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Scholar, Grand Rapids, MI

Scholar

4.5
4.5
159 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 32 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
  • Private party facilities
    We are not accepting private event inquiries until January 2024.
  • Neighborhood
    Grand Rapids
  • Cross street
    Our cross streets are Fulton and Weston.
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Additional
    Beer, Cocktails, Gluten-free Options, Wine

What 159 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
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Best Ambiance

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Good for business meals

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Lively

  • Grand Rapids / Western Michigan

    Most Booked

  • Grand Rapids

    Best Ambiance

  • Grand Rapids

    Good for business meals

  • Grand Rapids

    Innovative

  • Grand Rapids

    Hot spot

  • Grand Rapids

    Romantic

  • Grand Rapids

    Lively

  • Grand Rapids

    American

  • Grand Rapids

    Most Booked

159 Reviews
  1. JacobK

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    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.

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  2. JulieE

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    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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  3. DanielleR

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    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!

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  4. TheodoreK

    Dallas

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    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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  5. MiriaR

    Grand Rapids

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Our server was very knowledgeable, and the food was delicious.

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  6. Wilzz1

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Loved trying this new restaurant! My wife and I are foodies and we have tried many top end locations in and around Grand Rapids. Definitely on the pricier side, but, I had the Bison ribs and they were fall off the bone delicious! The drinks/cocktails were unique and tasty! Our service was prompt, food, and starters prompt as well. My only request is that the music match the ambience. Very classy place with music that contained the F word. Blah. Overall, very happy and will definitely be back!

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  7. MelissaK

    Grand Rapids

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on February 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    From the time we entered the restaurant until the time we left, the staff was friendly and accommodating. The table was quaint and quiet. The food was amazing & our server, Sage was terrific. It was our anniversary and they ensured we had a beautiful experience. We will definitely return.

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  8. BarbB

    Detroit

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We appreciate the effort Jake, the bar back, put forward. And his sidekick, the guy bartender! We’ll be back.

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  9. WesF

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great place! Great food and service! My wife and I went and we had the meat balls and lamb and salmon. It was all great! With great wine pairings.

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  10. Gunner

    New York City

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Ordered the lamb chops and they were nothing special. Restaurant was very visually appealing. May have to try something different to make a final decision on this place.

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  11. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fantastic service (Kennedy was amazing) and the food was amazing. Loved that they had an intentional take on classic cocktails as well. Would definitely go back.

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  12. DocLendo

    Detroit

    53 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We received a gift card to try Scholar and after visiting the website, we were anxious to give it a try. I had read some reviews that were negative but I'd say our overall impression was very positive. The warm greeting, the cool atmosphere and vibe and the service and food were all very satisfying and it is a wonderful addition to the downtown dining scene. While I saw quite a few people that were there to enjoy a drink, it's definitely worth staying for a meal. We had the clams casino which was outstanding. The clam chowder was decadent as it should be and as my wife enjoyed the crab Louie salad, I savored every bite of my salmon! Could portion sizes be larger? Perhaps. But the quality and flavor were fantastic and our waitress Kennedy made sure everything turned out just right and in a well timed manner. Scholar would be an intelligent choice for a great meal!

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    For as “booked “ solid the reservations were… the place was empty

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing cocktails, appetizers and entrees! Our waitress Kennedy was fabulous

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  15. DavidM

    Detroit

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 5, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Not a cheap place to dine. I ordered the lamb. Quality was not there. They were out of clams. No clams casino appetizer. Ordered the crab cakes instead. Way too much breading. . It’s a lovely place to dine but rather expensive. They need to up their quality regarding the lamb entrée.

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  16. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 4, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was expensive but not the best. Service was great. And they had baked Alaska on the menu and it was just ok but it’s one of my favorites so that made me happy. I would eat here again.

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  17. OpenTable Diner

    Detroit

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Meh….. over priced for the amount of food compared to Cooper’s Hawk.

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  18. julia

    Chicago

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    food was pretty good, there was a long wait even after i had made a reservation. the vibes were great, would recommend for a drink night.

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  19. Isis

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I loved it, this place is a hidden gem, from the cocktails, to the wine, to the appetizers, to the entrees… this place truly did not disappoint.

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very good waiter and waitress. Nice place. Would come back for sure. Unique tastes!

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  21. MaryroseB

    Chicago

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on February 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Unique restaurant with a twist on old school dishes. The cocktails are delicious and decor is cozy and uplifting. The lemon chicken dill soup was to die for. We also enjoyed the deviled eggs with lardons and salisbury steak with mashed potatoes. This place will definitely be on our monthly rotation. 

