Grand Rapids, Michigan has become one of the top tourist destinations in America, mostly due to the growing brewery scene, with the town even being dubbed Beer City USA. Check out the Uptown neighborhood for some of the best nightlife, here’s our list for the best places to visit complete with bars, pubs and breweries of all different sizes, types, and themes.
Billy’s Lounge is no typical bar but one of Grand Rapid’s favorite spots for an epic night on the town. The spot has live music, a huge dance floor and plenty of great drink choices. Though Billy’s is most well-known for its weeknight specials, where each day has a new theme from funky electric disco to 90’s holla back to karaoke, weekends mean great live music from different local artists and bands.
Billy’s Lounge, 1437 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 459-5757
Elk Brewing is every inch the classic brewery that Grand Rapids has come to love. They have eleven great beers on tap, from light ales to their heavy Extra Special Bitter (ESB) to classic English-style IPA, as well as porter, Scotch ales, and rye IPAs. They offer seating for intimate dates for two or group areas for larger parties, while there’s also a large outdoor patio for the summer months.
Elk Brewing, 700 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 238-5227
Restaurant, American, Contemporary, Wine, Beer, $$$
The Winchester offers an intimate setting for a much more low-key night. The Winchester has sharable appetizers and sandwiches for something to nibble on during drinks. Though their drink menu is one of the main draws – they serve draft beers from many of the local breweries – thier cocktails are also top notch (just check out those Bloody Marys). This pub is located in central Uptown and is a favorite date-night location
The Winchester, 648 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI +1 (616) 451-4969
Lunch at the Winchester Restaurant © Steven Depolo/Flickr | © Steven Depolo/Flickr
Nightclub, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, American, $$$
Mulligan’s Pub has become the essential neighborhood bar. Many locals flock here for the great deals and communal atmosphere. They always offer some awesome specials so visitors can get plenty drinks at a great price. Mulligan’s has a jukebox in their main room and then another part of the bar for live music. Refusing to fit into any niche, there is always an eclectic gathering of people here chatting and mingling.
Mulligan’s Pub, 1518 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 451-0775
One of the up-and-coming breweries in Grand Rapids, Brewery Vivant has a lot of personality. This brewery strives to bring back traditions of the great Belgian brews with their own Vivant spin. They have 10 distinct brews on tap that range from IPAs to dark ales to stouts and saisons, as well as plenty of bottled options. Found in a refurbished historic funeral home, Vivant makes customers feel like they’ve stepped back into medieval times, with high ceilings and wood-finishings galore.
Brewery Vivant, 925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 719-1604
Brewery Vivant Dinner © Steven Depolo/Flickr
Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub
A great spot for visitors looking for a night out on the town, Club Cruisers is a fun and friendly bar that offers a great assortment of beer and cocktails. On special occasions Club Cruisers offers live music too, which usually attracts a big crowd. Club Cruisers usually attracts an older crowd looking to let their hair down and have a great night with the classic tunes they love the most.
Club Cruisers, 1109 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 774-2009
Meanwhile Bar Inc
Bar, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, American, $$$
Meanwhile Bar Inc
The Meanwhile Bar is a funky spot that is just bursting with personality. The bright red walls are adorned with the weirdest art that the owners can get their hands on. As an extra bonus, there are pinball machines in the back as well as some decent outdoor seating spaces. Check in for the great daily drink special, from $3 pitchers to $8 bottles of wine. In short, The Meanwhile takes the classic dive bar persona and turns it on its head.
The Meanwhile, 1005 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 233-1679
Meanwhile Bar Grand Rapids © Steven Depolo/Flickr | © Steven Depolo/Flickr
Pickwick Tavern has a long history, since it was one of the first bars to reopen in the town after Prohibition ended in the 1930s. Pickwick has a loyal group of regulars that keep this place alive and well to this day. The drink menu holds all the classics, but don’t expect to find any pomp and frill. Over the years, it has become a cultural institution for Grand Rapids and continues to hold on to their original traditions, including a cash-only policy.
Pickwick Tavern, 970 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 774-9647
Harmony Brewing is a relatively recent addition to the city’s line-up of bars, but has continued to make waves with popular beer choices. Harmony offers a smaller and more intimate setting than many of the other breweries in Grand Rapids. They have rotating brews on tap, each with a distinct taste and texture so there’s never a dull tipple. Mix that with an assortment of wood-fire baked pizzas and this family-owned joint really is worth checking out.
Harmony Brewing, 1551 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 233-0063
Eastown Hookah Lounge
When searching for something different to do in Grand Rapids, head to the Eastown Hookah Lounge. This spot offers an assortment of drinks, comfortable seating and of course a wide selection of hookah tobacco. Eastown Hookah Lounge also offers DJs some nights of the week, and plays all the best Michigan sports games on their flat-screen televisions. They also offer a spoken poetry night, which they call Smokin Spokin Word Open Mic Poetry.
Eastown Hookah Lounge, 1522 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, +1 (616) 456-6664