“Not only is Grand Rapids known for having tasty beer…”
Being a native of Grand Rapids who was blessed to live here my whole 20 years of my life, I have quickly learned one thing: I love my city. Michigan is a wonderful place to call home – at least for myself – and there is no other place I would rather spend my life. Not only do we have 4 great lakes touching the mitten that make for beautiful camping trips, but we also have cute little towns touching the lake shores, thousands of inland lakes, and great developing cities. One of those developing cities would be Grand Rapids, and I might be a little biased with saying it is the best city in Michigan, but I think many other people would also agree with me. The west side of the mitten is so beautiful and near so many great attractions. Being located in Grand Rapids means you are only 30 minutes from gorgeous lakeshore cities like Grand Haven and Holland, close to many camping spots, 50 minutes from the state capital, and living in the #1 beer city of the USA. Not only is Grand Rapids known for having tasty beer, but GR also some of the best coffee and coffee hangouts. Considering I am from the Grand Rapids area, and I now go to school downtown, it is safe to say I am an avid coffee shop tester. I try to go to at least two new shops a week now that I am downtown because it is a good place to write blogs, get work done, and try some new beans!! So here is my top 5 coffee shops in downtown Grand Rapids and places I recommend to go.
5) Lyon Street Cafe
I really enjoy the Lyon Street Cafe. It is right by GRCC’s campus and is within walking distance to many businesses. With a smaller space, sometimes it is hard or uncomfortable to find a spot to lay out your work, but they always provide good service. A major perk to LSC is the fact that they provide free (but limited) parking behind their building.
4) The Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge
Okay, the Lantern has to be one of my favorite spots. With a cozy feel, the Lantern never disappoints. They have one of the best selections of black coffee in GR and are relatively cheap. The Lantern is different from other coffee shops because they provide most of their seating in the basement of an old building. The cozy feel comes from the old-fashioned lamps that they have displayed everywhere. The Lantern really is a “feel good” place.
2) The Rowers Club
The Rowers Club is tied for second because there are WAY too many things I love about this hangout. It is right across from the GVSU Downtown campus, which makes it a great place for college students to get off campus and still be nearby. Also, it is in a very modern building with all wood, and metal décor which gives it a much different feel than many coffee shops in GR. Rowers Club also has a great variety of drinks that are reasonably priced. Anything from loose-leaf tea to a shot of espresso you can find here, and they also carry seasonal specials, which is so fun!
2) The Sparrows
Located in the heart of East-town (and now on Bridge Street!!!), The Sparrows is one of the most unique coffee shops in GR. Being in an old building, they have really kept up with the “traditional” coffee shop feel. The Sparrows still has all the original floors, windows, and doors in the building, making it so different from the typical, modern looking shops we see everywhere these days.
The Sparrows also provides a twist from the modern coffee shop with providing a “news stand” on the side of the shop, so you can read your favorite magazine just like offered in the old days. They also have a great selection of loose leaf tea, and are very reasonably priced.
1) Ferris Coffee & Nut
Now, this is one of my most recent, but definitely my favorite, coffees shop I have been to. Ferris Coffee & Nut not only provides you with a really large selection of types of espresso, but they have numerous black coffee flavors that are very unique (like the one I tried today “Guatemalan San Miguel”). They also have two sides to the shop, one being the coffee bar and the other being a store where they offer nuts, chocolate, pastries, and many other goodies. I think by far this is one of the most underrated coffee shops because they have so many different options (both food and drink wise), they have both a modern and old school feel with the set up and decor of the shop, and they have amazing service. If you haven’t tried Ferris yet, it most definitely needs to be next on your list.
With all that I am,