When searching for their lab partner, a Michigan State student might first check the dorms. The safe second option is Georgio's Pizza. The Lansing staple doles out gourmet, hand-tossed pies whole or by the slice until 3 a.m. on many evenings, following the sage business model that brought the family-owned business from Greece—settle in a college town and feed the masses. Today, more than 50 New York–style pizzas populate menus at three Georgio's locations.
The pizzas' toppings run the gamut from traditional cheese and pepperoni to creative combinations such as barbecue chicken and tortellini or eggplant and tomato. Like many forms of deep-sea pizza, Georgio's pies often disguise themselves as a different food—a taco, perhaps, or a baked potato, complete with chives, bacon, cheese, and sour cream—in a short-sighted attempt to avoid being eaten by predators. In his review for Michigan Live, Troy Reimink remarks that Georgio's served "the most interesting and tasty slices I've wolfed down in recent memory, although I felt as if I was disrespecting the creations by not nibbling them with silverware off fine china."
Georgio's is so dedicated to treating customers to a gourmet experience that its staffers actually take the pizza out of the oven before it is finished. They then wait until a customer selects the pizza before popping it back in—often adding extra ingredients—which ensures that the pies are always served piping hot without having to line the crust with charcoal briquettes.
Crunchy?s takes its beer seriously. Customers can pick from 27 taps at the pub, coming from Michigan breweries such as Bell?s and New Holland, as well as craft breweries including Dogfish Head and Stone. The microbrew-loving staffers regularly host brewers' nights with reps on hand to sample and answer questions, and celebrate the release of seasonal beers such as Bell?s Oberon. Brews come by the pint or in the famous 270-ounce ?bucket of beer,? ideal for serving a large party or putting out a dollhouse fire.
To accompany the tap selection, Crunchy?s kitchen serves a menu of pub fare that includes stone-baked calzones, deep-dish pizzas, and half-pound char-grilled burgers. Nine burger-topping combinations, each including a beer-pairing suggestion, range from pineapple and teriyaki sauce to saut?ed onions and pepperoncinis.
Crunchy?s cultivates a casual and easygoing atmosphere both inside its taproom and on its front patio. Inside, beer signs and photos plaster the aged wood walls above emerald booths, separated from central tables by illuminated weathered wood arches. Arcade games and dartboards are situated in the front, next to painted white wood where patrons of the past have scrawled their names or TARDIS coordinates. A full events calendar includes karaoke every Thursday?Saturday.
There aren't many restaurants anymore where you can sit in the same booth your parents might have dined in 40 years ago. But such is the case at Beggar's Banquet. The self-proclaimed restaurant and saloon took root in 1973, founded by Bob Adler and named after his favorite Rolling Stones album. The pub-like main dining area remains down-to-earth and casual, welcoming guests with wood-paneled walls and stained-glass windows. The names of "beggulars" are etched on gold plates above the bar, and local families celebrate milestones in an elegant room dedicated to private parties. All of this, coupled with the nostalgic atmosphere and tasty, homestyle dishes, has helped Beggar’s Banquet earn praise as one of Lansing's best restaurants by 10Best.
Twenty ever-changing craft beers on tap and a wine list that ranges from malbecs to piesporters fuel the jovial ambiance. Cooks innovate creative spins on classic comfort food, adding muenster, havarti, and gouda to their baked mac 'n’ cheese and a blueberry compote to char-grilled pork chops. They also serve breakfast until 2 p.m., the time each day when orange juice magically transforms into soda pop.
Voted the area?s best women's clothing store by the readers of the Towne Courier in the 2010 People's Choice Awards and Voted #1 consignment store for the Top of the Town award 2013 and 2014 from CityPulse, Kellie's Consignments houses an ever-changing selection of men's and women's consignment apparel, furniture, and designer shoes and accessories in its expansive 13,500-square-foot showroom. The shop's one-of-a-kind inventory shifts more quickly than a caffeinated racecar, with a fresh selection of new merchandise from consignors constantly rotated in from consignors as far away as Texas. Handbags and footwear with pedigrees from designers such as Fendi and Roberto Cavalli keep patrons decked out in timeless fashions, and a selection of jewelry lets them further accessorize any outfit. Such designer deals led Lansing City Pulse readers to crown Kellie's Consignments Best Consignment Store in the 2013 and 2014 Top of the Town readers' poll.
Despite the fact that they sell frozen treats, Swirlberry isn't synonymous with sweet—their artisan-made frozen yogurt embraces crisp, refreshing flavors that aren't overloaded with sugar. The machines at each location dispense classic variants such as Greek tart and vanilla, fruity spoonfuls of pomegranate and strawberry, as well as Hershey's ice cream and vanilla custard. Even the flavors that skew toward desserts—birthday cake, for example—are still low-fat and don't overpower the palate.
Every flavor is also kosher, gluten-free, and host to four active live cultures that may aid in digestion. And, Swirlberry's resident yogurt mixologist keeps the menu fresh by inventing seasonal flavors, rather than by combining chocolate with vanilla and calling it "mystery taste." Guests can embellish their yogurt with toppings that run the gamut from fresh fruit and berries to cereal bits and chocolate chips. More decadent non-yogurt treats such as vanilla custard and Hershey's ice cream are also available.
In 2006, the founders of Dublin Square Irish Pub & Restaurant followed through on their longtime vision of bringing a small piece of their homeland to East Lansing?literally. Much of the pub's interior decor was gathered or built in Ireland then transported some 4,000 miles to its new home in Michigan. That includes the hand-carved mahogany bar, which was reassembled on-site by the same craftsmen who built it across the pond, where the wood would otherwise have toiled in obscurity as an ornate armoire.
Surrounded by these Irish relics, the pub's visitors can truly celebrate the craic?a term for the camaraderie and good cheer that abounds in a welcoming pub. They can also dig into classic Irish dishes, such as bangers and mash, a dish consisting of locally made Irish sausage, crispy haystack onions, and a side of Guinness mustard. The menu honors American favorites, too, including New York strip steaks and pizza. All of these meals come together over rounds of drinks that range from draft beers to international wines.