Good eats in Big Rapids

A list of must try restaurants just outside of Campus

As the Rock closes down this summer for renovations, the Quad might not be the go-to place for every occasion. Thankfully what Big Rapids lacks in entertainment, it makes up for in restaurants.

Study Dates and Morning Pick Me Ups

Located right outside of campus, the Big Rapids Panera Bread is a cozy place for students to go for a quick bite with some friends or homework. Panera will help keep students energized in the morning with their charged lemonades, and warm during the cold winter months in Big Rapids with warm soups. If the library is too packed, Panera can be a great study place to crack down on schoolwork and pack up with nutrients. ($10-$20 per person)

For those who prefer a more scenic route, and maybe a morning walk, Bernie’s Place downtown is worth checking out. Bernie’s Place offers breakfast foods and a wide variety of doughnuts. It is a cheaper option for students who are looking to venture away from scrambled eggs at the Quad. For those who enjoy eating outside, Bernie’s Place is located right near Mitchell Creek Park. If you are out and about on a date downtown you can grab a doughnut and walk over to Mitchell Creek Park to engrave your initials on the wooden benches. ($5-$10 per person)

Mid-Day Sips and Deserts 

Not too far off campus, Tropical Smoothie Cafe can be found tucked in between Dominos and Qdoba. Tropical Smoothie offers a ton of different smoothie flavors, from sweet smoothies, to more healthy smoothies, and a seasonal menu. Tropical Smoothie offers a great treat for students to grab before walking around Big Rapids or talking with friends. Besides smoothies, they also offer food menu items such as Avocado Grilled Cheese, if you’re looking to add a healthy fat into your meals, and buffalo chicken wraps, if you prefer a spicy snack. ($5-$15 per person)

Don’t let the name fool you. Toppings Frozen Yogurt offers more than just frozen yogurt. This sweet shack is located near the edge of downtown Big Rapids. Toppings offers a wide variety of sweet treats such as Mochi and Frozen Yogurt as well as lemonade slushes and cheesecakes. For those who prefer to try out new things while looking for a trendy post for Instagram, Toppings offers a wide variety of Bubble Tea. With a ton of different syrup flavors and boba flavors, students can stick with a typical strawberry flavor and strawberry boba, or switch it up with a milk tea and popping orange boba. ($5-$10 per person)

Evening Outings and Dates

Crankers Brewery is a bar/restaurant that is found going into town, about a 15-minute walk from campus. Crankers offers live music and even karaoke nights for customer entertainment. It has a double-sided menu with appetizers and main course meals. Due to the nature of the restaurant, Crankers is a perfect spot to see some familiar faces. If you are looking to make some friends, chances are you might see them next time you go to Crankers at the next karaoke event. ($10 -$20 per person)

Past the downtown area, the Gypsy Nickel can be found. If you are looking for a nicer restaurant for a special occasion, this may be the place for you. With a modern yet rustic-looking interior the Gypsy Nickel offers a wide variety of food and a very friendly staff. During the warmer months, there is patio seating available with lights on the patio during the nighttime. If you are looking for a walk after dinner, the Gypsy Nickel is located right next to a nature path that leads right into the Hemlock Park. ($10 -$20 per person)