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The Area’s Best Restaurants
Grand Rapids Magazine’s 2002 Dining Awards of Excellence

For 23 years, Grand Rapids Magazine has honored West Michigan’s restaurant community through the annual Grand Rapids Magazine Dining Awards of Excellence. From year to year the mission is the same: to highlight, in an unbiased manner, establishments that have consistently provided diners with high-quality cuisine, impeccable service, incredible value, comprehensive beverage selection and engaging ambiance. While the mission remains constant, the flavors do indeed change from year to year as restaurants come and go, chefs take their creative talents elsewhere and new dining experiences are born.

This year is no different. The 1913 Room regains the title of Restaurant of the Year after last year’s absence (due to remodeling efforts that closed the restaurant for a portion of the year). Naturally, this recent AAA Five Diamond award winner didn’t merely sneak to the top spot; it blew the competition away by earning almost double the points of its nearest competitor.

Newcomer EGR Firehouse Grill earns an Award of Excellence in what was this year’s most competitive category: casual dining. Such parity in this field of casual players bodes well for both the industry and the patrons who benefit from the fruits of the industry.

In the ethnic European category, Tre Cugini wins its first Dining Award of Excellence, beating out perennial favorite San Chez, A Tapas Bistro. Maggie’s Kitchen and Yen Ching in the Roaring ’20s Plaza also return to the top of their game and take home 2002 ethnic dining awards.

We extend our thanks to the anonymous dining panel members who independently endure two rounds of balloting in order to determine the best among the best. We also thank the accounting firm of Crowe Chizek, where the ballots are tabulated. Finally, we congratulate the nominees and award winners, all of whom continue to add to West Michigan’s quality of life. GR

Restaurant of the Year
The 1913 Room, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

Fine Dining Awards of Excellence
Charley’s Crab, 63 Market Ave. SW
Cygnus, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Till Midnight, 208 College Ave., Holland

Casual Dining Awards of Excellence
Rose’s, 2224 Wealthy St. SE
The Grapevine Restaurant at Gibson’s, 1033 Lake Drive SE
EGR Firehouse Grill, 2150 Wealthy St. SE

Ethnic Dining Awards of Excellence
Asian: Yen Ching (Roaring ’20s Plaza), 4605 28th St. SE
Central/South American, Mexican: Maggie’s Kitchen, 636 Bridge St. NW
European: Tre Cugini, 100 Monroe Center St.

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