Since coming to UMich, I’ve been on an unofficial hunt for the perfect milkshake on campus. Milkshakes are a classic staple of unhealthy eating and comfort food and it’s important to know your options for flavor, convenience and price.
For me milkshakes are the holy grail of practical desserts. Not only do they stand gorgeously alone, they’re a perfect compliment to a burger and fries. Why is it that such unhealthy foods go so beautifully together?
Let’s be real: Ann Arbor is a foodie sanctuary, and when it comes to a timeless desert like this one, there’s bound to be infinite delicious options. Go forth and use this article as an excuse to let yourself (and your stress) go into the creamy deliciousness that Ann Arbor’s milkshakes have to offer.
Located on the corner of South U and Observatory, Burgerfi is the perfect post game day or darty stop. We all know the burgers are amazing with that signature charcoal stamp, but their malts and shakes aren’t half bad either.
Burgerfi offers 8 flavors of malts and shakes, coming in at around $5 each. Flavors include vanilla, chocolate and strawberry…and red velvet, black and white, peanut butter and coffee mocha. Warning: all of their malts and shakes are made with custard instead of ice cream, making them even thicker (beware, your straw will be rendered utterly useless).
Burgerfi is also open late on weekends—3 AM— and if you’re a milkshake and French fry dipper, they’ve got you covered with several different options for fry seasonings. Bonus: they might not have many flavors for milkshakes, but they have frozen concretes and TONS of toppings and mix-ins for all of their custard-y treats.
Burgerfi has, without a doubt, the most ‘gramable milkshake, but since it’s more expensive and you’ll generally have to wait a bit, I would look elsewhere for a more authentic milkshake experience.
Not only is their cheesy bread to die for, but if you order it (or any of their other late night specials) after midnight, the drink is complimentary. Plus, it’s open until 4 AM everyday of the week.
They have 18 options around $6 each. And if you’re not feeling the whole 16 ounces, you can get a mini shake option for much cheaper. If you do decide to do the sit-down dinner thing, their milkshakes are gorgeous in house—they come in an old fashioned glass with heaps of whipped cream, so come for the pizza and stay for the milkshakes.
Ray’s Red Hots
Ray’s is that place you walk past on your way to East Quad that’s constantly bumping music outside. It has a grand total of 33 different milkshake options—basically anything you’re craving, they’ll have. Ray’s doesn’t have much indoor seating, but it definitely has old-time indoor hot dog stand charm.
I sampled a Butterscotch milkshake here, and not only was it delicious, but they brought it out literally 30 seconds after ordering. Ray’s is pretty accessible from all of campus (it’s right behind Pizza House), but if you’re too lazy to walk, you can get a milkshake delivered through the Eat Street app or website.
Ray’s earns the #3 spot for it’s fun diner atmosphere and the most options for any milkshake on this list.
Tied for first: Quickie Burger and Pizza Bob’s
Quickie Burger and Pizza Bob’s are tied because of their authentic and delicious milkshake experience. These are probably the places your parents that went to U of M talk about all the time—they’re old, but still around so obviously they’re doing something right (I can attest to that). Both places have that old-time diner-y vibe with Michigan memorabilia all over the walls.
The milkshakes were both outstanding and the service was fast. Pizza Bob’s has 19 flavor options, second only to Ray’s, including hot fudge, almond, chocolate chip and caramel. I would *highly* recommend the hot fudge.
Both are also (conveniently) the cheapest options on this list, which is always a (necessary) bonus for us poor college students.
In addition to being delicious as well as classic, the two seriously could not be in a more perfect game day location whether you’re headed to Crisler, Yost or the Big House.
Quickie and Pizza Bob’s might feel further from campus because they’re so close to the Big House, but they’re actually only a couple blocks from the Union. If that’s too much for you, let yourself be motivated by the cheaper price (definitely worth it), sheer deliciousness and calories you’ll probably burn trekking there.