9 Restaurants Deemed a ‘Must Visit’ by Kalamazoo Area Locals
During a Facetime call with my long lost friends in the sunny state of Florida, the subject of coming to visit me when things are 'normal' was brought up. The thought is, of course, exciting. I miss my friends!
But, it suddenly dawned on me that even when they do come visit...I still have no idea where I would take them! So, I presented the question to you, our local listeners, asking what restaurants in SW Michigan are a 'must visit' for out of towners (or anyone really). In no particular order, here are the suggestions:
1. Hi-Lite in Marshall
This suggestion comes from Josie R. In business since 1946 according to their Facebook page, Hi-Lite serves as a little drive up diner. They serve chili dogs, ice cream and the best (as they claim) homemade root beer. I don't know who invented the concept of being able to drive up, order delicious food, and enjoy it without leaving your car but I want to give them a high five. While they're currently closed, the start of season is right around the corner.
2. Studio Grill in Kalamazoo
Deemed a 'must visit' by Pat B., we have Studio Grill. Family owned since 2010, Studio Grill focuses on locally sourced, fresh ingredients for their dishes. Open for lunch and dinner, they serve burgers that make my mouth water by their description alone along with wraps, sandwiches, omelets, pancakes, the works. They also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Find their full menu on their website or Facebook page.
3. Cornwell's Turkeyville U.S.A. in Marshall
Holy moly does this place offer a wide variety of experiences. Thanks to Tammy G. for this suggestion. Cornwell's offers a restaurant that serves food "the way grandma used to make it", an ice cream parlor, a dinner theater, a shop, and a gorgeous campground sitting on 14 acres. Details about their campground, shows and more can be found on their website.
4. The Local Beer Cellar and Pizza Oven in Centerville
Suggested by Kim M., The Local is a family friendly self-service pizza shop and beer hall, according to their Facebook page. Here you'll find specialty pizzas (of course), burgers, chicken strips, tacos, wings and meals for the kids too. It looks like they offer lunch combo specials as well. You can find out more details on their website.
5. Fricano's of Alamo
Located about 15 minutes from Kalamazoo, this suggestion comes from Amanda L. By their own admission, Fricano's is set in a rural area. However, that's what gives it it's charm. According to their website, patrons often spot wildlife while enjoying their meal and, during the warmer months, their patio is said to provide 'outdoor dining at its finest'. Made famous by their pizza, Fricano's also offers BBQ ribs, steak, seafood, and Italian dishes. Besides their website, you can also find them on Facebook.
6. Bill's Steak House in Bronson
Awarded the Best Steakhouse in West Michigan, Bill's Steak House has been in business for 50 years. They cut their meat fresh daily, according to their website, and that's what sets them apart. They don't just serve steaks, though. On their menu you'll find seafood, chicken dishes, sandwiches and a kids menu as well. Bill's Steak House also provides daily specials which are updated on their Facebook page. Thanks to Cheryl K. for this suggestion.
7. Four Roses Cafe in Plainwell
Four Roses Cafe is an absolute must according to Aimee J. From the pictures alone, this cafe looks very quaint. They focus on locally sourced ingredients and prepare their meals fresh, In fact, their entire menu changes daily. However, the thing that immediately caught my attention is that their slices of cake are huge. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by this. Check out their menu (and that CAKE) on their website or Facebook page.
8. La Cantina in Paw Paw
Suggested by Trish R., La Cantina is an Italian Restaurant and wine bar. The concept for this started 76 years ago, according to their website. Anything you can think of, as far as Italian dishes go, you'll probably find it here. Browsing their menu I see options for pasta, steak, veal, antipasti, desserts like cannoli and tiramisu, and traditional pizza. They're open for dinner and offer daily dinner specials which they update on their Facebook page.
9. Chin Chin in Mattawan
Last, but certainly not least, is Chin Chin. Chin Chin's reputation precedes itself as I have already been told that if you want to order carry out...you better do it with plenty of time to spare because it's in high demand. I haven't personally tried it yet but, their menu offers Asian cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients, according to their website. Everything from lettuce wraps to Kimchi fries, from Kung Pao Chicken to Blackbean Marsala can be found here. They offer a lunch and dinner menu which you can find on their website. Thanks to Rebecca V. for this 'must visit' eatery suggestion!
Tell Me More
I know this barely scratches the surface of good places to eat in SW Michigan but I'm someone who trusts a place based on word of mouth. With that being said, if you have suggestions that are even better or want to add to the list reach out anytime using the KFR app!