Best New Restaurants in Kalamazoo: Your Fave New Dining Spots

best new restaurant in Kalamazoo

cover image: The Backyard of Kalamazoo

Find a Favorite New Restaurant in Kalamazoo

We are lucky to live in Kalamazoo with so many culinary masterpieces nearby.

While we LOVE our restaurants (10,600+ votes for the best restaurants in Kalamazoo support that notion), we never settle for good enough when it comes to our food.

And neither do our local restaurant owners: they continue to innovate and open new dining spots for Southwest Michigan to enjoy.

We polled our readers and found the best new places* to eat in our area.

*Note: to qualify as nominees on our 2024 ballot, a “new” Kalamazoo restaurant must have opened in 2023 or early 2024.

HighDive, best new restaurant in Kalamazoo
HighDive Kitchen + Bar in Downtown Kalamazoo
Best of KZOO Logo 2024

Where Are the Best New Restaurants in Kalamazoo?

Here are the top 5 favorite new restaurants that opened in 2023 or early 2024 in SWMI:
1 – The Backyard of Kalamazoo
2 – HighDive Kitchen + Bar
3 – Z&W Chinese Cuisine
4 – Blue Kitchella
5 – Casa Tequila

Directory: Best New Restaurants

🍽 Voted # 1 Best New Restaurant

10441 Stadium Dr Kalamazoo, MI 49009

The Backyard of Kalamazoo

The Backyard of Kalamazoo's concept is unique: combine a restaurant with outdoor play.

The restaurant serves upscale pub fare (burgers, pizza, flatbreads and appetizers) with table service both indoors and outside on the patio. Adults will enjoy having a mixologist on staff, who crafts up some creative cocktails.

And when you're ready for some corn hole, ping pong and other outdoor fun, head to the Backyard. This mega fenced yard provides acres of space for friends and families to gather with games and activities.

Where to Find The Backyard of Kalamazoo
The Backyard of Kalamazoo is located in Texas Township, at the corner of Stadium Drive and South 1st Street.

🍽 Voted # 2 Best New Restaurant

214 E Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49007

HighDive Kitchen + Bar

You'll find where High End meets Dive Bar in Downtown Kalamazoo at HighDive Kitchen + Bar.

Grab a seat on their patio and enjoy a fun menu, where even the categories are unique: "Start it Up" (appetizers), "Dig it" (salads), "Smashables" (sandwiches) and "Heavy Plates" (entrees).

Be sure to snag the Mega Pretzel with beer cheese; the 21 and up crowd will also find an extensive list of signature cocktails.

Where to Find HighDive Kitchen + Bar
HighDive is located at the corner of Portage Street and East Michigan Avenue in Downtown Kalamazoo. Find them next door to LFG Gaming Bar and Stamped Robin.

🍽 Voted # 3 Best New Restaurant

6082 S 12th St Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Z&W Chinese Cuisine

Family-owned Z&W Chinese Cuisine serves both authentic and Americanized options of a wide variety of Chinese dishes. Food is made by hand- including the hand-shaping all of their Crab Rangoon!

For those that like customized meals, try the build a bowl option: diners select their protein, vegetables and sauce, paired with either Crab Rangoon or an eggroll.

Food is available for dine in or carryout at their location on 12th Street.

Where to Find Z&W Chinese Cuisine
Z&W is located on 12th Street in Texas Township, near the Milham/12th roundabout. Find them in the same strip mall as Maestro's Pizza.

🍽 Voted # 4 Best New Restaurant

8215 Portage Rd Portage, MI 49002

Blue Kitchella

Touting itself as an innovative Fast-FRESH-Food company, Blue Kitchella opened on Portage Road in 2023. With the same owners as Latitude 42, this restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options including smash burgers, focaccia sandwiches and cronuts.

Just need a beverage? Drink options are plenty here with juice, coffee, root beer floats, milkshakes, smoothies, and hot tea.

