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The ABCs of Ann Arbor: Local businesses, landmarks and characteristics from A to Z

Things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Sure, you know your ABCs. A stands for apple, L stands for lion and Z stands for zoo, right? But do you know your ABCs of Ann Arbor?

Today, we’re swapping apple for Ann Arbor Art Center, lion for Literati Bookstore, and zoo for Zingerman’s. Keep reading to get a peek into Ann Arbor’s best local businesses, landmarks, parks, attractions and characteristics. And don’t forget to practice your ABCs!

 

A: Ann Arbor Art Center  

Ann Arbor Art Center Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition, and they strive to engage minds, expand perspectives, and inspire growth in students of all ages, teachers, artists and the community. Now, they engage more than 49,500 people every year through programming, exhibitions, fun classes and the 117 Gallery Shop.

 

B: Blank Slate Creamery

Blank Slate Creamery is a local ice cream shop churning out homemade ice cream using fresh, all-natural ingredients. This little shop has even won numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and throughout the state of Michigan!

 

C: The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy charities in Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of The Creature Conservancy

This nonprofit organization hosts camps, classes, private events and programs that inspire compassionate connections to wildlife and allow the public to learn about ecology, biology, conservation and more through real animal encounters. In addition to offering these programs, they serve as a home for Al the alligator, Quinn the bald eagle, Jerome the Argentine Tegu, Harper the cougar, Bedhead the porcupine and several other rescue and transplant animals.

 

D: Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station comes to us from the team behind The Lunch Room, and every eatery and bakery run by this team serves food that is entirely plant-based. That’s why both The Lunch Room and Detroit Street Filling Station landed on The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor. This particular restaurant is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company so it offers plant-based eats with a side of history (and a great patio!).

 

E: The Earle

The Earle has been a downtown Ann Arbor favorite for more than 20 years. In addition to the decadent menu of French and Italian country cuisine, the romance is heightened by live jazz five nights a week, solo piano and solo guitar performances. Their world-class wine selection has over 1,200 options and wraps the evening up perfectly!

 

F: FoolMoon

One of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to an entire weekend of foolishness and revelry. Hosted by Wonderfool Productions, the event celebrates the coming of spring with dance, laughter and handmade luminaries, interactive installations, laser shows, live music performances, and other entertainment.

And FoolMoon is followed by FestiFools, the annual, daytime event of foolishness and art. This enormous public art spectacular showcases hundreds of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché puppets made by members of the community and U of M students.

 

G: Gallup Park Canoe Livery

One of the highlights of Ann Arbor is the Huron River, and one of the best places to see the river is on top of it! Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Gallup Park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, kid kayak, paddle boat and rowboat rentals, plus concessions, merchandise and river-themed programs. And the park itself offers 69 acres of open space for play, recreation, picnicking and more.

 

H: Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum  

Highlighted in 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum is home to countless interactive exhibits where children and adults can get hands-on and discover their inner scientist. Visiting the museum any day of the week means you can explore exhibits like Michigan Nature, Lyons Country Store, MediaWorks, and DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics.

 

I: Innovation

Ann Arbor loves art, creativity, discovering new things and supporting new local businesses, which makes it the perfect headquarters of innovation. In fact, our hometown institution, The University of Michigan, was ranked on Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities 2018 and the city of Ann Arbor was ranked on the Livability 2017 Best Cities For Entrepreneurs!

 

J: Jim Toy Community Center

The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events and advocacy by and for the queer and ally community in our county. In addition to providing resources and awareness, they help foster an inclusive community here in Ann Arbor and host Ann Arbor Pride every summer.

 

K: Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown is a charming market district located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Here, you’ll find the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, other annual events like Kerrytown KindleFest, beloved restaurants like Miss Kim and The Lunch Room, as well as local shops 16 Hands, Ann Arbor Spice Merchants, Spun and more.

 

L: Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore is a locally owned and operated book-lovers’ haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, you’ll find the bookstore and the team’s famous public typewriter which invites anyone and everyone to type. Over the years, they’ve accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books, type your own note on the Literati public typewriter, and head upstairs to visit Literati Coffee, a full-service coffee shop.  

 

M: University of Michigan Museum of Art

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via University of Michigan Museum of Art

Located on the university campus, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country. Their collections represent 150 years of art collecting and include everything from 1000 BCE Middle Eastern artifacts to 21st-century paintings. Admission to the museum is always free, which makes it one of our favorite budget-friendly attractions in town! To learn more, check out 14 Things to Do in Ann Arbor Under $20.  

 

N: Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the UM campus. The botanical gardens include eleven outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more. And during colder months, you can enjoy the year-round indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The arboretum spans miles of trails and land with impressive collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs.

 

O: Ozone House

Nonprofits and charities in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via Ozone House

Based in the Ann Arbor area with facilities in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy and productive lives. They do this by offering high-quality housing and support programs, as well as services that provide support, intervention, training and assistance to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth and their families. To learn more about this and more organizations in the area, check out 23 Local Charities in the Ann Arbor Area and How You Can Help.

 

P: Pinckney State Recreation Area

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals. To find more ways to opt outside in and around Ann Arbor, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Q: Quality of life

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked on research and data-based lists of the best places to live in the United States. In 2018, our city ranked the number one city on the Livability Top 100 Best Places To Live. This list measures data points that cover economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Other rankings and lists include the 2018 National Geographic list The Best Cities in the United States, RewardExpert’s Best Mid-Sized Cities to Visit in 2017, the Livability 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family, the National Geographic ranking of the happiest cities in the United States, and Realtor.com’s 2018 ranking of the Cities Where Home Buyers Have the Least Amount of Debt.

 

R: Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war. And many of those real Rosies worked in factories right here in the Ann Arbor area. To celebrate this, 3,755 people gathered at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti in 2017 to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter. And this Ypsi gathering had 58 original Rosies who worked in factories during WWII!

In addition to celebrating history, this group gathered to support the Yankee Air Museum’s effort to save, preserve and renovate Rosie’s historic World War II-era factory: the Willow Run Bomber Plant located just minutes outside the heart of Ypsilanti.

 

S: State Theater

Paired with its sister venue, The Michigan Theater, the State Theater is an excellent representation of Ann Arbor’s proud history and passion for indie art. Today, the two historic theaters offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases and special screenings as well as live music shows, performances and more.

 

T: Ann Arbor Triathlon

Every year, our Ann Arbor community hosts countless recreation and racing events to celebrate our community and our parks. The annual Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all of this and happens every year near the end of the summer. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, racers swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, and run the 5-mile classic Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. You can get more information here.

 

U: University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and, in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans. It’s also our number one reason in 10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America.

 

V: Vinology

Owned and operated by the Jonna family, this neighborhood wine bar, dinner destination and event venue boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu. Their team has more than 40 years of experience in the food and wine business and offers everything from weekend brunch to wedding services.

 

W: Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing Co. snagged their W in the ABCs of Ann Arbor because they represent both our community’s love and passion for the University of Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!) and our community’s love for craft beer.

And this Ann Arbor craft brewery is the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan! That means a visit to the taproom will be an exploration of absolutely everything a lager can do—from their solid, approachable flagship to their innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

X: X-Golf Ann Arbor

X-Golf is a franchise and creator of what is called the most innovative and accurate golf simulator in the world. The Ann Arbor location is minutes from the heart of town in Saline and is different from other locations because the team also offers a full bar and restaurant with pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and pretzels, craft beer, bar games like shuffleboard and darts, and nine big screen TVs. So you can come for a drink, come to cheer on your favorite football team, play some virtual golf, host your own event or even join X-League!

 

Y: Ypsilanti

A celebration of Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without a feature on its surrounding communities, and Ypsilanti is a great place to start. This community is located on Ann Arbor’s eastern border, has a dense history in automobile production and World War II, and is now home to some of our favorite local museums, businesses, restaurants, events and parks in the area. To explore the community, check out Ypsi Real, a brand managed by Destination Ann Arbor.

