How to Sip, Savor, and Celebrate the Grand Rapids Food Scene this Summer

There’s no shortage of food-centric experiences for Kent County residents and visitors this summer. Here’s why Grand Rapids is the place to be for local food this summer – and any season, really. 

Nonla Burger | Photo courtesy of Aly Zuiderveen for EXGR

Sip: Become a Brewsader

Craft beer is calling. Dubbed Beer City by USA Today for over a decade, tapping into the regional community is a must – and it’s never been easier (or more fun). In February, a revamped version of the Brewsader Passport Program’s Beer City Brewsader app was launched with new member benefits and an improved user experience. Not only do members receive badges when they check into participating breweries, but they also win a free t-shirt when eight are visited which can be picked up at Founders or redeemed online. “The Michigan beer scene is second to none. The camaraderie between brewers and our loyal customers is essential to our survival and growth,” remarks Ed Collazo, self-titled Chief Dreamer of City Built Brewing. Keep Grand Rapids breweries thriving and start forming those relationships today with a quick download.

Cedar Spring Brewing | Photo courtesy of Bryan Esler for Experience GR.

Savor: Flights of Flavor

Born to fully support Grand Rapids as a top food and beverage destination, Flights of Flavor allows residents and visitors to sample the city’s diverse culinary offerings. It’s the perfect program for local food lovers who consistently face the impossible choice of selecting just one menu item on their dinner date. Choose from over thirty food and drink flight options from participating restaurants and earn points for a selection of prizes like stickers and bamboo serving boards, or redeem your points for a charitable donation to Secchia Institute. The best part? There’s no end date – you can order a free Flights of Flavor pass at any time. Get your pass today.

Have fun with the Flights restaurants put out there and continue to support the restaurant community. We can’t tell you how much it means to us small businesses!

– Natashia Monk, Co-owner of Nonla Burger

Celebrate: Restaurant Week GR

Get your calendars out and mark November 1-9 in pen for the 15th anniversary of Restaurant Week GR

“Restaurant week is an opportunity to try a place you haven’t been before and experience restaurants outside of their normal format with micro-tasting menus at often accessible price points,” remarks Tristan Walczewski, COO and Beverage Director at Essence Restaurant Group. “Since the introduction of ArtPrize, the food scene in Grand Rapids has grown exponentially which has led to increased competition and has created a culinary market that strives for higher quality.”

As one of America’s Top 25 Foodie Cities, it’s no surprise that the whole culinary community, from eaters to chefs, eagerly anticipates this annual event. “Our restaurants are creating menus that go toe to toe with eateries in larger cities – Restaurant Week GR is an opportunity for more people to experience all that Grand Rapids has to offer,” says Jaylyn McCloy, Marketing Partnership Manager at Experience Grand Rapids.

One way Michiganders can discover food destinations is by following Experience Grand Rapids on Instagram as they participate in the alphabet challenge and showcase 26 local restaurants throughout Kent County elevating the local food scene.

Experience West Michigan’s dynamic food and drink community this summer – sample flights, taste bites, Brewsade away, and understand why Grand Rapids is truly grand. Stay tuned in with Experience Grand Rapids’ newsletter to get first access to promos, giveaways, and more!

Thornapple Brewing Co | Photo courtesy of Bryan Esler for Experience GR.

This article was written in partnership with Experience Grand Rapids.

Emily Row is the Brand and Media Manager at Taste the Local Difference. You may contact her via email [email protected]