What is it that makes dining not just something you have to do, but also a rich, fulfilling experience? Think of the meals that stand out in your memory. The ones that were made with the freshest ingredients, the ones that pushed boundaries exploring new flavor ideas, the ones enjoyed with families and friends, and the ones that were prepared with love and attention. West Michigan has an abundance of restaurants, farm-to-table offerings, and culinary tours which are sure to get your taste buds watering for your next visit to West Michigan.
A Hungry Village Tour is the perfect way to enhance your Saugatuck/Douglas vacation. Small groups maximize the tour experience. Hungry Village Tours offers an exceptional “behind the scenes” glimpse of local culture, food, wine, customs, and fun! Let them create a special tour for your group, or join a scheduled departure. Hungry Village Tours begins each tour at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, acknowledging its weekly Greenmarket, culinary arts connection, and the Center’s history as a pie factory. There are two tours available from all year long: One is a 3 hour “Culinary Walk”, exploring Saugatuck’s and Douglas’ culinary secrets behind their storefronts with demonstrations and tastings. The second option is a 6 hour “Delicious Drive,” featuring a tour of the lakeshore’s producers including farms, orchards, blueberry patches, vintners, brewers, creameries and other artisans. Contact Hungry Village Tours leader, David Geen, at 269-857-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is the age-old adage that you are what you eat. If those words hold even a little truth, then Food Dance in Kalamazoo thinks it’s time to take a closer look at what we’re putting on our plates. This is more than their work – it’s a bit of an obsession. Food Dance is fixated on finding honest-to-goodness fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs that come from the farm, not the factory. All this brought together to build a menu of thoughtfully constructed great tasting American food.To you it may be a unique and natural alternative to today’s chain invasion – to Food Dance it’s like changing the world – one meal at a time.
It isn’t just food that can boast local farm-to-table offerings, but also local beverages! At Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, they are committed to using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. They use midwestern grains in all of their spirits, and local ingredients are a large part of their food and cocktail menus. You can get a look into their process for yourself on one of their distillery tours, offered weekdays at 12:15pm and Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm and 5:00pm.
At Goldberry Woods: Bed & Breakfast, Microfarm, & Cottages, they know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they aspire to inspire you with every bite. They make everything from scratch and strive to use the freshest ingredients possible, many grown right on the premises. Even their breakfast sausages and bacon are produced locally. The animals are raised organically and humanely in Harbor Country. They are happy to accommodate any special dietary needs and will do so as creatively as possible. The breakfast menu at Goldberry Woods in Union Pier changes with the seasons but always includes a fresh fruit starter and a full, hot, made-from-scratch breakfast.
Take a foodie tour of the Fenville area, and we guarantee you’ll leave full and happy. Start with lunch or dinner at Salt of the Earth, located in the heart of southwest Michigan farm and orchard country. They cook from scratch to create their entrees, sandwiches, wood oven fired pizzas, creative soups, fresh salads, desserts, and artisan breads. Their ‘Specialty Sips’ menu includes a scratch margarita, fresh mojitos, and other seasonal cocktails made with Michigan craft beers, hard ciders, spirits, and wines. Salt of the Earth is also an entertainment destination presenting the finest roots musicians on the scene at weekly house concerts. When you’re done with your meal, head down the road to Crane’s Pie Pantry, where you’ll have your choice of over a dozen different styles of pie! Grab a slice to eat now, a whole pie to take home, or a frozen pie that you can bake right in your own oven. Your final stop is Fenn Valley Winery, who’s tasting room is open year-round for free samples of their award-winning wines and champagnes. Hop on one of their public winery tours, and get a behind-the-scenes look at making world-class wines, with plenty of tasting opportunities along the way!
Discover the Bistro on the Boulevard, an extraordinary dining experience in downtown St. Joseph, MI. Their seasonally changing menus feature one-of-a kind appetizers, entrees, and desserts made with locally sourced ingredients. The Bistro was named “Region’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant” by Shore Magazine and is one of only two Southwest Michigan restaurants to boast Wine Spectators award of excellence for “one of the best restaurant wine lists in the world.” The Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. When dining at the Bistro on the Boulevard you will enjoy meals prepared with local ingredients. Several farmers from Southwest Michigan deliver their meat and produce to the restaurant every week!
