Top spots in GR: From AQ saints

The Happy Cat Cafe storefront on Division Avenue.

Story by Leah Ash, Culture Editor

Photos courtesy of Leah Ash

Aquinas College is located in the amazing city of Grand Rapids, giving students many opportunities to explore the area to experience new things. However, for many students, Grand Rapids can be a little overwhelming for those who are new to the city. 

Here is a list of places to visit – curated by a variety of students on campus. As expected from college students, coffee shops were a popular recommendation.

“I like the Bitter End Coffee House,” said senior Jack Walch. “It’s open 24/7 and has really good coffee. It’s great to just get a cup or to pull all nighters if needed.”

Another coffee house to visit is Roots Brew Shop, a high recommendation from senior Marie Krueger.

The walkway leading up to the entrance of the Downtown Market.

“It’s aesthetically pleasing and a great place to hang out with friends,” Krueger said. “They also have the best hot chocolate that I’ve ever had along with the good coffee.”

While not necessarily a coffee shop, cafes are also frequented by Aquinas students. junior Summer Hickok suggested the Early Bird cafe, an Eastown business.

“I like it because it’s a really nice place to write and observe people,” Hickok said. “Plus it has good coffee.”

Senior Rebecca Beltran said that one of her favorite places to visit is the Happy Cat Cafe. On Division Street, the cafe has a couple of drinks and snacks available.

“The cafe is great because you get to hang out with cats,” Beltran said. 

Inside of Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

Coffee is not the only thing that Aquinas students enjoy in Grand Rapids. Junior Grace Maguire recommended a juice bar called Clean Juice.

“It has healthy gluten-free options and it tastes good,” Maguire said. “Plus it’s really close!”

Another recommendation from Beltran was the (somewhat) famous ice cream shop located in Gaslight Village. Also within walking distance from campus, it’s a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy delicious ice cream.

The Downtown Market is another great place to check out.

“There’s lots of great foods, different things to buy and a great atmosphere,” said senior Natalie Linenfelser. “There’s always people there.”

Your list of places to visit should also include Vault of Midnight.

“It’s got a little bit of everything for everybody,” said junior Abby Davis. “Comics, graphic novels, board games, and lots of pop culture things. It’s so inviting.”