Kalamazoo Restaurants Range From Classic to Classy

By Michaela Jackson on April 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm EST


How would you feel about tapas paired with wine for lunch and gourmet beef Wellington at dinner along a lakeshore? Or a scrumptious Coney dog lunch with Moroccan meatballs for dinner?

In Kalamazoo, it wouldn’t be a stretch. The city is a delightfully mixed bag of dining options, blending avant-garde cuisine with hometown favorites – without missing a beat.

Trendy bistros are sprouting like wildflowers throughout the area, bringing fresh menus and bold recreations to the table.

Taverna Ouzos, home to the aforementioned Moroccan meatballs, is also home to such dishes as whitefish Grenoble served up with Mediterranean flare in a bistro atmosphere.
The 747 Neighborhood Bistro is another mainstay for unique dishes, included grilled meatloaf and braised turkey legs with white beans. The pastry chef is also a mild local celebrity – or at least the pastries are. Don’t skip dessert here, even if that means you have to eat it first.

Local favorites also include Julianna’s Restaurant, which has earned a few twice-a-day regulars with its excellent bacon and eggs and its monstrous hot roast beef sandwich. Bobby’s Drive-In is a relative newcomer on the scene, but it has been a fast favorite with the locals. Servers bring burger-and-shake-type fare out to cars parked near a lake, illuminated by old-timey neon lights.

For a more upscale lakeside dining experience, try the leg of lamb or beef Wellington at Black Swan. Kalamazoo is also home to western Michigan’s only AAA Four Diamond Award-winner, Webster’s Restaurant at the Radisson Plaza Hotel.

Fine food deserves only the finest wine, and Kalamazoo’s local producers don’t disappoint. The area is home to a number of wineries, including Peterson and Sons, St. Julian and Warner Vineyards.

Whether you’re hungry, thirsty or just curious, Kalamazoo will leave you satisfied. But you’ll definitely be back for seconds.

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