Grand Rapids boasts a number of attractions that are must-see for visitors, including Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, John Ball Zoo, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum. The Grand Rapids Downtown Market joined this illustrious list soon after it opened in 2013, thanks to its fresh and innovative local dining, food and beverage-centric shopping, creative culinary programs and events, fun family activities, and truly distinctive spaces for corporate and private gatherings.

Located in downtown’s Heartside Neighborhood, a 15-minute walk or free bus ride from downtown hotels and the city’s convention center, the Downtown Market is home to 20+ local purveyors of food, beverages, and specialty products. This hyper-local focus makes the market a uniquely Grand Rapids experience that draws visitors and residents alike, who love to eat local food and support small businesses.

Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market, says, “The Market is not only a great place to try new foods or sample your way through several cuisines in one visit, but it also hosts free public events and is a gathering spot for the community. Whether visitors need a place they can meet for coffee, host a business meeting or event, or enjoy a delicious meal, we offer some amazing local options.”

Downtown Market GR

The Downtown Market is open 7 days a week and has over 20+ vendors.

Photo by Photo Courtesy of Experience GR

As many as one million people visit the Downtown Market each year to try new foods, sample different cuisines, attend a free culinary event, and gather with friends or colleagues for a leisurely coffee or off-site meeting. Since the Market’s opening, more than 1,000 start-up food entrepreneurs have used its Incubator Kitchen program – which includes professional-grade equipment available 24/7 for food production, packaging, prepping, and catering – to further their dreams. Many have gone on to open their own businesses around town.

The Market’s impact extends beyond the food arena, as it has also stimulated residential and retail development in formerly vacant warehouses in the surrounding neighborhood – an area some refer to now as the Market District.

These successes have validated organizers’ vision that the Downtown Market would not just be a tremendous attraction, but it would also help build a healthier community and economy.

A flight of ice cream scoops

Stop by Love's Ice Cream for their 5 scoop flights or boozy ice cream cocktails.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

What to expect when you visit

The Market Hall on the first floor of the facility is laid out so you can easily browse the collection of butchers, bakers, fishmongers, and other artisan food vendors, with wide aisles and prominent signage. You might want to start your visit with a beverage from Alt City Beverage Company, High Tide Soda, or Squibb Coffee Bar. That’ll give you the energy to power through your culinary adventure.

If you’re shopping for home cooking ingredients, you’ll want to peruse the fresh seafood at Fish Lads, the premium meats at Carvers, and the many flavor-enhancing items at Old World Olive Co. and Spice Merchants. Hosting a dinner party? Stop by Aperitivo for cheese, charcuterie, wine and beer. Pick up dessert to go at Field & Fire Bakery, Gaby’s Gourmandise, or Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate. Hit Dorothy & Tony’s Gourmet Popcorn to stock up on after-dinner snacks.

Many of these vendors offer selections to enjoy on-site, too – including burgers, sandwiches, salads, shrimp, pizza, quiches, cookies, cinnamon buns, and so much more. You can enjoy your food and drink on the second floor of the Market or on the outdoor patio, both equipped with comfortable tables and chairs.

Other Market Hall tenants focus on serving lunch and dinner – and even late breakfast, as the Market opens at 10am on Saturday and Sunday (11am on weekdays). There’s a world of flavors to explore, from American (Juju Bird and Pinktail Poke) to Asian (Rák Thai and Sushi Market), and from Mediterranean (Café de Miro) to Mexican (Tacos El Cuñado). Some of these restaurants offer private seating inside the Market.

Grand Rapids Downtown Market Wedding Venue

The banquet room can seat 180-250 guests for events.

Photo by Grand Rapids Downtown Market

A community gathering spot

The Market also hosts special events throughout the year, each designed to bring the community together for food and fun. From food promos to culinary conversations to vintage/handmade marketplaces and car shows, they appeal to all ages and interests.

New in 2023 is the Christkindl Markt, which will transform the Market’s outdoor space into a traditional European-style Christmas village lined with artisan gift and food vendors, live holiday entertainment and festive fun. It will run Nov. 17 - Dec. 23, 2023, with plans to make it an annual event.

The Market is also a popular choice for weddings, corporate outings, and team-building events. The facility’s banquet room and rooftop greenhouse, both boasting spectacular city views, are much coveted by brides and businesses.

Whatever your occasion to visit the Downtown Market, you can count on feeling welcome and comfortable. The facility was built to provide an accessible experience for differently abled patrons, and abundant sustainability features create an eco- and people-friendly environment.   

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market will satisfy your craving for delicious food and fun ambience. Stop by today – it’s open seven days a week!