As a growing “Foodie” destination, Ann Arbor has some really excellent restaurants. My top recommendations include:
Pacific Rim by kana: At 114 W. Liberty, this is an Asian fusion restaurant. With a contemporary décor and creative menu, this is a great spot to try. The Japanese-style sablefish entrée marinated in miso and sake, pan roasted with a soy-tamarind sauce and served over sautéed napa cabbage, shitake mushrooms and Korean vermicelli noodle is really exceptional.
Zingerman’s Road House, 2501 Jackson Ave.: A part of Zingerman’s, with large indoor and outdoor dining options. The brunch items are excellent. There is also a drive up window in an old trailer outside that features coffee and sandwiches. The eggs benedict and coffee drinks are excellent! They offer special dinners on a regular basis each with a different theme or featuring a different local purveyor. It was named a semifinalist for the 2020 James Beard Award for Outstanding Hospitality.
Sava’s: At 216 S. State St., near the University, the Art Museum and the theaters, this is a great spot for lunch or brunch. There is indoor and attractive outdoor seating along the side. The Bang Bank Shrimp and Shrimp and Quinoa were big hits. They do have great brunch items as well.
Other good options from my local sources include:
SPENCER is a highly recommended local farm-to-table spot for weekend brunch or dinner. 113 E. Liberty. I am excited to try it on my next trip.
Café Zola at 112 W. Washington for international cuisine and wines.
Frita Batidos, 117 W. Washington: Serving Cuban inspired street food and batidos, or fruit shakes, with sweetened milk.
Vinology: A recommended wine bar and restaurant at 110 S. Main St.
Slurping Turtle: Just opened off State St. at 608 E. Liberty is a branch of Takashi Yagihashi’s former Slurping Turtle, the Bib Gourmand restaurant in Chicago. They feature tapas, noodles, sushi and sake.
Also recommended on Washington Street, one block north of Liberty are a wide range of dining establishments. They include Wilma’s for bowls, toasts, salads and smoothies; Blue Tractor for barbecue, Aventura for Spanish tapas and Blue Nile for Ethiopian specialties. Wilma’s and Aventura are owned by the same group as Sava’s mentioned above.
Jim Brady’s is a popular spot from 1954 known for its American classics and cocktail. 209 S. Main. Nearby at 312 S Main,
Ann Arbor is also becoming a growing destination for microbreweries. Recommended spots to visit include Arbor Brewing and their downtown brewpub at 114 E. Washington plus HopCat at 311 Maynard which is a bar featuring regional, global and Belgian beers.
For cocktails you should check out The Last Word Bar which is popular for classic cocktails, many whiskeys plus local craft beers and wine. 301 W. Huron St. The Blue Llama Jazz Club has cocktails, live music and tasty food. 314 S. Main