How to be a Foodie in Grand Rapids for less than $99.

Arancini at Daniele’s Pizzeria

So, I was at Birch Lodge the other day where I met Charles. Like many people, Charles wanted to know why I was taking pictures of my food. I struck up a conversation with him and explained EatGR to him. He was really excited about EatGR, but confessed to me that as much as he wanted to eat at new and interesting places that his budget really prohibited him from doing so. He was at Birch Lodge because it was free taco day with the purchase of a drink, just like me.

Pho at Pho Anh Trang
Pho at Pho Anh Trang

This really got me thinking, I used to be Charles. If you ever look closely at a lot of my posts, you will see that I am still frequently looking for the cheap eats.

So, freshly inspired, I wanted to start thinking of places that were trending in EatGR on a regular basis to help out Charles and others like him who wanted to get into the local food scene, but needed to do it on the cheap…..and wanted something more than just burgers. I decided on menu items that were $6 or less (because $6 is the new $5). I also looked at some places offering a quality lunch special.

Bacon Potato Soup at Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop
Bacon Potato Soup at Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop

These are the eats that I would recommend to Charles to get his feet wet in the local food culture in an affordable way.

$5 arancini at Daniele’s Pizza. Cheap introduction to a very filling Sicilian treat.
$6 pho at Pho Ann Trang. Because Pho is “a thing” right now.
$5 soup at Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop. Because the quality is that good.
$2.25 tamales at Tamales Mary. Because she have 10 varieties and many you haven’t seen.
$5 Eiffel Tower Ultra at Yesterdog. Show your friends that you know about off menu items.
$5 egg and cheese everything bagel at GR Bagel. The only place in town that boils their bagels.
$3 Banh Mi at Ly’s Sandwiches. Vietnamese street food.
$4 stuffed Peppadews at Gus’ Original. Everybody should try peppadews.
$5 Soup at the Lazy Susan. TLS is heavily trending in EatGR right now.
$3 pizza slice at Georgios downtown. They do all sorts of crazy types of pizza.
$3.50 hot dog at The Mad Dogz. They have hot dogs with lots of toppings. Some are even normal.
$3.50 Boba Tea at Rak Downtown. Because, Boba Tea!
$2.50 pupusas at Pupuseria El Salvador.  Because pupusa are tasty and filling
$4 sandwich menu at Le Kabob and Sheshco. Tawook, shawarma, and kafta. It’s all there for cheap.
$3.50 (1) Salted Cupcake. She makes the most creative cupcakes and is definitely trending.
$6 Lasagna Soup at Amore.  Everybody loves Amore.
$2.50 authentic Mexican taco. We are blessed in this food genre, so here is the whole list!

St. Patrick Day Cupcakes at The Salted Cupcake
St. Patrick Day Cupcakes at The Salted Cupcake

Honorable Mentions:

Entire menu at New York Fried Chicken. Amazingly Cheap and Tasty Eats
1/2 of Sushi at Osaka on Mondays and Wednesdays. Breaking you into sushi for cheap.
$8.99 lunch buffet at Lai Thai Kitchen. Is only one of a couple Thai buffets in town, and is a great way to learn about Thai Food without breaking the bank.
Anything at Paris Cafe. The desserts here are so inexpensive, that anybody can afford this.
Anything at Herman’s Boy. Because they make everything in the house, they are able to achieve economies of scale and keep the prices down….WAY DOWN!
Lunch menu at Charlie’s Bar and Grill. Very below the radar and surprisingly good.
$5 Wednesday special at Bob’s Bar for 2 Chicago dogs and a beer. Because everybody should have a proper Chicago dog.
75 cent sliders Sunday’s and Logans Alley.  Because 75 cents!

75 cent sliders at Logan's Alley
75 cent sliders at Logan’s Alley

That’s it!  You can now be a Foodie for less than $99.  Well less than $99, actually.

I hope that for those of you who are financially challenged that you have a chance to try some of these great eats in Grand Rapids.  For those of you with less financial constraints, this should be a notice to you that if you have not had these food items yet that you are missing some of, what I believe, are some of the essential food experiences that are really defining the city right now.

Get out there and try something new….and don’t go broke in the process.


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