Thoughts on Coffee Shops, Parking & Restaurants?

Submitted by MGrether on September 3rd, 2010 at 7:59 PM

This is my friend's and mine first time at the Big House for a game and we are super excited. We will be arriving to campus around 9:30am. I have a couple key questions:

1) Best parking option for the money.

2) Best coffee shop in town.

3) From your Michigan days, the restaurant that you wish they would teleport to where you would live, and find yourself craving from time to time.

I apologize, as I know that some of these topics have been brought forward in previous threads... but my schedule is not allowing for an adequate search of such topics.

Thank you all and Go Blue!



September 3rd, 2010 at 8:14 PM ^

1) You find street parking that early all over. I think east of the stadium, on industrial there are lots of side streets by the apartments. In the 7 th street to pauline grid on the east side, although people pay park in their yards in this area as well. So they will load the streets with their cars and take up extra spaces. Yard parking will be cheaper than the GC or Pioneer. 

2) No authority on this one.

3) I love Palios, scratch italian food reasonable prices.


September 3rd, 2010 at 8:20 PM ^

Since you're looking for coffee and good parking, you may want to try parking down Stadium St (East of Big House), and while you walk to the stadium, there is a Caribou Coffee on the corner at Packard. If Caribou coffee isn't your thing, you can try Sweet Waters Cafe downtown on Ashley and Liberty (unless it moved?) As for restaurants... Jeez you may want to refer to the user-generated section because there are so many great (GREAT) restaurants in Ann Arbor I wouldn't know where to start.


September 3rd, 2010 at 8:44 PM ^

The downtown Sweetwaters is at Ashley and Washington (123 W. Washington). (Not sure if it moved--I'm not a coffee person.) There's also one in Kerrytown.

Here's one recent thread on Ann Arbor restaurants you may want to peruse: (I'll repeat my recommendation of Red Hawk, a bar and grill on State St. near North University.)


September 3rd, 2010 at 8:26 PM ^

1. I don't live downtown but I can usually find parking on the street. At the very worst I park in a structure around state or south u. and walk from there- it'll cost you like $5 compared to the $20 or $30 for parking in the lots/golf course close to the stadium.

2. Zingerman's has by far the best coffee in my opinion. Comet coffee is generally pretty good too but their espresso tastes a tad acidic for me and I sometimes feel out of place with the crowd in there.

3. There are so many great restaurants in Ann Arbor. Blimpy Burger is great for burgers right before or after a game. If you're looking for dinner I like the Blue Tractor (although I hear it doesn't hold a candle to real southern bbq), Habana, Jolly Pumpkin, Red Hawk and Grizzly Peak. 

Edit: Also, despite being known for their sangria, Dominick's has some really great food.


September 3rd, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

The Pioneer lot is open at 6:00 am, evidently for all games, no matter when they start. See this page:

For other parking options, there's an page called "U-M Football Parking Inventory for 2010 Season"--see: Various times are given--either 6:00, 7:00, or 8:00 am.


September 3rd, 2010 at 10:01 PM ^

1.  The best parking deal is one of the structures near campus.  They're 90 cents an hour. 

2.  Best coffee shop?  That's in the eye of the beholder.  I like Espresso Royale.  Some like  Ambrosia, some like Comet . . . you can't go wrong with pretty much any place not named Starbucks.

3.  Pizza House.  Best pizza anywhere I've ever been.


September 4th, 2010 at 1:53 AM ^

#2 - Comet is the best in town. No contest. Then Zingerman's, then Mighty Good. If you are a coffee connoisseur, DO NOT go to Espresso Royale or Sweetwaters. However, if you are a casual drinker, those two will be just fine and will also be about a buck cheaper. Otherwise, Comet is the best.


September 4th, 2010 at 2:23 AM ^

I'm with you on Sweetwaters, but I think you're selling ERC short.  They usually have a good overall selection.  My only nitpick is that it seems like they haven't carried any African coffees in a while.

I wish Comet had a little more room.  Lately it's always been packed and I haven't been able to sit.


September 4th, 2010 at 2:04 AM ^

Parking: pay some kid $15 to park on his lawn.  They need the beer $

Coffee Shop: Cafe Felix is my favorite, but to each his own

Restaurant: Cafe Zola is always a good bet, Real Seafood of course, or if you want to get away from downtown, Zingerman's Roadhouse is surprisingly awesome