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  22. GregJ

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food and the atmosphere was very good- the staff was well connected and the service was perfect

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  23. anonymous

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 29, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    It's a lovely environment. For the price of the food, we expected higher quality.

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  24. Meghes

    Northern MI

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    You definently do NOT need to follow any dress code. People were there in jeans and leggings, as was the staff. Wished the downstairs was more of an intimate cocktail area and not full tables.

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  25. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    49 reviews

    4.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on January 25, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great cocktail program and bar experience. Needs a bit more polish on table service, but headed in the right direction. Food is good but could also be elevated a bit. Terrific room and ambience.

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  26. HunterP

    Indiana

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The staff were extremely welcoming and professional, and our waitress was nothing short of excellent. We had a great time celebrating our anniversary.

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  27. Millions

    San Francisco

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on January 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food and service. Lower level ambiance is close to a speaker easy atmosphere. We love it here!!’

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  28. HannahT

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great and knowledgeable service, we had a mix of specials and regular menu items and all were excellent. We were there for a little over an hour and a half and did not feel rushed at all. Menu is on the pricier side but it felt like it was on par for the food and service you get.

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  29. AnnaR

    Minneapolis

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 19, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was my second time dining at Scholar. The service was amazing and cocktails/wine were both great. I do not recommend eating at Scholar. The entrees were overly salty both times. The brownie dessert was over cooked and impossible to cut through.

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  30. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 19, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful space! Food was ok. Cocktails were excellent and service was phenomenal!!! Will be back for cocktails and appetizers!

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  31. BrianG

    Grand Rapids

    76 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    76 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Super cool downtown GR spot - Great drinks, food and service

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  32. VTVT

    Grand Rapids

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We loved everything about Scholar- the food, drinks, atmosphere, service. Can’t wait to go back!

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    Pittsburgh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was delicious! The server was very attentive! The ambiance was perfect and cozy.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great spot! Wonderful addition to the GR food scene.

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  35. ErinM

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great ambiance, service and food. Look forward to going back and trying another level ( we were in the top floor)

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  36. SallyW

    Miami

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 13, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The staff is amazing! The food wasn’t as spectacular as last time - about a month ago. It blew our socks off. Got the same dinner last night and it lacked luster.

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  37. KristineW

    Grand Rapids

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The only criticism is in the study- the environment and decide is awesome- it the music isn’t of in sync- in addition it was fairly loud so the mismatch in music to environment was almost jarring. Fix that and it’s 5 stars!

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  38. PHILIPC

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The wife and I went there for a birthday date night. Very cool vibe !!! cocktails were on par. The staff were excellent , knowledgeable , friendly. Food was absolutely delicious. Will definitely be back.

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  39. GrandRapidsDiner

    Grand Rapids

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    I have been hearing fantastic reviews in regard to Scholar. We were looking forward to going on a date night with just the two of us. We had a 7:30 PM reservation and a show at 9:45 PM. Came in anticipating to have multiples starters to split, an entrée to split and dessert. Our table was broken or something was off with the legs because one wrong lean on the table and it wobbled sending our drinks spilling. (We were the two top on the second floor against the brick in between the windows for reference to fix.) We had the clams and crab cakes which were really good however they meal was warm as best (not hot) and the bread would have been much more manageable if cut into pieces versus a large piece of baguette we had to rip. For the entrée, my husband is a big cheeseburger guy which made this restaurant so approachable for him to know he had something to enjoy. We sat with our finished entrée plates in front of us for 10 minutes with the waitress never stopping by to check in or clear which meant we also did not have time to order dessert. Every course and interaction was so delayed we had to leave for the show before we could have the full night we had hoped for.

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Northern MI

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    We went here on a Friday night for my husbands birthday. I had made 8:15 reservation’s. We arrived on time but our table was not ready. They directed us to the bar to wait. The 25 minutes we waited we were basically ignored, had to ask for bar menus, and water. It was not busy at the bar but the bartenders were deep in conversation with each other and chose to chat rather than greet us. By the time they took our order, our table was ready and we hadn’t even gotten our drink. TWENTY FIVE minutes later! Not a great start. Our waitress was nice but not polished, didn’t refill water or know the specials. Our food and drinks were really good, and the atmosphere is chill and cool. Overall, the experience did not warrant the cost of the meal. I think with some more training and attention to detail, this place could be good.

    1 person found this helpful

FAQs

Scholar is rated 4.5 stars by 159 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 32 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
  • Phone number
    (616) 980-9073
  • Private party facilities
    We are not accepting private event inquiries until January 2024.
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