2.08.2010

Cruisin' Cafes: Grand Rapids, MI

Kitty cats, the name Grand Rapids alone harbors promise for a locale best known for its slightly unglamorous nickname of the “Furniture City.” It is awash with a glittering ambiance synonymous with that of a recently uncorked bottle of champagne fizzing with excitement, luster, and new endeavors; a title which seemingly allows the individual in question to drift dramatically into its boundaries to uncover the unrecognized fashion-forward finesse proffered via its sophisticated downtown cityscape which lights up like Times Square come nightfall; or the overwhelming charm of quaint Victorian homes in Heritage Hill, and historical venues brimming with natty noir and visions of fedora-wearing detectives such as the Wealthy Street Theatre.

Given the vast array of personalities found within this one minute setting, an area which doubles as the home of the main character in The Polar Express, in addition to Chris Van Allsburg, the book’s author, it should come as no surprise that cute cafes are plentiful; and absolute essential stop-offs for the individual seeking a clandestine tête-à-tête with a cute boy while awaiting her morning mocha!

The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand Dolls, despite the fact that The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand is literally located smack dab in the middle of a diminutive residential neighborhood, making it a slightly off-the-beaten-path sort of location for someone who doesn’t live mere footsteps from the salmon-hued structure adorned with forest green awnings typically seen decorating swank restaurants in Beverly Hills; the aura which virtually bursts out at you simply from standing in the doorway is enough to lure you away from your typical coffee house haunt for an experience that you will never want to end.

Aesthetically, when gazed upon from the outside, you can’t help but think of the gingerbread house trimmed in confectionary from the tale Hansel and Gretel. Yet once inside, you are not welcomed by an oversized oven or a nasty witch, as the infamous brother / sister duo were; rather, you are waved into a room trimmed in rustic wood paneling. Along the right wall sit an abundance of hard-to-find newspapers, magazines, and books ripe for the visitor’s choosing; while jars of loose leaf teas and locally-made jewelry line the long countertops. Sink into one of the colossal chairs sitting by the front window with a chai latte and spend a gloomy afternoon quietly watching the rainfall. 1035 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

76 Coffee Only four words have the power to accurately sum up 76 Coffee; and those four words, my loves, are One. Of. A. Kind. Like a diamond in the rough, 76 Coffee gleams in all of its caffeine-encumbered glory, creating a priceless scene which swallows you whole, and lingers around you long after you have vacated the premises, lodging itself in your thoughts until you finally breakdown and return to the scene of the crime.

Unlike some shops that suck you in and spit you out the moment you have swallowed the last drops of your demitasse; the vibe of 76 Coffee is synonymous with that of an extended family. Regulars stop by your table for brief chats; the baristas are ready, willing, and able to whip up any type of drink you can possibly imagine; a “free” bookshelf offers a large collection of reading material to patrons; an eclectic mix of kitschy yet creative graffiti mars the walls; and a non-stop barrage of amazing music creates a melodic white noise which literally lulls you into a daydream.

Yes, the atmosphere is smoky, but that’s just one of the characteristics which add to the enchantment; plus, the clever titles given to each drink more than make up for it. Try “That Thing That Guy Gets,” the Carmello (like the candy bar!), or “The Horse You Rode in On.” Your tastebuds will thank you! 1507 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

Which of these Grand Rapids cafes would you like to cruise?


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to Tumblr for the pictures.


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55 comments

Polished Sense said...

The Sparrows Coffee Tea Newsstand. That chocolate heart looks perfect for dunking!

♡,
Jessica

Jacqueline said...

I love Grand Rapids =) I will go to either cafe Erika! Thanks for your sweet comment. xo

www.FashionSnag.com

Peter Breese said...

I don't drink coffee, but you sure make it sound fantastic ;). It's only a short drive, perhaps I'll pay them a visit.

Style (R)evolution said...

I was only in Grand Rapids once.....Great city!

Leah said...

76 Cafe... I love to chit-chat with people and I want to feel like I'm home.

Erika, wish we can have coffee before I leave. xoxo Happy Monday!!!

COCAMIA said...

Oh I love that coffee cup and saucer!

Maddy said...

These coffee shops sound divine! I wish we had more of these where I live. Unfortuntately, we're plagued with countless Dunkin Donuts & Starbucks. Don't get wrong, I love them just as much as the next person. But a cozy cafe is really special, especially in this day of grab-n-go.

Couture Carrie said...

Have never been to MI before ~ cool post, darling!

xoxox,
CC

Sara Lynn said...

WOOT! Hooray for a MI post! :) I have only been to GR twice, and once it was for work so I was indoors all day, the other to help someone move. lame. lol I will have to pester the BF into checking these places out! :)

MissNeira said...

76 coffee sounds so cool and such a nice environment

Dancing Branflake said...

I want to go wherever that cookie is! Oh dear, I should go eat breakfast because I am way too hungry. I love how you described finding a gem in suburbia. It's a little off putting but so wonderful.

Savvy Gal said...

The pic with the heart shape chocolate with coffee looks divine. : )

Emily said...

both sound absolutely marvelous! Especially Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand. I would gladly visit either one, though :)

City Girl Chicago said...