 

Z: Zingerman’s

Zingerman's Creamery Beer and Cheese pairing March 2018

Photo courtesy of Emma Boonstra via Zingerman’s Creamery

A hallmark of Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial character, Zingerman’s Company of Businesses began humbly in 1982 as a small delicatessen in a historic building that was once a neighborhood grocery store. But when founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to expand Zingerman’s Delicatessen, they chose to avoid the typical franchise model in favor of expanding their expertise, their team and their company into new, independent businesses. Now, our community boasts a whole array of businesses—from bakeries and restaurants to training services and wedding venues—operating under the Zingerman’s name. You can learn about all of them in Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you know your ABCs?

Give your favorite Ann Arbor landmarks, businesses and characteristics a shoutout in the comments below!

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Where to Eat Healthy in Ann Arbor

healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Ann Arbor is one of Michigan’s many foodie destinations, especially if you’re on the hunt for plant-based, locally sourced or whole food eats. 

Today, we’re rounding up a handful of the best places for meals that are good for you and, coincidentally, good for our planet, too! This guide includes acai bowls, poké bowls, all-vegan restaurants, gluten-free menus, locally-sourced ingredients, fruit smoothies and so much more. Enjoy!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station   

300 Detroit St | Facebook

Detroit Street Filling Station healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind Ann Arbor’s The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once the home of The Staebler Family Oil Company. Today, they’re churning out plant-based eats that make everyone, regardless of diet, love vegan cuisine.

Why it’s healthy: Their menu features high-quality, vegan fare like jackfruit tacos, Carolina tempeh ribs, fried artichoke po’ boys, and more. The menu covers a range of cuisine and nutrition, but because everything is made from non-meat products, every item offers less fat content than meat and more environmental sustainability!

 

Earthen Jar  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan.

Why it’s healthy: Thanks to the all-vegetarian menu at Earthen Jar, this restaurant is healthier for the planet and for you! Next time you need a plate of savory and spicy vegetables swing by for a hearty lunch or dinner.

 

eat

1906 Packard St | Facebook

This local Ann Arbor restaurant is built on the ideals of wholesome, imaginative, and thoughtfully prepared food. That means this team cares about everything from the farmer to their neighbors and, of course, you! Though you can’t dine in at eat, you can order from the carry-out menu or get them to cater your next event.

Why it’s healthy: From their meals, sandwiches and salads to their TV Dinners and larder items, everything at eat is prepared with sustainability and whole, local foods in mind. And because meals are made from scratch, too, they cut out many processed items, preservatives and additives.

 

First Bite  

108 S Main St | Facebook

First Bite healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of First Bite

First Bite is driven by the idea of Food 4.0, which is why you’ll find the phrase featured prominently on the wall in the dining room. They believe that food must positively impact everyone involved: the producers, the customers, the First Bite team and the environment. That’s why they support local farming and sourcing from like-minded vendors and almost all of the team’s packaging is fully compostable.

Why it’s healthy: Using sustainably grown, whole foods is better for the planet, our bodies and our minds. Though the First Bite menu includes delicious, sugary items like Fluffy French Toast, it also includes an impressive burger lineup: the Beet Burger, the Southwest Black Bean Burger and the Turkey Burger made with an organic house-made turkey patty.

 

Wilma’s  

403 E Washington St | Facebook

Previously called Fred’s, Wilma’s opened in 2016 with the goal of brightening, refreshing and uplifting through food. Inside their bright and modern setting, they serve a menu of both sweet and savory toasts, acai bowls, yogurt bowls, poké bowls, grain bowls, salads, smoothies, and large items like shaved ribeye and a beetroot and quinoa burger.

Why it’s healthy: Everything on the Wilma’s menu is hearty, delicious and filled with both micro and macronutrients. For example, their Kale Shake has kale, avocado, banana, dates, cashews, agave and almond milk. Yum!

 

Fresh Forage   

5060 Jackson Rd | Facebook

Ann Arbor’s Fresh Forage fills the community’s need for both convenience and health as well as quick and locally sourced. The team’s ingredients are sourced from their own family farms and other local farms, and several are sustainably foraged from Michigan’s deep woods. Using 100% compostable materials, they prepare these meals rapidly so the busy people of Ann Arbor can fuel up on the go. 

Why it’s healthy: Using whole, local, sustainable and responsibly produced ingredients, the Fresh Forage menu gives you choices that range from sugary to savory, vegetarian to omnivorous, whole grain to meaty and everything in between.

 

Juicy Kitchen  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken, and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch.

Why it’s healthy: Scratch-made and sustainable eats at Juicy Kitchen allow for fewer preservatives and additives, and a lot more nutrients!

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook

The Lunch Room healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is this team’s original location in Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products.

Why it’s healthy: In addition to being entirely plant-based, many of the ingredients at The Lunch Room are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free. Additionally, nearly everything is made from scratch—even the bread!

 

Pocai  

1232 Packard St | Facebook

Whether you’re looking for delivery, quick eats on-the-go or sit-down meals, Pocai is the place to find healthy, carvable selections. Their menu includes acai bowls, poké bowls, vegetarian Bim Bap, toasts, salads and more.

Why it’s healthy: Pocai caters to special diets including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. Additionally, their bowls are packed with micronutrients thanks to ingredients like kale, pickled red onions, acai berries, chia seeds, brown rice and more.  

 

Salads UP  

611 E Liberty St + 878 Briarwood Cir | Facebook

Salads UP healthy Ann Arbor restaurants

Photo courtesy of Mackenzie King via Salads UP

Robert and Max were seniors at the University of Michigan when they discovered their dream of creating a healthy, fast-paced restaurant that would be accessible to students, visitors and townies alike. Today, they have two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Madison, Wisconsin.

Why it’s healthy: The menu at S’UP is entirely made up of classic healthy meals like salads and wraps, warm grain bowls, fruit smoothies and even homemade juices and cold brew coffee!

 

Seva Restaurant   

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, entirely homemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

Why it’s healthy: Seva offers the perfect combination of healthy and indulgent, from the fruit smoothies to the ice cream shakes and The Beyond Burger to the homemade desserts.

 

Vedge Cafe   

205 N Main St | Facebook

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

Why it’s healthy: In August 2018, Vedge Cafe made the move from vegan and vegetarian to all vegan which improved sustainability and created even more innovative plant-based dishes like the Vedge Stromboli!

 

Do you have a go-to spot in the Ann Arbor area?

In the comments below, tell us about your favorite places to dine out for healthy foods in Ann Arbor and in our surrounding communities.

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Spending a Day in Downtown Ann Arbor, Mapped

What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor’s downtown area is one of the city’s best places to explore local business, local eats, local drinks, and other locals-only attractions. Listed in our guide, The Top Five Ann Arbor Neighborhoods with the Best Walk Scores, it’s also the city’s most walkable neighborhood! So today, we’re combining all of these characteristics for a full day spent in one of our favorite places in Ann Arbor. Along the way, you’ll taste local food, local brews and local coffee, you’ll shop books and see art, and you’ll even get some bonus tips throughout the day.

For full details on the businesses in Downtown Ann Arbor as well as transportation options and events, check out Main Street Area Association.

 

 

8 a.m. | Breakfast at Afternoon Delight Café

Locals line up for this Ann Arbor staple—and it’s easy to see (and taste!) why. Serving brunch for over 30 years, the Afternoon Delight breakfast menu includes pan-grilled pancakes, homemade bran muffins, customized three-egg omelets, fresh poached salmon on the weekends and more. The eggs are always cage-free, the bread comes gluten-free and most of the ingredients and meats are organic!

 

9:30 a.m. | Coffee at RoosRoast

RoosRoast coffee What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Kaden Brouwer via RoosRoast

Deeply local Roos Roast is the coffee headquarters for freshly roasted beans in Ann Arbor—and it’s just steps from Afternoon Delight on the way to Literati Bookstore. At their charming locale in Rosewood, they roast all their coffees in-house and offer a lively and cozy vibe. And the downtown location is everything we want in a local coffee shop. They’ve been voted the best in Washtenaw County and the best in Southeast Michigan, so it’s the perfect place to swing by for a taste of local Ann Arbor!

