The Kalamazoo area is loaded with delicious eateries, from food trucks to casual cafes to restaurants perfect for date night. We polled some of our readers to compile some favorites, some known, and some hidden gems! Clearly we can’t include all of the amazing places in our area, so if you know a place you feel should be on this list, please let us know!
In order to help you find what you’re looking for, we’ve labeled these Kalamazoo area reader-recommended global cuisine restaurants by the following:
Kid-friendly: This restaurant either has a kids menu or has an area perfect for kids (such as a play area).
Casual: This restaurant is perfect for bringing the family, especially younger children who are just getting used to going out to eat. They may also be used to serving water in cups with lids and straws.
Fine dining: These restaurants may have hushed interiors or lots of breakable glassware on the table, so use your discretion as you know your children best. These restaurants are also perfect for date night.
Buffet: This one speaks for itself, but it’s great to know that this option is available when you don’t have time for a long restaurant stay.
Saffron Indian Cuisine | Indian | 1710 West Main Street, Kalamazoo | Fine Dining, Buffet
This Indian restaurant is a Kalamazoo favorite, and often crowded. They offer a buffet lunch on Saturdays from 12:00-2:30 pm, and during the week from 11:30-2:30pm. They are closed on Sundays. Although more a fine dining experience, they do offer high chairs. They have a large vegetarian menu and are sensitive to dietary restrictions as well.
Cumin Indian Cuisine | Indian | 3321 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo | Casual, Buffet
Cumin is a smaller and more casual Indian restaurant located on Stadium Drive near Sweetwaters. They offer a lunch buffet every day except for Mondays with a reduced child price, and free for children under 5 years old. They offer a large vegetarian menu and are sensitive to other dietary restrictions.
Rasa Ria | Malaysian/Indonesian | 1921 West Main Street, Kalamazoo | Casual
A very small indoor dining area and perfect for take-out, Rasa Ria is Kalamazoo’s favorite hole-in-the-wall place for Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. They are family owned and able to easily accommodate small children because of the casual atmosphere if you dine in. Vegetarian-friendly.
Nonla Vietnamese Street Food | Vietnamese | 24050 Front Ave, Mattawan | Casual
Located in Mattawan, Nonla has authentic Vietnamese food tucked away in a small building, which also means it has a small indoor dining area. If you have a bigger party, it’s also perfect for take-out and they have a nice patio for al fresco dining when it’s warmer. Vegetarian friendly.
Bangkok Flavor | Thai | 5455 Gull Road, Kalamazoo | Fine Dining
Bangkok Flavor is a small family-owned Thai restaurant located on Gull Road. The restaurant is very popular and has a small dining room, so seating can be an issue. They have a lunch menu with smaller portions as well. Vegetarian friendly.
Wild Ginger | Asian Fusion | 639 Romence Road, Portage | Fine Dining
Wild Ginger is located in the plaza with D&W off of Romence Road. They have a wide variety of Asian dishes including Japanese, Chinese, Thai and they also have sushi. Their seating area is large and they offer delivery as well. Vegetarian friendly.
Chinn Chinn | Asian Fusion | 52885 N. Main Street, Mattawan | Casual
Chinn Chinn’s is a very popular Asian fusion restaurant located in Mattawan and is almost always crowded, and often has a long delay even for take-out. Because of its popularity, keep in mind that if you go as a family, you may be there for a few hours. Their dining area is on the smaller side as well. Vegetarian friendly.
Rice Kitchen | Chinese | 811 West Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo | Casual
Rice Kitchen is a super-casual Chinese restaurant with great take-out and delivery. Their menu is extensive, they are open late, and their prices are inexpensive. If you do choose to dine in, note that they only have a few tables. Vegetarian friendly.
El Gallo Blanco | Mexican | 2838 Portage Road, Kalamazoo | Casual
Authentic Mexican cuisine in a small and casual restaurant off of Portage Road. They have a large menu with a wide variety of fillers, including vegetarian options, and they even offer homemade tortillas.
Quekas Mexican Restaurant | Mexican | Casual, Kid-Friendly
Authentic Mexican cuisine focused on the cuisine of Mexico City. They have a fairly large dining room, ample parking, and fast service, perfect for younger kids in tow. They have a kids menu and are vegetarian friendly.
Mi Pueblo | Mexican | 3420 Gull Road, Kalamazoo | Casual, Buffet, Kids
Casual authentic Mexican restaurant off of Gull Road with a large dining room, a large menu, and a very large taco bar on the weekends with multiple tortilla options. They have a kids menu and are vegetarian friendly.
Lolita’s Tacos | Mexican | 2307 E Main St, Kalamazoo | Casual
Authentic Mexican in a super casual and small restaurant. Smaller menu, but lots of filler choices and great for families.
Tacos Los Brothers | Mexican | 2015 Portage Road, Kalamazoo | Casual
Super casual authentic Mexican restaurant on Portage Road. This place used to be cash only but recently started accepting credit cards. There’s a picnic table outside for use in warmer weather. No vegetarian options available.
La Finca | Mexican/Tex-Mex | 10412 Portage Road, Portage | Casual
This newer restaurant is a blend of authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex. One of the things that sets it apart is that the huge tortillas are homemade. It’s also on the south side of Portage, unlike many of the other authentic Mexican restaurants.
