Although it may not be a particularly large city, nobody can deny that Arbor exhibits wealth of exceptional restaurants and diners guaranteed to satisfy even the most critical foodie. If you’re new to the area, you’ll certainly want to spend a few Friday or Saturday nights venturing beyond the campus in search of the countless gems that dot the cityscape. If you’re unsure of where to start, here’s a short list of some of the local legends you won’t want to miss.
Zingerman’s Deli: Located on the Corner of Detroit and East Kingsley, the original Zingerman’s may well be the most renowned of all the local eateries. The fresh-baked bread is driven in from their bakehouse every morning, and you’d have to look long and hard to find another bakery that could top it. The Deli is best known for the sandwiches, and they don’t disappoint. Unfortunately, Zingerman’s is more than a little pricy, so you’d be better off having your parents take you here.
Zingerman’s Roadhouse: The restaurant companion to the Deli, Zingerman’s roadhouse serves top notch dishes from a variety of classic American cuisines. The fried chicken is probably the best you’ll find this side of the Mason-Dixon line, and the sweet potato fries are also a can’t miss. However, you’ll need a car to get there, seeing as it’s located by the Jackson Road exit of I-94.
Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger: Go to the Food Network’s website and watch the episode of “Diner’s, Drive-In’s, and Dives” featuring Ann Arbor’s best burger joint. I guarantee you won’t be able to resist the temptation for long. If you’re living in South Quad or West Quad, it’s barely a minute walk to the intersection of Division and Packard. Know how to order.
Tio’s Mexican Café: Boasting the best Tex-Mex food in Ann Arbor, Tio’s is located pretty close to campus at the intersection near East Liberty and Thomson. Most famous for their wet burrito, Tio’s also serves a variety of delicious milkshakes. Their 5-lb plate of Nachos, dubbed “Mount Nacheesmo,” was featured on the Food Network show “Man vs. Food.”
Seva’s: Probably Ann Arbor’s best known strictly vegetarian restaurant, Seva’s menu sports an impressive array of animal-friendly dishes that even a meat-lover could come to respect. Don’t miss the butternut squash enchiladas. Buy one of their t-shirts and take a photo of yourself wearing it in a unique place, and Seva’s will give you a free entrée. Located west of campus on East Liberty.
Arbor Brewing Company: If you’re a beer snob, but still appreciate a good dinner, Arbor Brewing Company’s restaurant and bar is the place for you. Located on East Washington near Main, stop in to try the Drunken Chicken Sandwich and then wash it down with any one of their craft beers on tap. Their Sacred Cow IPA can go toe-to-toe with any other craft brew in Michigan.
The Chop House: As Ann Arbor’s premier upscale restaurant, the Chop House is where you go if you’re really looking to impress someone, or if you like to burn sacks of money to keep warm during the winter. That being said, their Cowboy steak is second-to-none, and the wine selection is the best you’ll find in Ann Arbor. Head over to South Main near Liberty if you’d like to enjoy a high class dinner, followed by a trip to La Dolce Vita, the desert shop next door – but brace yourself when they bring the bill.