The Greenwich Village of Grand Rapids
Eastown is a rather small area of Grand Rapids—taking up only 70 square blocks. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Eastown has been described as the Greenwich village of Grand Rapids. This neighborhood is home to many local businesses and unique stores that sell antiques and one-of-a-kind items. Eastown’s proximity to both Aquinas College and downtown Grand Rapids makes it a popular place for college students to rent, which means plenty of great coffee shops and cheap dining options such as The Pita House, Mulligan’s Pub, and Yesterdog.
The resident population of Eastown is incredibly diverse, but everyone has one thing in common—they care deeply about their neighborhood. The Eastown Community Association is a very active neighborhood organization committed to keeping business and home owners informed about community issues, promoting community events and initiating improvement projects. Their mission is “to foster a safe, diverse, and walkable Eastown neighborhood by creating opportunities for neighbors and friends to engage and connect.” With its distinctly bohemian feel, Eastown is a great place for buyers who are looking to avoid the crowdedness of downtown living without sacrificing the availability of entertainment options and a thriving community.
Dining options from both ends of the spectrum
Eastown offers a wide selection of dining options, so no matter what your tastes are, you’re sure to find something that you love!
Marie Catrib’s is a local favorite, featuring plenty of high-quality organic, gluten free, or vegan options. This place is magic—somehow, even the dishes with their most exotic ingredients and bewildering combinations tasty homey and wholesome. It’s always busy, so any time you go, you’ll likely have to wait for a table—but I promise, it’s worth it. If you’re in a rush, grab some homemade crackers, granola bars or any of their other baked goods (their hummingbird cake is to die for) to go from the deli in the front.
However, if you’re not into the all-natural food fad, Yesterdog—an infamous Eastown hangout—may be more up your alley. Yesterdog is a vintage hot dog shop, complete with a hand-crank cash register and an antique jukebox. Yesterdog was opened in 1976 and has won the title of “Grand Rapids Best Hotdog” in Grand Rapids magazine every year since 1991—the year the category was created. It’s also notable for its appearance in the film American Pie. Yesterdog is one of the most historic and beloved restaurants in all of Grand Rapids. Even if you don’t like hot dogs, it’s a worthwhile stop for the real Eastown experience!
Eastown Community Association
Get involved in the neighborhood!
Eastown is a great place to live if you’re looking to really be involved with your community, not simply own a house in the neighborhood. The Eastown Community Association strives to encourage community development through hosting panels and sponsoring neighborhood improvement projects. Topics of discussion have included urban forests, homelessness, getting access to locally grown produce, fair housing, and environmental improvements. They have also hosted art galleries and poetry readings for members of the community. Get involved with the ECA by volunteering to sponsor, host, and coordinate events, or simply check the schedule on their website and attend one yourself! If you want to be a part of shaping the place you live into a community that you want to be a part of, then Eastown is the place for you!