When Vegan Grand Rapids launched in 2010, vegan options existed in GR, but they were not nearly as plentiful as they are today. One of the first spots to embrace vegan food was Stella’s.
In the heart of downtown, Stella’s offers bar-style food with a bunch of vegan options. The place is filled to the brim with arcade games and pinball. They always have a good local beer selection on tap, and an extensive whiskey list.
Stella’s is bar food, no doubt. The food is hearty, and as you might expect, is pretty greasy. Not the place for a light meal.
Start off with the nachos, vegan style called the Full Montie – tempeh sausage, house-made sunflower vegan cheese & vegan ranch (add vegan chili for $2). The Beer Battered Onion Rings are also good, served with a spicy avocado vegan ranch. Our favorite appetizer is the Poor Man’s Potato Wings. Breaded, fried potato wedges are tossed in your choice of sauce – buffalo hot, mild, golden BBQ or sweet-chili. Served with celery & spicy avocado ranch on the side, you gotta get ’em. Deep-fried avocado slices (seeing a theme?) and vegan seitan wings are worth checking out.
The vegan burgers are solid. The Hippy Stuffed Black Bean & Lentil Burger or the White Lightning. Both come with vegan dressing and optional Daiya cheese. If you’re down for comfort food, try the vegan meatloaf.
Stella’s offers a brunch menu with vegan items. French toast sandwich and a breakfast burrito are offered with the regular menu items.
Times change and so do tastes. Stella’s used to be a go-to, but it’s just not a place we hit very often. We’d even go as far to say as it’s not that good when you stack them up against all the other options we now have in GR. A lot of vegans do enjoy it for obvious reasons, and we’d be wrong to exclude this trendsetter that hasn’t strayed from their vegan roots.