 

10 a.m. | Shopping at Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

When Ann Arbor’s original, local bookstore, Borders, closed its doors all over the country, Hilary and Mike Gustafson moved back to their home state and opened Literati Bookstore as a book-lovers haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, they set out an old typewriter and invited anyone and everyone to type a note on it. Over the years, they accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books and make sure you type your own note on the Literati public typewriter!

Bonus tip: If you need even more coffee, head upstairs to Literati Coffee where you’ll find even more books and a full coffee and espresso bar.

 

11 a.m. | Head to Ann Arbor Art Center

After our typing and reading excursion to Literati, we’re headed back to Liberty Street to get a feel for local art. Acting as Ann Arbor’s art headquarters since opening in 1909, this center in Downtown A2 serves both artists and our community by hosting art exhibitions in the gallery, events and classes for all ages, and they even sell jewelry, paintings, ceramics and prints in the 117 Gallery Shop. So, spend time perusing the gallery and you can even take home a bit of Ann Arbor culture for your friends, family or home!

Bonus tip: On the way to the Ann Arbor Art Center from Literati, stop in Le Bon Macaron for a morning treat.

 

12 p.m. | Lunch at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

Jolly Pumpkin What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. Each location—whether full-service pub or casual hangout—offers its own character, menu and lineup of sour, aged Jolly Pumpkin beers. In Downtown Ann Arbor, you’ll find Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery, a full-service brewpub serving lunch, dinner, brunch and late-night eats. Choose the JP Burger and you’ll be in for one of Ann Arbor’s best lunches!

 

1:30 p.m. | Tea at Crazy Wisdom

Locally and independently owned since 1982, Crazy Wisdom is another great place to get a sense of Ann Arbor’s strong literary history and character. Inside the downtown shop, you’ll find books, art, crystals, jewelry and, of course, the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room! Here, they serve more than 100 varieties of tea, coffee from local roaster, Mighty Good Coffee, as well as appetizers, entrees, desserts and other treats.

Bonus tip: If you’re looking for something stronger than tea, head to Grizzly Peak Brewing Company just around the corner on W Washington Street.

 

3 p.m. | Movie at the Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball—and we’re so glad it was. Today, this historic theater and its neighbor, the State Theater, offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases, special screenings and more. Matinee movies typically start between 3 and 4 o’clock.

Bonus tip: Traveling from Jolly Pumpkin to the theater, you can slip into Kilwin’s Chocolates or Cupcake Station.

 

5 p.m | Dinner at Isalita

Isalita What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Isalita

Between the Michigan Theater and our evening activities, we’ll travel right past Downtown Ann Arbor’s MANI Osteria and its sister restaurant, Isalita. MANI is a local restaurant modeled after the classic Italian osteria, but Isalita takes the team’s focus on local ingredients, small production and hospitality to the streets of Mexico. Isalita is our little city’s very own cantina. The menu is inspired by the street stall food found in open-air markets throughout Mexico and the hospitality is designed in true mi casa es su casa spirit.

 

7 p.m. | Dessert at Blank Slate Creamery  

After dinner, keep heading down Liberty Street for dessert. The ice cream at locally-owned and operated Blank Slate Creamery is homemade using fresh, all-natural ingredients which has resulted in numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and even throughout the entire state of Michigan! You can see a list of several of their locally-sourced ingredients on their website which includes milk and cream from Guernsey Farms Dairy in Northville.

 

7:30 p.m. | Live music at The Blind Pig  

The Blind Pig live music date Ann Arbor, Michigan

Photo courtesy of TSLC Productions via The Blind Pig

Just a few steps north on 1st Street from Blank Slate, The Blind Pig is the locals’ choice for live music almost every night of the week. This quirky bar and music venue hosts everything from punk and folk to comedy and karaoke. Check out the calendar online and you can buy your tickets in advance if needed.  

Bonus tip: The doors typically open between 7 and 9 p.m. so if you have some time to kill, head to Bill’s Beer Garden which is open seasonally or Ann Arbor Beer Grotto. They’re both just steps from Blank Slate Creamery and The Blind Pig!

 

11 p.m. | Cocktails at The Last Word

Repeatedly named as Ann Arbor’s best cocktail bar, The Last Word is a hidden gem, literally. It’s located underground just up the street from The Blind Pig. With no exterior signage, dim lighting and an outstanding bar program, it’s a bar designed in true speakeasy fashion. The drink menu includes high-quality wines and craft beers alongside cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients as well as house-made syrups and bitters.

Bonus tip: If you need post-cocktail, late-night eats, check out The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you have a local tip?

In the comments below, let us know which downtown business is on your one-day itinerary.

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The 17 Best Bakeries in the Ann Arbor Area

best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

It’s not every day you get a craving for freshly baked bread, a warm jelly donut, a fluffy soft pretzel, a scratch-made scone or a decadent macaron. If that list made your craving hit right now, then we have just the round-up for you, because our Ann Arbor area communities are home to some of the best makers and bakers around and they’re providing fresh baked goods that satisfy all those cravings and more.

Keep reading to learn where you can track down the best in local baked goods, including everything from downtown storefronts to online shops and businesses that can only be found at area farmers’ markets. Enjoy!

 

Avalon Cafe and Kitchen | Ann Arbor

120 E Liberty St | Facebook

Avalon International Breads originally opened their humble Detroit storefront in 1997 striving to offer artisan baked goods made with 100% organic flour. Today, they’ve developed the building blocks of the region’s agri-urban economy and operate five storefronts and restaurants total. Their first and only location outside of Detroit is located right here in Ann Arbor where they serve outstanding menus for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner alongside their breads, seasonal pies, cakes, cookies, scones, granola bars and more.

 

Benny’s Bakery | Saline

111 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

If you’ve ever felt a craving for seasonal donuts, fresh soft pretzels, warm cookies or chocolate éclairs filled with homemade vanilla custard, head to Benny’s. This Saline original churns out some of the best baked goods in Southeast Michigan and it’s all made fresh.

 

Big City Small World Bakery | Ann Arbor

500 Miller Ave | Facebook

Whether you’re in search of a custom cake, a holiday pie, a morning cinnamon roll, or just a sweet treat for yourself, Big City Small World should be at the top of your list. This hometown bakery makes everything in-house, from scratch and fresh every day; they even candy their own ginger for their orange-ginger scone and the apples in their apple pies come from local orchards!

 

Czechbox Bakery | Ypsilanti

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

Regularly available at the Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market and Milan Third Thursdays, Czechbox Bakery is the only bakery of its kind in the Ann Arbor area. As a Michigan Cottage Food business providing heritage eastern European baked goods, founder and baker Gretchen Kopmanis creates authentic treats and breads seasonally based on Michigan produce. Check out the website to see what she bakes or to place an order and follow Czechbox on Facebook to track it all down.

 

Cupcake Station | Ann Arbor

116 E Liberty St | Facebook

The Cupcake Station has five locations in the Ann Arbor area, including one downtown. Made in-house and from scratch every day, you’ll find 24 unique flavors available each time you visit. Stop in to try creations like Cotton Candy Sweet Treat, Hot Fudge Sundae and Strawberry Sunshine.

 

The Dexter Bakery | Dexter

8101 Main St | Facebook

The Dexter Bakery best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Dexter Bakery

The home of mouth-watering jelly donuts, Instagram-worthy cupcakes, towering cakes, fluffy soft pretzels and freshly baked breads, The Dexter Bakery is a must-visit near Ann Arbor. In 2018, they were even named the Sweetest Bakery in Michigan through the Sweetest Bakery in America Contest! And they’ve been serving their treats in Downtown Dexter for more than 100 years.

 

Ed’s Bread | Saline

201 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

A local, family run and oriented business, Ed’s Bread is a staple of the Saline community and also happens to produce some of the tastiest baked goods in the area. Baked fresh from scratch, their lineup frequently includes muffins, huge cookies, fresh bread, bagels, and some of the best homemade granola in town.

 

Le Bon Macaron | Ann Arbor

209 S 4th Ave | Facebook

Le Bon Macaron best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Le Bon Macaron

Born from a love of French culture, Le Bon Macaron is a local, family business that offers two of the most charming cafés in Michigan: one in Grand Rapids and one in Downtown Ann Arbor. On the menu, you’ll find French press coffee and espresso from Rowster Coffee, fresh scones made daily, ice cream sundaes with Cone Appetit craft ice cream, French and Italian sodas made with handcrafted fruit puree and, of course, the macarons that have made them famous.

