Friday Favorites: Our Local Food & Drink Picks

 In Change Culture

Today’s Friday Favorites blog post is about all of our favorite local restaurants, food, and drink products. Read on to discover all of our favorite hidden gems around Michigan!

 Kalli, Creative Director
Mine are in Grand Rapids. My favorite place to get dinner and drinks is Donkey Taqueria. They have really fabulous Prickly Pear margaritas, and the ambiance is fabulous, which is a main priority for me. A coffee shop that I like, that I like to work at when I’m in Grand Rapids, also, is The Sparrows Coffee. It’s a little bit less popular than the popular ones, but also very cool. Good environment, good for working. Lots of bright light, which I like. And then a place to get drinks, I love Harmony Brewing Company, which is in Eastown, and it’s just got good vibes and good beer. And really good pizza. And Harmony is a little bit off the beaten path and wonderful.

Haley, Organizer of Words & People 

So, I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love Iorio’s Gelato. I live right by there, and I also lived by there when I was in college, and I went there at least four days out of the week to get gelato. I also like Zingerman’s coffee that they have there. Favorite restaurant, probably since living in the East Lansing Area, is Tavern 109. It’s actually in Williamston, but it’s a really nice hidden gem. The chicken and waffles are amazing. And then, I like all the East Lansing Bars, but a favorite place to drink might be Dagwood’s, which is this dive bar on the border of Lansing and East Lansing. They have really good lunch specials, too, and it’s a great place to watch games.

Sara, Director of Digital Evangelism

I have to rep my hometown of Ypsilanti here! So the place to get a drink of the craft beer variety, AND to get coffee, is definitely Cultivate. I like that they invest their profits back into local causes, and open up their doors to a wide variety of community events and live music. It’s a really great place to work at during the day, or meet up with friends at night — in the warmer months they have a huge beer garden in the back. You can bring your own food, or choose something from their menu of specialty toasts.

Just down the block in Depot Town is Sidetrack, with four different patio areas in the warmer months. The restaurant is literally right next to the train tracks, so your dinner conversations will often be interrupted by an Amtrak train passing through town!  They serve up my favorite Bloody Marys on the weekends, and offer a wide variety of salads, sandwiches and burgers. Oh, and they have a really great late-night happy hour to boot.

Morgan, Video Production Associate

I’m a huge donut and coffee person, so I really like Glazed and Confused in Lansing. The atmosphere is really nice to do homework and stuff. I also really like Lansing Brewing Company – they have really good food there.


Lauren, Director of Details

So I prepared more Michigan-based consumer food items. So, I always hate it when people say vanilla ice cream is their favorite, but I think Hudsonville vanilla ice cream might actually be my favorite, and I love all of the kid-themed stuff, like Superman and the play-dough that they do with cookie dough. Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory chips are the best tortilla chips in … anywhere. And their factory burned down last year, but they have restarted and they’re up and running, and you can get their chips at the Old Town General Store in Old Town, which has a ton of Michigan-based goods – Bloom Coffee Roasters coffee, Michigan-based wine and alcohol, as well as those chips and soap and all that stuff. So, big fan of them too!

Amanda, Chief Results Officer 

This is tough. In terms of Lansing, our dining habits have changed since we had Amelia … so we go to Pizza House a lot, and we eat a lot of pizza with her. But we also really like Stillwater Grill, which is a good spot, and that is where Ryan and I went on our first date. Also, I like Biggby Coffee, and that’s a great Michigan chain that started here.

We also definitely spend some time in Ann Arbor, Flint, and Detroit. So in Ann Arbor, we really love Zingerman’s Roadhouse – really love all things Zingerman’s, and very excited to take a cooking class there next week. And in Flint, Flint Crepe Company, Hoffman’s Deli, and Badawest. And there’s just too many places in Detroit to list. And in terms of Biggby, other Michigan chains that have done well and that I really like are Grand Traverse Pie Company and Zoup.

Jaclyn, Data & Analytics Associate

One of my favorite places to go in Ann Arbor is Dominick’s. They have really good sangria and pizza. It’s really sad, because it’s only open a few months out of the year, but definitely go if you’re ever in Ann Arbor in the summer. And, things that are open year-round, I like Frita Batidos, it has really good Cuban street food and it’s a cool atmosphere in there as well. And then, as far as just drinks, The Last Word in Ann Arbor is also really cool. They have lots of funky combinations of drinks that you wouldn’t expect, but it tastes really good.

John, Web Development/Production Artist

Places to eat around here – my favorite is probably Soup Spoon in Lansing. It’s the best lunch place, best sandwiches, and really good soup. And they have really good brunch now too – it’s one of the few places in Lansing where you can actually get brunch food and Bloody Marys and things like that. They have a bar in there, too, so you can get a drink. I really like sushi too, I go to Ai Fusion in Okemos a lot. It’s not super expensive, because I’m not a connoisseur, but I like sushi. And for drinks, I really like Zoobie’s in Old Town – it’s been there forever. They have good Moscow Mules, good beer, and a really good patio in the summer. I also like The Green Door and places like that in Lansing, where you can see concerts and things like that.

Ryan, Director of Change

In terms of coffee, and dessert foods, I really like Iorio’s. I don’t get there very often anymore because of our office location, but Strange Matter is really great. Favorite places to eat, Red Haven on the corner of Mount Hope and Hagadorn is really great. It’s expensive, but it’s really good.


Carly, Visual Composer

Cherry Republic in Ann Arbor has really good cherry soda and cherry salsa, and Cardamom is a great Indian restaurant in Ann Arbor.


Erin, Communication Associate 

I’m a big pizza person, so I have my favorite places in my hometown and Lansing. I love Bimbos Pizza in Kalamazoo; they have a great thin crust pizza. And The Cosmos is my favorite pizza in Lansing. They have fancier pizzas with pears and pancetta — so good. They also have amazing bruschetta and french fries.


Amy, Crafter of Strategic Communication 

A lot of my favorites right now are in Ann Arbor, since I lived there for four years. I also love Cardamom – it’s a great Indian restaurant on the north side of town, and it has a parking lot, which is important in Ann Arbor. Songbird Cafe is great too, close by Cardamom, and it also has a parking lot. Both of them are are off the Main Street strip, so they’re a little less expensive. I’ve had less time to explore Lansing restaurants, but our neighbors in REO Town have great food – Saddleback Barbecue and Good Truckin’ Diner.

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