Arcadia Brewing Company was established in 1996 as a microbrewery specializing in handcrafted British-style ales. As well as craft beers, they also offer locally-sourced dishes at their two pub locations. In addition to harvesting from their own garden, they source from many local farms and bakeries to provide visitors with the freshest, high quality ingredients. They offer house-smoked BBQ and their own burgers, made with a custom blend of chuck and brisket ground fresh daily.
A Celebration of Culinary Crafts! The Midwest’s largest wine festival comes together November 20-22 with over 1,400 wines, beers, ciders and spirits from around the world, along with creations from the area’s finest restaurants at the International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. The event attracts thousands of food and wine enthusiasts and offers a vast array of extraordinary tastings, cooking demonstrations, wine and beer seminars, gourmet foods, specialty items and accessories. For more information, visit GRWineFestival.com. Keep an eye out for local chocolatiers from Grand Haven, Chocolates by Grimaldi, who will be on site offering their gourmet chocolates, including creamy truffles, buttery caramels, and their signature potato chips in chocolate.
Earth to Table Dining: Artfully Crafted Cuisine. Grove restaurant, located in Grand Rapids, is a tribute to the bounty of the earth’s harvest and how Grove brings that to the table with impeccable service, natural ingredients and innovative cuisine. Their seasonal, frequently changing selections hint at the classics with natural sauces and a slant toward sustainable seafood. They responsibly source as many ingredients as possible from local, family and sustainable farms and prepare each dish to demonstrate their respect for how these farmers raise or grow their products. Grove carefully pairs their daily, innovative menus with the best modern wines. Their beverage menu also includes eclectic and top-shelf liquors, their own housemade infused spirits, craft beers, pour-over coffee and espresso. They’re located in the heart of East Hills at 919 Cherry Street. Visit them online at grovegr.com or make a reservation by calling 616.454.1000.
Inspired, handcrafted foods that nurture both body and community. At Terra in Grand Rapids, they follow their passions – and the seasons – for only the freshest, health-filled ingredients from the region’s most dedicated growers. They pride themselves on distinctive fare, expertly crafted with passion, intellect and culinary skill. You’ll enjoy handcrafted meals that honor the purest ingredients from the finest regional farms and fields. Terra’s focus on seasonal offerings means they only use fresh, honest ingredients bursting with the flavors of each season. Not only will you find delicious dining at Terra, but also a community dedicated to the promotion and rewards of a health-conscious lifestyle.
Satisfyingly savory and always fresh, using Michigan made products with a twist—that’s what you can expect when dining at the Twisted Rooster in Grand Rapids. Twisted Rooster’s Executive Chef Dave Ogren and his culinary team work with local vendors and suppliers to provide guests with a decidedly tasty twist on classic American fare. Twisted Rooster’s mantra is to provide each guest with “Simply Impeccable Food & Drinks with Uncommon Hospitality.” Their locally sourced, scratch made menu is full of local flavor and includes vendors such as Byron Center Meats, R.W. Bakers, Faygo and Founders Brewing Company. Ogren said their menu is meant to emphasize their twisted “Commit to the Mitt” motto.
Fish Tacos are a must have at the Twisted Rooster. This house favorite #1 seller, consists of Founders Pale Ale battered flash-fried tasty Grouper, fresh pico de gallo, shredded white cheddar, housemade crispy noodle slaw, cilantro sour cream and tortilla chips. The Twisted House salad isn’t your typical house salad: it is made up of mixed greens; Traverse City dried cherries, Michigan grown apples, Roquefort bleu cheese, strawberries, cinnamon raisin bread croutons and toasted pecans tossed in a homemade cherry maple-vinaigrette dressing. The famous Twisted Mac & Cheese is a favorite for locavores everywhere. Twisted cavatappi noodles are blended with a bold white 5 cheese sauce, house smoked chicken, sweet peas, asparagus, cherry tomatoes with baked cheddar bread crumbs and fried parmesan. Needless to say, Twisted Rooster is a necessary stop on your next west Michigan road trip. Get more information at www.twisted-rooster.com.