 

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe | Ann Arbor

2200 Fuller Ct #8B | Facebook

The Lunch Room best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the second location of the beloved, plant-based eatery The Lunch Room. As the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, it’s where they make all their breads in-house from scratch. On any given day, the lineup of baked goods available to purchase includes breads, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cakes, donuts and more. And they’re all vegan!

 

Mitten Made Cheesecakes | Ypsilanti

Found at Cream & Crumb | Facebook

As lovers and crafters of impeccable cheesecakes, this local business produces some of the best cakes in the region. Though you won’t find them in a brick-and-mortar store yet, you can find their cheesecakes at Cream & Crumb in Ypsi and follow the team on Facebook.

 

Pastry Peddler | Ann Arbor

619 Packard St | Facebook

This Ann Arbor shop is a small, locally-owned bakery that offers fresh baked goods with a focus on breakfast pastries. That means they’re the place to go to satisfy every croissant, danish, pillow puff, sticky bun or pasty craving.

 

Simple Pleasures | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets + Earthen Jar | Facebook

The Simple Pleasures story began when Jasmine wanted her brother to enjoy the same pastries and sweet treats everyone else loved without straying from his strict vegetarian and eggless diet. Today, the venture has turned into a full-fledged baked goods business that caters to special diets, including gluten-free, vegan, eggless and sugar-free. You can find these sweets and breads sold at Earthen Jar in Ann Arbor and several farmers’ markets throughout the area.

 

Sweet Heather Anne | Ann Arbor

Online shop | Facebook

Sweet Heather Anne best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cat Carty Buswell via Sweet Heather Anne

Sweet Heather Anne is perhaps the most photographed bakery in Ann Arbor thanks to the team’s jaw-dropping special occasion cakes, macarons and other special order treats. Though they ran their public dessert counter for six years, they recently had to reduce the hours to holidays and events. You can still shop their famous macarons and sea salt chocolate chip cookies online, order for your own special occasion treats, and swing by the dessert counter during holiday hours.

 

Tasty Bakery | Ann Arbor

416 W Huron St #24 | Facebook

A must-visit no matter what your diet, Tasty Bakery offers high-quality, gluten-free artisan baked goods that are indiscernible from any glutinous treat. Additionally, many of their cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, scones and breads are also soy free, organic, vegan and naturally sweetened. Swing by their bakery or find them at the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market to taste the difference for yourself!

 

White Lotus Farms | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses and soothing botanicals. Showcasing the same passion for local, sustainable and handcrafted in every facet of the farm, the bakery produces some of the best breads in Michigan. While the bread is not certified organic, it is made with 100% organic grains and can be found at markets throughout the area, including Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, Argus Farm Stop, and Eastern Market in Detroit.

 

Yoon’s Bakery | Ann Arbor

2775 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

Housed in a charming storefront no Plymouth Road, Yoon’s Bakery is a Korean bakery based on the French style of baking. The team serves a unique selection of fresh baked goods that includes sweetbreads, savory breads, cakes and fluffy buns stuffed with things like homemade strawberry cream cheese. Yum!

 

Zingerman’s Bakehouse | Ann Arbor

3711 Plaza Dr | Facebook

Zingerman's Bakehouse best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Bakehouse

After running Zingerman’s Delicatessen for ten years, owners Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to improve the flavors by baking their own breads. So, in September of 1992, they teamed up with Frank Carollo and just five other staff members to open the beloved Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Today, 130 staff members and partners make pastries, breads and other treats from scratch daily.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Let us know in the comments below!

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10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America

Murals in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor is home to the world-renowned University of Michigan. On its own, our hometown university has consistently ranked on National University Rankings amongst other ivy league superstars like Yale and Harvard. But the university paired with our outstanding community has landed Ann Arbor on lists of the country’s best college towns. This Livability list, 2017 Best College Towns, puts us in the top ten, and Ann Arbor regularly ranks in the top five of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live (it snagged the number one spot in 2018!).  

We could go on and on listing awards, accolades and honors our little city has won (like 5 Great College Towns to Settle In Post-Graduation), but now, we’re going to let the community speak for itself. Keep reading to find out exactly what makes Ann Arbor the best college town in America.

 

1. The school

University of Michigan Law School Ann Arbor Michigan

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but we can’t talk about our perfect college town without bragging about the university that makes it what it is. The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans.

 

2. The food

Where to eat in Ann Arbor Michigan

Late night food, date night food, patio dining — you name it and Ann Arbor has it. Our humble foodie city offers local eats you won’t find anywhere else, covering just about every cuisine, every craving and every occasion. To get a sampling of some of Ann Arbor’s best, check out The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor, The 13 Best Places to Get a Burger in Ann Arbor, The 15 Best Date Night Restaurants in Ann Arbor and The 16 Essential Brunch Spots in Ann Arbor.

 

3. The events

Whether you’re looking for events hosted by the university or outside of the university, our local calendar is packed. On campus, you’ll find regular events through the University Musical Society at Hill Auditorium, theater performances with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the Power Center for the Performing Arts, as well as annual student celebrations like Winterfest, Friday Flicks, UMix Late Night, UM Slam Poetry and more.

Outside of the university, our community calendar is filled with events for foodies, musicians, artists, outdoor enthusiasts—events like Cinetopia Film Festival, Taste of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, FestiFools and FoolMoon, Kerrytown BookFest, Huron River Day, and so many more. To stay up-to-date on the essential events each month, follow along on the Reinhart blog where we post monthly event guides for Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities.

 

4. The outdoor recreation

Where to hike in Ann Arbor Michigan

Is there any activity more stereotypically college than disc golf? We don’t think so, and Ann Arbor is home to two public courses maintained by the city, as well as a FootGolf course! In fact, our city boasts nearly 2,100 acres of parkland and 14 recreation facilities where visitors can hike, bike, picnic, swim, cross-country ski—you name it.

For ideas on where to go and what to do, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

5. The Main Street 

Every college town needs a hub for local food, local events and local character. Not only is this the place you’ll spend most of your free time, it’s also the place you’ll take your parents, your friends and your family every time they visit. Here in Ann Arbor, that place is Main Street, the heart of downtown, located less than half a mile from the UM campus.

The downtown area is home to some of the city’s best local restaurants (try Aventura, The Pretzel Bell and Spencer for starters) and local events like Taste of Ann Arbor, Rolling Sculpture Car Show and Midnight Madness. To stay up-to-date on the happenings around the area, check out the Main Street Area Association.

 

6. The football   

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

You’re going to spend a lot of time in The Big House. But UM athletic events will also make you well acquainted with the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena because our university is home to one of the best football programs, one of the best basketball programs, and one of the best ice hockey programs in the country. Needless to say, you’ll have a way to show off your Michigan pride all year long! #GoBlue

For more information on all Wolverine athletics, check out the University of Michigan Athletics website.

 

7. The museums

Operated both through the university and through community organizations, Ann Arbor is packed with museums and educational opportunities. The long list of options includes University of Michigan Museum of Art which is one of the largest and oldest university art museums in the country, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology which presents research on Classical, Egyptian, and Near Eastern archaeology, and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History which displays four billion years of natural history.

 

8. The live music

Live music is one of the best ways to spend an evening whether you’re a student, a graduate or a regular townie. The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance puts together more than 900 performances every year. And outside of the university, you’ll find impressive and diverse event calendars at The Ark, The Blind Pig, Kerrytown Concert House and even Michigan Theater.

 

9. The local art

Murals in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor’s local and public art provides a way for you to practice your own creativity, a way to admire the work of your peers and your community, and an opportunity to get some iconic Instagram photos. Yes, we’re talking about The Michigan Wings, the perfect spot for your first day of school photo and your graduation photo. You can find this blue and maize mural at the corner of East William and Maynard streets at Tower Plaza.

