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Scholar, Grand Rapids, MI

Scholar

4.5
4.5
197 Reviews
$31 to $50
American
History, specifically America’s culinary history, is the central focus of our food and cocktail programs here at Scholar. Situated downtown on Grand Rapids’ iconic red brick road at 11 Ionia SW, Scholar honors previous residents of the same address while striving to achieve our goal; to earn the title of the city’s best restaurant.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 31 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Cocktail Bar
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (616) 980-9073
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Executive chef
    Taylor Boeschenstein
  • Neighborhood
    Grand Rapids
  • Cross street
    Our cross streets are Fulton and Weston.
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Additional
    Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Options, Wine

What 197 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Best Ambiance

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Lively

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Most Booked

  • Grand Rapids

    Best Ambiance

  • Grand Rapids

    Good for business meals

  • Grand Rapids

    Hot spot

  • Grand Rapids

    Romantic

  • Grand Rapids

    Lively

  • Grand Rapids

    American

  • Grand Rapids

    Most Booked

197 Reviews
  1. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The vibe was immaculate and the rizz was elite no cap.

    Is this helpful?

  2. LeeB

    Detroit

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Experience was wonderful - staff was incredible! Amazing food!

    Is this helpful?

  3. OpenTable Diner

    Northern MI

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fantastic service. The special of the night, a lamb melt was fantastic! The brownie dessert a must! Will definitely visit again when in town.

    Is this helpful?

  4. RoseannM

    Grand Rapids

    6 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 7, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Good food, fun cocktails, "mad men" style ambiance, and great service came together to create a wonderful experience with our friends. Thanks Scholar!

    Is this helpful?

  5. Caseycogs

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on April 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Cool spot on the lower level. Speakeasy feel. Friendly, attentive staff and creative, delicious food.

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  6. MGee

    Chicago

    30 reviews

    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on April 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was great. Unique cocktails, awesome appetizers & beautifully done entrees. Service was fun & completely on point. Can’t wait to go back.

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  7. SherryinMI

    Grand Rapids

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on April 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had dinner on the main floor (foyer) and it was a great experience. All four of us had fantastic dinners (I had the seared scallops) and the deviled eggs appetizer was amazing. Unique cocktails that were delicious and the service was attentive, but not intrusive. Highly recommend and we will be back!

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  8. Kevin

    Northern MI

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I had the bison meatballs as an appetizer and they were phenomenal. Followed that up with the salmon as my entree and it was PERFECT. Might be the best salmon I’ve had in Grand Rapids! Will definitely be ordering again soon.

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  9. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    2 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 2, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    Service was very slow. Bison meatballs were dry and just not very good. dinner was pretty good but not a great value.

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 1, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    4/5 table max would help with a bit more attentive service. Drinks can be a bit behind but the are amazing!

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  11. Jane

    London

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent service, delicious food - a great experience. Recommend without reservation!

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  12. David

    San Francisco

    54 reviews

    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on March 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I honestly could never write words to how amazing the service was for our visit. We had a very loud group next to us at the bar and the waiter who started off supper nice kept asking us if we were okay with them being so loud and obnoxious. He even went up to the group at some point and asked them to be respectful of other customers. Everyone was just so nice and accommodating. The food was also very good. I’m now a committed regular! Great job Scholar team!

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  13. lizlegstra

    Grand Rapids

    14 reviews

    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was good. Ambience for a date night was perfect. Loved the creative craft cocktails!

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great dinner for 8, celebrating March birthdays. The Scholar was able to accommodate us in a private dining area. It was like being served in our own home. We could all hear each other and it was super stylish but yet comfortable. Kennedy our server was helpful and not too intrusive. The food was amazing from a delicious filet to a Rueben sandwich, dinner salads to lamb shank - there is something for all tastes. Enjoyed a favorite drink- the El Diablo. The salted brownie for desert was amazingly good! Thank you for a special evening!

    Is this helpful?

  15. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We had 2 servers that were wonderful. The food was good but not amazing. For the price I’d expect a little better execution (Chicken was a little dry and flavor was lacking a bit). The apps were nothing to write home about but unique for sure. Dessert (baked Alaska) was probably my fav part of the meal. Drinks were good - $14 each for a basic mezcal marg; middle of the road. All in all, a decent experience. I’d come back.

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  16. OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Top notch food, service, and ambience. The pate appetizer is a must. Will definitely be back—we applaud the staff for an amazing GR experience.

    1 person found this helpful

  17. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was a great experience! We had a wonderful time!

    1 person found this helpful

  18. OpenTable Diner

    Northern MI

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This may be my new favorite place. I love the upstairs room. Great service, yummy drinks and apps, solid food.

    1 person found this helpful

  19. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    6 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on March 9, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    The menu is on the ambitious side but execution was not great. Ambitious prices too but the food was just ok. Our server was great, loved the remodel from the J Gardella days but overall disappointed.

