Although it’s Michigan’s second-largest city and just two hours from Detroit, Grand Rapids hasn’t been very high on my travel list — it’s never been the hip kid-on-the-block. I mean, one of the things it’s known for is being a world hub of office furniture manufacturing, not something you really want to use to entice tourists, but over the years that’s started to change.
The sleepy Midwestern city has gained street cred for its love affair with craft beer and gastronomic pursuits, including a rise in vegan options! There was a time when the culinary scene was well, kind of lacking in the vegan department, but more and more restaurants are adding vegan options.
So, the next time you venture to the west side of Michigan, be sure to check out one (or more) of these restaurants for vegan food in Grand Rapids.
The Best Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Spots in Grand Rapids
1220 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Don’t miss Rise Authentic Baking Co. for some of the best vegan and gluten-free desserts (oh, and there is food too!). Now, I know what you’re thinking, vegan and gluten-free!? It must taste like cardboard, covered in a chocolate shell! Absolutely not! I promise as soon as you walk into this cozy little modern café your mouth will water.
Their menu changes regularly to incorporate seasonal flavors and bomb new creations but you can’t go wrong with a slice of their sinful chocolate, peanut butter cheesecake — it’s clutch your pearls, weak in the knees, good. Oh, and on Sundays (normally during the fall) they host a special, sit-down brunch full of fluffy pancakes, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, and so much more. Reservations are required.
53 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Stella’s is a mix of 80’s nostalgia meets vegan-friendly comfort food, minus the tracksuits. While you enjoy nachos piled high with vegan meat, beans, Daiya cheese, and vegan ranch you can catch up on episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or head over to the arcade to battle it out with a game of Mortal Kombat.
While the nachos are seriously satisfying, be sure not to skip an order of avocado nuggets — chunks of creamy avocado beer-battered for an epic crispy meets creamy bite. Just be sure they don’t skip the vegan ranch. And, just when you thought you had completely fallen in love with the retro vibe and greasy food, they also hate trash! Just about all their single-use products are compostable, and they compost everything that they can right outback. That’s pretty tubular in my book!
435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
If you’re interested in knocking out all your vegan food eating in Grand Rapids at one spot, then hit up The Downtown Market!
This hip warehouse houses over 20 different food vendors with at least six that are vegan-friendly, along with an incubator kitchen, and rooftop greenhouses. Aside from all of that, it is also LEED Gold certified and features many sustainable innovations like a green roof, live walls, and geothermal wells.
When it comes time to eat, be sure to check out Rák Thai, Tacos El Cuñado, Pinktail Poke, Sushi Market, Field & Fire Bakery, and last but not least Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate. Love’s is scooping out some of the best vegan ice creams that I have had — the light peanut butter scent coupled with the creamy texture is knock-your-socks-off good. Aside from ice cream they also make hand-crafted chocolates with multiple vegan options.
615 Lyon St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Located in a quiet neighborhood, with smells of freshly baked bread dancing through the air enticing visitors to wander in and see what’s on the menu. This charming bakery looks as if it’s been plucked from the streets of Paris with its never-ending supply of freshly baked baguettes, loaves, and vegan-friendly sweets!
Their vegan menu of options will have you fulfilled no matter the time of day with sweets like double chocolate cake (needs to be pre-ordered), and cookies the size of your hand to house-made pretzels, and freshly baked blueberry muffins.
200 Union Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Also, right around the corner from Nantucket is a quaint little neighborhood grocer, Martha’s Vineyard. Martha’s specializes in wine but also stocks vegan cheeses, and in their bakery dessert case, you will find multiple vegan (including some vegan and gluten-free) treats. You can never have too many treats, right!?
734 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Whether you want to unwind on the patio in the sunshine or snuggle up next to a fire with an oat milk pumpkin spice chai, you have plenty of options at this unique café. Located in a corner lot with the best backyard meets garden party vibes, it’s the most unique spot in Grand Rapids to get your caffeine fix.
Aside from grabbing a cup of joe from the café van, they also feature a rotating menu of cashew-based vegan ice creams. You can make it an affogato for a sweet jolt, and don’t miss freshly baked vegan cinnamon rolls on Sundays! And, if you have had your fill of traditional icing glazed cinnamon rolls, then you might be delighted by their chocolate version, it is a treat after all!
One last note, pups are welcome to hang out and enjoy a doggo cone!
Honorable Grand Rapids Vegan Mentions
While I aim to try and stuff my face with as much food as I can, in order to bring you the best places to check out, there are always some that I miss! And, because I want to encourage restaurateurs to continue to add options to their menus, I figured I would add a list of honorable vegan food mentions of a few other places you might be interested in checking out when you’re in Grand Rapids.
1968 Breton Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
This spot is a recent addition to the Grand Rapids food scene, which is fantastic because they have vegan options! Whether you’re coming in for brunch or dinner, you’ll find plenty of options like breakfast tacos, hearty chili, Impossible burger, and more!
#8 Lucy’s Café
1747 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
If you’re looking for a spot for vegan brunch, check out Lucy’s! This vegan-friendly café offers multiple veggie hash, vegan biscuits and gravy, and more!
1553 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
This vegetarian breakfast and lunch café is a great place to visit to get your day started with a breakfast burrito! Their online menu isn’t well marked for vegan options but reviewers share that there are indeed options!
#10 Little Africa
956 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
If you love savory Ethiopian cuisine, you’ve for to check out this vegetarian restaurant! Their menu features a little bit of everything — giant platters, salads, stews, and more.
1059 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
This Soul Food kitchen and Cognac bar has a full vegan menu featuring house-made fried green tomatoes, gumbo, cauliflower steak, and more!
820 Monroe Ave NW #100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
This is the same café that I mentioned in the Downtown Market, but the menu at this location is different. Their all-day breakfast menu features a vegan Hot Mess hash, along with oatmeal, toast, and a full lunch menu.
#13 Juice by J
12 Oakes St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Fresh pressed juices and smoothies are all sourced locally along with breakfast and lunch dishes. It looks as though much of their menu is vegan and gluten-free.
3142 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Vegan donuts and apple cider? Yes, please! Aside from fall treats they also have a variety of wines, most of which are vegan.
#15 Electric Cheetah
1015 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Known for its extensive craft beer selection and creative cuisine. Their menu highlights vegetarian options which are plentiful, a few can be made vegan with a little effort, and there is a vegan burger along with a special vegan cookout dish featuring house-made vegan “steak.”
#16 Frosty Boy
1757 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
A seasonal neighborhood ice cream shop with vegan and gluten-free options, including pumpkin pie, carrot cake, salted caramel, and many more!
More Michigan Vegan Travel Help
If you’re planning to explore more of the mitten state, be sure to check out these guides and articles!
The 10 Best Traverse City Hiking Trails
The Best Restaurants for Vegan Food in Ann Arbor
13 Unique Things to Do in Detroit
The Best Places to Enjoy the Fall Colors in Michigan
How to Spend Two Days in Traverse City as a Vegan
The Complete Vegan Travel Guide to Traverse City
Where to Find Vegan Wine in Michigan
Vegan Pizza in Detroit That You Can’t-Miss
Where to Stay in Pictured Rocks
The Best Vegan Travel Guide to Detroit
7 Epic Things to Do in Pictured Rocks