Honest Fayre. Local Flair. At The Green Well they serve honest fayre with local flair in a neighborhood setting that keeps customers coming back. Their innovative gastro pub is green beyond its name: Their LEED® certified building is environmentally safe, ultra efficient and leaves behind the smallest possible carbon footprint. “Gastro pub” is British for a public house that specializes in high-quality food served in a relaxed atmosphere. The Green Well’s creative menu features a global range of eclectic flavors prepared with ingredients from local farmers. Over 20 rotating taps focus on Michigan brews, as well as a vast selection of bottles, ranging from local and American craft to traditional European styles. The wine list features creative flights that encourage multiple wine flavors paired with food. Classic cocktails are also available. Their greenness also spills over to their guests who benefit from affordable prices and outstanding service by a fun, welcoming staff. Located at 924 Cherry Street in East Hills.
Fresh. Natural. Local. Mediterranean Countryside Cuisine. At Bistro Bella Vita, they go above and beyond to deliver the ultimate dining experience with top-notch, personable service, whether it’s a simple pizza and beer with friends, or an elegant chef’s table meal perfectly paired with appropriate wines. Their vision is to be West Michigan’s most respected restaurant destination. Guests enjoy Bistro Bella Vita’s unique downtown atmosphere and their creative cuisine made exclusively from fresh, natural, ingredients purchased daily from local farmers in season. The culinary team creates authentic, scratch-made recipes that blend the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean countryside with a perfectly paired beverage offering served by a devoted staff whose passion is to ensure your complete satisfaction. They’re located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, just west of the Van Andel Arena on Grandville and Weston. Make your reservation online or call them at 616. 222. 4600.
Stop by San Chez Bistro for the most unique dining and entertainment venue in Grand Rapids. San Chez Bistro offers a blend of authentic European and Mediterranean cuisine in a fun, laid-back, and artful atmosphere. Take a break from fast food with breakfast and lunch by San Chez Café, made with the finest local ingredients, and prepared to order fresh seven days a week. Enjoy omelets, scrambles, pastries, bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit, or the best sandwiches and soups in town. Appreciate gourmet fair-trade coffee and whole leaf organic tea while you linger with free Wi-Fi, or hold a breakfast meeting in our comfy café.
CityVū Bistro is Holland’s hotspot for all things fresh. Fryers and frozen foods are out. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, creative menu concepts, and healthy yet delicious dishes are in. Their 100% whole grain, hearth-baked flatbread, topped with unique combinations of savory ingredients, is the ultimate edible plate. Now you can have your plate and eat it too! If flatbreads aren’t your forté, choose from a diverse array of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, and desserts. Regular menu revisions by their chef, including a monthly “Taste Of” feature highlighting the culinary nuances of international locales, will satisfy even the most discerning of palettes.
The JW Marriott signature restaurant, six.one.six, and destination lounge, mixology, offer the breathtaking blend of sophisticated urban ambience, palate-pleasing cuisine, as well as the finest wines and perfectly poured cocktails. But more than just a “pretty face,” six.one.six. takes its cuisine seriously. Dedicated to the concept of buying local, the chef’s pantry is bursting with locally grown ingredients, some of which are picked just a few feet away at the JW Chef’s Garden. The six.one.six. kitchen also participates in Sort, a recycling and composting program coordinated with Zeeland-headquartered Spurt Industries, which helps turn food scraps into top-quality soil for area parks. You’ll find dishes sourced from New Holland Brewery, Black Star Farms, Founder’s Brewery, and many more when you dine at six.one.six.
Downtown Market Grand Rapids offers farm to table dining, and everything in between. Visit in the spring and summer for their outdoor farmers market, where the best of everything fresh and local will be on display for purchase. The indoor Market Hall is open year-round, and offers everything from local produce, fish, meats, and cheese to restaurants serving tacos & thai food sourced from local ingredients. Downtown Market offers regular cooking classes & demonstrations to help you bring that fresh and local taste right into your own kitchen.
Not only can you tour a working dairy farm when you visit Country Dairy in New Era, you can taste the fruits of their labors in their Farm Store. Pick up your favorite cheeses, try one of their unique ice cream flavors, or visit the Fresh Meat Market for cuts of beef which are corn-fed and hormone free from Country Dairy’s own steer herd. They have a restaurant on site as well, so order a burger, wrap, or sandwich, and don’t forget about the bottomless cup of milk to go along with your meal!