Under normal circumstances, our Table piece is devoted to a local restaurant, but as our June issue went into production, we were staring at an unfamiliar scenario. All of our restaurants were under orders to operate as carryout-only businesses due to COVID-19. When this magazine reaches your mailbox, we don’t know if restaurants will be open for dine-in service again or if they will still be operating as carryout-only spots — or if some of them will have succumbed to the economic ripple effects of the virus.
So instead of offering you a profile of one restaurant, we decided to take a look at some of the city’s best carryout spots and what makes them so great. We hope that all of these locations have weathered the storm and thank all of the food service professionals for their service.
El Granjero Mexican Grill
950 Bridge St. NW
Owned by mother-daughter team Mercedes Lopez-Duran and Paola Mendivil, this Mexican hotspot is located on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Though customers often fill El Granjero’s dining room, the restaurant has a robust carryout service — it even has a drive thru window for to-go orders. The restaurant is known for its tortilla chips, which it makes on site using locally sourced tortillas from El Milago — cutting them into wedges and then frying them until they are lightly crisped. It also offers authentic Mexican dishes, some of which are prepared using ancient tools like the molcajete (a large mortar and pestle).
The Mitten Brewing Co.
527 Leonard St. NW
The Mitten is a great spot for takeout on the city’s West Side. Not only can you order one of its creative pizzas, like the popular Westerdog, but the restaurant recently added new equipment behind the bar that allows it to offer 16-ounce cans of any of the beers on tap, in addition to already packaged beer. So, grab a pizza and your choice of beer on your way out.
950 Wealthy St SE
Erb Thai celebrated its 10th anniversary in April. The Thai restaurant is a popular spot for takeout along the Wealthy Street corridor, offering gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes alongside traditional favorites. It has an extensive menu for a carryout restaurant. If you are short on time, this is a great option as most orders are ready within 10 minutes.
570 Grandville Ave. SW
A relative newcomer, Mudpenny Café is located on the city’s southwest side. The café serves up breakfast and lunch items like sandwiches, wraps and salads. If you’re stopping in for takeout on the way into work, it has great pancake options as well as a build-your-own breakfast sandwich. And, of course, a coffee to-go is a great addition to your order. Mudpenny has plans to open a second location this summer in Ada, too.
Taqueria San Jose
1338 S. Division Ave.
A Mexican taco stand housed in a converted gas station, Taqueria San Jose is a delicious takeout option. It’s also a budget-friendly option, with everything on the menu priced under $10. While this taco shop might look small, it’s menu is mighty, offering everything from pork, steak, beef and fish to goat, tongue and tripe, as well as veggie options. On a nice day, you can take your takeout directly outside and find a spot on one of several picnic benches set up for guests. This is a great outdoor communal dining spot.
Field & Fire Café
820 Monroe Ave. NW
This bright café located in the North Monroe neighborhood offers breakfast and lunch options. The pastry case is stocked daily with croissants, muffins, macarons and more, plus enjoy breakfast items like a breakfast burrito or skillet. If you are looking for heartier fare, choose from Field & Fire’s sandwich, salad or bowl options. And make sure to check out the daily specials.
New Hotel Mertens
35 Oakes St. SW
New Hotel Mertens is located in the midst of downtown Grand Rapids and is owned by Anthony Tangorra. The French restaurant includes an adjoining bakery where you can pick up a variety of pastry options to go. The restaurant also began offering a delivery service for its bakery items in August 2019. The restaurant aims to compete with national chains for the lunch crowd, offering delivery services during the morning and afternoon hours. The deliveries are made by an in-house team, rather than a third-party service. New Hotel Mertens Bakery offers items such as breakfast sandwiches, croissants, breads, build-your-own chopped salads, coffee and specialty French candies.
EASTOWN & GASLIGHT VILLAGE
Harmony Brewing Co.
1551 Lake Drive SE
Pizza and beer are a perfect pairing and Harmony Brewing Co. delivers both. Eastown’s Harmony enhanced its takeout service a few years ago with an expansion to accommodate carryout orders, and it added delivery service, as well. The service is offered seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. to the surrounding community. The brewery is known for its creative pizza options with a menu that includes 20 different pizzas, as well as several different beer options.
1505 Wealthy St. SE
If you are looking for a hotdog fix, there is no better option than Yesterdog. An Eastown staple since 1976, this restaurant is a no frills location that is full of charm. Your dog will be smothered in the toppings of your choice and is sure to leave you full. This also is one of your best bets if you are looking for late-night carryout. Yesterdog is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine
2228 Wealthy St. SE
Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine offers Mediterranean fare focused on “fresh greens, hearty grains and aromatic spices.” The restaurant is located in Gaslight Village and offers grilled meat dishes as well as a vegan/vegetarian menu. The restaurant is family owned and has its beginnings in Beirut, Lebanon.