Besides music, food is the way to my soul. If you want to get on my good side, you should take me to a new restaurant so I can experience and try new things. Since I moved to Grand Rapids, I have had the opportunity to eat at amazing restaurants. Sadly, nothing is like home.

There is no better way to bring you into my world. Here is my top 10 list of restaurants that need to be brought to GR immediately!

  1. Waffle House

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Waffle House is where the soul and kitchen meet. Waffle House is an American restaurant chain with 2,100 locations in 25 states in the United States. Most of the locations are in the South, where the chain is a regional cultural icon. The best thing to eat at Waffle House is the All Star Meal. It is single handedly the best breakfast combination in America, especially when you are hungover. It is therapeutic at best.

  1. WhatABurger

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Their white gravy and the Texas toast is superior. The chicken boxes are the best thing around. The drink sizes are HUGE! They are open 24 hours a day. WhatABurger is the best kept Texas secret. I am sending a public service announcement to request WhatABurger in every state! Who is with me?

  1. IKEA

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First, let’s forget that IKEA is a furniture store. If you want to assemble your furniture for 5,000 days, then I recommend it. However, I am adding IKEA for the food options, especially the meatballs and cinnamon buns. You cannot go wrong when you walk into IKEA and run straight for the food samples. As a kid, I would live for running through IKEA and trying to receive multiple samples from the food vendors.

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  1. Fogo De Chão

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Fogo De Chão is a Brazilian steakhouse or “churrascaria” and they serve rodízio-style. It is a never-ending cycle of barbecue meats. The waiters will keep coming directly to the table with the different steaks, beef, chicken, shrimp, etc. The bacon-wrapped chicken and steak are, as Beyonce would put it, “top two and I ain't number two.���

  1. Ledos

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Ledos is a pizzeria restaurant chain started in Annapolis, Maryland. I must support my home state at all times. The best thing about Ledos is they prepare a square pizza, so there is more to love! That statement might be controversial, however, this next statement may send you into a frenzy. When I am at Ledos, I order sausage, green peppers, and pineapples. Yes, I believe pineapples go on pizza! I hope we can still be friends after that revelation.

As a foodie, all of the restaurants have a special place in my soul. I have fond memories of going to Ledos with my family and friends. I would love for Michigan to experience the love I for it.

  1. Bojangles

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It is disrespectful that Bojangles is not a food chain in Grand Rapids! In the South, Bojangles is a fast-food staple. Their chicken supremes have the right amount of spice and heat to upgrade the ordinary chicken tender. You have never had a chicken tender till you get one from Bojangles!

  1. HalfSmoke

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HalfSmoke is a restaurant in Washington, D.C. that specializes in a classic American menu. From grilled meat dishes, tater tots, mac and cheese balls, and funnel cakes, you can experience a little of everything. However, the best part of HalfSmoke is their bottomless brunch. In D.C., we take our brunch very seriously! When you brunch in D.C., you always end up going to multiple food spots.

  1. Spice 6

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Spice 6 takes Indian cuisine to another level! At Spice 6, you can customize your Indian entree like you would do at Chipotle. You pick all the different Indian staples you want to create your personal masterpiece.

  1. Carryouts

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Now you may be thinking, "Lisha B, we do have Chinese carryouts." Yes! There are plenty of Chinese takeout restaurants. However, the restaurants in Grand Rapids are missing an important part of the culture that I grew up with. Fried chicken and mumbo sauce! Mumbo sauce is a unique variation of sweet-and-sour sauce. It is truly a life-changing experience. I promise it is worth trying.

  1. Elevation Burger

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Everything on Elevation Burger’s menu is mouth-watering! In 2020, Elevation Burger locations in Ann Arbor were permanently closed! This is a tragedy for all Michiganders! I send my deepest condolences. From their vegan burgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, and regular burgers, their range is unmatched. If you compliment your burger choice with a shake, you have a meal fit for a king or queen!

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