Other landmark murals include The Bookstore Mural which depicts the colorful heads of Woody Allen, Edgar Allan Poe, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka and Anaïs Nin. And you have to snap a photo at the Singing in the Rain mural located on the 5th Ave. entrance to the Library Lane Parking Structure!

To start your official exploration of Ann Arbor art, visit Ann Arbor Art Center, a nonprofit arts center that hosts rotating exhibits, classes, events and a supply shop.

 

10. The craft beer

Craft beer culture seems to especially boom around major colleges and universities — and we don’t think that’s a coincidence. Here in Ann Arbor, we’ve experienced the craft beer boom as much as any other college town (and maybe even more than most). To get the lowdown on the city’s best, check out Your Ultimate Guide to 20 Craft Breweries in the Ann Arbor Area. It even has an interactive map so you can track down the one closest to you right now!

 

Are you a University of Michigan alumnus?  

Let us know why you think Ann Arbor is the best college town in the comments below!

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The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor vegan vegetarian restaurants

Through the years, Ann Arbor has cemented itself as one of Michigan’s foodie capitals. Whether you’re craving burgers, ice cream or plant-based cuisine, you’ll find a local spot for it. And very often, you’ll find they make it by hand with local ingredients from scratch.

If you’re struggling to track down the vegan and vegetarian-friendly places amongst all the options, don’t worry. We rounded up the best of the best. Our guide includes plant-based eats in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline with restaurants that are all-vegan, all-vegetarian, and others that offer meat-free options alongside meat-filled options so everyone in your group can find a dish to enjoy.

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen | Ann Arbor

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegan

The Lunch Room Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Juan Moncayo via The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is the team’s original location in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products. Additionally, many of the kitchen’s ingredients are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free.

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the team’s second location and the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, where they make all their breads in-house from scratch.

 

Veg-O-Rama | Ypsilanti

533 W Cross St | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

Veg-o-rama Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Atharva Kharkar via Veg-O-Rama

This fast casual, vegetarian restaurant is Ypsi’s headquarters for vegan and vegetarian fare. Veg-O-Rama is dedicated to serving delicious plant-based fare that will impress both vegans and meat eaters alike. Their menu features innovative creations like the Peanut Crusted Cajun Black Bean Burger, Mean Green Protein Pea Burger, Tamarind BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, and other burgers, sub sandwiches, bowls, wraps, pizzas and breakfast items.

 

Seva | Ann Arbor

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, all housemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

If you find yourself in Detroit, swing by Seva’s second location which opened in 2011!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station | Ann Arbor  

300 Detroit St | Facebook | Vegan

Detroit Street Filling Station Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company. Their menu features the high-quality, vegan eats that we’ve come to expect from The Lunch Room — but includes its own innovative items like the Detroit Street Burrito, Apple Fritters and the Central American Platter made with seitan steak, fried plantains, pureed black beans, tofu scramble, cashew sour cream, cabbage slaw and corn tortillas.

 

Vedge Cafe | Ann Arbor

205 N Main St | Facebook | Vegan 

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

 

Earthen Jar | Ann Arbor  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan. Because everything is clearly marked—whether it’s vegan or gluten-free—anyone can eat here without worry.

 

What’s in Your Cup? | Ypsilanti

1816 Whittaker Rd | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

What's in Your Cup Ypsilanti vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of What’s in Your Cup? 

Popularized for their juices, smoothies and vegan milkshakes, What’s in Your Cup? also offers an impressive menu of flavor-packed wraps, chili, sandwiches, sweet treats, guacamole and salsas. Whether you just need a fruit-filled smoothie to power your morning or you’re looking for a complete, plant-based meal, we recommend stopping by this Ypsi favorite.

 

Salt Springs Brewery | Saline

117 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook | Options

Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy true-to-style ales, wine and cider alongside locally-sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop. Their menu includes various vegetarian options that can also be made vegan like the Tempeh Reuben, The Incredibly Tasty Tofu Sandwich and Roasted Vegetable Pizza.

Swing by on Wednesday when the Salt Springs team hosts Vegan Wednesdays! Starting at 5 p.m. every week all the featured dishes are vegetarian and/or vegan.

 

Ollie Food + Drink | Ypsilanti

42 E Cross St | Facebook | Options

This Ypsilanti original offers a seasonally rotating menu, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients alongside a lineup of artisan cocktails, craft beer and wine. That impressively fresh menu includes clearly marked vegan and gluten-free options like the Vegan Burrito, seasonal tartines, house-made chorizo tempeh, salads, chilaquiles and more.

 

Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St | Facebook | Options

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. Today, it has become one of Ann Arbor’s and Ypsilanti’s favorite destinations for craft beer and inspired food. The food menus at each location also feature an impressive lineup of clearly marked vegetarian and vegan items like the Crispy Quinoa Cake Sandwich, the Vegan Burger and Vegan Chili.

 

Juicy Kitchen | Ann Arbor  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Juicy Kitchen Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Juicy Kitchen

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken, and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch. Peruse the clearly marked menus to see just how many plant-based meals they can create!

 

El Harissa Market Cafe | Ann Arbor

1516 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

The name El Harissa comes from Harissa, a spicy and flavorful chili pepper paste that has injected its explosive flavor into dishes from throughout the Mediterranean region. Using this inspiration, the team at this Ann Arbor café produces unique North African and Mediterranean cuisine that includes plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Chela’s Restaurant and Taqueria | Ann Arbor  

693 S Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Chela’s already offers some of the region’s best Mexican food, but they also offer some of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in town. Clearly marked vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, anyone can enjoy vegetarian tortas, vegan tacos, burritos and a huge lineup of all vegan side dishes. Their black beans are even Michigan-grown!

 

Cantina Taqueria + Bar | Ann Arbor

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Options

From their casual space perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. Because meat lovers and plant eaters can all agree tacos make for an incredible meal, it’s the perfect location for everyone to come together and enjoy carnitas tacos, potato tacos, black bean tacos and more! Additionally, all their sides—including rice and beans—are vegan.

 

Elevation Burger | Ann Arbor

529 E Liberty St + 3365 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook | Options

This chain restaurant has two Ann Arbor locations and is dedicated to the fine art of the burger. Their meat options feature 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range beef, and you can choose from five delicious signature burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, or build your own. The Veggie Burger is a savory blend of veggies and cheese while the vegan option is packed with whole grains and veggies. Feel free to order a side of fries, too — they’re cooked in heart-healthy Bertolli olive oil!

 

Share your favorites

If you have a favorite spot for plant-based eats in the Ann Arbor area, give them a shout-out in the comments below!

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Your Ultimate Guide to 20 Craft Breweries in the Ann Arbor Area [Interactive Map]

The best craft breweries in Ann Arbor

Since exploding in the 1990s, the Michigan craft beer scene has been enjoying a resurgence in craft, style and sheer number of breweries available. And beer lovers around the entire state have been enjoying it, too!

In Ann Arbor, we celebrate the industry with some of the state’s best breweries, with several hidden gems and with local, neighborhood spots we come back to again and again. To show off our community’s love for drinking local, we rounded up the must-try spots in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea and even Milan. Enjoy!

734 Brewing Company | Ypsilanti

15 E Cross St | Facebook

Ypsi born and Ypsi brewed, 734 Brewing Company is a new Depot Town staple. Home to a spectacular patio and even more spectacular beers, it’s a must-visit on every craft beer tour.

 

Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St, Ann Arbor + 720 Norris St, Ypsilanti | Facebook

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. On a trip to Belgium, the couple was further inspired to innovate and they brought the first sour program of its kind to the state of Michigan. Today, you can stop in the original Ann Arbor brewpub or swing by the Ypsilanti brewery.

 

Biercamp | Ann Arbor

1643 S State St | Facebook

Biercamp Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Biercamp

Biercamp has been one of Ann Arbor’s unique and best little shops since they opened in 2011. That’s when the meat shop showed us what good, natural meat is all about. Everything is made by hand in small batches using unique ingredients and family recipes. And all the meats come from farms where animals are raised humanely with no antibiotics, hormones, growth promoting drugs or artificial ingredients. The same care and attention is applied to their beer program. In the combination shop, taproom and beer garden, you can taste their small-batch craft beers which are also made in-house and by hand.

