Kalamazoo is one of those cities where the better question should be, “Where NOT to eat and drink?” … Because we can honestly say that we did not have one bad meal our entire time in Kalamazoo. If anything, we lived in a constant food coma, blitzing from spot to spot to just “try a few things” - because we were repeatedly tempted by the wide array of eateries!
For the sake of time and efficiency, we’ve narrowed our long foodie list down to our top 3 favorite restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops in Kalamazoo.
Warning :: this might make you hungry (and thirsty).
Crow’s Nest Restaurant :: If it’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that probably means that Crow’s Nest Restaurant is the most important restaurant in Kalamazoo. Their pro’s at everything breakfast - from their decadent french toasts to their popular eggs benedicts, everything is hearty, fresh, and totally drool-worthy. Don’t be discouraged if there’s a bit of a wait… it’s worth it.
MUST TRY :: The Banana Nut Bread French Toast and the Modern Eggs Benedict
Nonla Burger :: We’re suckers for good branding - and if we’re being honest, that’s exactly what led us to this retro order-at-the-counter burger joint. Nonla Burger serves up juicy burgers, delectable sandwiches, piping hot fries, and specialty shakes, and you better believe that everything on the menu is awesome. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a frosty bottle of Coke!
MUST TRY :: The Cheeseburger and Handcut Fries
Food Dance :: This downtown Kalamazoo restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, as it was one of the pioneers in the “Farm to Table” culinary movement - and the menu at Food Dance is still as fresh, locally sourced, and delicious as ever! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and if we’d had more time we would’ve tried all three!
MUST TRY :: The Food Dance Pad Thai and the Chicken Dance Sandwich
Bell’s Brewery :: Arguably the most iconic (and eccentric) brewery in Kalamazoo, Bell’s Brewing is a must-visit. With ample indoor and outdoor seating, an extensive tap beer and food menu, and a welcoming staff, it’s easy to see why Bell’s is so popular. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some live music playing in their beer garden! See their events schedule for more information.
MUST TRY :: The Official and the Lager of the Lakes
Arcadia Ales :: Located on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, we’re not sure what we love most about http://arcadiaales.com - their stunning riverfront views or their craft beer and gourmet food menu! (Oh, and did we mention their beer garden is dog friendly?!) We suggest rolling up just in time to catch the sunset, enjoy a cold beer (or two), and sample some of their famous BBQ or wood fired pizza. We know you’ll love it just as much as we do!
MUST TRY :: The Cheap Date and the Hop Rocket
Kalamazoo Beer Exchange :: If you love games, good beer, a bustling ambiance and cheap prices… go here! Everyday at 6pm the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange rings their opening bell, and up-to-the-minute popularity sways the price for each brew, similar to the stock exchange! (If you’re lucky, you might even experience a Market Crash - where prices plunge ridiculously low!) And don’t forget to venture downstairs to take advantage of their pool tables, pinball games, and more!
MUST TRY :: The River’s Edge Laser Raptor and The Hop Concept Citrus & Piney
Factory Coffee :: Situated in a (surprise, surprise) old factory, Factory Coffee boasts a modern and quirky ambiance and a sophisticated and cultivated coffee menu. It’s a little off the beaten path, and that’s exactly why we like it - it’s quiet and unpretentious. Plus, they have a quaint (and dog friendly) patio that’s perfect for soaking in some Kalamazoo sunshine!
MUST TRY :: The Pour Over and Chai Latte with Almond Milk
Civil House Coffee :: The folks at Civil House Coffee focus on quality and education, and it shows. With every cup they serve, they aim to make the most out of their customers coffee experience, and the baristas are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to chat! Bobby could have spent all day nerding out over pour over techniques with their staff, but we were on a little bit of a time crunch. Next time, Bobby. ;)
MUST TRY :: The Cortado and the Cappuccino
Fido Motors Cafe :: Have you ever been to a coffee shop that specializes in electric scooters too? We hadn’t - until we stopped by Fido Motors Cafe! This industrial coffee shop meets electric scooter warehouse is unconventional in every way, and that’s what makes it so cool! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, don’t leave without one of their vegan no bake cookies!
MUST TRY :: The Cold Brew and the Cafe Miel
Did we miss one of your favorite Kalamazoo spots? Leave a comment and let us know!