There’s no denying Grand Rapids’ brunch scene is growing, and with it, there are more options than ever to find the perfect Bloody Mary.
Of course, “perfect” is in the taste buds of the drinker – so we’ve assembled a list of destinations offering popular, distinctive and out-of-the-ordinary Bloody Marys that you can sample in search of your own personal favorite. Some are full-service Bloody Mary bars (though the pandemic has cut down on the number of outlets offering these), some are available beyond brunch hours and all are delicious.
Rockwell Republic offers a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar on weekends that locals love. The downtown gastropub offers a bevy of house-infused vodka flavors – dill, garlic, habanero, ghost pepper and more – as a base. You can add a kebab of shrimp, chicken tenders or succulent steak to top it off. One visit and you’ll see why Rockwell Republic won the 2021 reader’s poll in the Bloody Mary category in both Grand Rapids Magazine and Revue Magazine.
With five different mixes and tons of garnishes such as horseradish, jalapeños, olives, and bacon, Birch Lodge offers an ample build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. What really makes it unique is the free taco bar that accompanies it on Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
Enjoy a stellar brunch spread with your Bloody Mary at Blue Water Grill.
Photo by Fox Blot Labs
Blue Water Grill
Sunday is Brunch day at Blue Water Grill, with an 11am-3pm build-your-own Bloody Mary bar that offers several different mixes as well as a vast array of garnishes – including fresh and pickled vegetables, stuffed olives, cheeses and meats.
Grand Rapids’ home of “throw-back American dining with a retro twist,” The Commons menu features a Bloody Mary with a house-specialty skewer and Miller Highlife mini sidecar. (Now that’s retro!)
Graydon's Crossing brunch Bloody Mary and more.
Photo by Brian Craig for Experience Grand Rapids
The Bloody Marys at Graydon’s Crossing are made with Absolut Peppar, a flavored vodka that has a distinct character of green bell, chili and jalapeno peppers. They’re specially priced on weekends from 10am-3pm.
Matchbox Diner & Drinks
Not your typical diner: Matchbox serves up six different Bloody Mary creations made with a choice of spirits – including tequila, pilsner, bourbon and three different varieties of vodka.
MeXo Tequila & Mezcal Bar
This authentic Mexican restaurant makes its Bloody Maria with Bloody mix and Cabrito Blanco tequila for a south-of-the-border spin on the classic recipe. It’s available during Sunday brunch from 10am-3pm.
This local breakfast and lunch spot, with locations on Bridge Street and the East Beltline, is only open until 2:30pm daily – which sort of makes every day a brunch day. Try its signature Flower Bed Bloody Mary made with cucumber vodka, Bloody Mary mix and an edible flower. Refreshing!
O’Toole’s Public House
The popular Bloody Mary Bar at O’Tooles has been temporarily suspended due to COVID, but you can still order its classic version from the menu. An Irish Pub might not be your first choice for a great Bloody Mary, but O’Toole’s will make you a believer.
Brunch is served from 8am-3pm daily at Royals – which means you have plenty of time to check out this neighborhood diner’s Bloody Mary selection. Choose from two mixes and five vodkas, including jalapeno-infused, basil peppercorn-infused and bacon-infused varieties.
San Chez Bistro
San Chez offers a Classic Bloody Mary featuring your choice of spirit and an infused Bloody Mary made with one of its house-made flavors: garlic jalapeno vodka, cucumber & red dill vodka or beet vodka.
Enjoy SpeakEZ's unique Bloody Mary blend.
Photo by SpeakEZ Lounge
SpeakEZ Lounge uses a unique smoked dry-spice blend and a healthy dose of Sriracha to infuse its Bloody Marys with a rich, earthy flavor and sharp spiciness. The standard recipe is a medium-spice level but feel free to ask your server to adjust it up or down. Add a beer sidecar if you’re so inclined. Bloodys are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm.
Steel Cat Bar
The super cool (and oh-so-cold) frost rail at Steel Cat Bar is something to behold. Go on a weekend from 9am-2pm to experience the Cat’s Bloody Mary bar, with its extensive selection of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, shrimp, oysters, sardines, meats and pastries. Choose from several different Bloody Mary mixes – some spicy, some basic, one is gluten-free – and add your choice of hot sauces and garnishes.
You probably know they have great burgers, but did you know that Stella’s Lounge also creates stellar Bloody Marys? Their unique spin on tomato-based cocktails came in at #3 in the 2021 Revue Magazine reader’s poll for Bloody Marys.
That bacon, lettuce and tomato are just begging to be turned into a BLT at Sundance Grill.
Photo by Sundance Grill and Bar
Sundance Grill and Bar
Sundance Grill and Bar blends their own Bloody Mary mix using a secret recipe that sets it apart from the ordinary. If you upgrade to the BLT version, the drink comes with bacon, lettuce, and tomato in it, as well as a side of Texas toast and mayonnaise that you can use to create the perfect snack to nosh on while you savor your drink.
Locally-sourced ingredients are always front and center at Terra and their Bloody Marys are no exception.
Photo by Brian Craig for Experience Grand Rapids
The weekend brunch menu at this Uptown eatery (served from 10am-2:30 pm) reflects its commitment to sustainable, seasonal ingredients handcrafted with pride – and so does the house mix that serves as the base of its Bloody Marys. Choose either vodka, jalapeno tequila or bourbon for the alcohol kick. You can add a beer sidecar, too.
Wise Men Distillery
This craft distillery offers a choice of three Bloody Mary flavors with varying degrees of heat level. (Try the Hell’s Gate if you dare.) Each selection comes with a skewer and a sidecar in your choice of house-crafted spirit. Visit the distillery on the southeast side, close to the airport, or the tasting room in downtown Grand Rapids, right across from Rosa Parks Circle.
For the ultimate build-your-own Bloody Mary experience, pick up a bottle of Brewt’s Bloody Mary mix for your next party. This all-natural, garden-fresh mixer is made right here in Grand Rapids with organic tomato juice, fresh squeezed citrus and Brewt’s Jalapeno Brine. It’s the mixer of choice for several local restaurants, and you can purchase it at Art of the Table, Bridge Street Market and Martha’s Vineyard, among other shops.
Menus are subject to change, so confirm brunch and Bloody Mary availability with destinations before you go. And remember that this isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means – Bloody Marys are a fixture at many other local restaurants.