Middle Eastern & Greek
Blue Dolphin | Greek | 502 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo | Kid-Friendly, Casual
A longstanding family run and kid-friendly Greek restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo. Food is inexpensive, they have a kids menu and vegetarian options, and they often have entertainment on the weekends.
Theo & Staceys | Greek | 5225 Portage Rd, Portage| 4311 Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo | 234 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo | Kid-Friendly, Casual
Another longstanding family run and kid-friendly Greek restaurant with three locations who made Greek Fest famous in Kalamazoo. There’s a huge menu, including a kids menu and a couple of vegetarian options.
Zooroona Mediterranean Grill | Mediterranean | 1710 W Main St, Kalamazoo | Fine Dining, Kid-Friendly
A Mediterranean restaurant off of West Main, Zooroona’s owners hail from Iraq but have a wide selection of Mediterranean dishes on their menu from multiple countries, which makes this restaurant unique. Although more a fine dining experience, they do offer a Sunday lunch buffet where kids have a reduced price and kids under 5 are free.
Shawarma King | Mediterranean | 1441 S. Drake Dr, Kalamazoo | Casual
Located on Drake Road, this Mediterranean restaurant specializes in Lebanese fare and offers a casual and kid-friendly environment. They have an extensive menu including many vegetarian options, a fresh juice and smoothie bar, and even have a shelf of Mediterranean staples.
Bab Al Salam | Mediterranean | 129 W. Centre Ave, Portage | Casual
A new Mediterranean restaurant in Portage with Lebanese specialties near Water Street, perfect for lunch or dinner. It also has a small Mediterranean grocery store inside and the food is inexpensive. They also have a fresh juice and smoothie bar.
Nick’s Gyros | Greek | 2727 West Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo | Casual
A food trailer that sets up shop at the above location (and sometimes is on the go), Nick’s Gyros specializes in authentic Greek street food. Their menu changes, and when they set up, they set up with picnic tables for al fresco dining, perfect for families with younger kids.
Comensoli’s Italian Bistro | Italian | 762 W. Main St., Kalamazoo | Fine Dining
Comensoli’s offers authentic Italian food for lunch and dinner in a small restaurant off of West Main. For dinner, it’s focus is fine dining, however for lunch they offer a build-your-own-pasta option that is perfect for kids.
Mangia Mangia | Italian| 209 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo | Fine Dining, Kid-Friendly
A traditional Italian restaurant on the Kalamazoo Mall, Mangia Mangia’s fare is from Naples and the Calabrian regions of southern Italy. They have a sister restaurant in Paw Paw called La Cantina. There is a substantial and vegetarian-friendly menu, and also a kids menu with “mocktails”.
Martini’s Pizza | Italian | 832 South Westnedge Avenue, Kalamzoo | Fine Dining
Martini’s is a local favorite and located one block south of Chenery Auditorium. They don’t have a sign, so it can be hard to find if it’s your first time, however, it is usually crowded so look for the people. There’s a huge and vegetarian friendly menu and they are open for lunch and dinner.
Erbelli’s Gourmet Pizzeria, Italian Bistro & Pub | Italian/Pizza | 8342 Portage Road, Portage | 6214 Stadium Drive | Casual, Kid-Friendly, Buffet
Erbelli’s is one of Kalamazoo’s favorite pizza places with two locations in the Kalamazoo area. The menu is enormous, including a kids menu, and they offer a lunch buffet Monday-Friday. If you dine in, the restaurant is casual and kid-friendly, and they also specialize in take-out.
Angelo’s Italian Eatery | Italian/Subs | 5401 Portage Road, Portage | 6997 West Q Ave, Texas Corners | 3325 Ravine Road, Ravine | Kid-Friendly, Casual
Angelo’s is a local favorite and often packed for lunch. It’s casual and kid-friendly with inexpensive food on both the regular and kids menu. They offer the traditional Italian fare and grinders for a quick lunch. The Ravine location has hand-dipped ice cream during the summer.
Franco’s Sub-Station & Italian Pizzeria | Italian/Pizza | 8022 S. Westnedge Ave, Portage | Casual
Franco’s is a family-owned hidden gem in Portage, specializing in Sicilian pizza and authentic Italian cuisine. They have a small dining area and a seasonal patio and also are great for take-out. They offer traditional Italian desserts as well and are open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, but only dinner on Sundays.
Chicago Style Pizza | Italian/Pizza | 10420 Portage Road, Portage | Casual (Take-Out Only)
A hidden family-owned hole-in-the-wall pizza place in South Portage, Chicago Style Pizza specializes in its name, Chicago style pizza, but also has subs. They are only available for take-out or delivery.
Chau Haus | German | 410 S. Burdick Street, Kalamazoo | Casual
Kalamazoo’s new German restaurant, offering traditional German fare and new takes on old favorites. They are located near The State Theater in downtown Kalamazoo and are open during all State Theater showtimes, or Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and Wednesday-Saturday for dinner.
Jambo African Cuisine | African | 6541 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo | Casual, Buffet
Jambo is a casual East African restaurant on Stadium which specializes in Tanzanian fare. They have a lunch buffet, making it perfect for families with younger kids, and if you order off the menu it is served in a take-out container which is perfect if you are on the run.