Best of the best: Where we imbibe

Reserve Wine and Food was voted best wine bar in GRCourtesy Reserve

If you’re looking to vote in our 2024 Best of Grand Rapids campaign, click here.

Our readers were polled and chose these bars as the best places to imbibe in their favorite beers and/or cocktails:

1st Place: Garage Bar & Grill
This beyond casual neighborhood bar has some of the best bar food in town. The chicken strips are unparalleled and the atmosphere so friendly and laid back, it’s no wonder it was voted the best.
2nd place: Brewery Vivant & HopCat (tied)

Happy Hour
1st Place: Rockwell Republic
There are many reasons Rockwell Republic was voted best place for Happy Hour; Delicious appetizers and sushi is sold at extremely reasonable prices during happy hour is one of them. The craft cocktails are another. Some of the friendliest bartenders in all of downtown can be found at Rockwell Republic. Whether happy hour, during the dinner rush or after hours, it’s always a great place to visit.
2nd place: Butcher’s Union

Sports Bar
1st Place: The Score

A bar with TVs, tropical drinks, a volleyball court, palm trees, tiki torches and beach sand in Grand Rapids? Game on!
2nd place: Ucello’s

Bloody Mary
1st Place: Rockwell Republic Bar & Grill
2nd place: Sundance Grill & Bar

Craft Cocktails
1st Place: Long Road Distillery
It’s really fun to have drinks expertly mixed right in front of you while also enjoying a view of the distilling process. We write about Long Road a lot in our magazine. Do a search for them at These guys are doing things right!
2nd place: Buffalo Trader’s Lounge

1st Place: Long Road
2nd place: Eastern Kille

Hard Cider
1st Place: The People’s Cider Co.
This popular dry drinkable hard cider brand had its beginnings in the one-bedroom Heartside district apartment of owner Jason Lummen. It’s grown a bit since then and is now open at 539 Leonard Street NW, for to-go orders, outdoor seating with some limited indoor service, as well.
2nd place: Vander Mill

1st Place: Founders Brewing Co.
The granddaddy of all Grand Rapids craft breweries, Founders Brewery opened its taproom at its current location, 235 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, in 1998 with its founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers behind the bar serving the beer themselves. This hometown brewery has been going strong ever since and now distributes its beer throughout the nation and beyond.
2nd place: Brewery Vivant

Wine Bar
1st Place: Reserve Wine + Food
“Reserve has long built its foundation on an incredible wine list — more than 100 by the glass and a cellar list of more than 900 — but whether it is the food or the wine, it’s constantly been evolving,” wrote Pat Evans in the Nov/Dec 2022 issue of GR Magazine.
2nd place: House of Wine 


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