Best restaurants in Ann Arbor? v.2015

Submitted by diag squirrel on February 8th, 2015 at 12:02 PM

Will be spending a long weekend in Ann Arbor. It's been a while and Ann Arbor has a thriving food scene, so I'm sure I'm out of the loop. Your recommendations are appreciated.

sidebar: Zingerman's Roadhouse, Cafe Zola, Sava's still good?



February 8th, 2015 at 12:37 PM ^

Good food, but I'd recommend carry-out because every interior surface is reflective and hard and the noise volume when it's full is ear-splitting. We also had our drinks served in plastic bags with a straw sticking out of it, which was weird as hell and not the easiest to handle.

Ate at Pacific Rim last night for first time. A bit pricey but food was great and interesting.

The Grange has unconventional but interesting menu; sit upstairs where they have a bar and serve smaller, cheaper dishes.


February 8th, 2015 at 12:16 PM ^

I will likely get negged (as I have in the past) but I really enjoy The Blue Tractor. I have brought all different kinds of people in there and all enjoyed the food (even a vegetarian buddy thought the veggie burger was the best he's had). I've had a few guys not like the beer as it's home brew on tap but I enjoy a couple pints of their Bumper Crop (~6.5% IPA) with a carnivore burger.
I have season tickets for hockey and football and try to go there for a pregame meal as often as I can.

Why is it disliked on the blog?


February 8th, 2015 at 2:39 PM ^

Remember how Yogi Berra said "No one goes there anymore, it's always too crowded"?

How can Tractor be both loathed and reviled AND over-rated? A serious question from a long-ago transpanted Townie who comes back for at least one game every year, and often ends up at Blue tractor because my local friends think it's pretty good.

I live in SF and obvioulsy there are like 40,000 restaurants around here, so I have to frame my reviews differently. Tractor is OK, not terrible, not great, usually have fun there, and lotsa TVs with the sound on the game.

I guess the OP didn't really state any parameters for the type of experience he's looking for, so all suggestions have to be taken (except Rick's, which people didn't even really eat at when I was in school - 30+ years ago!!!)

Last time I was in town (PSU - UTLIII) we ate at what I guess is a Cuban place, corner of Main & Liberty(?) Forgot name, but it was quite good, with a nice looking room and pretty decent cocktails. Of course if cocktails will be an important part of OP's experience then Raven is a must!

Bando Calrissian

February 8th, 2015 at 4:15 PM ^

I mean, Blue Tractor's beers aren't as bad as, say, the long-gone Leopold Bros., who both couldn't brew a decent beer OR clean their lines on any kind of consistent basis. But, honestly, I wish places with mediocre beer would just cut their losses and accept that you can put some energy into having a really great tap list of outside brews and be just as successful. 


February 8th, 2015 at 12:55 PM ^

I'm a huge fan of the Blue Tractor. The brisket sandwich is great (chimichurri makes it a better buy than the brisket plate). Also, in defense of it's beer, I personally don't order the Bumper Crop very often (it's quite hoppy for it's ABV) but when mixed (stay with me here...) 50/50 with the amber the result is delicioius. A bartender there recommended it to me years ago and I have been ordering it almost exculsively ever since. 

Doc Brown

February 8th, 2015 at 1:52 PM ^

For a BBQ joint, the BBQ is very mediocre. There are much better places to get brisket or pulled pork in Ann Arbor. Wolverine State Brewery, RUB, Satchel's come to mind. The beer at blue tractor is very mediocre. Perhaps the worst brewery in the area. People go there because of the location near Main St.

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February 9th, 2015 at 1:01 PM ^

I work nearby and go there for lunch all the time. It's OK. The beer is OK, better than ABC, but that's not saying much. It's not the best BBQ, but most of the dishes I've had are good. Nothing is exceptional though.

There's better options downtown, but if you're in the mood for BBQ or a hamburger and a beer, it's worth a try.


February 8th, 2015 at 12:22 PM ^

Then cover all your bases.

Angelo's one morning, Frita batidos for lunch or dinner one day, Mash one night (not or food, but for fun), Mark's midtown to recover the next morning, and zingerman's to see you off.

Twerkin for Durkin

February 8th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^



La Marsa

Frita Batido's

Jolly Pumpkin (the pizza is ace)


I also had Zingerman's Roadhouse for the first time recently, and while it was a bit pricey, the food and atmosphere was worth it.



Nick's HoP



As always, either Maize N Blue or Zingerman's are also solid fall back options depending on your preference.