My top five coffee shops in Grand Rapids


Everyone is on the go. Everyone is running on little sleep with their busy lives. In the last decade or so, the popularity of coffee shops has blossomed. Coffee is a great quick grab to keep your energy going for the day.

The following is my list of the top five coffee shops in Grand Rapids, ranging from on-the-go spots, sit-down, and more.

  1. Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.: A quiet and quaint place with windows surrounding the perimeter from ceiling to floor and strong coffee from the finest beans, Ferris roasts its coffee to perfection. A creamy cup of Brazil Carmo de Minas with soft flavors of lemon and a dash of chocolate makes for a great cup of joe. The smoothness of the drinks and the quality customer service exemplify the reputation they hold. As well as a great cup of coffee, Ferris provides deliciously roasted nuts, as implied in the name.
  2. Rowsters: Rowsters is a very small corner coffee shop with great aesthetics. The black, white, and wooden accents create an inviting place for all. With coffee as black as the interior walls, you will not find your typical “fufu” drinks at Rowsters. No sweet, frappuccino-style drinks– which is part of what separates Rowsters from other coffee shops. The coffee is all wholesale, and Rowsters ensures that the beans are produced from the best farmers. And despite the quality of products they use, Rowsters has great prices.
  3. Madcap: Even without the ideal location on Monroe Ct. Avenue, Madcap would thrive off of their handcrafted coffee beans. In fact, Madcap recently opened a second location. Madcap roasts their own coffee and distributes it to retailers as well. You can even find them at grocery stores or markets, such as the Downtown Market. Madcap is a great option for strong coffee lovers like myself.
  4. Lyon Street Cafe: The white brick walls create a center to think. This is my personal favorite study spot. The lighting accentuates the simplicity of the shop and is warm yet simple. From delicious coffee to lattes and amazing pastries, Lyon Street Cafe is a great place to spend the afternoon reading a book. The coffee is not the strongest, but it is very warm and smooth tasting. This is the place for you if you love sweeter drinks. For example, the hot chocolate is outstanding and the perfect drink for winter evenings.
  5. Lightfast Cafe: With bar stools underneath the elongated high top ledge overlooking the brick road, Lightfast is yet another adorable shop to grab a cup of coffee. The beautiful artwork created by local artists in Grand Rapids is a unique way to please the customers. Seeing beautiful art and drinking coffee? Yes, please.

*Note: Besides Madcap, all of these coffee shops serve Rise Grand Rapids Pastries, a local bakery that serves gluten-free and vegan desserts.