Local Love

Local Love
I am excited to announce some amazing giveaways in the month of June! Each week I will be giving away gift cards, coffee, and more to some amazing local shops and restaurants! I will have a big giveaway at the end of June so stay tuned and check back for details. I will be announcing these on my Facebook page, so if you haven’t friended me on Facebook you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/matthewjhawkins


Below are some of my favorite local places. There are a ton of awesome spots in Fort Wayne and I am sorry if I left your favorite out, but this is basically what keeps me alive. A handful of these business have partnered with me and I am so excited about the strong push for eating and shopping local in Fort Wayne.




I pretty much rotate between Conjure Coffee and Fortezza throughout the week. Fortezza serves Counter Culture coffee which is one of my favorite roasters and has done a great job at being a staple of downtown Fort Wayne. Conjure is a recent addition to the downtown coffee scene and has become one of my favorite places to read and catch up on emails. It has a great atmosphere and the coffee they roast is incredible! You can follow each on Facebook.


At HeBrews we brew Utopian Coffee. They do a great job with fair trade coffee and they have a cool subscription service for getting freshly roasted beans delivered to your home.


Sweet Treats


Yummi Bunni – If you haven’t had ice cream stuffed inside a donut I am not sure I can trust your time management or your priorities. Yummi Bunni has received tremendous support since they opened and consistently have long lines – be patient it is totally worth it! They take delicious ice cream and stuff it inside a glazed donut. I always get the green tea ice cream with Fruity Pebbles stuffed inside the bun. Follow them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheYummiBunni/


DeBrand Chocolatier – Fort Wayne is home to a seriously amazing chocolatier. They have several locations around Fort Wayne and is always a great stop on Valentines, a date night, or if you are driving by and have a craving for some chocolate! I love their dark chocolate and truffles! Check them out at: http://www.debrand.com/




Most people don’t really associate Fort Wayne with top notch restaurants, but the more I have lived here the more I appreciate some of our local restaurants. I grew up in Chicago, which is in my opinion a city of amazing restaurants. I used to miss some of those unique restaurants and neighborhoods, but Fort Wayne seriously has some good spots to grab lunch, a nice date, or some yummy take out! Here are some of my favorite restaurants:


Baan Thai – Hands down my favorite restaurant in Fort Wayne. It is great for lunch, takeout, or a nice dinner with friends and family. I usually rotate between the crispy chicken basil, pud thai (traditional Thai noodle dish) and the garlic chicken. Pete and his wife are amazing people and always remember their customers! Check them out on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Baan-Thai-107149766005684/


Kim Vu – Continuing with my love of asian food – this is my other go to staple. They have amazing food at great prices. If you go try their beef Pho. During the cold and depressing winter months I find myself here a few times each week and making carryout runs for my wife. It is amazing! Check them out on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Vu-Vietnamese-Cuisine-163025010496468/


Tolon – One of our favorite restaurants in Fort Wayne is Tolon. Tolon is Fort Wayne first farm to fork restaurant. They feature a seasonal menu that supports local farmers and sustainable farming practices. The atmosphere is great, they have a nice drink menu, and again have great food! It is a great date night place for sure! Check them out at: http://tolonrestaurant.com/




Saving Grace Vintage – A Vintage Inspired Boutique ship with painted furniture, workshops, home decor, and milk paint. We have purchased several pieces of furniture from this amazing boutique on Berry Street. They host workshops that can help teach how to chalk paint furniture. Its a seriously cool little place and has something for everyone. Check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/Saving-Grace-Vintage-153183914773464/

Matthew Hawkins

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115 thoughts on “Local Love”

  • Anna

    June 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t know if it’s my favorite restaurant, but I really like (and am hungry for) Bravas right now, although I love Baan Thai and have yet to try Tolon!

    • Matthew Hawkins

      June 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Well come out tomorrow to HeBrews! They will be serving up hot dogs from 5:30-8:30 for our outdoor show!

      • Jodi

        July 1, 2017 at 9:38 am

        The Factory

    • Lisa

      July 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

      So many great local shops in Ft Wayne! Love me some Sugar Love Boutique and the atmosphere a Fortezza coffee shop downtown is amazing!

  • Janelle

    June 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    One of my favorite shops is The Shed out in spencerville! I also love Salvatoris for food, among many like Shortys in Garrett…. so many great places to eat in Fort Wayne but we don’t get out often! I think it’s been 2 years since Salvatoris and 3 since we’ve been to shortys!

  • Scott

    June 30, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I agree with Salvatori’s. Shigs n Pit, Cebollas, and food trucks are always good.

