Yes, it has to be on the list, so we might as well just get it out of the way now. Whether you’re headed to the Deli or Roadhouse (or one of their other many ventures), you know you’ll walk away feeling totally okay, or even more than okay, with the $13 you just spent on a sandwich. Although not always the case, this is one place that is worth the hype.
2. Silvio’s Organic Pizzeria
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Mani Osteria might be where you’ll want to head for that super hip, gourmet wood-fired pizza, but Silvio’s is the perfect organic pie solution for any Friday movie night. You can still get your goat cheese or truffle oil, but Silvio himself will ensure you get authentic Italian pizza (and cannoli) instead of Americanized bullshit.
3. Blimpy Burger
Krazy Jim has been filling our bellies with fresh ground choice Western chuck since 1953, and Ann Arbor loves him for it. So much so that when they had to close their doors a couple years ago, the community rallied together with a big HELL NO! Phew…
4. The Heidelberg
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“Have you had DAS BOOT today?” It’s an important question all Ann Arborites need to ask themselves. Delicious and classy German dining on the first floor, pure entertainment (including Tuesday night karaoke and Saturday night Latin dance) in the basement, and glass boots overflowing with your favorite brews throughout.
5. Frita Batidos
Wooden picnic tables and Cuban-inspired street food? Yes, please. Oh, and a mouthwatering batido (shake) with a shot of dark rum? Done and done. If you haven’t visited this Downtown Ann Arbor establishment, please just stop reading now. You’ve found what’s for dinner tonight.
6. Arbor Brewing Company
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A-B-C! (Easy as 1-2-3!) This is one acronym that will always make sense, especially if it’s a Monday, aka all-day happy hour. They’ve been doing craft beer since before it was trendy and are still making their mark, recently becoming the first solar brewery in Michigan.
7. Earthen Jar
Want to pay for your food by the pound? Whether you know it or not, you do. Earthen Jar is the first and only Kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor, and for just $6.99/lb. you can load up on mostly vegan Indian dishes from their buffet.
8. Big Ten Burrito
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Sure there might be a line pouring out onto State Street, but BTB is exactly what you need to pad your stomach before heading to The Big House (or to absorb the alcohol afterwards). If you’re feeling a little fancier, you can always head to the Cantina instead.
Grab your passport and join the Beer Tour. Nothing like gaining VIP status for sampling a top-notch selection of beers, all on tap. Late-night waffle fries are definitely a life saver, trust me.
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You’ve probably met owner Sava Lelcaj at some point in your Ann Arbor lifetime. She probably took your order when you first found out about Sava’s back in 2007. Her elegant State Street restaurant is the go-to place for post-yoga Sunday brunch or any other time you’re feeling a little classy.
11. Rod’s Diner
What does a Korean diner know about fro-yo? Absolutely everything. Fill up your party cup with endless toppings. Rod’s Colliders are the OG, so get out the way, Pink Berry.
12. Le Dog
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Even though you might have seen Le Dog walking down Liberty, it was quite a feat to actually get to enjoy their Lobster Bisque. Even the locals never knew when this hot dog stand was open. Luckily, with their new Main Street location you can pop in between 11:30 am and 2 pm to indulge in this Ann Arbor staple.
13. Jerusalem Garden
Although now passed, Rubhi Ramlawi’s hummus recipe lives on at Jerusalem Garden and so does the spirit he cultivated years ago. Every city needs their favorite falafel joint, and in Ann Arbor we’ve got ours dialed in.
14. Fleetwood Diner
Ann Arborites live on their Hippie Hash. No, not that kind… the kind that comes from the best little diner in town and is the preferred way to cure a hangover.
15. Jolly Pumpkin
June is around the corner and that means scoping out the best outdoor #daydrink and food spots around Tree City. @amywiseman_1 found one of the best hidden spots in town, the Jolly Pumpkin rooftop. Amazing sour beers, and the signature addicting truffle fries pictured here, while basking in the sun nestled amongst the rooftops 3 stories up. Posted by 🍴 @brownboyswag #ohgawd #daydrinkin #jollypumpup #rooftoplife #patiolife #hidden #trufflebutter #a2summer #myfab5 #A2
Why do gourmet French fries go so damn well with good beer? That I cannot tell you, but I can tell you that the Truffle Fries at Jolly Pumpkin are the perfect side to accompany any one of their latest and greatest beers or ciders.
16. Dimo’s Deli & Donuts
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If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with a donut from the Dimo family. I prefer the Maple Frosted Cinnamon Roll, but basically anything from the menu will satisfy your early morning craving for sugary goodness. If you’re not in a donut mood, just sample some of their Mediterranean specials instead.
17. Old Town Tavern
A true slice of Ann Arbor resides at Old Town. It’s definitely old (standing as a local watering hole since 1898), and it’s definitely townie (students and old west side residents alike gather within its walls). This place is everyone’s “local pub.”
18. Ahmo’s Gyro & Deli
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Do you pronounce the “g” like a “j” or like a “y”? It doesn’t matter at all; the only thing that matters is how freaking good Ahmo’s gyros are. Even if you don’t like lamb, they’ve got you covered with their famous chicken gyro (as well as other options). So, smother on the tzatziki and see how big of a bite your mouth can handle.
19. Monahan’s Seafood Market
No food list is complete without an epic seafood spot, and when in Ann Arbor, Monahan’s is the place to go. Whole fresh fish just waiting at your command. Michigan might not have an ocean nearby, but this Kerrytown secret will make you think otherwise. Plus, you can steal some of Mike’s recipes to trick your friends into thinking you know how to cook.
20. Comet Coffee
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It’s not really a restaurant or a bar, but Comet Coffee deserves a mention when slating Ann Arbor’s best. Unlike most of the cafes in town, this one is not filled with sleep-deprived students clamoring away on their keyboards. Tucked down Nickels Arcade, its intimate location and love-infused coffee blends are the epitome of cool. Even the New York Times and Travel + Leisure think so.
21. Prickly Pear
Holy mole! Whatever you do, order something with mole. And, go when the warm weather hits because the Prickly Pear’s hidden outdoor patio is perfect for a good Margarita Monday session.
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Since ice cream is my favorite food, of course Stucchi’s is going to make the list. If you’ve never had a birthday cake from this place, I pity you. Next time the Ben & Jerry’s line is too long next door, just trust me, you’d rather have Stucchi’s anyways.