    1 person found this helpful

  20. PeteS

    Detroit

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Not the cheapest...but you get what you pay for. Good service and good ambience. Great for date night. Not great for kids.

    1 person found this helpful

  21. SelenaF

    Grand Rapids

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    It took over an hour to get our food and 25 minutes to get our first round of drinks.

    1 person found this helpful

  22. janem

    Grand Rapids

    11 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 4, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    Cool vibe. Server came to our table after about 10 min. We were hoping to order drinks but she said “I’m going to let you settle in”? Finally returned. Slow to order everything. We wanted to order a second drink. She was busy chatting with another employee. I had the steak sandwich. Had to spit out a hunks of fat. Bun was cold. Maybe if you have another server and don’t order the steak sandwich you’d enjoy. I’ve honestly had worse steak sandwich ever.

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  23. JasonM

    Grand Rapids

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 4, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 5
    Server didn't seem to care very much about our table. Very impersonal and short with us. He came by to take a second drink order about an hour into our dining, ha. Food was incredible as always and "The Study" is a much better atmosphere than the super bright lights of the upper floor. Drinks are always very good but we went elsewhere for more rounds (and dessert) to save a ton of time.

    Is this helpful?

  24. Stylist80

    Grand Rapids

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful food, gorgeous atmosphere! Will definitely be back!

    1 person found this helpful

  25. JenniferF

    Grand Rapids

    54 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Our first time dining here & we’ll definitely be back!! Fantastic cocktails…definitely a craft. Beautiful space!! Lovely server & the food was great!! Chicken lemon dill soup was a treat & the deviled eggs were delicious!! Loved the sophisticated twist on classics!! Buffalo meatballs were great!! Hubby’s burger was perfect & the fries were wonderful!!

    1 person found this helpful

  26. OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Seated in the table immediately next to kitchen so it was loud and affected the ambience some, but not terribly. The waiter, food and champagne made up for it.

    1 person found this helpful

  27. SusanK

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 28, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The service was terrific! The atmosphere is nice too. We ordered an onion cheese dip that didn’t have any flavor for an appetizer. The house salad was very good, but they were a little stingy on the toppings. The clam chowder was delicious. We ordered salmon for the main course Although the salmon was cooked perfectly and high quality, it was way over seasoned and the flavoring was not the best. The green beans were not cooked properly either. Willing to give them a second chance in the future. Hopefully, they work on tweaking the recipes.

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  28. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great drinks and a great setting. Entrees were good but didn’t feel like it was worth the price tag. I would go here for drinks and small bites any day of the week though!

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  29. JohnP

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent atmosphere on the main dining area. Service was great and food fantastic.

    1 person found this helpful

  30. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    vip
    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 27, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 5
    Service was lackluster and food was quite bland. The ambiance of the restaurant was amazing but the rest of the experience was lacking.

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  31. FoodLover

    Chicago

    13 reviews

    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great place for cocktails. Wonderful atmosphere, small menu and pricey.

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  32. LukeM

    Grand Rapids

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Hands-down, one of our new top 5 favorite spots in grand rapids!  Delicious and creative food options and impeccable cocktails as well. I definitely recommend trying Scholar out!

    1 person found this helpful

  33. Sarahm

    Detroit

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Other than waiting about 15 minutes for our table, everything else was wonderful. Kennedy was our server and she was very helpful, and professional. We will definitely return.

    1 person found this helpful

  34. AdamK

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 22, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    10/10. Excellent food, atmosphere, and service. Will eat here again.

    1 person found this helpful

  35. OpenTable Diner

    Greensboro

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very good experience all around. The bison, short rib, and the lamb were very good. The clam appetizer was really, really good. Cocktails were all great. Only shortcoming; Booze selection is a little sub-par.

    1 person found this helpful

  36. JacobK

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We loved our dinner date here! The atmosphere was amazing and the food was filling and delicious.

    1 person found this helpful

  37. JulieE

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Had a great time atmosphere was perfect for our evening. Food was very good- loved the clams. Service was excellent. Did not feel rushed at all.

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  38. DanielleR

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    went for my birthday with my husband. The cocktails were amazing, the food was delicious, and the service was great!

    1 person found this helpful

  39. TheodoreK

    Dallas

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had stuffed squash. Though the dish was very tasty, the squash on one half did not seen cooked all the way... very hard to eat and remove from the rind. We also had dessert special, Red Velvet brownie w/ white chocolate ganache. The brownie had good flavor and was warm. The ganache on the other hand was extremely firm to almost hard. You could not enjoy the dessert as a whole.

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  40. Becky

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really lovely atmosphere. Excellent service. Caramelized onion dip is amazing!

    Is this helpful?

FAQs

Scholar is rated 4.5 stars by 197 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 31 times today
Google Map for Scholar

11 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Our cross streets are Fulton and Weston.
  • Neighborhood
    Grand Rapids
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Thu, Sun 4:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, Cocktail Bar
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Executive chef
    Taylor Boeschenstein
  • Additional
    Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Options, Wine
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