A locally-focused comfort food eatery with a vegan menu, however some items have the option of adding cheese. Offers some options for raw foodists. The menu changes based on seasonal ingredients and daily specials. Also has a deli case/ drinks available Mon-Fri 9am-11am. Eco-friendly interior. Knowledgeable staff. A worker's collective, owned and operated by the worker's who receive equal pay and say. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Take-out, Delivery
6 Jefferson St SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
616-233-3219

Mon-Tue 11:00am-4:00pm, Wed-Fri 11:00am-9:00pm, Sat 9:00am-9:00pm, Sun 7:00am-2:00pm

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  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by erbavore9
LoLaBeTh29
LoLaBeTh29
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

Simply a great place!

5 Posted on 08 / 02 / 2013

Bartertown, I love everything about it. Where were you while I was residing in downtown GR! Love the fare, the art and ambience. Charming and knowledgable staff. My mouth was watering from simply reading the menu, the taste, delicious!

Pros: diverse/changing menu, buys from LOCAL food sources, such great character
Cons: parking
Jewels1anne
Jewels1anne
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Wonderful Food!

5 Posted on 06 / 29 / 2013

Wonderful food with lots of flavor, great friendly service. Look forward to another visit next time I am in Grand Rapids!


MichaelTaylor
MichaelTaylor
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

Great Vegan Diner with Vegetarian options

5 Posted on 06 / 05 / 2013

Awesome food and smoothies on a very casual environment. Everything I have tried has been very good and portions are generous also. Well worth the visit!

Pros: great food, great portions, friendly service
Cons: parking

gypsipixi
gypsipixi
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

a must try!!

5 Posted on 01 / 02 / 2013

This place is my favorite. The best harty began food in town. They are ever changing but always great food items. I love the staff as well, they are attentive and informed.

Pros: best food, great service, large portions and low cost
ldholabird
ldholabird
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

Awesome!

5 Posted on 10 / 02 / 2012

I just went there for lunch with my sister. I had 3 of the daily tacos which were wonderful but not exciting. My sister had the tostadas which I tried and it was very complex and tasty (collard greens were earthy while the salsa on top made my mouth go wow)! We also had the raw, gluten-free cheesecake for dessert (a bit pricey but well worth it) which topped everything we had before. We were slightly worried about seeing everyone paying cash because we didn't come prepared, but no, they have an app for that and we charged lunch with the iPad. Fab! Happy to find a place that was great. Highly recommend!

Pros: Excellent food, Good value, Fun atmosphere
RunningCUTIE
RunningCUTIE
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+36

Very good!

4 Posted on 09 / 06 / 2012

We stopped by here for a late lunch and had a very enjoyable experience. A blueberry basil smoothie--creative and flavorful. Quite tasty! My husband had the Monstruo Verde, which was good. I had the Grandwich; I LOVED the beer cheese sauce. It was absolutely phenomenal. It was a little heavy on onions for my taste, but the overall effect was still very good. We really loved the ambiance--great atmosphere, friendly staff, and fabulous ideas and mission go into running and operating the diner. It was not the best vegan food we've had, but definitely worth the trip and still creative and unique!

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff, Unique/Admirable mission
Tlarwa
Tlarwa
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

Great food and nice people!

5 Posted on 07 / 28 / 2012

My wife (who's vegan) and I both enjoyed our meals very much! I had the vegetarian tostada (at least I think that's what it is called on the menu) and my wife had the vegan chickpea sandwich. Both you good choices, and plenty of food. Plus, our server was very pleasant and took time to give us her personal opinions on what to order since it was our first visit. Overall it was a very pleasant experience! We'd definitely go back!

Pros: Price, Taste, Service
AndrewDeHaan
AndrewDeHaan
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+22

The Best

5 Posted on 07 / 24 / 2012

Bartertown is the best restaurant in Grand Rapids, MI. Where else are you going to find farm-to-table vegan food at this price, where the staff seems to genuinely enjoy their lives, and the food tastes this amazing? I had a raw pecan maple bar here once that was a life-affirming experience. I love the specials, the $2 tacos, the ever-evolving menus. Not to mention the selection of hot sauce--my god, I LOVE ALL THE HOT SAUCE. The waitstaff is genuinely nice, the atmosphere is fun and cozy, and every time I eat here I leave feeling like a better human being for both supporting a great establishment, and for treating my body so well.


SarahEC
SarahEC
  • vegan
Contributions
+17

My favorite restaurant !!

5 Posted on 07 / 17 / 2012

I would eat here every single meal if it was possible, and I love the fact that you can dine here and totally gorge away and not even have to worry about developing health problems or weight gain afterwards from their amazing dishes, fabulous desserts, and delectable smoothies...

