Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market

11:56 PM

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Above: Grand Rapids' Downtown Market offers dining, grocery, and educational opportunities

Imagine a place where food isn’t just on the menu, it’s in the spotlight. Here, you can master Mediterranean cooking, enjoy access to locally-grown ingredients, throw a huge party, or simply sit down to lunch with friends.

Psst . . .  guys . . . this place is real.

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Welcome to Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market, a multipurpose hub that combines local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and of course, eateries. Located on a site that used to house a produce distribution center, the Downtown Market was conceptualized in 2010 to celebrate Michigan’s food and farming culture while breathing new life into the southern portion of the city. The Downtown Market is also the first LEED-certified urban market in the U.S., so its green design (reclaimed/repurposed materials, rooftop greenhouse, rain garden, and more) are a sight to behold, as well.

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Above: Build your own skillet dish at Social Kitchen & Bar at Grand Rapids' Downtown Market

Admittedly, my initial visit to the Downtown Market was driven largely by the promise of brunch. Located just inside the Downtown Market entrance, Social Kitchen & Bar offered the perfect combination of liveliness (without a wait!) and fresh menu options to get our weekend started off right. Brad and I both opted for build-your-own Social Skillets (choose your own meats, egg style, vegetables, etc.), which were delicious and endlessly customizable. We also saw several people order the Fresh-Cut Fries, which came out in massive portions and looked AWESOME. So, yeah . . . gonna have to try those next time we're in town.

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Above: Madcap Coffee's new location inside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Next, we explored the market and found everything from sushi and seafood to breads, oils, succulents, and teas. I was also excited to see a few familiar businesses that were new to the market (Slow’s Bar-BQ and Madcap Coffee), and a couple I’ve heard great things about and still need to try (Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe and Love’s Ice Cream). Seriously—if I lived within walking distance of all these places, I’d be in trouble!

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Above: Wooden beams reclaimed from the facility that used to sit on this lot were repurposed to create the prominent ceiling design featured in Grand Rapids' Downtown Market.

Upstairs, we found a sit-down eating area and caught a glimpse of the greenhouses (these are available for special events like wedding receptions). I even picked up a cute tote bag in the market’s administrative office as a souvenir (perfect for running grocery errands!).

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market Also Offers:

- Hands-on cooking demonstrations and classes
- Rentable banquet room, meeting rooms, and terraces
- Incubator kitchen for entrepreneurs to learn more about restaurant processes and inspections
- Seasonal outdoor market

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes
Above: This outdoor area fills with local artisans during seasonal and special market events.

It was impossible for the two of us to sample everything in sight, but that just gives us more reason to go back the next time (or every time) we're in Grand Rapids! Now, if we could all somehow make every food market this much fun to visit, I probably wouldn't mind grocery shopping so much. ;)

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes

Have you visited Grand Rapids' Downtown Market? What do you think of this multipurpose food concept? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Food Lover’s Dream: Explore Grand Rapids' Downtown Market | Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a multipurpose facility that celebrates Michigan's food and farming culture through local food production, education, entrepreneur opportunities, and more. Click through to learn about the market, special events, and great eateries like Social Kitchen, Slow's Bar-BQ, Love's Ice Cream, Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe, and Madcap Coffee! | via Wading in Big Shoes

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Facebook

Twitter