Top “Secret” Deals In Grand Rapids

Have you seen those billboards? With the tagline “Cool City. Hot Eats.”? Grand Rapids is certainly a cool city, and is becoming a metropolis of festivals, events, and entertainment. More importantly, though, to foodies around the country (and even from abroad), are the many smashing, daring, and exceptional restaurants in Grand Rapids. Many have been awarded for their excellence. One might think they can’t possibly afford to experience the wonder of what GR restaurants have to offer–but au contraire, mon amie! Special deals will make you feel like you’re on the VIP list when dining here. Take a look at these “secret” deals in GR.


Photo courtesy of Krista/Urban Impulse
Photo courtesy of Krista/Urban Impulse

Named the best Chinese restaurant in GR, this little gem is nestled on Monroe Center, just a few blocks up from Rosa Parks Circle. Right in the heart of downtown, XO offers far more than Chinese–they offer dishes from Southeast Asia and Japan, as well as classic American fare for the kids.

Specifically,  XO has a huge variety of sushi, varying from The Lady in Pink (shrimp tempura and lobster salad) to the Sunset Roll (eel and avocado). The best part is that all day, every Tuesday, (most) sushi is half off! There are a few exclusions, but generally one can have a gourmet, authentic sushi dinner or lunch for under $10. That will save you cash for the Crab Rangoons or Pineapple Fried Rice, which comes in a pineapple!


If you miss half off sushi at XO on Tuesday, hit up the same deal of Osaka Steakhouse on 28th Street. A bit further from town, this fab spot hosts Japanese food, sushi, seafood, and all the traditional stuff. On Wednesdays, try a la carte sushi: regular and special rolls like the Sweetheart roll (in the shape of a heart, of course!) are all discounted to half price—but bring your non-sushi-eating friends along for the Japanese Taco, sake, and the excitement of the hibachi grill.



You may have read about Stella’s famous blue burger, and now you can get it for a cheaper price. Being named the “Best Burger in America” by GQ is nothing to roll your eyes at. Stella’s Lounge in downtown GR is a quirky bar with an attitude. Hosting arcade games and graffiti murals on the walls, Stella’s has an attitude, with the tagline “Strong Drinks, Cheap Beer, Loud Music, No Bullshit”. The “Best Burger” is generally almost $10, but on Thursday nights, the bar satisfies burger-lovers by offering the famous burger for just 5 bucks. So sit on down, order a Stella’s Punch and a burger, and settle in for the night.


HopCat was voted the 3rd best restaurant in the world by the BeerAdvocates–boasting their famous Crack Fries and about 50 beers on tap–this place deserves the title. Keeping the burgers going, every weekday between 4 and 6 pm, HopCat on Ionia, right downtown, has a sensational burger and beer deal: any Michigan beer under $4 or HopCat beer under $6 and a burger is only $6. That’s right, just $6—so you’re essentially getting the burger for free. Or a really cheap burger and a really cheap beer. No matter what way you look at it, that’s about the same price as a #5 at Burger King… So step in through the golden double doors, find a booth or a table, and scan the extensive list of  brews for one that tickles your fancy. You’ll be on cloud 9 in no time.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

This USDA-certified organic brewing company finally returned to downtown this past year. It was once part of a merger of six small breweries downtown, and 119 years later, returned only six blocks away from its original locale. Now it’s proud to be one of less than two dozen organic breweries in the country, and the only one in Michigan. This large brewery on the corner of Fulton and Ionia pours brews like Menage A Tois, Rosalynn Bliss Blonde, and $90 Ale. On weekdays from 4-6 pm (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?), they offer one of their beers and one of their large homemade sausages for just $5. Head on over and experience the nostalgia–and a cheap, delicious meal.

Monkey Bar in the B.O.B.


If you’ve just gotten done with a stressful day of work and are looking to relax a bit, head to the Monkey Bar in the lower level of the Big Old Building. The chic atmosphere, low lighting, and couch seating will relax you. And then, once you’re nestled in, get yourself any micro-brew for just 50 cents. Every Wednesday evening from 5-8 pm, signatures like the Afterglow Amber, Platinum Blonde, and even seasonals like the Peanut Butter Porter are all available to patrons for $0.50. That’s half of a dollar-no joke. Try a few, try them all! It’s a Wednesday, but live a little! This is one offer that you cannot pass up.

 ~Hannah Matro, Associate Editor

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