Do you live a gluten-free lifestyle and want to know what to do in Grand Rapids?
Where do I begin? There's SO MUCH to taste, see and do! It might be the best place in Michigan.
|Photo courtesy of MI Gluten Free Gal|
I love Anna's House. From the decor to the staff to the gluten-free menu, it's all wonderful. I'm not the only one who feels that way. Anna's House was chosen as Michigan's Best Breakfast Joint, according to MLive. Practically their whole menu is available gluten-free. They use locally made gluten-free bread from Kind Crumbs for their sandwiches and Candied Pecan and Banana Stuffed French Toast. Doesn't that sound amazing? They have multiple locations, so find the one nearest you.
|Photo Credit - Will Hinton, husband of GF Mom Certified|
Brick Road Pizza Co
I love being able to go to a restaurant that meets the needs of all my friends with food sensitivities. Not only do they offer gluten-free pizza, pasta and burgers, they offer dairy-free and vegan options as well. I was so excited that I was able to order gluten-free breadsticks with my pasta! Please note that this is not a 100% dedicated gluten-free restaurant, but they take precautions to prevent cross-contact.
|Photo courtesy of MI Gluten Free Gal|
Noble is located just outside of Grand Rapids, in Wyoming. This small diner, listed in my Top 10 Gluten-Free restaurant list, has lots of charm with great food at reasonable prices. Owner Andrew Llampa has created a menu that is free of artificial colors, flavors, MSG, high fructose corn syrup and artificial nitrates. He uses as many organic ingredients as possible and almost everything is made from scratch. Even the coleslaw! But don't think it's all made up of health food. His gluten-free fried chicken and waffle sandwich and his made-from-scratch sweet potato fries are to delicious! They're only open until 2:30 p.m. daily, so don't dawdle in getting there!
Grand Rapids has more than just great restaurants. There are a lot of great gluten-free bakers in the area as well. Hall St. Bakery has two separate kitchens, one of which is totally dedicated to gluten-free baking. All gluten-free baked goods are wrapped and sealed in that room so that there is practically no chance of cross-contact. They are widely known for their amazing gluten-free cinnamon rolls, pictured above. Allergic to peanuts? This bakery is 100% peanut-free, as the owner's son has a peanut allergy.
All summer vacations deserve ice cream. Frosty Boy in Grand Rapids on Plainfield is a sweet treat paradise for all of those with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. They even have dairy-free ice cream! The big draw is the gluten-free toppings they have, like gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies, vegan gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough and gluten-free waffle cones. It makes me want to make the 2 hour drive simply to go here!
Shopping and Attractions
Obviously there is SO much more to life than food. There are so many great places to visit. Here's a list of just a few of them.
Fulton Street Artisan Market
I always think farmer's markets are exciting. You get to talk to the grower or farmer that picked the food they're selling to you. It's like they've invited you into their home. In the summer, Fulton Market is ripe with fresh peaches, blueberries, flowers and more. They're open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8am - 3 pm throughout the warmer months, with alternate hours in the winter.
Frederik Meijer Gardens
When I think of Frederik Meijer Gardens, the word Magic comes to mind. Whether it's the butterflies in the spring, the international Christmas trees in winter or the simple beauty of the flowers in their varying habitats, it always leaves me in awe. For the young and young at heart, my favorite might be the child gardens outside of the main building. With water features, tree houses, walking trails and other features, I could play out there all day.
John Ball Zoo
So many adventures await at John Ball Zoo. This year, 2016, marks their 125th year of making memories for young and old alike. Visit the chimpanzees, touch a stingray, and explore the Crawford Tigers of the Realm exhibit. There are playgrounds within and without the zoo, as well as many picnic areas outside the park where you can bring your own gluten-free meals.Their tortoise salad, made with greens, fruit, sweet potatoes and beet chips is gluten-free. Each salad purchased donates $1 to the Tortoise Conservation!
Grand Rapids is also famous for events that go on year round. Art Prize
in the fall (which is completely free!) and Gilda's Laugh Fest
in the spring are two that draw thousands, but check out the Experience Grand Rapids event website
to learn about more!
So what's your favorite place to eat, shop and play in Grand Rapids? With so much to see, I'm sure I've missed a bunch. What places would you recommend to visitors and tourists?
Labels: GF Getaway