  • Ashley

    June 30, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Fortezza is my current favorite! Love the atmosphere! Anytime i get out without my little ones, thats my stop:)

  • Ryan

    June 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Greatest thing to come to Fort Wayne is Yummy Bunny…cuz who doesn’t want a donut with their ice cream? The only thing that could make it more American is if they gave out American flags to the patrons.

  • April Herrmann

    June 30, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Old Crown Coffee is definitely a favorite if mine!!!

  • Chris Gaffer

    June 30, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Love going to and eating at 800 degrees pizza!!!

  • Tina

    June 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Sugar Love Boutique is a favorite when shopping. Love Dash in, Friendly Fox, Granite City, and Casas.

  • Leah

    June 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm


  • Casey Whitcomb

    June 30, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Mocha Lounge is my favorite local coffee shop!

  • Dani Stewart

    June 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    I love the yummy bunni!

  • Beverly Lubs

    June 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    CS3 and Hoppy Gnome are our “go-tos” especially when we have out of town guests visiting! Both of them have outdoor seating and great food!

  • Chris Fink

    June 30, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    We love sweets so geek. The dark side ice cream is awesome!

  • Marcy Nash

    June 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Casa is my favorite restaurant!!

  • Brianna

    June 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Fortezza has definitely got to be my favorite coffee shop! I don’t get there as often as I would like, but each time I go it never disappoints!

  • Krystal

    June 30, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    We like Chops!!!

  • Bethany Donaghy

    June 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Junk ditch!!!

  • Vicki Kim

    June 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I love Starbucks’ flat white coffee:)….always enjoy Biaggi’s, too!! Great food and very accommodating!!

  • Andrea

    June 30, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Haven’t been to Tolon yet! Sounds like a “must try”. I personally REALLY enjoy Trolley. I think their atmosphere is lovely, service is spot on and food has been perfect every time, plus there is No better salad bar that I know of. Need dessert in the NON-chocolate form? Their cheesecake is…so yummy. But. NO ONE can beat DeBrands when chocolate is calling. Mocha Truffle with the coffee bean on top?!! Genius.

  • Dawn steveson

    June 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Favorite local is Granite City! They have an amazing bruschetta salad and cheese soup!

  • Lisette Rodriguez

    June 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I love the new restaurant Baan mi Barista! on Fairfield!

  • Kathryn

    June 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    We really enjoy Yummi Bunny or Debrand’s! Also Wine Down is another favorite!

  • Michael

    June 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Sweetwater hands down for an all around fun; a latte at the Cresendo, lots of guitars, and lunch at the Downbeat. No other city has a shop like it!

  • Erica

    June 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    If you haven’t been to Tolon yet, you should! We’ve been twice and so far both experiences have been wonderful! By far the best restaurant I have ever been to in Fort Wayne and the staff there is amazing!

  • Rob Parker

    June 30, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    We really like the Perk coffee shop at Central Christian Church. The proceeds support the ministry and they sell Gobena coffee who’s proceeds supports life song for orphans. Win win

  • Carol

    June 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I love the Firefly Coffee shop!

  • Maria Stieglitz

    June 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Granite city, Don Hall’s the Factory and The Dash In are some of our favorites in the Fort!

  • Amanda

    June 30, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Love Hoppy Gnome, Winedown, Sidecar, Trubble Brewery and Junk Ditch downtown! I really need to try Tolon and venture downtown for the coffee shops. I’m closer to Leo and love love love Just Be and The Shed out here for cute clothes and home interior.

  • Ashley Maibach

    June 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Hoppy Gnome is one of our house favorite places to eat!

  • Abby Hostetler

    June 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Depends on our mood but Bakerstreet is our favorite place to go for our anniversary every year on July 22!

  • Lindsey Wolfe

    June 30, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    DeBrands = ♥️

  • Andy Duncan

    June 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Bravas for everyday. For a special occassion Baker street!

  • Kim Lechleidner

    June 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    I really like Bigby coffee in Georgetown.

  • Jenna Mitchell

    June 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    The Deck & JKs have seen a lot of me lately. Two of my favorites. 🙂

  • Shannon

    June 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    I love Kim Vu. I miss it. I also love Ziano’s. The lasagna is delicious.

  • Stephanie

    June 30, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I love Bon Bob’s cofee! A fort Wayne coffee shop up on maplecrest and here at work 😁

  • Jessica Roscoe

    June 30, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    so love Debrand chocolate(specially their raspberry dark chocolates) Also love both Bigby and old crown coffee( nothing like a good smooth cup of coffee!) I have never been to yummi bunni, baan thai, Kim vu, Tolon or saving grace village but i would certainly love too!

