Want to eat some tacos, barbecue, pho, ice cream, sushi and pizza in one afternoon? Good news: you don’t have to drive all over town to sample these dishes–they are all in one spot; Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market. Walk, run, bike or drive with us as we eat our way through Grand Rapids’ very own public market. Make sure to bring your appetite!
Opened just a few years ago, Grand Rapids’ LEED Gold Certified Downtown Market has put us on the map regionally and nationally as a sustainable, community-oriented public market. What began as a vision of the nonprofit civic improvement organization, Grand Action, has turned into a viable business model helping small businesses and feeding the masses. Featuring 23 different vendors, restaurants and shops, the Downtown Market has something for everyone.
The Downtown Market offers several cuisines to sample from, including Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and Italian. Start off with a cup of dark, eye-opening coffee from Mapcap Coffee. Next, head over to Field & Fire Bakery for a buttery, rich croissant filled with decadent, rich chocolate or Sweetie-Licious Bake Shoppe for a slice of quiche or a muffin. This should tide you over until lunch. After browsing around, you may be hungry for lunch. Good thing, there are more options than we can write about. Want something spicy? Grab some carne asada tacos topped with cilantro, lime and onion from Tacos El Cunado. Visiting on a cold day? No problem, a nice steaming, piping hot bowl of broth, noodles and beef from Pho616 will comfort you. Or, you can swing by Rocket Pies for a made-to-order pizza with a variety of toppings, including dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free options. In addition to the market stalls, there are two dine-in restaurants: Slow’s BBQ and Social Kitchen. After eating some delicious food, make sure and stop by Love’s Ice Cream for some organic ice cream. Pick from a wide variety of flavors, such as blueberry lavender, vanilla or mint chip.
In addition to all the wonderful eats, you may find yourself buying quite a few things–make sure and bring some cash or plastic. Stop by Fish Lads for some of the freshest seafood you can buy in West Michigan. Need to pack a picnic for the beach? Stop by Apertivo for all sorts of international meats, cheeses and accouterments. Feeling like your cooking is bland? Spice it up at Spice Merchants and grab some artisan oils and vinegar at Old World Olive Company.
The Downtown Market holds regular hours and encourages patrons to use alternative means of transportation (walk, carpool, bike). If you choose to come by car, you can park in the lot for one hour free of charge. What are some of your favorite things to do or eat at the Downtown Market? Please drop us a line and tell us what we should eat next!