19 Best Grand Rapids, MN Restaurants (From a Local!) 2024

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Are you looking for the very best Grand Rapids, MN restaurants to find somewhere to eat during your visit?

Whether you are a resident or just passing through, you won’t want to miss out on some of the great food options that we have to offer!

I’m a local of Grand Rapids and grew up in this great Northern Minnesota town, so I’ve personally eaten at every one of these restaurants!

In this post, I’ll be sharing my personal favorites and giving you the inside scoop on the best places to eat in Grand Rapids! Let’s jump into it.

Map of Grand Rapids, MN Restaurants

Best Restaurants in Grand Rapids, MN

Below you’ll find the best restaurants in Grand Rapids, MN that feature dishes for lunch and dinner. I’ve included a few local tips, as well as my favorite dishes, to help you with your visit!

1. Forest Lake Restaurant

One of the nicest sit-down restaurants in town is Forest Lake Restaurant, which is accurately named for its location across from Forest Lake.

Here you’ll find classic meals, served in a log building with Northwoods-style decor, like old lanterns and stunning paintings.

A plate of ribs from Forest Lake in Grand Rapids.

My personal favorite on the menu is their dinner combination meal. My mom and I always split the ribs, coconut shrimp, and au gratin potatoes.

If you order a dinner meal, they’ll also send out fresh, warm bread to enjoy before your meal.

Forest Lake also serves up fantastic breakfast choices, and is one of few places in town that actually serves breakfast!

Local’s Tip: Request the strawberry butter to go along with your bread. It is seriously so good!

2. El Potro Mexican Restaurant

If you love Mexican food as much as I do, then a visit to El Potro Mexican Restaurant is a must-do for your visit!

Enjoy an overflowing basket of (endless) chips and salsa to start off, and then dive right into their massive menu of meals.

They offer a huge selection of combination meals, where you can pair together your favorite Mexican classics, or order one of their signature meals.

Some Mexican food eaten on an orange plate at a Mexican restaurant.

I always go for either the chimichanga or the classic chicken quesadillas. The cheese in them is something out of this world!

El Potro serves up some of the only and the best Mexican food in Grand Rapids!

Local’s Tip: If it’s your birthday, let the server know and you’ll get to wear a giant sombrero and enjoy a treat!

3. Sammy’s Pizza Restaurant & Tavern

Known as one of the best restaurants in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Sammy’s is always a great choice when you’re looking for somewhere to go.

The entrance to the dining room at Sammy's in the restaurant in Grand Rapids.

With hand-tossed pizzas that are cooked to perfection and carefully put together, you’ll be surprised at how delicious they are!

If you aren’t craving pizza, you can also order from their menu of sandwiches or pasta. We’ve had the chicken tetrazzini many times and it’s delicious.

Sammy’s also has an all-you-can-eat buffet every afternoon, which is stocked with salad, pasta, chicken wings, and plenty of pizza!

4. The Boulder Tap House

Need somewhere to watch the big game but still want to enjoy some grub? Head to The Boulder Tap House!

Centrally located in the center of town, Boulder Tap House has classic bar food like burgers, sandwiches, and even a variety of tacos.

The menu from The Boulder Tap House.

They have dozens of TVs spread out across the restaurant and a large bar to sit at and enjoy a drink.

If you’re looking for a delicious appetizer, try out the Totchos or the fried pickles. We love both of them!

5. The Pickled Loon Saloon

Located on a harbor of Pokegama Lake, The Pickled Loon Saloon acts as a great place to stop when you’re out on the water and looking for a meal!

With their large outdoor patio, you can relax outside, enjoy the summer sun, and admire the views of the lake! Plus, you’re nearby some of the best lakeside resorts in the city.

The bar is a pretty popular place to hangout, as they have a huge menu of drinks to choose from.

Their food is also good, with a variety of things like their Italian nachos appetizer, or their Asian chicken wrap, which are two things that I’ve enjoyed!

6. Fuji Japanese Restaurant

While Grand Rapids has a large variety of restaurants, there aren’t any other places that serve Japanese cuisine.

At Fuji Japanese Restaurant, you can order from their selection of raw or cooked rolls, including tuna, salmon, or California rolls.

