It seems as if every city has that one signature spot where locals insist must be visited before leaving town. For Grand Rapids, that place is Yesterdog. Located in the artsy urban neighborhood of Eastown, the inspiration for 'Dog Years' in the American Pie movies has been slinging up hot dogs for thirty years.
Step inside Yesterdog and you'll feel as though you walked into an antique shop. The walls are decked in Americana memorabilia and the air carries a slightly musty smell. Usually a number of people are in line ordering a variety of the $2 Cheddardogs, Krautdogs and Veggiedogs, but the employees routinely take five or more orders at once and then add up the amount owed by each customer without the help of paper or cash register.
While waiting for the order, check out the wall opposite the cash register for photos taken of fans wearing Yesterdog t-shirts in famous and far away locations around the world. If the service is especially good, you can try your hand throwing tips into the tip jar rigged together from an ancient phonograph. The seating area is fairly large and is an eclectic mix of barstools, counters and graffiti covered booths. Every table has plenty of napkins, a necessity for handling these messy dogs.
Metered parking in the lot next door is cheap, just a quarter for an hour, and usually available during the day. At night, as the crowds build in Eastown, try parking in the the free city lot on Ethel Ave or on sidestreets around Wealthy. Yesterdog opens for lunch at 10:30 a.m. daily and stays open late, until 1 a.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and until 2:30 a.m. the rest of the week. Cash or check only.
1505 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids MI 49506