Best Things to Do at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids
The Downtown Market Grand Rapids is must whenever you visit West Michigan.
From fresh fish to baked goods, great bottled wine to fresh scoops of ice cream, boba tea to local honey sold in a jar, the downtown market has something for everyone and is a Grand Rapids favorite destination.
I’ve been visiting this fun spot since it opened, and each time I visit, it feels new again. This guide will prepare you for what to expect before you walk through the doors of wonderful food and products the downtown market has to offer, and some popular stops you don’t want to miss.
The Downtown Market is located on 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
What is the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids?
The downtown market in Grand Rapids is a market hall that is open seven days a week and is full of different cuisines, local bakers, butchers, fishmongers, and a great variety of specialty food products. Whether you are looking for something to grab on the go, ingredients, products to use for your homecooked meal, or even a great drink or wine to pair with your food, the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is the place to go.
The following list of best things to browse and grab at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapid is a great guide to navigating the local favorites while giving your ideas and room for exploration to find some of your own.
Carry-Out Restaurants at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids
When you first enter the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, the aroma of all the different spices of cooking food waft gently through the air, promising a growl in your stomach and an appetite to satisfy.
These Carry-Out options at the Downtown Market will have you able to taste amazing food on the go. Whether you want to bring it to the upstairs dining area, outside, or back to work during your lunch break, these are great meals to carry wherever your day needs you.
The Rák Thai is some of the best Thai food available at the market and is a popular hit. Their tasty Asian favorites such as the Beef Bulgogi, Peanut Curry Noodles, and their classic Pad Thai keep customers coming back for more. What’s better than some great hot and ready-to-eat noodles?
Don’t forget to pair it with their popular Bubble Tea, for they now have expanded their bar to have 20 plus flavors to choose from. They now are also serving their classic Mochi donuts, which is a trending popular item to grab for its cute, unique, round shape and its tasty, chewy, and sweet texture. Rák Thai is a go-to stop when at the market, and it is hard to miss.
Going along with the Asian-inspired cuisine, Pinktail Poke is another fun and classic favorite for a unique dish that’s bursting with great flavors. Made with fresh and high-quality seafood, Pinktail Poke allows you to build your poke bowl to cater to your preferences. This fresh and healthy bowl is a popular hit to get for a nice meal option.
Craving fried chicken? Juju bird is the place for you. Serving buttermilk fried chicken in the forms of wings, strips, and sandwiches, your southern taste will be satisfied with their hit and ready naturally and locally sourced ingredients. Try their hot sides such as mac and cheese and mashed potatoes to get the full southern experience. Bring your taste of the south anywhere you need with Juju Bird’s on-the-go fresh hot chicken.
Dine In Restaurants at the Downtown Market at Grand Rapids
For more of a sit down experience, these dine in options have available, paired seating to sit and catch a conversation with a comfortable provided setting. Take a break and spend time enjoy your food at the Downtown Market when you have the chance.
Like their Detroit location, Slows Bar-B-Q menu consists of favorite slow-cooked barbeque items such as ribs, pulled pork, their famous wings, and so much more of all your barbeque favorites. Enjoy yourself at their provided dining area for a delicious sit down meal, and don’t forget to choose a beer from their 30 available taps which include some great Michigan local favorites.
Aperitivo is a great place to meet to catch up with some friends and family. Known for their cheese and charcuterie boards, Aperitivo provides space for connection and conversation over some delicious available plates. Pair it with a great glass of wine or beer, and get suggestions for what airs best with what from Aperitivo’s charcuterie counter staff.
Tacos El Cuñado
The authentic Mexican food served at Tacos El Cuñado will have your tastebuds dancing with delight. Using fresh ingredients sourced from Michigan, Tacos El Cuñado brings the taste of authentic Latin American food, serving items such as their tamales to go and their house made horchata, while dishes such as their tacos and Mexi-salads are ordered to dine in. Tasty, tangy, spicy, and fresh, Tacos El Cuñado covers all types of taste bud pallets with their amazing menu.
The Downtown Markets Fresh-cut meats are a staple during your visit. Whether it’s to browse and marvel at the fresh cut options or to pick out a piece to prepare for your own dinner, the fresh-cut meats at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids makes sure to deliver the best and freshest options to you.
Known as “Grand Rapids’ Finest Meats”, Carvers is a go to when looking for raw and cooked meats to take home to prepare yourself. From burgers to pastrami, corned beef sandwiches to house-made sausages, Carvers is the ultimate dream for all meat lovers out there.
