Lunch

Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in Grand Rapids and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Wolfgang's Restaurant thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Uccello's Pizzeria Grille & Sports Lounge, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

10 BD's Mongolian Barbeque
Patrons create their own stir-fried dishes at this popular Western Michigan restaurant, whose contemporary architecture pays tribute to traditional Mongolian banquet halls. At such places, the fierce Kublai Khan and his minions would feast on the bounties of their hunts after the food was prepared on a huge griddle. Founder Bill Downs has given Grand Rapids a place where patrons can take the "interactive" approach to mealtime. As you move through buffet-style lines of fresh vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood, you're encouraged to get as much of whatever you want. Once you've piled a plate high, make your way to the grill area, where the chef will prepare your dish to your delight. Fun and energetic, BD's Mongolian Barbeque is a terrific dining experience for the entire family — just make sure you come with an open mind and an empty stomach. (616-957-7500)

9 Bistro Bella Vita
Boasting "French twist with an Italian flair," this upscale restaurant is a favorite with the after-work crowd, who appreciate its sleek martini bar, billed as Western Michigan's largest. After enjoying a cocktail, retire to the main dining room, where the professional waitstaff can point you towards dishes like grilled duck and confit of duck over spaghetti squash, North Carolina quail and potato gnocchi with figs, or four-cheese ravioli à la ratatouille with Sicilian olives. Save room for dessert — chocolate-macadamia nut bread pudding, cremé brûlèe with Chantilly cream, and Grand Mariner soufflé are nothing short of extraordinary. (616-222-4600)

8 Bombay Cuisine
Boasting what many regulars deem the best tandoori and vindaloo dishes in the city, this Eastown staple looks more like a pub than an Indian joint. Inside, however, you'll find an authentic setting where a large picture window is all that separates the skilled kitchen staff from paying customers. Indian-influenced artwork and furnishings adorn the two main dining areas, and the air is heavy with appetizing aromas. All dishes are cooked to order, including homemade naan. Those wishing to experience something a little different will want to consider taking tea in the connecting Lake Chai Café. (616-456-7055)

7 Cherie Inn
Cherie Inn specializes in breakfast and lunch, Euro-style. A neighborhood staple for more than 60 years, the eatery offers a cozy, café-style setting complete with French flags, weathered brick walls, pressed tin ceiling, and intimate tables. Breakfast is the true star, as patrons can tell from eggs Florentine, blueberry pancakes, and breakfast crêpes; meanwhile, lunch turns heads and satisfies taste buds with baguettes, soups, and small-portioned entrees. (616-458-0588)

6 Cottage Bar & Restaurant
A favorite of downtown business-types and Grand Rapids Press reporters (thanks to its award-winning burgers and chili), the Cottage offers a cozy, almost neighborly atmosphere that makes it an ideal place to enjoy a hot lunch with family and friends. House specialties include grilled Alaskan salmon burgers and South Pacific grilled yellow fin tuna. The attractive Art Deco bar, the oldest in Grand Rapids, is a terrific place to enjoy a happy hour cocktail or a tall mug of cold draft beer. (616-454-9088)

5 Gaia Cafe
One of the east side's trendier lunch and dessert destinations, Gaia is a favorite with the cool neighborhood crowd. A small gallery area promotes the work of local artists (many of them from the neighborhood), and the skilled kitchen staff makes sure that the artsy clientele always has plenty of hot food, homemade sweets, and fresh gourmet coffee to enjoy while they pass the time chatting about the latest film, book, or play to hit the scene. A fabulous juice bar and several vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, too. (616-454-6233)

4 Mikado Sushi Restaurant
Ignore Mikado's rather mundane strip-mall location. This is one of the city's best places to find authentic Japanese cuisine, and there are separate menus for sushi and sashimi. Dinner specialties include ginger beef, broiled eel, and a variety of terrific tempura and teriyaki dishes. While the decor is rather unimpressive—the brightly lit interior evidences Eastern minimalism at its best—the friendly waitstaff and outgoing chefs go a long way toward making all patrons feel welcome. Take out is available, and reservations are accepted. (616-285-7666)

3 Rose's
Since 1901, Rose's has offered Grand Rapids' Gaslight Village crowd terrific handmade Italian cuisine and a casual, homey setting. Overlooking Reed's Lake, the dining room is surrounded by large picture windows and separated from a small bar area by a cozy central fireplace. Rose's is famous all over Western Michigan for homestyle Italian dishes, which include the likes of Gorgonzola Tournedos and Cavatappi (grilled chicken, seared spinach, and roasted tomato served in Parmesan and alfredo). Knowledgeable regulars often eschew the hearty pasta dishes for one of the delicious, wood-fired pizzas, topped with everything from asparagus and artichokes to crab and goat cheese. Patio seating is available in the summer for those wishing to dine al fresco. Since space is limited, reservations are suggested. (616-458-1122)

2 San Chez Bistro
One of the hippest places on Grand Rapids' downtown restaurant scene, San Chez was also one of Western Michigan's first tapas joints. Building on a centuries-old tradition begun on Spain's Mediterranean coast, this trendy eatery combines West European ambiance and attitude with high-quality, friendly service. From paella and Cuban-style grilled sandwiches to fresh salmon, lamb, and calamari, the exciting menu has no qualms about offering diners a wide range of cuisine types — all of them flavorful works of art. Save room for dessert, or you'll never forgive yourself for passing up the likes of Platanos Maduros (fried ripe plantains in caramel sauce) or flan served with caramel and bread pudding. (616-774-8272)

1 Sayfee's East
Perhaps one of the area's most deliciously versatile menus, Sayfee's has been a GR institution for more than half a century now. House specialties include Dover sole, veal Oscar, and their famous French frog legs. Of course, to enjoy a true Sayfee's tradition, one must opt for something along the lines of Steak Diane — which is prepared right beside your table. A wide range of dessert options will tempt even the strongest wills, so make sure you leave a little room to indulge. A deck area, overlooking trickling Whiskey Creek, is open during the summer months for those wishing to dine outdoors. (616-949-5750)


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Maps and Directions

1
BD's Mongolian Barbeque 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Mongolian
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Take Out
Neighborhood: KENTWOOD
COST: $
2
Bistro Bella Vita 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Chef's Table, Cigar Friendly, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area)
Cuisine: European, French, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $$
3
Bombay Cuisine 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly
Cuisine: Indian, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: EASTOWN
COST: $$
4
Cherie Inn 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: EASTOWN
COST: $
5
Cottage Bar & Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $
6
Gaia Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Take Out
Neighborhood: EASTOWN
COST: $
7
Mikado Sushi Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese, Sushi
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: KENTWOOD
COST: $$
8
Rose's 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: GASLIGHT VILLAGE
COST: $$
9
San Chez Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (outdoor area), Take Out
Cuisine: European, Spanish
Neighborhood: DOWNTOWN
COST: $
10
Sayfee's East 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Live Music
Neighborhood: EAST GRAND RAPIDS
COST: $$
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