If you don’t like sushi (like me!), then opt for one of their Hibachi dinners. I love the chicken hibachi! It tastes so fresh and delicious!

7. Timberlake Restaurant

Unfortunately, fine dining in Grand Rapids is hard to come by, but the Timberlake Restaurant offers the closest thing!

It’s located inside the Timberlake Lodge, but that shouldn’t scare you away, because oftentimes, hotel restaurants are awesome!

The outside of the Timberlake Lodge, where you'll find the Timberlake Restaurant.

On the menu, you’ll find simple foods like sandwiches, soups, and salads, but you’ll also find finer dishes such as filet mignon, salmon, and ratatouille.

During lunch, you can also try out their endless soup and salad bar, which has everything from salad with all of the toppings to chicken wings, soups, and popovers.

8. The Dutch Room (Mad Dogs Pizza)

Another fantastic Grand Rapids, MN restaurant is The Dutch Room, otherwise known to locals as Mad Dogs.

The Dutch Room serves a huge selection of foods, from their delicious, cheesy pizzas to sandwiches, burgers, and baskets.

The entrance door into Mad Dogs Pizza.

One of the best parts about Mad Dog’s Pizza is that they have unique varieties to try, like their BBQ wing pizza or the chicken cordon blue pizza.

You’ll also find a game room here with things like darts, a pool table, and arcade games for the kids to enjoy.

Local’s Tip: Visit on Thursdays for their broasted chicken special! It comes with 3 pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and a dinner roll, and is SO good!

9. Rapids Brewing

One of the newer restaurants in town is one of Grand Rapids’ only breweries; Rapids Brewing.

Located right in Downtown Grand Rapids, this modern craft brewery and restaurant is a popular place to find locals every night of the week.

Head inside and order one of their local beers, or another cocktail from their large menu. And pair it with one of their seasonal pizzas. My favorite is the Margie, and the Hot Potato is also great!

Rapids Brewing often has live music to enjoy, and they have an outdoor patio space that is dog-friendly and perfect for enjoying the weather!

10. Unwined Up North

If you loved checking out Rapids Brewing, then you’ll also love visiting Unwined Up North, another of the best restaurants in Grand Rapids, MN.

This unique wine bar showcases a variety of wines from some of Minnesota’s best wineries, like Carlos Creek, Cannon River, North Shore Winery, and more.

I love their food menu because it’s theme is as Minnesotan as you can get! With names for the food like ‘Mille Lacs,’ ‘Judy Garland,’ and ‘Bob Dylan,’ you’ll feel right at home.

A flatbread pizza from Unwined, a restaurant in Grand Rapids, MN.

They serve flatbread pizzas, paninis, and salads, as well as a variety of starters to share with the table (Or keep to yourself! No judgment here!).

One of my favorite parts of Unwined is the outdoor patio. You can sit out here year-round because in the winter, they put out igloos to sit in and stay warm!

11. Ajida Mongolian & Ramen

Another unique place to eat in Grand Rapids, MN is Ajida Monolian & Ramen, which serves up delicious Japanese and Mongolian food.

They have a menu packed with ramen and Udon, and a variety of fresh meats and veggies to pile high onto your combination meal.

The outside of Ajida Mongolian restaurant in a strip mall of Grand Rapids.

Choose your base of Lo Mein, rice noodles, steamed rice, or fried rice, and then choose meats like chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork to add on top.

Then, choose what veggies you want, like baby corn, zucchini, or onion. Lastly, drizzle it with a few sauces like Boom Boom sauce or teriyaki sauce.

12. Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse

If you want a relaxing place to just sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee, then head on over to Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse.

This adorable coffee shop features walls covered in artwork from local artists and a menu packed with specialty coffees.

The outside of Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse with mosaic pieces on the wall.

You can also find foods like sandwiches, housemade soups, and other foods made from fresh, local ingredients.

One of the best parts of Brewed Awakenings is that you can also grab a cup of fresh gelato as you explore all of the great Grand Rapids, MN restaurants.

13. Zorbaz

Zorbaz is the top place to boaters and fishermen to stop when they’re out enjoying the summer weather on Pokegama.

With a beach right on the lake and a spot for boats to pull up and dock, this is the perfect spot for summer hangouts! It’s nearby some of the campgrounds in Grand Rapids, too.

