You may think that Au Bon Pain is just another chain restaurant in the Union that isn’t worth getting excited about. I wasn’t excited about it either. I’ve had more than my fair share of Au Bon Pain sandwiches at other locations (mostly in airports) and have never had more than a meh experience. I went to the new Au Bon Pain on the first floor of the Union expecting very little and came away pleasantly surprised.

Photo by Alex Weiner

Let’s start with the chicken pomodoro sandwich. My past experience with Au Bon Pain’s ciabatta bread was that it was always stale. However, the ciabatta on my sandwich was yummy, soft and warm. Maybe the best part about the sandwich was the shockingly large chicken breast, which was also quite tasty. The chicken was topped with mozzarella and asiago cheeses as well as a delicious sweet tomato spread and roasted tomatoes. The sandwich was big enough to be a full lunch and didn’t break the bank. I’ll definitely order another one when I need a quick lunch.

The chicken pomodoro is one of five hot sandwiches that Au Bon Pain is offering. In addition, there are twelve made-to-order cold sandwiches, five wraps and seven salads to choose from. If you don’t want to wait for you sandwich to be made, Au Bon Pain also has a number of pre-made sandwiches to choose from.

Photo by Alex Weiner

If you need a cup of soup to warm you up after coming in from the brutal Ann Arbor cold, Au Bon Pain has got you covered. There are three daily soups as well as mac and cheese available. I had the mac and cheese and thought it was pretty good. It surely does not compare to any of the mac and cheeses featured in our Restaurant Wars: Mac and Cheese, but it is a worthy on-the-go substitute.

If you’re looking for a quick breakfast, Au Bon Pain has got you covered. In addition to a bevy of pastries, they’re serving up breakfast sandwiches complete with eggs, ham and bacon. Don’t expect New York quality bagels, but expect something that will get the job done.

If you’re like me, you’re tired of the options in the Union basement. Au Bon Pain is a refreshing addition to the Union’s restaurant lineup; it’s healthy, quick, tasty and cheap. It may not be the greatest restaurant in the world, but the Au Bon Pain in the Union is something to get excited about.


Address: The Michigan Union, 530 South State St, Ann Arbor, MI

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 7 am to 10 pm, Sunday: 9 am to 10 pm