Grand Rapids MDRD Ranked # 2 Best New Restaurant in the US

Grand Rapids restaurant nearly clinched first place in nationwide competition for the best new place to dine in the United States

MDRD (pronounced Madrid) of downtown Grand Rapids ended up taking second place in a USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice poll of the best new restaurants of 2021. A panel of experts chose 20 new restaurants from across the county , then it was put up to a public vote.

Considering how difficult it was for the hospitality industry during the pandemic, even if it didn’t grab that top spot, I think this honor is still very impressive!

And I still really want to go!

I heard rave reviews of the Spanish restaurant on the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza and drooled over their social media posts. The photos of their food AND the views of the Grand River and downtown GR are gorgeous!

In the fall of 2020, we learned that MDRD would be moving into the Amway Grand Hotel, replacing Cygnus 27. As with things, the grand opening was delayed a few months by the pandemic, but MDRD was finally able to open its doors in February 2021.

Tapas start at $ 9 and MDRD’s decadent desserts start at $ 14. The price of entrees ranges from $ 30 to $ 55 and includes a roasted chicken breast, a roasted pork belly, seared scallops, a beef tenderloin steak and a paella for one or two. For drinks, MDRD serves sumptuous cocktails, beer and wine. You can view the full menu here.

Here is USA Today’s praise for MDRD,

MDRD has found its place in the Grand Rapids restaurant scene with its unique approach to modern Spanish cuisine. On the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza restaurant overlooking the Grand River, start with a selection of tapas before moving on to the main menu – Pollo Asado, bacalao al ajullo, filete à la plancha, cochinillo asado or vieiras. Paella mixta includes shrimp, chicken, morcilla, bomba rice, artichoke, piquillo and aioli. Complete your dinner (if you can!) With your choice of mousse, soufflé or custard for dessert.

So which restaurant ended up beating GR’s MDRD?

Empress by Boon in San Francisco, Calif., Was ranked # 1 in the USA Today poll.

Here is the rest of their Top Ten:

  1. Empress by Boon – San Francisco, CA
  2. MDRD – Grand Rapids, MI
  3. Hawksmoor – New York
  4. Dory – Memphis, Tennessee
  5. Dear Margaret – Chicago, Illinois
  6. Matū – Beverly Hills, CA
  7. Ember & Ash – Philadelphia, PA
  8. Le Chastain – Atlanta, Georgia
  9. Best Quality Girl – San Antonio, TX
  10. Kan-Kan Cinema and Brewery – Indianapolis, IN

As we head into the New Year, do you have another new restaurant in West Michigan that you really love?

We recently asked your opinion about new restaurants in the area that you think are worth trying. Find out what you had to say below!

50 Newish Restaurants and Bars in West Michigan You Should Check Out

These are recent restaurants and bars in West Michigan recommended for good food and drink.

What about the restaurants you really wish we had in West Michigan? Here are the ones you said you would like to see in the area:

The 25 Best Restaurants West Michigan Wants Right Now


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