It’s no secret that Ann Arbor is known for some pretty amazing food. But unfortunately, our four years here tends to fly by and before we know it we’re seniors (brb, crying) and left with a pretty lengthy list of “must try” places. I tried to narrow that list down to the best of the best – the dishes that those who leave AA are only left to dream about.
From late-night munchies to food only affordable when your parents come to town, here I give you some of the most infamous and mouth-watering dishes that Ann Arbor has to offer.
1. Frita at Frita Batidos
These Cuban-style burgers are worth the line that spans the entire restaurant during all hours of the day.
2. Hippie Hash at Fleetwood Diner
Stop by on your way home from a night out (because who doesn’t love a good breakfast at 2am?) or enjoy this iconic dish as the ultimate hangover cure.
3. Cheesy Bread at Pizza House
If I’m being honest, I could go on forever about cheesy bread (specifically feta bread) from Pizza House. You know a so-called “drunk food” is truly amazing when you would eat it at any time of day. Even better, after midnight until 4am you can order the Midnight Special – a small cheesy bread and milkshake for only around $7. There’s a reason this restaurant’s number is saved in my phone.
4. Collider at Rod’s Diner
There’s nowhere else you can get fro-yo and delicious Korean food from the same place.
5. Burger at Blimpy Burger
We’re told not to text and drive, but what about texting while ordering? If you’re not careful about following ordering protocol here, you may very well be yelled at. But don’t worry, that’s what makes for a true Blimpy experience.
6. Mac and Cheese at Sava’s
Although there have been some questionable menu changes, the mac and cheese at Sava’s is still just as gooey and delicious.
7. Reuben at Zingerman’s Deli
Come for the bread and truffle oil samples, stay for the reuben.
8. Raisin Toast at Angelo’s
“White, wheat, or raisin toast?” is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Don’t mess up.
9. Truffle Fries at Jolly Pumpkin
This place served truffle before truffle was even on the foodie radar. Don’t forget the aioli for dipping.
10. Bibimbap at Rich JC
I highly recommend the Dolsot Bibimbap, which comes in a hot stone bowl that continues to cook the rice and makes it extra crispy and delicious.
11. Patatas Bravas at Aventura
Warning: you will start craving bravas sauce at all hours of the day.
12. Chipati at Pizza Bob’s
Yes, this is just a salad in a giant piece of pita. But, Chipati sauce over everything.
13. Sushi at Sushi Town
Never would I have thought that a tiny restaurant connected to a hardware store would have some of the freshest sushi in town.
14. Ice Cream at Blank Slate Creamery
One of the newer kids on the block, Blank Slate has made a name for itself with its unique flavor options and locally-sourced ingredients.
15. S’mac and Cheese at Grillcheezerie
Mac and cheese inside of a grilled cheese, need I say more?
16. Falafel at Jerusalem Garden
One of the few places in town serving good Mediterranean food.
17. BBQ at Blue Tractor
The last time I checked, it is completely acceptable to put three different types of BBQ sauce on your meals.
18. Muffin Delight at Afternoon Delight
Any excuse to eat fro-yo for breakfast sounds like a good idea to me.
19. Neapolitan Pizza at NeoPapalis
NeoPapalis is highly underrated. The pizza is fantastic, comes out fast, and doesn’t break the bank. Pro tip: give up the control and try one of the pre-set specialty pizzas.
20. Latte at Mighty Good Coffee
Because sometimes paying more than $2 for coffee is actually worth it.
21. Seared Big Eye Tuna at Pacific Rim
If you haven’t seen this dish on Instagram at least once you’re looking in all of the wrong places. For anyone who likes sushi, this dish is your spirit animal.
22. Truffle Guacamole at Isalita
Yes, more truffles. But Isalita is doing something right when they combine it with fresh guacamole and serve it with some pretty awesome margaritas on the side.
23. #86 at Maize and Blue Deli
Again, if you’re looking to up your Insta game, this bad boy is bound to get tons of likes. Chicken cutlet, bacon, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, grilled challah…drooling.
24. Frittata Zola at Cafe Zola
If you wake up feeling classy and craving a delicious brunch, this is the place for you. Don’t forget to add avocado.
25. Pho at Tomukun Noodle Bar
I’m still not sure how to pronounce it, but this giant bowl of soup is the best on a cold Ann Arbor day (aka year round).
26. Totoro Tower at Totoro
Sometimes I just stop and think about how brilliant the creator of this dish is.
27. Classic Michigan Hot Dog at Ray’s Red Hots
This is another perfect game day go-to meal. Waffle fries are not optional.
28. Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup at Le Dog
Make sure you get there before 2pm but be warned, they also close when they run out of soup. They’re also not open on the weekends, so they’re basically playing hard-to-get to the max.
29. Fish Tacos at Black Pearl
Chipotle mayo FTW.
30. Soft Pretzels at Grizzly Peak
Probably one of the most genius appetizer concepts. And Grizzly Peak knows how to do bread dipped in cheese right.
So as the painful truth that our time in Ann Arbor is limited finally sets in, numb the pain with some good ol’ local comfort food.