I love exploring towns in MI, especially in the summer months - perhaps Grand Rapids will be my next exploration!

City Girl Chicago said...

I love exploring towns in MI, especially in the summer months - perhaps Grand Rapids will be my next exploration!

Lottie said...

in an ideal world, id love to have coffee in all of them!

Sabine said...

I'd follow you like a dog to a place where they serve steaming hot espresso in cute cups like this with heart-shaped chocolate biscuits... But since smoky atmosphere is not for me, I think it has to be no. 1!

The Blonde Duck said...

All of them!

KIRAFASHION said...

I love coffee, but only ice coffee most of the time!

nookie said...

yumm yumm,I need some coffee now:x

Joanne said...

Definitely cast my coffee vote for 76 Coffee. A diamond in the rough is always worth the experience, watching a great coffee shop take shape. And that free bookshelf helped lure me in too!

Aury said...

Grand Rapids sounds like the perfect place for an adventure. When I visit my friends in St. Louis I might just make them come with me down there. Great post love!

Sarah @ Pandora's Box said...

The 76 Coffee cafe sounds so charming, I haaate when places kick you out after you've finished eating. The best part is hanging around for a while!

PS, I've added you to my blog roll, I freaking love your blog girl!

Mara said...

both sound so cute! I'd love to make a visit there! Hope you had a lovely weekend Erika! xox

Inspiration in Italy said...

The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand sounds divine my love! Thanks for sharing and hope you had a lovely weekend!

xo ♥
Rachel

Sherin said...

76Coffee sounds so amazing. Having a bookshelf there is such a great idea!

Kristin said...

Gosh, I haven't been there in YEARS. My Mom grew up in Frasier. I can't wait to hit up some of your suggested java joints in NYC!

Rachel said...

Considering the ground here is covered in two feet of snow, any of these cafes would be delightful right about now! :)

But I just don't think I could pass up The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand. I love the idea of sipping on coffee while reading magazines in a fabulous cafe.

Iva said...

next stop....76 Coffee!!! ;) Happy Monday Erika!!

Bonnibella said...

The Sparrow Cafe and Newsstand sounds endearing with the word "newsstand" as it's a dying field. I do, however love how the description of the place resembles a gingerbread house.

Pop Champagne said...

seeing these pics make me want to have a latte and I don't drink coffee! Mmmm but Ido love the smell though :)

Luana said...

The way you write these I'd love to go to all of them! Coffe shops are definitely the best in the world. The Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand sounds particularly enchanting though — I do love Hansel and Gretel! Hehe.

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Sounds so awesome! Wish we have great coffee shops like that here! xxoxoxo

The Fashion Fool said...

oh my, I adore coffee shops! I wish i lived in Michigan though!

Zanah said...

Your posts are always very good !! Oh and about your Essie Mint Green nail color... maybe you can show how it looks as I like to get it too :) Mon Mode Blog

kpeach said...

I've never been-but sounds lovely xx

Olive said...

I love "Crusin' Cafe" days, and today certainly did not disappoint! Not a place I had considered traveling to, but now... Going on my list :)

PS. Email is coming! I keep adding more stuff to it haha.

wonderfelle said...

I love the idea of a gingerbread house so Sparrows Coffee Tea Newsstand it is for me! And now I want a chai latter :)

bananas. said...

i'm curious...have you ever done one of these posts for the SF bay area. more specifically, the east bay? i would love to see your favorite spots.

Lily Johnson said...

I so wanna visit those cofee shops now. I loved the pics. Nice post girl!

Clare said...

Grand Rapids, MI... that just sounds like a wonderful adventure! I would like to visit The Sparrows Coffee Tea Newsstand, please! If anything I want to eat that chocolate heart!

thesydneygirl said...

thanks for your lovely comment :) hope you have a wonderful week ahead! x

tess said...

wow I was not expecting to see grand rapids on here. I love MI, and my mom is from there, but we've never been to Grand Rapids specifically hmm must go now!

heartofpearl ♡ said...

gosh i am so behind on blogs but glad im back hehe anyway YES! i mow the lawn hahah my friends bag me out so much its funny :D i dnt mind hehe i can live on my own hahaha!

Meg said...

Gosh, I will have to check these outt if I ever go to Grand Rapids!

Stella said...

Thanks for your comment. Nice post. I love coffe. Kiss.

the style crusader said...

lovely description of those cafes. wish i could get over there to try them out! xx

Audrey Allure said...

76 coffee sounds fantastic. & stunning pictures. makes me want to drink one of those :)

miriam said...

they all seem just fabulous, gotta cruise now!

Jackie said...

Hooray for Michigan! Thanks for featuring one of our towns. Grand Rapids is just a hop away from where I live! I think I just may have to drag one of my friends over to 76 coffee. And by drag, I mean, as for a ride.

J. said...

I am shamefully in love with coffee and these posts about coffee shops all over the US makes me want to travel...I need a road trip!

Haute World said...

Grand Rapids has never really been on my list of must-see places, but I think these coffee shops alone are a reason to go! The second place sounds especially enticing... I love the names they've given their drinks!

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Mmm! Both of these sound delicious!

xo

Cafe Observer said...

I missed these ones!
You've been to all these, too?

Andrew said...

Lovely stuff!

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