Cafes in Grand Rapids

Select Local Merchants

The folks at Cheshire Nails strive to elevate nailcare from a mere series of treatments to a full-blown experience. Therefore, they offer VIP and hot-stone spa packages that turn simple manicures and pedicures into lavish journeys, comforting feet and hands with citrus-honey sugar wraps, marine masks, and massages that feature the soft kiss of butter creams. But the emphasis on embellishments in no way detracts from the salon's bread and butter. The technicians groom nails with precision and zeal, filing and shaping nails before layering on OPI and Shellac polishes, which can turn even the most accusatory finger wag into a gesture that emotes pure class.

2162 Plainfield Avenue Northeast
Grand Rapids,
MI
US

With years of experience as a health-care specialist and bed-and-breakfast owner, Marilyn Heeringa has mastered the art of pampering and promoting wellness. Today, she specializes in ionic detox treatments, which utilize the ability of positive and negative ions to cleanse the entire body through ion footbaths.

Having traveled to Egypt and other parts of Africa, Marilyn has decorated her cozy studio with an eclectic collection of art that reflects her worldliness and her talent for looking at art. Along with detoxifying Egyptian body wraps, she offers massage therapy, facials, one-on-one-yoga, and meditation classes.

1721 Rodney Cir NE
Grand Rapids,
MI
US

DriveTech provides classroom instruction for fledgling racecar drivers on a variety of professional racetracks across the country. Ride shotgun for five laps with a professional driver for a heart-pumping, really fast thrill ride in a safe environment that's completely free of Kurt Russell. Alternately, the 12-lap package lets you actually take the reins of a professional stock car. After a round of basic classroom instruction, you'll get to take the wheel for three practice laps and nine laps of proper green-flag racing that will leave your hair mussed, eyes bulged, and torso coated in corporate sponsorships. Both experiences eschew straight, open road in favor of high-speed turns, a hallmark of stock-car racing. Check out the schedule here.

15 Ionia Ave SW
Grand Rapids,
MI
US

Vanillas Coffee Tea Café serves a plethora of caffeinated concoctions and herbaceous teas, complemented with a full menu of wrapped sandwiches. The café offers several types of coffees ($1.50–$1.75) in its brewed arsenal, as well as a bruising bullpen of elaborate espresso drinks, such as mochas ($3.60) and full-flavored ristrettos ($1.75). Chase coffee with a grilled-chicken sandwich ($5.50), enhanced with sun-dried tomatoes and provolone and feta cheese, or a Michigan salad ($5.50), mixed with gorgonzola and dried fruits. Customers bearing the limited-edition, quickly abandoned Tony Orlando one-dollar bill can still find sustenance on the dollar menu, with low-priced pabulum such as a toasted honey croissant ($1) or a vanilla cupcake ($1). The café's specialty sweets also put smiles on the faces of stomachs, with specialty cookies ($15 for a dozen) and chocolate-dipped strawberries ($10 for a dozen) ready to stuff tummies. Java junkies can take home a pound of whole-bean or ground coffee ($8.50–$9.75), with an organic option available.

3150 Plainfield Avenue Northeast
Grand Rapids,
MI
US

Sweet Mellisa's fulfills dessert-related dreams with the more than 10 traditional and unique flavors on its menu. Mellisa's cupcakes run the gamut of tastes, from the chocolaty junior mints of Midnight Mint to the marshmallow frosting and graham-cracker cake batter of s'mores. The cupcake creators fill custom orders for parties of all types, such as bridal showers or People Against Full-Size Cake conventions, and customers can supply Mellisa with their own flavor ideas to receive personalized cupcakes. Sweet Mellisa's also offers both pour-over and French-press coffee, all of which is ethically sourced via direct trade and individually brewed. Guests who prefer savory to sweet can dine on a variety of cafe-inspired lunch and dinner options. Boars Head meats and cheeses fill paninis, while soups and salads use fresh ingredients to satisfy diners.

2404 Eastern Ave. SE
Grand Rapids,
MI
US

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand is stocked with an impressive array of brewables, steepables, and munchables. The cozy beverage boutique serves up more than 30 loose-leaf teas by the classic cup ($2.50) for calming down even the most stressed-out Depression-era baseball players. Iced green and black teas ($1.90) are also available to cool customers down on hot summer days. A bevy of fair-trade bean-juice options will perk up the thirsty without causing moral jitters. Throw back a shot of espresso ($1.90) for a no-frills energy punch, or flirt with the foam atop a decadent mocha ($3.75) during a relaxed rendezvous at the café. Bottomless house coffee ($3.50) is available for the supersleepy or those who've been boycotting cup bottoms ever since they started supporting big-box retail chains. If you crave creativity, opt for a customizable bubble tea ($3.75–$4.25) and let the tapioca beads act as a delightfully textured muse.

1035 Wealthy Street Southeast
Grand Rapids,
MI
US