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The Perfect Handcrafted Maker’s Weekend in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Posted on September 5th, 2019

To say that Kalamazoo is a city rich with creative culture is an understatement. In fact, Kalamazoo was voted #3 in the Top 10 US Cities For Creatives in 2018. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Experience it for yourself by spending a day alongside some of Kalamazoo’s oldest innovators and up-and-coming creators.

Whether you’re interested in the art of food and drink, candle making, glass blowing, theatre and more, you’ll find that here. 

And while we’re afraid you’ll need more than 24 hours to discover our inspiring handcrafted community, this itinerary is a nice place to start. 




Factory Coffee is located within the Reality Factory, a cool place that shares space with 1977 Mopeds, and Grayling Ceramics. Serving coffee from multiple roasters, both brew and espresso. Stop in for a gourmet latte served in their handmade ceramic mugs and peruse the selection of Mopeds, Ceramics, and awesome shirts!

Already been to Factory Coffee and want to check out the other coffee shops that Kalamazoo has to offer? See our Downtown Kalamazoo Coffee Crawl for more coffee inspo! 




The mission at Food Dance is to find honest-to-goodness fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs that come from the farm, not the factory.

All this brought together to build a menu of thoughtfully constructed great tasting American food. To some, it may be a unique and natural alternative to today’s chain invasion – to them it’s like changing the world – one meal at a time.

More Breakfast and Brunch Favorites

Some other famous breakfast favorites in Kalamazoo include Crow’s Nest, Cosmo’s Cucina, Theo and Stacy’s, and Anna’s House, just to name a few!




Drop by Marketplace anytime during store hours and you can craft your very own unique scented candle! No reservations required! (If you have a group of 10 or more, a call ahead of time is encouraged.)

• $15 studio fee per person ($10 for children ages 4-12)

• $10 for each candle (10oz jar candles only)

It takes about 30 minutes to make your first candle and about 10 minutes for each additional candle. Candles take around 60 minutes to fully cool so we encourage you to visit our neighbors on the Mall to grab some food or shop while you wait!

Other activities to consider


Taste, Tour and Savor at Bell’s Brewery


Want to drink the #1 beer in the country at the #1 brewery in the country? You can do that in Kalamazoo.

Bell’s Brewery’s Eccentric Cafe is located in Downtown Kalamazoo, and they have more to offer than award-winning beers such as Hopslam and Two Hearted. You can also chow down on their mouthwatering menu, or attend a Back Room Concert. Bell’s Brewery is a household name for craft beer lovers. Head to their production facility in Comstock for a free tour of where the holy grail of craft beer is made! 

Not a beer drinker? Taste our spirits instead!



– Green Door Distilling Co, is an award-winning grain to glass distillery located in Kalamazoo’s River’s Edge District. We’re proud to be Kalamazoo’s first distillery and represent the rich distilling history that Kalamazoo possessed in the 1800’s.


-The Kalamazoo Stillhouse is Kalamazoo’s located in the River’s Edge District.
They mash, ferment, distill, and bottle their handmade spirits on site, including vodka, gin, aged whisk(e)ys, and brandy.


-Grand Traverse Distillery was founded in 2006 by Kent Rabish, with one goal – to make artisan craft spirits using agriculture from Northern Michigan that would not only rival foreign imports, but to raise the bar and create a truly hand crafted spirit focusing on quality above all else.

The Grand Traverse Distillery – Kalamazoo Tasting Room opened in the summer of 2018 at 224 E. Michigan Ave. in the Haymarket District of downtown Kalamazoo.




Fuze offers an ever-evolving seasonal menu using local ingredients in a relaxed upscale funky atmosphere!
Join us them for lunch, dinner, and Sunday funday brunch.




The Chef’s Table at Zazios is like your favorite cooking show is happening right in front of you! The Chef’s Table offers an interactive multi-course dinner and beverage pairings for up to 36 people.

The comfortable stadium-like seating will ensure you won’t miss any of the action. Whether you come with family, friends, or colleagues, we are sure this will be an unforgettable evening. 

Watch as your meal is prepared, ask questions, and, if you’re feeling interactive, help their Chefs make a course. It’s not just eating a meal, it’s an experience!

other dinner options to consider

If you’re not up for a multi-course meal experience, we suggest checking out Rustica for a European-inspired menu and vibe or 600 Kitchen & Bar for a Michigan-sourced and inspired theme.




Located on the historic central Kalamazoo Mall, Principle Food & Drink features craft cocktails and scratch made cuisine in a casual yet elegant vintage atmosphere. The Principle kitchen presents an array of ‘medium’ plates, comprised primarily of ingredients sourced within 50 miles of Kalamazoo. 

You’ll be delighted as fresh ingredients and high quality spirits are skillfully melded to create memorable craft cocktails at the Principle bar. Expect a lively, convivial experience at Principle Food & Drink.

Also on our list for a cocktail

Hit up Fandgo Tapas Bistro for drinks and small plates with a Mediterranean twist or head up the street to HopCat, a craft beer bar, where you can choose from over 100 regional beers to sip on!

4 Neighborhoods Worth Visiting

Need more inspo for your Kalamazoo travels? Check out these energetic and buzzed-about neighborhoods we've highlighted, just outside Kalamazoo's central downtown!