Friday, 30 July 2021 11:23

6th Annual Best of the West: Dining

Written by  Josh Veal
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The dining scene in West Michigan has seen an incredible amount of change over the past year.

One of our “Best New Restaurants” was closed by the time winners were announced. Restaurants have returned from the dead. Service staff has played a big game of musical chairs. 

In many ways, 2020 was a catalyst, and we’re seeing those changes in effect now. This year’s Best of the West has plenty of upsets, including PIND rocketing to the top of Indian Cuisine after not even being in the top three last year. Tacos El Cuñado rose above Donkey in Mexican cuisine, for the first time in six years. Mokaya is finally recognized as having the best Desserts in town.

As always, the New Restaurant category is fascinating. The owners of the now-shuttered Kingfisher decided to shift their efforts into making Detroit-style pizza at Quarantino’s, and that choice has certainly paid off. In second place above them is Gaia House Café, which made a triumphant return after years of closed doors. They also shot to the top of the Vegan/Vegetarian category, unsurprisingly!

And the number-one new restaurant in town is MDRD (pronounced Madrid). This new Spanish eatery at the top of Amway Grand Plaza is hard to get a seat in, thanks to stunning high-end cuisine and amazing views of the city from 27 stories up. Get your reservations in now!

Some things may never change, however. For instance, Wikiwiki Poke has once again come in third place for Seafood, a fact they love to celebrate. Remember: First is the worst, second is the best, but third is actually secretly the best.

Then you have Stella’s Lounge taking home best Burger once again, HopCat with the best Fries, Hancock leading Fried Chicken, and The Mitten Brewing with best Pizza. For some of these winners, it’s their 6th time in a row wearing the crown. That’s what we call a winning formula. 

If you don’t see your favorites on the list, our suggestion is to start spreading the word now so your friends and colleagues can hop on the bandwagon next year! And of course, supporting with your dollars doesn’t hurt either. 

BAKERY

Nantucket Baking Company, 1st
615 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids

Field & Fire, 2nd

Rise Authentic Baking Co., 3rd

BBQ

Two Scotts Barbecue, 1st
536 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

Slows Bar BQ, 2nd

Daddy Pete's BBQ, 3rd

BREAKFAST

Real Food Cafe, 1st
Multiple locations

Anna's House, 2nd

Wolfgang's Restaurant, 3rd

BRUNCH

SpeakEZ Lounge, 1st
600 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Lucy's, 2nd

Terra, 3rd

BURGERS

Stella's Lounge, 1st
53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Bridge Street Burger Shack, 2nd

Garage Bar and Grill, 3rd

CHINESE

First Wok, 1st
firstwokgr.com

Gaslight Kitchen, 2nd

Golden Wok, 3rd

COFFEE

Madcap Coffee Company, 1st
madcapcoffee.com

Biggby Coffee, 2nd

Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. (TIE), 3rd

Outside Coffee Co (TIE), 3rd

DESSERTS

Mokaya, 1st
638 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Martha's Vineyard, 2nd

Nantucket Baking Company, 3rd

DINER

Matchbox Diner & Drinks, 1st
1345 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

Real Food Cafe, 2nd

Grand Coney, 3rd

FOOD TRUCK

Patty Matters, 1st
pattymatters.com

Beviamo! Mobile Bar, 2nd

Pizza Parliament, 3rd

FRIED CHICKEN

Hancock, 1st
1157 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Cousin's Tasty Chicken, 2nd

Cedar Springs Brewing Company, 3rd

FRIES

HopCat, 1st
hopcat.com

Stella's Lounge, 2nd

Bridge Street Burger Shack, 3rd

HOT DOGS

Yesterdog, 1st
1505 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

The Corner Bar, 2nd

One Stop Coney, 3rd

ICE CREAM/FROZEN TREATS

Frosty Boy Grand Rapids / Rockford, 1st
frostyboygr.com

Furniture City Creamery, 2nd

Love's Ice Cream, 3rd

INDIAN

Pind Indian Cuisine, 1st
241 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

Bombay Cuisine, 2nd

Curry Kitchen, 3rd

ITALIAN

Amore Trattoria Italiana, 1st
5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park

Osteria Rossa, 2nd

Licari's Sicilian Pizza Kitchen, 3rd

MEDITERRANEAN

Sheshco Mediterranean Grill, 1st
2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids

Le Kabob, 2nd

Parsley Mediterranean Grille, 3rd

MEXICAN

Tacos El Cuñado, 1st
1024 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids

Donkey Taqueria, 2nd

Lindo Mexico Restaurante, 3rd

MOST INNOVATIVE CUISINE

Max's South Seas Hideaway, 1st
58 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Linear Restaurant (TIE), 2nd

The Sovengard (TIE), 2nd

MDRD, 3rd

NEW RESTAURANT

MDRD, 1st
187 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Gaia House Cafe, 2nd

Quarantino's, 3rd

PIZZA

The Mitten Brewing Co., 1st
527 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

Vitale's Pizza, 2nd

Harmony Brewing Company, 3rd

SANDWICH/DELI

Schnitz Deli, 1st
1315 Fulton St., Grand Rapids

Two Beards Deli, 2nd

Cherry Street Deli & Catering, 3rd

SEAFOOD

Leo's, 1st
60 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Fish Lads, 2nd

Wikiwiki Poke Shop, 3rd

SOUP

Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop, 1st
1133 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

The Electric Cheetah, 2nd

Horrock's Market, 3rd

STEAK

The Chop House, 1st
190 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Butcher's Union, 2nd

Bowdie's Chophouse, 3rd

SUSHI

Maru Sushi & Grill, 1st
927 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids

Jaku Sushi & Grill, 2nd

Ju Sushi & Lounge, 3rd

THAI

Bangkok Taste Cuisine, 1st
15 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Lai Thai Kitchen, 2nd

Little Bangkok, 3rd

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN MENU

Gaia House Cafe, 1st
1553 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

Brick Road Pizza Co., 2nd

Stella's Lounge, 3rd

WINE BAR

Reserve Wine & Food, 1st
201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

GRNoir Wine & Jazz, 2nd

House of Wine, 3rd

WINGS

Wing Doozy, 1st
wingdoozy.com

Detroit Wing Company, 2nd

Rockford Brewing Company, 3rd

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