The sign for Zorbaz on the lake with a sign that says 'trivia every wednesday.'

Inside of Zorbaz, you’ll find a menu with a mix of some great American and Mexican food in Grand Rapids. With quesadillas, nachos, and pizzas, there’s a mix of everything here.

Zorbaz also has a large bar that you’ll find busy on weekend nights.

And when you’re all done eating, head on down to the beach to play a game of sand volleyball, wade in the water, or grab a drink from their beach bar.

14. Applebee’s Grill & Bar

A chain restaurant in Grand Rapids is Applebee’s Grill and Bar, which features classic American dishes.

Many people have been to an Applebee’s, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for something that you’ve tried before.

Tyler eating pasta at Applebees, a Grand Rapids, MN restaurant.

The menu has a lot of basics like pasta, burgers, and sandwiches. There are also specials, like their 2 for $25, where you can get two entrees and an appetizer for $25.

Something unique about Applebee’s is that all of the walls are decorated with decor from the local area, like photos of the Grand Rapids hockey, volleyball, and baseball teams.

Best Breakfast in Grand Rapids, MN

Looking for something to start your day off right? Then head to these locations to get some great breakfast in Grand Rapids, MN.

15. HR Bistro & Bar

Another of the newer places to eat in Grand Rapids, MN is the HR Bistro and Bar, located in the newly renovated Hotel Rapids.

They specialize in making handcrafted crepes, both savory and sweet, so no matter what you like, you can enjoy one of their crepes.

A plate of flavored crepes from HR Bistro and Bar.

My family always gets a few of each and then splits them, so as you can see above, we have one of every crepe on our plates at home!

Along with the crepes, they serve Fika Coffee from Lutsen, and specialty cocktails.

The restaurant is decorated with a modern feel, and you’ll love everything from the brown leather chairs to the log wall.

16. Country Kitchen

A classic place to grab breakfast is Country Kitchen, and Grand Rapids has one of its own where you can start your day.

They serve everything from skillets to specialty pancakes and waffles.

And they’re open bright and early, so if you’re an early riser, you can head here to grab a bite to eat.

17. Dottie’s Hometown Cafe

One of the best parts about visiting small towns is going to the mom-and-pop cafes, and right here in Grand Rapids, you can experience one!

Dottie’s Hometown Cafe offers some of the best breakfasts in town, and they serve it all day long!

Their generous portions and delicious, fresh-tasting foods always make me want to come back for more.

My personal favorite is the stuffed apple fritter french toast, but all of their original breakfast platters are just delicious!

18. Spartan Deli

If you’re looking for something a bit healthier to enjoy for your meal, then head to Spartan Deli, found within the Central Square Mall.

At Spartan Deli, you’ll find sandwiches, bowls, and salads made with fresh, organic ingredients.

They offer classic sandwiches, like a tuna melt and ham and cheese, but in healthy, organic versions!

Plus, Spartan Deli is locally owned, so you’ll know that you’re supporting a local business.

19. New China & Grand Buffet

Sometimes, a good Chinese buffet just hits the spot, and in Grand Rapids, there are actually two buffets; the New China and Grand Buffet.

A plate of Chinese food from the New China buffet in Grand Rapids.

Both serve all sorts of delicious foods in an all-you-can-eat style, from coconut shrimp to sushi and broccoli beef.

Both also serve takeout, so if you need something a bit faster, you can get it at either of these Chinese food in Grand Rapids, MN.

Fast Food in Grand Rapids, MN

If you’re just speeding on through and need somewhere to eat, you might just want some fast food in Grand Rapids.

I just wanted to give you a list of the fast food choices, since you probably already know what these places serve!

  • Culver’s
  • Dairy Queen
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Burger King
  • McDonald’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Taco Johns
  • Hardees
  • Subway
  • Arby’s
  • KFC

Wrap-Up: Grand Rapids, MN Restaurants

No matter the reason you’re visiting Grand Rapids, you’re going to want to find somewhere delicious to eat.

As a local, I’ve had the pleasure of eating at every one of these Grand Rapids, MN restaurants, and hope that you’re able to enjoy them as well.

Whether it’s a burger, steak, or pasta that you crave, you can find it here!