Pros: Healthy cuisine, Exceptional flavors, Super fun staff
Cons: can't think of any
9ananda6
9ananda6
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

This place is going places

5 Posted on 07 / 15 / 2012

Nobodies perfect, but this restaurant knows where it is trying to be. The local food aspect of their approach is what appeals most to me. I want to support these local farms that are struggling to survive simply because they made the choice to stay small and organic. I want to support a place that supports them.
For only being open for a little over a year, the things they have accomplished blow my mind. Including a new venture the members of Bartertown just started called Burritotown. Its a late night burrito joint open four days a week until 3 am. A place for the service industry people of grand rapids to get a healthy bite to eat without having to resort to junk.
Im excited for what the future holds for these guys and they will have my support through and through.

Pros: local, veg, fresh
Cons: more raw options
cookie1908
cookie1908
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+61

Get the Michigander 6 Sandwich!

4 Posted on 06 / 20 / 2012

My husband and I went to Bartertown specifically for the Michigander sandwich, and we were not disappointed. It was really fresh, tasty (cherries in the burger!), and filling. The roasted potoates were flavorful but a bit greasy for my taste. Loved that they offered vegan cheese. We ordered a smoothie, which we would not do again - it was runny/liquid-y with too strong of a kale flavor. We make better smoothies at home. :) Had to wait a while for someone to take our orders, and they weren't super busy...oh well. We did LOVE the Ipad they use to check out, they will text/email you the receipt.

Pros: Michigander Sandwich, Cool atmoshpere
Cons: Greasy roasted potatoes, Smoothies...meh, Service a bit distant
AugieWest
AugieWest
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+15

We Loved It

5 Posted on 04 / 27 / 2012

As a vegan, being able to choose ANYTHING on the menu is very, very appealing. I chose the Reuben and found it exploding with great flavor. My wife had a Michigander 5 and the bite I had was awesome. My wife had a vegan root beer float, which she enjoyed very much. We look forward to coming back when we visit Grand Rapids, again.

Pros: vegan, healthy, local
suthenboy
suthenboy
  • raw
Contributions
+22

Great Vegan Menu, Raw items too

5 Posted on 04 / 16 / 2012

Barter Town offers some great local vegan cuisine at a great price. The atmosphere hip and welcoming. Hats off to them for being a staff owned and operated business that embraces sustainability. Barter Town features some vegan raw menu items and also vegan and raw desserts. In the past they only took cash. They now accept credit and debit.

Pros: local food, staff owned, raw options
Cons: bathrooms
ang_renee
ang_renee
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

bartertown is basically amazing

5 Posted on 03 / 08 / 2012

I first dined here back in November and since then have started to eat here 3 or 4 times a week. prices are very reasonable considering the organic locally sourced ingredients. you can be sitting there eating lunch and see a local farmer stopping by to drop off fresh produce.

the food is creative and fulfilling and always changing. I was veg for 10 years and tried going vegan many times but failing. bartertown was the first place to make me see how well rounded a vegan diet can be. I am a healthier person because of them.

Pros: prices, creativity, amazing flavor
Cons: hours
ambrella
ambrella
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

vegan hipsters who hunt and eat dairy sometimes

2 Posted on 02 / 25 / 2012

Just moved to GR from Chicago. My man and I were excited to hear about the Bartertown Diner (it is an all veg restaurant in Grand Rapids, for peets sake!).

One of the first things I noticed were the antlers hanging from a chandelier. This was perplexing but I didn't want to let it distract from the overall dining experience because I so wanted this place to be awesome.

Our server's [edit by staff] attitude matched the ironic atmosphere to a T. She complained about how busy the place was and then she walked away before we finished ordering, which I hate.

Then I noticed the cups-Ball jar things with horns as handles. Okay...Now...why would a vegetarian restaurant decorate with dead animal parts? We discussed this as we waited for our food and came to the conclusion that is is cool for hipsters do use antlers and horns and such in their decor and this was not an ethically veg place. Please let the food be good.

The food (what we did get a chance to order) was mediocre. Its was something that I could have cooked in less time and it was definitely not worth $9. I ordered the Reuben which was pretty bland and I couldn't help making the comparison to The Chicago Diner's Radical Reuben, which is awesome.

The Bartertown Diner's whole sch-peel is that they source their produce locally, which I couldn't care less about (Have you read "Just Food"?). Of course, they draw quite the crowd of yuppies.

Overall, we left this place missing Chicago and the myriad of vegan food choices there. However, I do recommend Grand Rapids' Stella's Lounge for vegan food without the 'tude.

Pros: cupcakes
Cons: service not so good, antlers, $3 for a cup of coffee
  • LoLaBeTh29 LoLaBeTh29

    How sad, I am a vegan, but prior to becoming a vegan I wanted my food to be local. It's crucial, more now than ever, that we support locally grown and supplied food sources. As the other reply suggested, deer, do indeed, shed their antlers. If you got to know your new state, you'd discover there's a lot you DON'T know. I guess ignorance is best for you, but feel free to KEEP out of Bartertown, they don't deserve your idiocy.