Fish Lads is another favorite, but just as the name suggests, focusing more on their fresh ocean and freshwater catches. From around the world to locally caught fish, Fish Lads serves premium fish to The Grand Rapids Downtown Market customers. If the raw fish is a bit too intimidating for you, try out their offered prepared menu of chowder, fish and chips, and special sandwiches all made with different sourced fresh-caught fish.
Baked Goods and Sweets
What’s a market without some fresh-baked goods? The Downtown Market satisfies your sweet tooth cravings with the following shops.
Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate
Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate is most certainly how the title suggests; made with love and delicious. With dairy free gelato and luxurious chocolates, everyone has the chance to treat themselves to some sweet delights.
Made from scratch, this ice cream is a popular stop to make in the downtown market and has a variety of fun and unique flavors to try. Make sure to taste their Madcap Coffee gelato, sourced right from a local coffee shop in town for a great local favorite flavor.
Gaby’s Gourmandise is hard to miss, and even harder not to stop at, or to at least look. Featuring classic French pastries, the pleasantly displayed éclairs, crepes, cookies, cakes, tarts, and more cover all your pastry needs and easily makes your mouth water. Escape briefly into the French culture and taste with one of Gaby’s Gourmanides pastries, and be ready to order a box to take more with you to go.
Field and Fire
Field and Fire has a spot at the Downtown Market and is a great wonderful option for some baked goods. Valuing the nutritional level of their food, Field and Fire makes sure you not only treating your tastebuds, but also your health.
Using a traditional method of fermentation, their foods are made sure to be digestible and fueled with goodness. Find your next favorite pastry, or try their deep dish pizza for a savory treat. Check out their café location located on 820 Monroe Ave NW #100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Find Soda, and Coffee at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids
Getting thirsty? Looking for a pick-me up? Catch a unique beverage at the Downtown Market with the following.
High Tide Soda
High Tide Soda is every little kid’s dream come true. A wall lined with a variety of fun-colored sodas and vintage bottled favorites, High Tide caters to all the soda lovers and is a fun spot to stop by and grab a great little pick me up. These unique flavors and bottles will have you starting a collection before you know it and makes for a great gift idea to treat everyone’s childhood memories of cracking a cold, bottled, colored soda on a hot summer’s day.
Squibb Coffee Bar
Speaking of pick me ups, Squibb Coffee bar is the place to go to satisfy your caffeine needs. Squibb makes their coffee with care, and offers both traditional and trendy coffee, exploring the ways of lattes and espresso and crafting their items into signature and great tasting beverages. This coffee is different from the one you make at home, and is a must for all coffee lovers in the Grand Rapids area.
Specialty Products at the Downtown Market
For gifts or for yourself, these specialty products are great items to collect and try out some great local favorites.
Old World Olive Co.
Old World Olive Co. is a specialty product of oils and balsamic vinegar, carrying a variety of unique flavors to bring into your home and cook up something of your own. Their extra virgin olive oil is the freshest around, catering olive oils worldwide to bring the best of the best to your kitchen.
Whether it’s for a gift or for yourself, the staff members will guide you through the best types of oils for your needs and preferences. Once you try Old World Olive Co., it’s hard to go back to what you were using before.
Spice Merchants has all the seasonings, spices, and teas you could ever need to add to your collection or is a great place to start when you want to begin one. Spices are needed for everyone’s kitchen, and Spice Merchants makes sure there’s a spice for everyone at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
Space Rentals and Classes
The downtown market is a beautifully designed space and offers space rentals for wedding ceremonies in their famous greenhouse. Their banquet room is a great place to celebrate afterwards and is a promised great experience for great memories.
Corporate and Private Events are also available for rental and makes a great place to celebrate success and make new connections.
Don’t forget to check out their specialty cooking classes, welcoming all those curious about different methods of cooking and preparing meals. The Culinary craft and experience can’t be beaten at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.
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About the Author-
Ella Graber is a content writing Intern for My Michigan Beach. She grew up in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan and is currently attending Grand Valley State University, majoring in writing. Creative writing has been an interest of Ella’s ever since middle school, and she continues to be inspired by reading and writing. She is excited to share her love of the great state of Michigan. Outside of writing, Ella can be found enjoying the outdoors on runs and walks, exploring new coffee shops, and visiting the beautiful Michigan beaches with friends.