 

Bløm Meadworks | Ann Arbor

100 S 4th Ave #110 | Facebook

Blom Meadworks Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Synecdoche Design via Bløm Meadworks

Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery right in the heart of Ann Arbor. Their session meads and ciders are light, dry, carbonated and sessionable. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried.

 

Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery | Ann Arbor

207 E Washington St | Facebook

BBQ and beer is a winning combination that has been tried and tested over the centuries and the Blue Tractor team is just about as knowledgeable as you can get in both categories. On the food menu, you’ll find classic smoked meats and barbecue dishes alongside unique, world-influenced meals. On tap, you’ll find six rotating selections every day, including award-winners which have snagged numerous gold, silver and bronze medals at competitions across the nation.  

 

Chelsea Alehouse Brewery | Chelsea

115 S Main St | Facebook

Originally located in Chelsea’s historic Clocktower Complex, Chelsea Alehouse Brewery opened in 2012 and relocated to downtown Chelsea in 2018. Their new interior features red brick walls and cozy booths, their food menu includes tacos, burgers, mac & cheese and fresh salads, and the beer list focuses on American and English style ales made for every beer drinker.

 

Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse | Ypsilanti

307 N River St | Facebook

This coffee bar and tap house is a Ypsilanti favorite. Built around the mantra, “craft, community and cause,” you’ll find some of the best craft coffee and craft beer, regular community events, and support of worthy causes. They’ve been featured on guides like The 16 Best Outdoor Patios in Ann Arbor and The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area so you know you’re in for a treat.

 

Edelbrau Brewing Company | Ann Arbor

719 W Ellsworth Rd #2 | Facebook

Edelbrau is a term that has been used for hundreds of years to describe high-quality beer and this Ann Arbor team brews bold beers in homage to that tradition. Their beverages are served unfiltered without pasteurization or synthetic additives and each one is produced sustainably in a way that enhances the craft, the community and the industry. Stop in the brewery and taproom to learn what mindful brewing tastes like.

 

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. | Ann Arbor  

120 W Washington St | Facebook

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Irene Tomoko Sugiura via Grizzly Peak Brewing Co.

A landmark in downtown Ann Arbor, Grizzly Peak began serving craft beer in August of 1995 from their century-old building with wood floors, tin ceilings and exposed brick walls. The kitchen produces scratch-made pub eats and the brewhouse produces classic beers in a wide range of styles. To see what’s on tap right now, click here.

 

HOMES Brewery | Ann Arbor

2321 Jackson Ave | Facebook

At HOMES, they take the brewery experience to a whole new level because they pair their brews with a food menu full of modern and inventive Korean food. Perfect for sharing, we recommend an order of Kimchi Fries, Pork Belly Bao Buns and maybe even a flavor-packed rice bowl. And, of course, don’t skip a flight of HOMES original brews.

 

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales | Ann Arbor + Dexter

311 S Main St, Ann Arbor + 2319 Bishop Cir E, Dexter | Ann Arbor Facebook + Dexter Facebook

Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. Each location — whether full-service pub or casual hangout — offers its own character, menu and lineup of sour, aged Jolly Pumpkin beers.

 

Original Gravity Brewing Co. | Milan

440 County St | Facebook

Original Gravity is Milan’s original brewery. Though Brad Sancho just opened this microbrewery in 2008, it’s the town’s only craft brewery and serves as the local destination for beer, community and fun. Focused on creating an outstanding taproom experience, their space has old-school arcade games, board games, televisions and delicious deli sandwiches.

 

Pileated Brewing Company | Ann Arbor  

2290 S Industrial Hwy | Facebook

Since their beginning, the brewing team at Pileated Brewing Company has been driven by experimental brewing. As a result, they produce beers inspired by traditional style but which have been innovated through ingredients, additions and more. So when you stop in, don’t expect to find a typical beer but do expect to find a new favorite! Because everything here is hand-stirred, hand-bottled, naturally unfiltered and bottle conditioned.

 

Pointless Brewery & Theatre | Ann Arbor

3014 Packard St | Facebook

If you like your craft beer served with improv comedy, then Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place to be. And if you’ve never had craft beer served with improv comedy, move this Ann Arbor original to the top of your to-do list. The taproom where you can try beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events is open Wednesday through Sunday. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

Salt Springs Brewery | Saline  

117 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook

Salt Springs Brewery Saline, Michigan restaurants

Photo courtesy of Salt Springs Brewery

Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy true-to-style ales, wine and cider alongside locally-sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop.

 

Stony Lake Brewing Co. | Saline

447 E Michigan Ave | Facebook

Husband and wife team Jerry and Heidi founded Stony Lake Brewing Company in 2014. Named after their favorite place on earth and inspired by their favorite microbreweries, they offer big beers with an emphasis on American Ales and fresh clean flavors, as well as hard ciders, wines and select sodas.

 

Townies Brewery | Ann Arbor  

2350 W Liberty Rd | Facebook

Located on Ann Arbor’s west side, Townies Brewery opened in 2018 in the old home of Glasshouse Brewing. New owners Dan and Patty Arban have completely reimagined the space and the building with new additions to the decor and to the patio. Swing by for a beer flight and enjoy our city’s newest brewery alongside frequent live music and a community atmosphere.

 

Unity Vibration | Ypsilanti

93 Ecorse Rd | Facebook

Dedicated to health, unity and community, this Ypsi favorite serves up kombucha tea and kombucha beer. Similar to a Lambic fermented in oak-barrels with hops and whole fruits, Unity kombucha beers are gluten-free, vegan, organic, bottle conditioned and raw. So whether you’re craving a belly-friendly tea or a unique craft beer, visit the taproom to try a small-batch and handmade beverage.

 

Wolverine State Brewing Co. | Ann Arbor  

2019 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing’s flagship beer, Wolverine Premium Lager, was born out of a desire for an outstanding, approachable beer that was true to Michigan character. Today, this Ann Arbor craft brewery is still operating as the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan. That means, when you stop in, you’ll get the opportunity to explore absolutely everything a lager can do — from the solid, approachable flagship to innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

Ypsi Alehouse | Ypsilanti

124 Pearl St #100 | Facebook

Located in the historic Centennial Center Building, Ypsi Alehouse serves a seasonally rotating menu of pub-inspired eats, craft beers brewed to highlight the finest locally sourced ingredients, and ciders and wines made on-site. As the headquarters of Mishigama Craft Brewing, you’re sure to find something to love here.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Do you have a go-to brewery further outside the Ann Arbor area? Or is there one in town that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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How to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend 2018 in the Ann Arbor Area | Events, Activities + More

Labor Day weekend 2018 Ann Arbor Michigan

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. In Ann Arbor, that means the kids are either back in school or are heading back on Monday so we need to pack a whole lot of fun into three weekend days.

To help plan your festivities, we rounded up the weekend’s best events alongside a few ideas and local activities that can make your long weekend one for the record books.

For more events happening throughout September, check out The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend September 2018.

 

 

Attend an event

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

Saline Community Fair  

August 28 – September 3 | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Rounding out the summer, Saline Community Fair provides days of fun for local families. Events include tractor pulls, a car and tractor show, the USA Auto Cross Enduro Derby, carnival rides, fair foods, and more!

 

Dexter Summer Concerts

August 31 | The Monument Park Gazebo

The Dexter Summer Concert series ends its 2018 run on August 31st with Salmagundi! This Ann Arbor band brings horn-driven rock and roll for a full evening of dancing and fun.

 

Eastern Football vs. Monmouth

August 31 | Rynearson Stadium

Eastern Michigan University football returns during Orientation Weekend and the Eagles are facing off against Monmouth on our home turf. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.

 

Summer Games

August 31 | Pointless Brewery & Theatre

Pointless Brewery & Theatre combines improv comedy shows with craft beer. On August 31st, Summer Games returns with a lineup of playful improv games. Tickets are $15 each and there are back-to-back shows beginning at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

 

The 2018 Ballet in the City Gala

August 31 – September 1 | Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Michigan League

The 2018 Ballet in the City Gala takes place on the University of Michigan campus. This exhibition event celebrates the best and brightest in the arts today by presenting the legendary works of George Balanchine in performance, hosting educational events, and offering up close and personal experiences with professional artists from around the country. There are two different events happening on August 31st and September 1st; get the full details here.