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  • NenaRamirez NenaRamirez

    For the record...deer shed their antlers naturally. I am vegan and find no problem with that decor because more than likely, being that you were in Michigan, there is an abundance of shed antlers to be found.

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  • ang_renee ang_renee

    I think Bartertown and vegan restaurants in general might be better without your patronage. anyone who knows vegan food in gr knows that bartertown is the real deal. sourcing food locally supports our local farmers and our local economy. you can have a problem with the decor even though I am pretty sure it is all done second hand but the food is amazing and the staff is passionate... also for the record, I am pretty sure the chef who started bartertown did the menu for Stellas. so saying you like stellas is like saying your fifth grade homework is more advanced then your college thesis. I will continue to eat there as often as I can.

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jbh
jbh
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Love this place

5 Posted on 02 / 20 / 2012

Great food! A much needed alternative to Brickroad Pizza and Gaia's, both of which I enjoy also. I realize the service is not always top notch, but the 1st reviewer's comments were questionable. Perhaps there was an attitude on the part of the customer that caused the server to react the way she/he did? I've never experienced an "attitude" on the part of any server I have had. True, some are more customer-friendly than others, but I attribute that to their unique personalities vs. an "attitude". Keep up the great work and the great food, Bartertown!

Pros: Excellent food, Unique atmosphere
Cons: Service can be slow at times
Lotus108
Lotus108
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+10

Horrible Customer Relations at Bartertown Diner

2 Posted on 09 / 09 / 2011

A friend and I had heard about the new raw/vegan restaurant in downtown GR. We were excited to say the least! The decor is sweet and adorable with recycled materials hanging from the walls and ceilings. However, our visual eye had taken a backseat quickly to the bland, flavorless "trash plate" and worst customer service, by the owner no less! When my lovely friend suggested that the meal was not what she had hoped or expected, the server/owner asked her very abruptly "Well what's wrong with it?", so with velvet gloves and feeling guilty for trying to send the meal back my friend replies, "It just was a salad and not what the menu described, I guess I can just pick at it, no worries". The server/owner says "Okay good" very rudely and walks away. I decided to switch meals with my friend due to the fact that I was going to order a salad had this locally owned raw/vegan restaurant had salads on their menu ( I mean whaa? how can you NOT have salads on your menu when you are a vegan/raw restaurant?) So, I traded my tacos, which are okay at best for the Trash Plate that was clearly a "salad" that the server/owner said they didnt have any of.. Hmmm.. It was the worst, flavorless dish I had ever had. I might of just been eating watered down lettuce with some soggy veg. Absolutely horrible. We put the literal trash plate off to the side and ask for our check. We receive our check and you guessed it, the there was the price of 9 dollars added to our bill for the legendary "trash". I said we are not going to pay for that, and I explained in a very kind way why it was subpar at best. She continued to argue with me and said "If you don't pay for it then I have too", I said "Why would you have to pay for it?" She said "because I am the owner and I can't afford to pay for a meal that you didn't like for no reason". I said "so this is why you have such an entitled attitude towards our disdain with the dish?" and she shaking her head said "yes". I said "Okay, I guess we won't be back"... She said very abruptly "Fine!". We paid for the rubbish plate and decided that that is one vegan/raw restaurant that will probably leave GR as fast as it came in.. BAD customer service and even worse food. I recommend to stay as clear from the snarky owner and Bartertown as possible.
Update~I left a comment on the facebook page of Bartertown, now they say I didnt pay my full bill and they are taking action? This is absurd. We paid our full bill. Snarky indeed.

Pros: Cute Decor
Cons: Horrible and flavorless food, Even Worse Customer Service, Bad Karma and attitude from the owner
erbavore9
erbavore9
  • vegan
Contributions
+51

Interesting philosophy, Interesting food

4 Posted on 08 / 04 / 2011

If you ever get a moment, talk to one of the workers (ie co-owners) about about the philosophy of the place. If you get the full version of story, then it will blow your mind. Its radical and mostly right on. The vibe seems to have struck a good chord in GR as Bartertown is relatively full on most days.

Raw Food Wednesdays ROCK. All raw food dishes that I have had were simply incredible. The only exception being the Chocolate Cheesecake. Carob was added to it and of course left it with a nasty aftertaste.
The Raw Pecan Bar is a GREAT VALUE at $4.75. It tastes like a $12 dessert from a High End California raw food restaurant.

The cooked food at Bartertown is simply ok. Over time, I am sure the food will evolve and get better. I wish the owners would all take a day off and go to "Chicago Diner" in Chicago. "Chicago Diner" food rocks and thus the 20 minute wait to sit down every night.

The cupcakes are fairly solid and tasty.
Clearly a 4 "happy cow" rating with the ability to move into a raving 5 cow rating.
Congrats Bartertown, I look forward to your food and your improvements.
Erb Avore

Pros: atmosphere, raw food, desserts and nachos
Cons: its a bit pricey, cooked food

 

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Last updated: 2012/07/17

 

Added: 2011/07/22

 

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