College-aged foodies are often faced with an intense and painful dilemma come the weekend: where to spend my negative debit card balance on a meal that will keep my soul alive for another week in a world of dining hall food, ramen noodles, and microwaveable dinners? Since many of us students are often on a budget, who wants to risk picking the wrong place to dish out our hard earned bills? Not I. I’d rather seek a definitive answer to the question, “what’s worth my weekly allowance?”.
Social media—Instagram in particular—serves as a common way to see what you’re getting yourself into (or at least, convince yourself you’re comfortable with where your cash is going). An eye-catching, well composed, high quality Instagram photo can easily translate to an unshakable desire for whatever the photo depicts. It’s also common for food followers to believe that carefully composed and flawlessly maintained social media accounts are indicative of similarly meticulous and high quality restaurants and culinary companies.
After an extensive search for the best AA food spots’ Instagram accounts, I landed upon these 9. While an unreal Instagram isn’t necessarily a fool-proof way to locate the best restaurants or shops, in the case of these 9 Instagrams, it certainly is.
Note: Ratings are based on post frequency, grid appearance, photo quality, and originality.
9. Zingerman’s Creamery: @zingermanscreamery
Despite being a relatively new Instagram presence, Zingerman’s Creamery has really stepped up its game the past few weeks in terms of post frequency and irresistible photos of the sharpest cheeses.
8. Zingerman’s Deli: @zingermansdeli
It’s almost implied that the Deli gets a spot on this list—frequent posts and extensive pastry/sandwich/pie/cold cut coverage makes me want to eat everything I see. Enough said.
7. Slurping Turtle: @slurpannarbor
Slurping Turtle needs to step up its post frequency a bit seeing that it probably could have moved up in the list if I was seeing more pictures of ramen and duck fat fried chicken when my heart so desires. Regardless, Slurping Turtle is great at getting up close and personal with its food shots—it’s easy to see exactly what I may be getting myself into.
6. The Black Pearl: @blackpearl_a2
Awesome macro bird’s eye plate shots, but c’mon, I’d really like to see more.
5. Sava’s: @savas_ann_arbor
Sava’s feed is near perfection with an ideal balance between food, drink, and atmosphere shots, all from varying angles. This feed makes Sava’s look like an experience rather than just a place to eat.
4. Tomukun: @tomukunkbbq
I give Tomukun major props for its originality—that is, its signature filter and consistent Whitagram use, which helps it stand out from all of the other accounts on this list.
3. Spencer: @spencerannarbor
I love Spencer’s tendency to flaunt the tiny details, whether that may be a slice of the menu or a microscopic slab of cheese. It leaves us wanting more. Oh, and they post every day, if not twice a day. Major props for the dedication to social media.
2. Babo: @babo_ann_arbor
Babo clearly spends (well spent) time artfully positioning and creating breezy and naturally-lit shots for their account, making me want to make the cross-campus pilgrimage to the market every day.
1. Aventura: @aventura_ann_arbor
And there you have it kids—Aventura reigning in as the Beyonce of AA restaurants’ social media circle. Taking a look at the original criteria, Aventura fits the bill in all categories. The restaurants posts close to every day, which is important in keeping up a steady follower base. The grid looks great, with the perfect balance of food vs. drink vs. atmosphere and people shots, along with a stellar balance between macro and more jumbled photo arrangements.
The photos themselves are immaculate, not only in photo quality but composition—clearly not the product of an amateur. Finally, the individual photos and the account as a whole is original in that it sincerely speaks to the Aventura brand. Many of the other chosen accounts feature incredible imagery, but nothing that makes those photos distinct to their brand. I think we can all agree that Aventura is an AA favorite hot spot. So, maybe it’s fair to judge a books by its cover…or a restaurant by its social media account.