Sons

Jewelry Store
The Best: Herkner Jewelers
Other favorites: DeVries Jewelers
Preusser Jewelers

Men’s Apparel
The Best: A.K. Rikk’s
Other favorites: JoS. A. Bank
Fitzgerald’s Men’s Store

Motorcycle Dealership
The Best: Grand Rapids Harley-Davidson
Other favorites: Fox Shawmut Hills
Village Motor Sports

Resale/Consignment
The Best: Windsor Cottage
Other favorites: Gild The Lily
Goodwill

Women’s Apparel
The Best: Leigh’s
Other favorites: Younkers
Hot Mama

Getting Out
Golf Course
The Best: Thousand Oaks Golf Club
Other favorites: Egypt Valley Country Club
The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe

Fitness Club
The Best: YMCA
Other favorites: MVP
East Hills Athletic Club

Museum
The Best: Grand Rapids Public Museum
Other favorites: Grand Rapids Art Museum
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Outdoor Festival
The Best: ArtPrize
Other favorites: Festival of the Arts
Celebration on the Grand

Performing Arts
The Best: Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
Other favorites: Grand Rapids Symphony
Grand Rapids Ballet

Public Park
The Best: Millennium Park
Other favorites: Rosa Parks Circle
John Ball Zoological Garden

Shopping Mall
The Best: Woodland Mall
Other favorites: RiverTown Crossings
Breton Village

Tourist Attraction
The Best: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Other favorites: ArtPrize
John Ball Zoo

   
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