 

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

September 1 | South Bend, Indiana

Wolverine football returns on the first day of September! Though their first game of the season is at Notre Dame, you can watch locally at The 13 Best Sports Bars in the Ann Arbor Area. For the full schedule, click here.

 

African Comedy Show

September 1 | Power Center for the Performing Arts

Hosted by the Waganda and Wakenya Comedians, this laugh out loud comedy show is bringing talented stand-ups to Ann Arbor from Uganda and Kenya. The feature performance will be The Queen of African Comedy, Anne Kansiime, from Uganda and other sets will be given by Smart-Joker (Michael Omuka) and 2mbili (Dankan Onyango).

 

Willow Run at Purple Rose Theatre

June 14 – September 1 | Purple Rose Theatre

Willow Run is a world premiere show by Jeff Duncan and is ending its Purple Rose Theatre run on September 1st. The play takes place during WWII at the Willow Run Bomber Plant located near Ypsilanti—the largest factory under one roof in the world. Learn more and buy your tickets here.

 

 

Opt outside

Hiking trails near Ann Arbor Michigan

Home to 159 parks just within the city and located at the heart of an impressive lineup of state recreation areas and open spaces, Ann Arbor offers countless opportunities to opt outside. From hiking and fishing in town to boating through the Chain of Lakes and even kayaking down the Huron River, there are a variety of options available to every local and visitor.

To get an idea of what you can do outside and where you can do it, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts, which highlights some of our favorite adventures in our backyard.

 

 

Go camping

If you want to extend your outdoor excursion into an overnight adventure, we recommend planning a camping trip over Labor Day weekend. Pinckney Recreation Area offers six different campgrounds ranging from rustic spots without hookups to yurts! For reservation and pricing information, click here. And to check out the nine campgrounds in Waterloo Recreation Area, click here.

 

 

Dive into a Michigan lake

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Michigan borders four of the Great Lakes and contains more than 11,000 inland lakes. So, when you’re looking for a summer swimming destination, this is a good place to be.

In the communities around Ann Arbor, we get to take advantage of countless swim beaches, state parks and pristine waters. To help you on your water-themed summer adventures, we rounded up a handful of the best options around Ann Arbor. From just a few minutes away to about two hours away on the shores of Lake Michigan, check out The 15 Swimming Holes Near Ann Arbor You Need to Visit This Summer and start experiencing the true #PureMichiganLakeEffect.

 

 

Spend time with your kids

things to do with kids in Ann Arbor Michigan

As the last unofficial day of summer vacation, Labor Day weekend means your kids are either already back in school or they return to the classroom on Monday. Take advantage of your extra day by taking them on a local excursion they’ll never forget! Our guide, 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, includes details on Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Planet Rock, Young People’s Theater, Leslie Science and Nature Center and so much more!

 

 

Salute patio season

With the warm months winding down, we have to get ready to say goodbye to our favorite Ann Arbor patios. They’re the ideal places to satisfy any craving for sunshine, local food, Michigan beer or artisan cocktails. The local lineup includes garden patios, beer gardens, and patios bathed in cozy string lights or shaded by trees along Main Street. To start planning your patio tour, check out The 16 Best Outdoor Patios in Ann Arbor.

 

 

Take a wine tour of Southeast Michigan

Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

A long weekend is the perfect excuse to visit Michigan’s wine country. Different regions of our state have organized their own wine trails to highlight local wines. You can explore the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail near Grand Rapids, the Bay View Wine Trail in Northwest Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail around Grand Traverse Bay, and the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail which goes right through our backyard.

For more information on Southeast Michigan’s best wineries, check out The 14 Essential Wineries to Visit Near Ann Arbor.

 

 

Visit a local museum

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, so it makes sense that our little town is packed with museums and educational opportunities. The long list of options includes University of Michigan Museum of Art, African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Kempf House Museum, the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, and the Michigan Firehouse Museum in Ypsi.

 

 

Enjoy your long weekend!  

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The 12 Best Places to Get a Burger in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Amongst all the food trends we love (shout out to you, brunch!), there’s one we can rest assured will never go out of style: the burger. From fast, casual eats to gourmet creations, the toppings may get more strange but the mouth-watering, beloved burger remains an American classic.

To show off our own local flavors, we’re touring Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and even hopping over to Saline to track down the best burgers in town. Be warned, our guide features burgers (and photos) that will likely cause an immediate craving. But luckily, these hometown spots are right down the street. Enjoy!

 

Elevation Burger | Ann Arbor

3365 Washtenaw Ave + 529 E Liberty St | Facebook

Elevation Burgers Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Photo courtesy of Elevation Burger

This chain restaurant has two Ann Arbor locations and is dedicated to the fine art of the burger. Theirs feature 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range meat. You can choose from five delicious signature burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, or build your own. Then, be sure to load up on fresh cut fries and thick, hand-scooped milkshakes!

 

Frita Batidos | Ann Arbor

117 W Washington St | Facebook

It’s all in a name, right? And at Frita Batidos, the burgers are the main attraction. The Frita is a traditional Cuban burger made from spicy chorizo and served with shoestring fries on a soft egg bun. A Batido is a tropical milkshake made with fresh fruit, crushed ice, sweetened milk and rum (optional, of course). That’s what we call a perfect pairing!

 

Sidetrack Bar & Grill | Ypsilanti

56 E Cross St | Facebook

Sidetrack Bar and Grill Ann Arbor Michigan best burger Ypsilanti

Photo courtesy of Sidetrack Bar & Grill

Sidetrack has been a Ypsilanti destination since it opened its doors in 1850 and it’s easy to explain why. They serve some of the best pub food, pour some of the best beer, and offer it all in one of the best neighborhood atmospheres. Their burger — Our Famous Burger — was included on GQ’s 2005 round-up of The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die, so it’s probably about time you tried it.

 

Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger | Ann Arbor

304 S Ashley St | Facebook

If you’ve been in Ann Arbor very long, you know Krazy Jim’s — and you know exactly how to order. They’ve been serving up customizable sliders with one-of-a-kind style since 1953. When you arrive, simply grab a tray and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to order. By the time you reach the end of the line, you’ll have one of Ann Arbor’s best burgers prepared just the way you want it and made with fresh beef, ground in-house daily.

 

Rappourt Brew & Chew | Ann Arbor

2721 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

The family-owned Rappourt offers a communal dining room and a true community atmosphere. Pair that with a gourmet burger and you’ll leave happy every time. Their menu offers three signature burgers: their namesake burger topped with Gruyere cheese, the A2 Melt with Wolverine Lager beer cheese, and the Diner Burger which features a smashed patty and classic toppings. Additional bonuses include 48 taps of rotating craft beer and a delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Burger!

 

Hunter House Hamburgers | Ann Arbor

609 E William St | Facebook

Hunter House Hamburgers Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Photo courtesy of Hunter House Hamburgers

Hunter House Hamburgers was established in 1952. Their original home is a small, white pill-box diner on the first paved road in America in Birmingham, Michigan. Their second location opened in Ann Arbor in 2014. Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the Detroit area and frequently ranked the best burger in Michigan, Hunter House is a must-visit!

 

Got Burger | Ypsilanti

301 W Cross St | Facebook

In the Got Burger kitchen, the meat is always fresh and the burgers are always handcrafted with natural ingredients. If you decide not to build your own, you can choose from nine signature options, including the vegetarian Portobello Bliss. But with choices like the Puree Garlic Burger served with swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pureed garlic sauce, it may be tough to choose.

 

Craft Breww City | Ann Arbor

640 Packard St | Facebook

CBC is a sports bar, a beer bar and a gourmet restaurant all rolled into one. Alongside one of the biggest selections of craft brews and beers anywhere, they offer a menu of pub-inspired eats that includes everything from Duck Poutine to Chicken Parmesan. And right in the middle of that menu, you’ll find ten one-of-a-kind signature burgers. For example, the Pretzel Burger comes with maple glazed bacon, cherry BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese on a pretzel bun. Yum!

