The Best Coffee Shops to Converse & Catch Up in Grand Rapids

Rowsters Coffee Grand Rapids

Photography by Brian Kelly

There’s nothing quite as comforting than sipping a cup of coffee or espresso in your favorite coffee shop while catching up with an old friend, having a meeting with co-workers, or going on a first date. Luckily for us, Grand Rapids offers several fantastic places for well-crafted coffee and espresso drinks—as well as several fantastic opportunities for meaningful conversations. The conversations fascinate us all from the wheeling and dealing, therapy sessions, blooming romances, art dialogue, political debate, religious discussion, reminiscing with family and friends, and more.

So, what are you waiting for? Go forth and meet for coffee! Here are some of our favorite places to do so in this highly-caffeinated city…

Madcap Coffee Company

98 Monroe Center St. NW

Madcap Coffee: Where business and art collide. At this downtown coffee shop, you’ll hear the planning of great art exhibits coming to the GRAM and the way Experience Grand Rapids will help promote them. Madcap is a great window to the city and the first pioneer in pour-over skills.

Rowster Coffee Espresso Machine

Rowster Coffee Company

632 Wealthy St. SE

Rowster Coffee is where the eclectic drink like Europeans—standing and shooting your espresso, then venturing on with your day. Conversations of what’s ahead for the day between couples and job coaching happens here. Listen in!

Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.

227 Winter Ave. NW

Across from the downtown YMCA, you may expect lots of conversation about the morning workout…. but actually, there is a lot of business happening at Ferris Coffee‘s main plant and café. It’s where the founder of Via Ikea hangs and begins the week planning, and familiar collisions of non-profit and for-profit conspire on sponsorship and partnership.

Lyon Street Café

617 Lyon St. NE

Here at Lyon Street Café, you’ll see neighbors walk, jog, bike, and blade to this popular neighborhood gathering space. Connected to Nantucket Baking Company, this delight offers a spot for old friends to connect with new friends. And, the bench seating provides the best opportunity for a debate!

Madcap at the Downtown Market

435 Ionia Ave. SW

One good spot deserves another. Madcap at the Downtown Market is a beautiful addition on the backside of Aperitivo and is where out-of-towners are wooed by those in the city. Grand Rapids remains a great and growing investment opportunity and you can hear the pride of our residents in the boasting of this amazing café.

Espresso Ground

The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand

1035 Wealthy St. SE

At The Sparrows on Wealthy St. (their second location on Bridge St. coming soon near 616 Lofts on Alabama!), conversations of religion and romance collide over coffee and newsstand. The quaint creaking of the hardwood floor and the screen door have you stepping back in time. It’s sweet to witness the couples gathering and inspiring to collide with clergy—grace and beauty abound.

Biggby Coffee near McKay Tower

146 Monroe Center St. NW #155

It’s the Shelley Irwin show without the microphone! At Biggby on Monroe Center, upcoming city races are planned and the leaders of the community share their stories with the ultra-fantastic triathlete, uber-engager, and overall wonderful soul of WGVU’s radio show.

Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge

100 Commerce Ave. SW

The quiet calm and the best non-profit planning happens here at Lantern, with United Way being right next door, as well as lots of conversation about the 100-year celebration of this awesome institution in Grand Rapids. Sometimes the laughter overwhelms since Gilda’s Club’s LaughFest loves this coffee spot. It’s also the best place for engaging with earphones and your computer—cozy and comfortable.

Starbucks at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

187 Monroe Ave. NW

The Chamber of Commerce business conversations happen here at Starbucks with the leaders of the hospitality industry at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Hearing the conversation of hotel guests from around the world offers language and culture along with the most familiar coffee brand.

Squibb Coffee Bar

955 Wealthy St. SE

The latest coffee house to arrive in the Bazzani building, Squibb is home to flourishing entrepreneurial ideas. You’ll see the owners of Books & Mortar meeting to cook up the next small business idea that will delight the city. Ideas with a shot of caffeine—purely successful local first!

That Early Bird

1445 Lake Dr. SE

Everyone celebrated the legacy of Kava House and how it gathered the Eastown community together. That Early Bird opened with the expectation of continuing that tradition. Aquinas College students mingle with mentors and professors. The offering is so much more than coffee—this Rowster coffee outlet provides breakfast bowls and pastries that pair well with conversation.

File & Fire Café Grand Rapids

Field & Fire Café

820 Monroe Ave. NW #100

Good bread deserves good coffee and conversation. That’s exactly what you get at Field & Fire Café at 616 Lofts on Monroe! This spot has 616 Lofts residents sharing the start of their day with neighbors and friends. You’ll hear ArtPrize conversation and lots of pet stories as well since Fido & Stitch is right next door! Drop off your dog for a bath and enjoy some avocado toast over your cappuccino.

The Bitter End Coffeehouse

752 Fulton W

Presidents and CEOs have found this hidden gem to realign with their noble purpose. The coffee at The Bitter End is served in bigger cups and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time with the tin ceiling and vintage photos on the wall. If you need the realignment with your noble purpose, gather with your advisors here.

616 Lofts at Rowster Coffee

With community and connection at the core of 616 Lofts, our staff welcomes the opportunity to meet our fellow residents and community members for coffee at your favorite Grand Rapids coffee house. We’d love to meet, chat and learn more about the fabulous people that make up this incredible city!