  • Taylor Kuenning

    June 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I love Fortezza reminds me so much of the coffe I got in Germany!! And Baan Thai is a family favorite! Then of course the sundaes at DeBrands are unbeatable!!!

  • David Stieglitz

    June 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    ANY Don Hall’s is a favorite! I’m looking forward to trying Tolon, from your Facebook post, too. 😉

  • Chelsea

    June 30, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    My favorite downtown restaurant is The Golden!!!!

  • Katie Siera

    June 30, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I think my favorite restaurant has to be Baan Thai! For dessert though Debrand’s is the place to go. We haven’t tried any of the new places downtown that have gone in over the last few years and I have never eaten from any local food truck!

  • Michelle Good

    June 30, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I love Saving Grace Vintage! Pam, the owner, is the best!

  • Jessica Herb

    June 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    I can’t get enough Kim Vu! The service is incredible and the food is so delicious!!


    June 30, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    DeBrands Chocolatier

  • Lindsey

    June 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Conjure and Fortezza are favorite coffee shops! Love B Antonio’s Pizza, Bravas, Baker Street, pretty much all of the food trucks. We basically only eat local when we eat out 😊

  • Christine

    July 1, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Three local favorites are Sweetwater, Seoul Garden, and Taqueria el Ranchito!

  • Karen

    July 1, 2017 at 1:01 am

    We love Oyster Bar. Some of the best food we’ve ever had!

  • Natalie cogar

    July 1, 2017 at 1:16 am

    I love asakusa but hubby wants to try tolon so this would be a great win and an awesome date night 🙂

  • Stefanie

    July 1, 2017 at 1:57 am

    I haven’t had the pleasure of trying any of these places listed! Fingers crossed for a win! 😊😉

  • Beth Bontrager

    July 1, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I love Cindy’s Diner

  • Rachael

    July 1, 2017 at 2:22 am

    This was fun. I’m newer to the area and need suggestions. I love Firefly coffee, great chai. Bravas, yum. We love Cork n Cleaver. But now I have a long list of places to try!

  • Danielle

    July 1, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Love Tolon and Bahn mi Barista, good suggestions. Also like Catablu on the southwest side.

  • Megan Keysor

    July 1, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Yummi Bunni!! It’s my favorite cheat treat. I enjoy it SO much, but the tummy ache afterwards reminds me of why it’s only something I have once in a while.

  • Jennifer Warfel

    July 1, 2017 at 2:41 am


  • Kara

    July 1, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Ziffles ribs are amazing!!!!

  • Melissa Reinking

    July 1, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Urban Hippie is my favorite shop!

  • Amber Larson

    July 1, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Biaggis! Yum.

  • Lacey Draper

    July 1, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Our favorite restaurant in Fort Wayne is Cheddars! Good service, great food and atmosphere!

  • Meghan Moore

    July 1, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Baan Thai is by far my favorite !!! So yummy!

  • Macy

    July 1, 2017 at 3:43 am

    I LIVE for the spring rolls at Kim Vu – the best I’ve had outside of Vietnam!!!


    July 1, 2017 at 3:45 am

    My favorite local spot is friendly fox!

  • Dawn shepherd

    July 1, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Love DeBrands 🙂

  • Brent

    July 1, 2017 at 4:15 am

    All about some Mocha Lounge when I need a place to hold a quick meeting!

  • Renee

    July 1, 2017 at 4:49 am

    My favorite place to shop is Outer Grace Boutque!!!

  • Kelly

    July 1, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Fortezza & Conjure 🙂

  • Katie

    July 1, 2017 at 5:35 am

    I absolutely love Lane 201 boutique and hoppy gnome! Their tacos will forever be my favorite😍

  • Laura

    July 1, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I love supporting locally owned businesses, especially if they are downtown! Currently, we’re pretty obsessed with Yummi Bunny!

  • Jamee Thiele

    July 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Tolon is the place to be. Love Chef Matt and wife Nicky. Conjure Coffee is what is being used at Crimson House Cafe just south of Fort Wayne in Ossian.

  • Amanda Paulsen

    July 1, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I love Sugar Love Boutique 😊

  • Megan

    July 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Debrands is the best especially for holidays! Makes a great gift!

  • Grace w

    July 1, 2017 at 11:01 am

    My favorite restaurant is good ol casa’s but I’ve been wanting to try all the food trucks for something different!