Where to Find Blue Kitchella
Blue Kitchella is located on Portage Road, just south of Centre in Portage.

🍽 Voted # 5 Best New Restaurant

23901 City Center Circle Mattawan, MI 49071

Casa Tequila

Opening in early 2023, Mattawan's Casa Tequila's massive menu provides seemingly endless options for Mexican food.

Find burritos, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and pollo loco here- plus burgers, dessert and many options for adult beverages.

Kids have their own menu at Casa Tequila too, including both Mexican fare and American staples like mac and cheese and chicken tenders.

Where to Find Casa Tequila
Find Casa Tequila on City Center Circle in Mattawan, across the street from Taco Bob's.

🍽 New Restaurant in Portage

8842 Portage Rd #104 Portage, MI 49002

468 Urban Winery

A place you can drink some vino, enjoy small plates, AND bring the kiddos? Wine not!

At 468 Wine, it's a total family affair. Kiddos have their own special menu where they can choose from the ever-popular applesauce pouch, chips, and juice box combo, grilled cheese, or the crowd-favorite Breads and Spreads (bread with peanut butter, jam, and marshmallow fluff).

Sit back and relax in the friendly atmosphere with a wine flight or soak up some sun during the summer months on their cozy outdoor patio with wine slushies and mimosas.

468 Wine also hosts several events throughout the year, from food and wine pairings to Paint and Sips. And did we mention their bottles with custom wine labels make the perfect gift?

Where to Find 468 Urban Winery
468 is located at the corner of Portage Road and Forest Drive in Portage, just south of Cove Lakeside Bistro.

🍽 New Restaurant in Kalamazoo

1710 W Main Kalamazoo, MI 49006

BC Pizza Kalamazoo

Opening in late 2023, Chris, April, Zoe and the BC Pizza Kalamazoo team have grown a following with their tasty pizza and buffet options.

With lunch and dinner buffets (select days) at this location, diners will discover much more than pizza: cheesy bread, spi-rolls, bread stix, salads and even mac and cheese can be on this extended menu.

Be sure to follow them on Facebook for specials.

Where to Find BC Pizza Kalamazoo
BC Pizza is located on West Main in Kalamazoo, near Arlington. Find them in the same plaza as Saffron.

🍽 New Restaurant in Plainwell

137 N Main St Plainwell, MI 49080

Bloom Eatery

Open 8 AM - 2PM Wednesday through Sunday, this cute Plainwell restaurant has weekly specials that are sure to please. Enjoy traditional breakfast fare or savory selections like The Goat sandwich, which features egg whites, chive goat cheese, arugula, and sausage.

Looking for lunch? Choose from salads and wraps to sandwiches and burgers. Whatever your fare, be sure to grab a drink from their extensive coffee menu. Plus, half off the kids menu on Sundays.

Where to Find Bloom Eatery
Bloom Eatery is located on North Main Street in Plainwell, just north of Allegan Street.

🍽 New Restaurant in Kalamazoo

3610 S Sprinkle Rd Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Butler's Breakfast and Lunch

After working at the Michelle's Sprinkle Rd restaurant for 13 years, William Butler took over this location with a new brand and energy, reopening under the Butler name in January of 2024.

In addition to tasty dining options for both breakfast and lunch, Butler's is also available for catering.

Where to Find Butler's Breakfast and Lunch
Find Butler's off South Sprinkle Road, next door to Jimmy John's in the former Michelle's location

🍽 New Restaurant in Richland

12454 E D Ave Richland, MI 49083

Compass + Cleaver

Compass + Cleaver is a collaboration from the people who brought you South Kitchen and Kitchen House. Located in Richland, this full-service restaurant features classic coastal Italian cuisine for dine-in or carryout from 5 PM - 9 PM Tuesday through Saturdays. With an outdoor patio that has gorgeous view of Gull Lake, Compass + Cleaver is a must-try for your next date night.

