Our second day in Grand Rapids started a little later than planned; we hit the breweries a little harder than expected the night before. As soon as we could drag ourselves out of bed, we packed up and checked out. Our first stop of the day was Cherie Inn for breakfast.
This adorable European Style restaurant is located right near Brewery Vivant in the East Hills Neighborhood. There was a bit of a wait for a table which we spent exploring the flower shop next door (New Design Floral) and scheming for the rest of the day. Once we were seated, we quickly ordered coffees to shake us out of our hangover fog. Mike ordered the chicken and chorizo omelet for breakfast and I got the biscuits and gravy which was hearty and delicious.
The Cherie Inn seemed to be an institution in Grand Rapids, and the crowd was a testament to its long standing status as the cozy breakfast nook of choice. From there we moved to the Eastown Neighborhood, parking down the street from Eastown Antiques. I don’t know if we were doing it wrong or what, but we never had to pay for street parking in Grand Rapids. It’s a good thing, but as a Chicagoan, I’m always a little bit suspicious of free parking. Eastown Antiques was amazing. It was a perfect mix of the messy treasure hunting and curated knickknacks from the day before.
I probably could have bought out the store if I had the resources too, but got a small globe and vintage bracelet instead. The employees were wonderful and it was an overall fantastic antiquing experience. We walked around the block a bit, stopping in The Mitten State (Michigan themed T’s and such) and Flashlight Alley (an interesting store of oddities). We wanted to try one of the famous Yesterdog’s, but were both still pretty full from breakfast, so we split the namesake dog. I have to say…. It was just alright. Maybe we’re just partial to the mustard slathered, topping covered hot dogs from home. Our last stop in Eastown was Argo’s Bookstore, a used book shop with a solid comic book collection and an endearing haphazard organizational system.
After we browsed through the books, we hit the road again and headed towards the Downtown Market. The market is housed in a huge, two story building. The first floor contained vendors, shops and restaurants and the second floor had a beautiful greenhouse, classrooms and a cooking demonstration room.
We wandered between the rows of vendors, admiring the beautiful baked goods, smelling the handmade candles and flower stands and trying to stop our mouths from watering over all the amazing-looking food. Being more thirsty than hungry, we stopped into Grand Traverse Distillery to take a peek at their small batch vodka and whiskey.
The cheerful bartender/shopkeeper explained the company and offered to make us a summery cocktail of cherry vodka and lemonade, which of course we couldn’t refuse (especially at only $5 a pop). The cocktail was so good and we had fun chatting with its creator, comparing rents in Chicago and Grand Rapids and discussing all of the breweries in the area. Once we had our fill of the Downtown Market, we headed to Vertigo Music to celebrate Record Store Day.
They had an excellent selection of new and used albums, as well as CD’s and DVDs. I appreciated the fact they decorated their store to celebrate the occasion. Soon we made our way to the intriguing shop next door: Woosah. I loved it immediately. It is a print shop that makes various clothing items, accessories and some paper goods.
I got a Woosah patch and a notebook and ensured that they had an online store (they do, it’s here) before we left. We made one last stop before heading home: Madcap Coffee; a hipster’s paradise with a minimalist menu and fantastic coffee. I had the Café Miel, which was an amazing blend of espresso, milk, honey and cinnamon.
We also got a bag of coffee to take home and enjoy. We made our way home from there, sipping our coffee and enjoying the afterglow of a great trip. Once we got there, we caught each other looking up apartments for rent in Grand Rapids. I don’t anticipate moving there any time soon, but it sure is a sweet dream.
Thanks for a beautiful weekend, Grand Rapids.
Have you ever been to Grand Rapids? What did you think? Where was your favorite spot?