  • Brenda M. White

    July 1, 2017 at 11:30 am

    North Anthony area: has sooo many great places to eat, drink and chill: Baan Thai, Chung King Express, Firefly Coffee House, Chrome Diner (pies!), Sweets so Geek, Old Crown Coffee and not far away near Parkview Randallia – Carousel Ice Cream on E State by another local favorite Hall’s Prime Rib. I love their cobb salad and a guilty pleasure is onion rings, buster burger and a chocolate shake.

  • Melissa chaffin

    July 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Debrands is the best!

  • Jeannine webster

    July 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Dash-In, hummus platter at dinner time, yummy

  • Jennifer Grimm

    July 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    My favorite restaurant in Ft. Wayne has to be Asakusa! Every celebration also includes DeBrands. I absolutely love Smiley Joys and Outer Grace. I could spend hours in those shops. As for coffee shops, even though it’s a big company, the Biggby on Dupont is owned by a local family, and we enjoy trips there.
    I think it is wonderful to see how Ft. Wayne has developed since the days of my childhood.

  • Eric

    July 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Tough decision so many amazing options. Right now Hoppy Gnome for us.

  • Tina

    July 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Love The Fireflly coffee house

  • Michelle

    July 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    My favorite coffe house is Well Grounded in Huntertown. It’s locally owned and she is the best barista around!!

  • Brittany Plassman

    July 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Friendly Fox is our favorite neighborhood lunch spot.

  • Trisha

    July 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    The Hoppy Knome is my new favorite!

  • Natalie Sabin

    July 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    My favorite places in Fort Wayne (because I can’t pick just one) would be Fortezza and JK O’Donnell’s downtown. Both great for getting with friends and grabbing some kind of beverage.

  • Ashley

    July 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Mocha Lounge for coffee, Saving Grace Vintage for shopping and the Golden for dinner 🙂

  • William johnson

    July 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Club. Soda always hits the spot for us

  • Amanda

    July 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Zianos for dinner
    DeBrand for dessert

  • Cassandra Slone

    July 1, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I am a dessert finatic so Debrands is my go to but I did recently try out Yummi Bunny and I will be back ❤️

  • Lara

    July 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    My fave sweet treat shop is DeBrands. Thank you for the chance to win an awesome prize package!

  • April

    July 1, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Trubble brewery is great! I love mahnin for good authentic Thai

  • Rick DeSutter

    July 1, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Coney Island is the place to be! Just wish they’d make fries, lol

  • Tamara Snyder

    July 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Have always loved the Gas House, would love to try Tolon.

  • Jess

    July 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Paula’s On Main, Mocha Lounge

  • Shanna Busz

    July 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Hippy Gnome

  • Karen

    July 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Love all the new clothing boutques. Saving Grace has been a favorite from inception and food well I love a good pizza, Acme or Oley’s. There are so many new places I have yet to try!

  • Alycia

    July 1, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    We love Fortezza and Hoppy Gnome ♡

  • Diane

    July 1, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Love the Hoppy Gnome….would love to try Fortezza!

  • Sarah

    July 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    My favorite restaurant is The Dash In

  • Brittany

    July 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Shig and pitts sounds awesome right now

  • Bethany Biggs Johnson

    July 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I love trolly but woyld love to try tolon!

  • Jessica

    July 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    We love Baan Thai! Just moved back from Denver last year and I can’t tell you how many Thai places we checked out trying to find something similar – never did!

  • Olyvia Fulford

    July 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I love Lace & Arrow boutique!

  • Tabatha

    July 1, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Bravas!! I love a good burger!

  • Jill

    July 1, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Baan Thai for dinner with Yummi Bunni for dessert ❤️

  • Julie

    July 1, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Firefly has the best vibe, laid back and a great patio to enjoy summer! Love the ’05!

  • Cheryl

    July 1, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Saving Grace! 💛


    July 1, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I love logans steaks yummy

  • Ashley H

    July 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    We love Salvatori’s!

  • Amanda Miller

    July 1, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Love The Friendly Fox!

  • Robin

    July 2, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Love Chops and Saving Grace Vintage!!!

  • Rita

    July 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Zianos they have great food!

  • Cally Wilken

    July 2, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    My favorite restaurant is for sure Tolon and my favorite coffee shop is Firefly!

  • Soren Amstutz

    July 2, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Tolon is by far the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. Their homemade teas are delicious (humble grumble is favorite, ever!) and I could talk about it forever!

  • Nikki Gase

    July 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Love shopping at Saving Grace Vintage!

  • Krista Freel

    July 14, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I LOVE Pint and Slice! It’s my ultimate go to for comfort food and simple atmosphere. Also, love Coney Island.


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