The staffers at Newk’s Express Café continue to perfect the art of fast, casual dining, creating freshly tossed salads, made-from-scratch soups, and hot toasted sandwiches at locations in 11 states. California-style pizzas boasting barbecue chicken or smoked gouda compound the difficulty of choice making, and house-made cakes in flavors that include banana and coconut tempt diners, whether they’re dining in the café, picking up, or softly whimpering in awe before the open kitchen.
Founded by a mother-daughter team, Sara's Sweets Bakery whips up quality baked goods, including cupcakes, cookies, and custom-decorated cakes. Grand Rapids-area customers can utilize the bakery's delivery service, or stop into the shop, where fresh coffee and donuts are served every day. To make sure no sweet tooth gets stymied, Sara's offers sugar- and gluten-free treats upon request.
At Uncommon Grounds by Talsma, the sounds of shiny chrome espresso machines brewing up rich coffee drinks blends with the sweet taste of fresh pastries and desserts. Guests sip on java or juice as they sample slices of handmade cookies or rich bundt cakes.
EuroPan European Bakery's menu puts a refreshing twist on food-court fare, sending diners on a taste trip around the globe, minus volcano-caused flight delays and escape-chute-activating disgruntled flight attendants. Begin your day with breakfast in Paris, an artisan croissant layered with ham and melted provolone cheese ($2.99), or handle a Hemingwayesque hunger with the San Sebastian morning meal—two petit pan rolls and a helping of Philadelphia cream cheese ($1.99). Guests can offset the jet set's carbon emissions with a quick and easy lunch in Barcelona ($5.99), a hearty rustica-bread creation filled with Spanish chorizo and manchego cheese, and the flavorful Tuscany sandwich—made with sliced turkey, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, and basil on crispy focaccia ($5.99)—is a timesaving alternative to sailing your backpack across the Mediterranean Sea.
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.