Reservations are accepted but not required, but with seasonal features like their Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad (fresh mozzarella, heirloom cherry tomatoes, green goddess dressing, balsamic reduction and fresh basil) — you might want to play it safe and call ahead 😉

Where to Find Compass + Cleaver
Compass + Cleaver is located at 12454 E D Ave in Richland, just west of North 38th Street. Chicken House and The Dock at Bayview are both nearby.

🍽 New Restaurant in Kalamazoo

1501 Fulford St, Ste 30 Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Fiddle Leaf Cafe

This quaint neighborhood coffee shop serves locally sourced, house-made coffee, tea, light fare, and curated goods with sustainability in mind. And there's many plants!

If you need a snack to complement your beverage choice, there are tasty options to grab and go, including yogurt parfaits, potato chips, fruit, and sourdough toasts.

Where to Find Fiddle Leaf Cafe
Fiddle Leaf Cafe is located at 1501 Fulford St in Kalamazoo, near Egleston Avenue.

🍽 New Restaurant in Portage

5222 Portage Rd Portage, MI 49002

Long Island Cafe

Looking for a new cafe that serves breakfast and lunch all day? Make the drive to Long Island....on Portage Road!

Reviews mention great food, large portions, and fast service. The island-themed restaurant promises a flavor explosion seven days a week, from 7 AM to 7 PM and is sure to become a fave hangout for third-shift and restaurant industry workers.

Not sure what to try? We hear the Cinnamon Roll pancakes are amazing!

Where to Find Long Island Cafe
Long Island Cafe is located in Portage, across the street from the airport on Portage Road.

Long Island Cafe Food Challenge ➡

🍽 New Restaurant in Lawton

114 N Main St Lawton, MI 49065

Longship Brewing Company

With a menu that depends upon seasonal availability, what’s local, and the whims of their skilled kitchen, you'll feel good knowing that your patronage helps support area farmers and artisans.

There's something for everyone at Longship, from sweet desserts to fresh appetizers to building your own perfect burger. There's even a char-CUTE-rie board for the kiddos!

For a relaxing atmosphere and place to unwind, this quick drive to downtown Lawton is well worth it.

Where to Find Longship Brewing Company
Find Longship Brewing Company on North Main Street in Lawton, just across the street and slightly south of Big T's.

🍽 New Restaurant in Kalamazoo

6857 W Main St Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Schultz Sweets

From the same owners of Schultz's Treat Street, Schultz Sweets is your new sweet spot on the West Side of Kalamazoo! Located on West Main, pop in for artisan sweets, ice cream, coffee, gourmet waffles, soups, salads and sandwiches. Whether you have a hankering for something sweet, salty, savory — or all of the above — you'll find it at Schultz Sweets.

Keep them in mind for parties, too! Order custom cupcakes and other goodies for graduations, birthdays, showers and everything in between. Plus, be sure to check out their candy making parties which are fun for ALL ages.

Where to Find Schultz Sweets
Schultz Sweets is located on West Main in Oshtemo, between 8th and 9th streets (across from Menard's).

🍽 New Restaurant in Paw Paw

217 E Michigan Ave Paw Paw, MI 49079

Sly's Seafood & Company

Be sure to try this restaurant for your next date night or girl's night out. The sister restaurant of Paw Paw Brewing Company, Sly's Seafood & Co. promises the ultimate fine dining experience with great attention to every detail from service, to fare, to ambience.

Enjoy creative cocktails and fresh seafood dishes featuring locally grown produce. With weekly specials like Saturday's Brunch & Bloody Mary Bar (featuring Paw Paw Brewing Co. Premium Handcrafted vodka) and a menu that changes often — Sly's will keep you coming back for more.

Walk-ins are welcome or make a reservation online.

Where to Find Sly's Seafood & Company
Sly's Seafood is located at 217 East Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw. Their restaurant is just east of Brewster's.

Tell Us: What is Your Favorite New Dining Spot in Kalamazoo?

Leave us a comment with your fave new spot to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner in SW Michigan.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *