OT: Best A2 restaurants for out-of-towners

Submitted by FabFiver5 on September 2nd, 2009 at 1:16 PM

I'm looking for suggestions for the best place to take a friend of mine who will be visiting from Texas for the UM/WMU game this weekend.

Now, before you throw the "THISWASPOSTEDTWOWEEKSAGO! STOPPOSTINGDOUBLE!" at me, know that I'm taking all suggestions, not just ones of the American order for someone who's stepping into our country for the first time.

I work in A2, but don't venture downtown to eat all that often. Besides Zingermann's, Blue Nile and the Chop House, what other hidden gems lie within? And no, Blimpy Burger won't be her thing, so we'll be skipping that too.




September 2nd, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

Eve in Kerrytown is good. A little expensive, but still pretty good. Also, the head chef is on Top Chef (Still?) this season.

EDIT: Also, Benny's Family Restaurant on Industrial and Stadium is the best greasy breakfast on the face of the planet. I swear they make things with microwaves it's so fast...


September 2nd, 2009 at 6:52 PM ^

Eve is pretty solid, and I would go so far as to call it the highest quality of food in Ann Arbor, even if the flavors don't always come together as well as is intended.

Eve the chef didn't do so well on Top Chef but it seemed to have less to do with not knowing food than just not performing well in that environment.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

The Fleetwood
Conor O'Neils is always interesting
I hear Red Hawk is good, I've never been, myself
Blue Tractor
Arbor Brewing Company

Why not blimpy? :(


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:33 PM ^

Ashley's has the best burger in town IMO and has a fantastic selection of local and foreign beers.

Conor O'Neill's is one of my favorite restaurants. They are known for their shepherd's pie and fish & chips. Bonus is that they have Smithwick's on draft and Bailey's cheesecake from Zingerman's.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

ooo. it's a LADY.

i delight in Afternoon Delight. who knew a bran muffin could taste so good?

EDIT: and yeah, if you're looking to spend a lot of money for very good food, Eve and Logan both excel in that category...


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:23 PM ^

at the Real Seafood Company, though it's not exactly a hidden gem. The Bloody Mary with lump crab meat and shrimp is good. The cioppino is good. The stuffed flounder is good, and one of their cheaper offerings.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:26 PM ^

U of M in the mid to late 90s, I used to stuff my face at Mongolian Barbecue. Not the height of cuisine, but not to bad. I would eat until I was about to pass out and top it off with a giant salad. Those were the days, dirt poor and try to fit all 3 meals into one.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

I have started to see them popping up, but was not sure if it was the same company or not. The brand imaging has changed and it looks more cheesy now. Over 10 years ago I am not su5re if it was a chain, but you did not see many around. By any count, I had many a food coma in college thanks to Mongo.

Of course the same thing happened with BW3. Now it is Buffalo Wild Wings and they are taking over the planet.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

I like the authentic student places more than the downtown restaurants. Charley's was always my favorite when I was there. They have a killer daytime happy hour ($2 pitchers from 2pm-6pm or something like that). If sushi is your thing there is a hole in the wall place on State called Totoro that was always my favorite. Marnee Thai on Main St. is a newer place that was really good when I went there. I would agree with everyone who mentioned the Broken Egg (best Breakfast food on campus). And you cannot forget the favorites like Mr. Spots, BTBurrito, and yes BLIMPY. If those kind of places are not her thing than you may want to find a new friend!


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:32 PM ^

I always leave out the Student Staples™ like GTC, LBJ, and BTB. Good call on Spots, place is amazing. What's the place that does colliders? Oh, Rod's Diner. Those are awesome. Totoro's is the best sushi on campus; it is second to none.

No Thai! is good stuff if you like spice.

This thread is making me hungry.


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:28 PM ^

when I'm in Ann Arbor - they have a great cocktail list and the Count Twists are awesome. Not very good for you, but who can say no to gooey cheese stuffed into a bread-like vessel? You can also sit outside and people-watch. I also used to love Ali Baba, but I don't even know if it's still open and it may not be a good sit-down place anyway.

Wolverine In Exile

September 2nd, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

I suggest Grizzly Peak. Even though my wife doesn't drink beer, the menu & service there is nice enough for her to consider it a "nice place" while I'm allowed to sample delicious microbrews.

Although, if you're looking for the "true" ann arbor student experience, you can't go wrong with the Pizza Bob's (Slob's) chipati or sub sandwich. State st, between Packard & Hill.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:31 PM ^

Thanks, everyone. I've heard solid things about Ashley's, Red Hawk and Eve. Totally forgot about the great meals I've had at Conor O'Neils and Palio. Embarrassing.


September 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

Mr. Spots: American food, awesome wings, hoagies, burgers.
Casey's Tavern: Bar-ish, but great food, if you go you *have* to order the fried artichoke hearts appetizer, they are amazing.
Middle Kingdom: Best Chinese food in town.
Prickly Pear: Mexican, again, it's awesome (although I would avoid the Buffalo meat).


September 2nd, 2009 at 4:42 PM ^

A lot of people prefer Raja Rani because they say it's more authentic, and I'm not Indian so I don't know. But one thing I'm sure about is that you can't go wrong with Madras Masala, if you don't mind smelling really bad for the day. Every lunch is an all you can eat buffet and it is good. Very, very good.

EDIT: Forgot to add Shalimar. A classier, and less smelly, version of Madras Masala on Main Street.


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

I'm an out-of-towner and other than bars and what not, the only place I visit in The Brown Jug.

I don't particularly care for "nice" restaurants or the "best" A2 has to offer. The Brown Jug means more to me from an outside perspective because it is historic.

I get more out of a mediocre burger and beer for under $10 than spending $40 alone on appetizers at some really nice place in Ann Arbor.

I realize there are different strokes for different folks, but for me, I want to see Ann Arbor for its history of Michigan/Michigan football and the Jug provides that.


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

Gandy Dancer is a good option for a nice romantic dinner for you and your friend. They also have outdoor seating. I went about a month ago, and their bar is closed for renovations.

The Earl Uptown is also a nice quiet restaurant worth checking out. More on the pricey side.

I have not been to the Melting Pot on Main St. yet, although from ads on a local radio station they claim to have some type of roof-top deck? I don't know if that is necessarily true.

I would def co-sign Red Hawk, the place has great food for relatively cheap and usually has some nice rotating taps. I also enjoy the decor.


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:30 PM ^

There's a place called Melange. It's on the west side of Main Street, about half a block north of William. The restaurant is downstairs, so no outdoor seating, but very classy. It's a pretty expensive place, so be warned. My wife loves the place, we go there a lot before hockey games.


September 2nd, 2009 at 2:44 PM ^

For a cheaper meal try Jerusalem Garden, University Cafe (Korean) or Red Hot Lovers. On the other hand, Grizzly Peak and Red Hawk are safe bets and typically crowd pleasers.