 

HopCat | Ann Arbor

311 Maynard St | Facebook

HopCat is known for a lot of things, including their famous Crack Fries and having 100 beers on tap. Today, we’re making sure they’re known as the home of one of the best burgers in Ann Arbor. In addition to a classic burger, a turkey burger and a black bean burger, the menu features four stuffed burgers: a half-pound of signature beef patty stuffed with Wisconsin American cheese! See the menu here then get to HopCat ASAP (you’ll want to, trust us).

 

Dan’s Downtown Tavern | Saline

103 E Michigan Ave | Facebook

Offering a laid back, neighborhood bar setting, Dan’s Downtown Tavern has been a Saline favorite for years. Their menu features comfort foods, one of the largest craft beer selections in town and an entire section dedicated to custom burgers. You can choose one of 15 creative flavor combinations — from the Cowboy topped with chili, bacon, jalapeños and BBQ sauce to the Peanut Butter Burger which includes a peanut butter infused patty!

 

The Wurst Bar | Ypsilanti

705 W Cross St | Facebook

The Wurst Bar may be named for its gourmet bratwursts, but the burgers should definitely not be overlooked. Made with house-ground brisket and dipped in a blend of umami-rich sauces and flat iron grilled, every 6.5-ounce burger is cooked to order and comes atop a pretzel, sesame seed or brioche bun. Is your mouth watering yet? If not, check out Mr. Monster on the menu.

 

Zingerman’s Roadhouse | Ann Arbor

2501 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Zingerman’s Roadhouse is a go-to option amongst many Ann Arbor locals. So when you’re craving a burger, it’s always a safe bet. This branch of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses brings the fresh ideals of Zingerman’s together with globally-inspired eats and locally-sourced ingredients. That means when you order your burger, you can bet the hand-formed patty was made with Washtenaw County meat!

To learn more about all the Zingerman’s businesses in Ann Arbor, check out Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you have a favorite local burger?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

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The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor

New York Pizza Depot Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Ann Arbor is a college town, a foodie haven, a live music locale and a craft beer gem all rolled into one. That entertaining blend makes it the perfect place for late night eats to flourish. And luckily, we have plenty of local options to choose from! That is, when you’re looking for something other than the neighborhood Jimmy John’s (open as late as 4 a.m. on weekends!).  

To help you satisfy all your late night cravings, we rounded up the best food in town that can be enjoyed past midnight. On our list, you’ll find pizza joints, tequila bars, cookie delivery, the best hamburger in Michigan and, of course, Ann Arbor’s 24-hour diner. Enjoy!

 

Fleetwood Diner

300 S Ashley St | Facebook | Food served 24 hours  

Fleetwood Diner is the home of late night eats in Ann Arbor. You can get their entire menu of diner classics 24 hours a day. The lineup includes omelets, pancakes, egg dishes and the famous hippie hash which is a plate of homemade hash browns topped with grilled tomato, green pepper, onion, mushroom, broccoli topped and feta cheese.

 

Pizza House

618 Church St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

Pizza House has been the late night pizza destination in Ann Arbor since they opened in 1986. You can eat in the dining room until 4 a.m. any night of the week and you can also get pizza delivered right to your door until 4 a.m. every single night! Their downtown headquarters is also the home of The Garage Bar where you can get your Pizza House eats with one of 32 beers on tap, craft cocktails and more.

 

BTB Burrito

810 S State St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

BTB Burrito Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of BTB Burrito

BTB Burrito was born right here in Ann Arbor to fill the town’s need for high-quality, local, counter-service eats. Thanks to their late night hours seven nights a week, they’ve become the go-to late night spot for students, residents and townies alike. So next time you need a great burrito, a plate of nachos, a side of guacamole and a warm churro after midnight stop in or order delivery!

 

Old Town Tavern

122 W Liberty Rd | Food served until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday

When Old Town Tavern opened in 1972, it was a blue collar bar that served to accommodate third shift workers from area factories who needed to refuel as early as 6 a.m. Today, it’s still a beloved townie bar and they still accommodate diners at unique hours. Wednesday through Saturday, you can get their menu of burgers, sandwiches and Southwestern plates until 1:30 a.m. — and until 10:45 p.m. on all other nights of the week!

 

Insomnia Cookies

1229 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 3 a.m.

Insomnia Cookies was started by student Seth Berkowitz in a college dorm room in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania. And the rest is history. Or rather, the rest is cookie delivery. Located just a quick walk from the Michigan Union, the Ann Arbor retail shop is open until 3 a.m. and inside, you’ll find cookies, brownies, ice cream, cookie ice cream sandwiches, cookies served with milk and so many other combinations! Even better than that, you don’t have to leave your home because everything on the menu can be delivered until 3 a.m. too!

 

New York Pizza Depot (NYPD) 

605 E William St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

New York Pizza Depot Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of New York Pizza Depot

The story of Ann Arbor’s NYPD begins with Italian-born Domenico, Mauro and John. They moved to New York nearly fifteen years ago, honed their craft in the big city, then brought real, New York-style pies to Ann Arbor. The huge menu includes wings, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, Italian specialties, calzones and pizza which you can get until 4 a.m. every night of the week.

 

Good Time Charley’s

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 1 a.m.

Home of fishbowl cocktails and one of the best sports bar atmospheres in town, Good Time Charley’s is a classic hangout for Ann Arbor locals looking for a good time — and for great food! Luckily, we can get all of that until 1 a.m. every night of the week. The pub menu, featuring Monster Fries, Homemade Pretzels and Queso, a Chicken Tenders Platter, wings and more, is served late into the night and you can keep the drinks coming until 2 a.m. when Charley’s officially closes down.

 

Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery

311 S Main St | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery is the Ann Arbor outpost of Northern United Brewing Company’s Jolly Pumpkin line of beers brewed in Dexter. In the taproom and restaurant, they serve craft beer on draft, food menus that feature upscale pub classics and a smaller late night menu served Friday and Saturday until close.

 

Kosmo’s Bop Shop

308 S Ashley St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday

In 2001, Don Kwon purchased the Kerrytown eatery Kosmo’s and immediately began adding Korean-inspired flavors to the menu. Now, it’s 17 years later and Kosmo’s has become a favorite in Ann Arbor for innovative Korean fusion dishes. Try the famous Seoul Dog if you want a get a taste for yourself! The second location, the Late Night Bop Shop, serves food until 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, until 12 a.m. on Thursday and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Hunter House Hamburgers

609 E William St | Facebook | Food served until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday

Hunter House Hamburgers Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of Hunter House Hamburgers

Hunter House Hamburgers was established in 1952. Their original home is a small, white pill-box diner on the first paved road in America in Birmingham, Michigan. That location is the oldest continually operating restaurant in Birmingham and their second location opened in Ann Arbor in 2014. Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the Detroit area and frequently ranked the best burger in Michigan, Hunter House is a must-visit when you get a late-night craving in A2.

 

Tios Mexican Cafe and Tequila Bar

401 E Liberty St | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m.

Founded by Tim and Harriet Seaver in 1986, Tios Mexican Cafe has been A2’s Tex-Mex favorite for decades. Open and serving food until 2 a.m. seven nights a week, you can order from the unique menu of South American, Spanish and Mexican dishes late into the night. Just make sure you order a specialty margarita or sangria too!

 

Cantina

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m.

Form their casual space perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. After 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, you can get a special selection of snacks and the full lineup of drinks as late as 2 a.m. And you’ll definitely want to on the weekends because on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, they have live DJs playing late into the night!

 

Aut Bar

315 Braun Ct | Facebook | Food served until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Aut Bar is a gay bar, a pub and a brunch destination all rolled into one. Homemade, hand cut, hand dipped and local — their food menu is made up of artisanal eats like an Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl with Caviar, the Aut Burger made with Knight’s Market ground beef, a Portabella-Tempeh Burger and a full lineup of Mexican dishes. During the week, you can eat until 11 p.m. but on Friday and Saturday, the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m.

 

Do you have a go-to?

If you have a favorite local, late night spot in Ann Arbor, give them a shoutout in the comments below!

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