Go Big, Because You’re Home: Unique Food in Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo is a foodie town, offering cuisine for every taste bud: sushi, tacos, ice cream and burgers are all here in spades.
But what if you want something a bit outside of the norm: food that’s free if you finish it by yourself? A tee-shirt to commemorate finishing said food?
Yup, we have those too. We scoured local restaurants and shops for what we’ll term “over the top” or unique food in Kalamazoo.
Try these entrees, drinks and desserts for some of the biggest or most creative food in town.
Our thanks to the restaurants for their innovative culinary skills and fantastic photos.
Don’t Even Think About It Burrito
The Big Burrito Mexican Restaurant
5036 W KL Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49009
For guests that can tackle the Don’t Even Think About It Burrito in less than 12 minutes, the meal is on the house, and you receive a free Big Burrito tee shirt.
This massive, unique food measure three feet long and includes beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, sour cream, and your meat or veggie choice in a grilled tortilla.
The Dump Truck Burger is on the secret menu at Arlene’s Truck Stop in Battle Creek, a mom-and-pop style restaurant where you will never leave hungry.
It includes 18oz fresh ground beef, 8oz ham steak, 4 fried eggs, 4 slices of cheese, 4 strips of bacon and lettuce on a house made bun.
This monster sized meal also includes a pound of fries and crispy pickle spear. Serves 4 people. Dine in only.
Nonla Burger’s Daily Specials
2103 S Burdick St Kalamazoo, MI 49001
1700 South Drake Rd Ste A Kalamazoo, MI 49006
24050 Front Ave Mattawan, MI 49071
Price: $5 and up
Voted as one of the best restaurants in Kalamazoo for their burgers and chicken sandwiches, Nonla is also known for its innovative daily specials.
Whether it’s a fried pickle burger, steak and egg bagel or the Blueberry Bomber (shown), their kitchen creativity knows no bounds.
The Blueberry Bomber (sold on March 9) included Belgian waffles, crispy fried chicken breast, jalapeño blueberry cream cheese, blueberry compote, bacon and powdered sugar served with maple syrup.
Follow their Facebook page for their latest creation.
232 E Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Price: $4.50+ (slice) $32+ (full pizzas)
Benny DiCarta’s keeps their menu simple: three regular flavors (cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni) and two monthly specials are offered here in only one size: giant.
If your car or stomach isn’t large enough for a 28-Inch pizza, Benny’s also sells by this unique food by the slice.
Wake N’ Bake Sandwich
Saugatuck Brewing Company
140 S Westnedge Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Although this sandwich has “wake” in the title, you may need a nap after consuming it:
As part of Saugatuck Brewing Company’s new menu in May 2022, the Wake N’ Bake makes a statement with a half-pound craft beef, bacon jam, goat cheese, fried egg, peanut butter, and more bacon all packed between two slices of Neapolitan French toast.
Drinks & Desserts
Even a pandemic didn’t stop this epic Bloody Mary Bar at The Dock at Bayview in Richland. When restaurants were closed to in-person dining, the team pivoted and sold them to go, in carryout kits.
Seemingly anything goes with this unique beverage; in addition to the traditional celery and olives, guests can add shrimp, chicken wings and cheese.
Also Try: Bloody Mary bar at Louie’s Corner Bar or Louie’s Trophy House
You can Dare to be Great with this ice cream creation at D’Nicio’s: 21 scoops of assorted flavors are accompanied by strawberries, chocolate, pineapple, and marshmallow toppings, chopped nuts whipped cream and cherries.
If you finish this unique food by yourself within one hour, it’s free.
Dinner Plate Sized Cinnamon Rolls
Sweetwater’s Donut Mill
3333 Stadium Dr KALAMAZOO, MI 49008
2138 Sprinkle Rd KALAMZOO, MI 49001
2807 Capital Ave BATTLE CREEK, MI 49015
Price: under $3
While known for their extensive donut selection, don’t sleep on the Sweetwater’s cinnamon roll. Easily eaten in multiple meals, this culinary creation will fill an entire dinner plate with its cinnamon sweetness.
Their cinnamon rolls are available glazed, with chocolate icing, vanilla icing, or caramel icing. You can also purchase them topped with peanuts.
If you’re looking for another large offering from their shop, order a fritter.
Also try: Rykse & Co cinnamon rolls
While nearly anything from Cherri’s Chocol’art is a decadent, unique food, their Monster Shakes have become a signature item in their shop. With different flavors seasonally, you can find a Monster Shake for any holiday or event.
The Halloween shakes pictured included the Caramel Apple Cider Monster Shake, Spooky Wooky Monster Shake and Pumpkin Pie Monster Shake.
Each shake features Lafayette Creamery’s ice cream and treats from the shop, made in-house.
Rollup Ice Cream
Rollup Ice Cream & Tea
8340 Portage rd Portage, MI 49002
5907 GULL RD KALAMAZOO, MI 49048
Why scoop ice cream when you can roll it instead? Visitors will find this unique rolled ice cream accompanied by toppings like cookies, brownies or lemon bars.
Some of Rollup’s signature dishes include Monkey Business, Orange Dreamsicle and Sweet S’more (pictured).
The Sweet S’more includes a chocolate base, marshmallows, graham crackers, a chocolate bar, toasted marshmallows and whipped cream.
Ultimate Hot Chocolate (Seasonal)
Main Street Pub
Multiple LoCATIONS IN SWMI
Price: $14.99 (non-alcoholic), $19.99 (with alcohol)
Offered seasonally, the Ultimate Hot Chocolate at Main Street Pub levels up your traditional cocoa with piles of goodies including marshmallows, donuts, sprinkles and candy.
Be sure to snag this fun drink in the winter at Main Street Pub (check their Facebook page and confirm availability with the restaurant). Available with or without alcohol.
Have we missed one of your favorite, unique foods in Southwest Michigan? Leave us a comment and let us know!