Fresh to you From Kalamazoo
To get a real sense of the flavor of Kalamazoo, you obviously have to sample our food. Being located in the region that leads the state in agriculture has its advantages, and the creative chefs leading Kalamazoo’s culinary scene are utilizing fresh, locally grown and produced ingredients to create amazing cuisine.
1. Food Dance Café
401 East Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo Michigan 49009
To the folks at Food Dance Café, this is more than their work – it’s a bit of an obsession. They’re fixated on finding honest-to-goodness fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs that come from the farm, not the factory. All this brought together to build a menu of Eclectic American Cuisine. At Food Dance Café, it’s important to not only know where their food comes from, but who’s producing it and what their practices are. They visit the local farms they buy from and get to know the farmers and they buy locally as much as we can.
2. Tempo Vino Winery
260 East Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-3910
Tempo Vino wines are hand crafted in small batches from grapes grown around the world. There is no other winery in the area where you can actually taste and make wine from grapes grown in France, Italy, Germany, Australia, and California. They select the best crops from top vineyards each harvest, and import the juice to the winery for winemaking. Located in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, Tempo Vino Winery is a unique experience for all wine lovers, from the curious novice to the seasoned connoisseur. Not only can you stop in and sample the wines at the tasting bar, you can even make your own private label wine.
236 South Kalamazoo Mall
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4838
Located in downtown Kalamazoo at 236 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Rustica specializes in rustic European cuisine using local farmers and vendors whenever possible. With an emphasis on fresh, sustainable and local products, Rustica blends influences from France, Italy, Spain and other European countries with regional Michigan fare. The food at Rustica is simple, fresh, and delicious.
4. Fresh on Q – Texas Township Farmer’s Market
7110 West Q Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Fresh on Q offers locally grown produce, locally raised meats, fish from the great lakes, local honey, bakery items and cheeses. Many weekends feature entertainment and made-to-order omelets, utilizing fresh, local ingredients.
5. MacKenzies Cafe' & Bakery
4606 West Main Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
MacKenzies Bakery is a 3rd-generation family bakery, making its home in Kalamazoo, Michigan since 1980. In 1988, they opened a second local Café Bakery. Ten years later they proudly opened the downtown Harrison Street Bread Shop, built on a reclaimed brownfield site.
MacKenzies has made a commitment to offering exceptional products of unparalleled quality – made from scratch using only fresh, wholesome, all-natural ingredients; supporting local suppliers whenever possible; and contributing back to the community they have chosen as their home.
1804 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
The Heilman roasting process began in 1917. When Mr. Al Heilman took over the store in 1988 the customer response overwhelmed him. After several different locations of the store he finally settled at 1804 S. Westnedge. This vacant spot was once the home to a two-bay Sinclair station and after months of re-construction opened in mid-October of 1991 as Heilman's Nuts & Confections. The new building allowed for 100 lbs. of nuts to be roasted at a time as well as batches of peanut brittle, caramel corn, and caramel apples. It was also home to a Chocolate Room to make all sorts of goodies. The tradition that began almost a century ago will go into the future unchanged and remain a Kalamazoo favorite. The Heilman nuts have been a tradition, both locally and abroad, shipping products worldwide. The mission is mouth-watering gourmet nuts and confections with guaranteed freshness.
7. Taste of Heaven
111 E Kalamazoo Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-3803
In January of 1999, money was handed out in unmarked envelopes during the church service at Richland Bible Church in Richland Michigan. To those who took an envelope, a charge was given to invest it for the Lord based on the passage from Matthew 25. Proceeds and stories would be collected in November of 1999.
From a $10 bill, chocolate was purchased, drizzled on homemade caramel corn, and sold to friends. In November, $800 was returned from the $10 and Taste of Heaven was started. In all, approximately $7500 was handed out in January and over $200,000 was returned in November.
Taste of Heaven became solely owned by Kalamazoo Youth for Christ on October 1, 2005. The local leadership has pledged to use the funds to help fund new ministry initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as continuing to provide a vehicle for area youth groups to raise funds for ministry projects in their church.
8. Bell’s Brewery
355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Bell's Brewery, Inc began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, they’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs over 100 people over an 18 state area. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with Bell’s today. They currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo. Bell’s ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. They strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers.
On June 11, 1993, Bell's Brewery, Inc. became the first Michigan brewery to serve beer by the glass to the public. The Eccentric Cafe offers customers a chance to taste many of their well known beers, as well as small batch brews that are not distributed outside of the pub. Visitors enjoy its warm atmosphere and spacious beer garden. The Eccentric Cafe also features interesting food, an extensive collection of art and ephemera, and live music Thursday through Saturday.
9. Water Street Coffee Joint
315 East Water Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
As part of one of the largest international trade industries in the world (second only to oil), Water Street Coffee Joint seeks to constantly increase their understanding of the role they play in this complex industry. Their intent is to provide the best possible products while acting responsibly with regard for others and for our environment.
Our Micro-Roaster is a Fair Trade Certified and a Certified Organic Coffee Roaster. They support the seven basic principles of the Fair Trade Organization-fair wages, cooperative workplaces, financial and technical support, environmental sustainability, respect for cultural identity, consumer education and public accountability-by offering a selection of Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic coffees.
On the local level, they are proud to be a part of the continual growth of downtown Kalamazoo and remain committed to the area, donating 10 cents for every retail bag of coffee and 5 cents for every wholesale pound of coffee sold to local community organizations.
10. Confections with Convictions
116 W. Crosstown Parkway
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Dale Anderson, candymaker and founder of Confections with Convictions, has worked as a counselor with young people in the court system for several years. Through this work he realized it became clear that talk therapy is not enough to turn their lives around and overcome many of the barriers they fact and begin to think of ways to employ and train these youths on the job. Confections with Convictions is the result of those thoughts and hires youths in the justice system to make chocolates using on Fair Trade, organic and local ingredients.
11. Victorian Bakery
116 W. Crosstown Parkway
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Maria Brennan opened Victorian Bakery as a wholesale business and operated from a commercial kitchen in her home. In December 2010 she opened her storefront on Crosstown Parkway. Featuring breads, tarts, scones, cookies and cakes made with local ingredients including organic flour and free-range eggs.
12. Full City Café
7878 Oakland Drive
Portage, MI 49002
For people who prefer fresh food and excellent service in a casual family restaurant atmosphere. Their Eclectic American Cuisine meals are scratch made, fresh, from quality ingredients. Full City Café features steaks, burgers, chicken and pork products that are naturally and locally raised as well as local fruits and vegetables in season.
13. Gull Meadow Farms
8544 Gull Road
Richland, MI 49083
With over twenty acres of apple trees they’ve always got the freshest apples in our apple barn ready for you to take home. You can also take a wagon ride to the U-pick apple orchard and find that perfect apple directly from the tree. The apple barn and bakery offers donuts and award winning apple cider. Bring the whole family out and pick your own pumpkin directly from the patch. You can walk or enjoy the wagon ride out to the patch.