Ann Arbor Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Coffee Shops

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked as of one of the best, if not the best, college town. A lot of this has to do with the fact that it has a very vibrant restaurant, bar, club, and coffee shop cene. We have had some previous threads discuss this, but it seems to be something that parents/new students ask about several times. I figured one primary knowledge base would be beneficial. Also, there have been a few newcomers to the scene that we could definitely hear about. Discuss your favorites here!

So far almost everyplace we went to was great! Espresso Royale (coffee shop), Zingerman’s Deli, Sava’s (dinner), Hop Cat (wings!), The Chop House (steaks), Gratzi (Italian).


Isalita ( Mexican) Mani Osteria ( gourmet pizza/ Italian) Chop House (steak…special occasion) Gandy Dancer (American Special occasion…in old train depot ) Zingermans Roadhouse (BBQ) Zola Bistro ( especially for brunch) Pacific Rim (Pan Asian)

We love all of the above.

Any hole-in-the-wall gems where someone could get a decent carne asade burrito (so cal mexican style)? How about poke places?


BTB comes to mind for the burritos.

There used to be a place in the late 80s that made chocolate croissants that were just amazing. Can’t remember where it was on or near campus or the name of the establishment. If anyone has a clue and if they are still in business, I want to check it out next time I am back in town.

Are there any good Greek or German food places?

@GoBlue81 Metzgers and Heidelberg are good for German. And KouZina on N main is good for Greek

@romns116 I heard there is a place called Poke Fish Sushi that is really good but I haven’t tried it out myself


Poke fish sushi is 3 miles away from UM but you can go there by bus (takes like 25 minutes) and it is actually really good! I went there this Friday in the cold but it was tasty:) It’s not that close to UM but it’s worth going there after a stressful day!

Parent question from someone who’s never visited - do student walk around at night to different eating spots? Or do they usually drive at night?

I’m thinking of safety. I know it’s not USC (also on S19’s list), but I wonder if people generally walk around AA at night.

They walk. AA is very, very walkable.

I agree, the campus and town of AA are very walkable, even late at night. As a student, having a car and driving is completely unnecessary. The South University, South State and South Main areas are adjacent or close by and very vibrant and safe. Also, the bus system is free and gets you where you need to go, if you need to get somewhere beyond campus, like the Briarwood Mall, which is about 3 miles away.

Greek = KouZina
Indian = Shalimar (few Indian restaurants offer Salmon, but Shalimar does and it’s good)
Mongolian BBQ = bd’s (better than our local place)
Cuban Street Food = Frita Banditos
Mexican/Tacos = Isalita

Lots of great bars and restaurants in AA, but I must be the only person who didn’t like Zingermans. Meh.

My son is only a Freshman so we are still getting acquainted with Ann Arbor. Lots of delicious restaurants—-I can see why it gets “best college town”. It’s definitely walkable.

My husband doesn’t like Zingerman’s…but i do. Soup and potato knishes :heart:

Coffee: Espresso Royale on campus
Coffee by car: RoosRoast (probably my favorite & I think about it when I’m far away from Ann Arbor ?
Frito Banditos: Cuban sandwiches/food. Try it, you won’t regret it.
Blimpy Burgers: so incredible! I don’t eat beef but their veggie burger was so good. My son loves the regular burgers.
Knights Steakhouse: great food and drinks

Slurping Turtle, Blue Tractor, and the Jolly Pumpkin have all become personal favorites of mine.

I’ve wandered alone at 1am once (in well lit, public areas-- albeit on a weekend night) as well as at 6am (it’s very quiet then). As a girl, I feel pretty safe in Ann Arbor.

Also Espresso Royale is easily my favorite coffee shop. Jerusalem Garden, Totoro, Rich JC’s, and Tomukun are excellent restaurants!

Just visited my son yesterday and took him to blimpie burgers

After all these years still great freshly made hamburgers… Right next to :

The Fleetwood diner… Another oldie but goodie.

OMG, I mean, how many places carry Jamaican Blue Mountain beans that get “suctioned” across the cafe to the barista to grind them up fresh for great cup of coffee. :-bd

Fred’s! Healthy food bowls and smoothies.