Candice Simons, founder of lifestyle blog J’adore Detroit, explores Ann Arbor for the best places to eat, drink and shop.
By Candice Simons
Photography by Daniela Lisi
407 N 5th Ave., Ann Arbor
With a variety of vegan dishes and baked goods, The Lunch Room aims to show the possibilities in a plant-based diet. They also have a sister location, the Detroit Street Filling Station, which also has tons of delicious vegan options.
341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Mani Osteria is your spot for delicious, artisanal Italian food for a modest price. This eatery prides itself on eating local and great hospitality and serves wood-fired pizzas, handcrafted pastas and other creative dishes. Be sure to check out their wine and beer lists!
505 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Korean BBQ on one side, noodle bar on the other — Tomukun has it all. Their ramen, pho and pork buns are to die for, or you can grill dinner yourself with the tabletop grills on the barbecue side.
216 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor
With tapas, paella and plenty of shareables, Aventura is the perfect place to eat and hang with your crew before going out on the town. Aventura’s spicy and festive cocktails are just as gorgeous as its decor.
300 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor
This little retro, 24-hour diner on the corner of Ashley and Liberty is definitely something to see. With stickers all over the walls and delicious breakfast food and other diner fare, this place has become an Ann Arbor relic. You have to try their signature “hippie hash” at least once!
404 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
The famous Zingerman’s Deli is an absolute staple and must-have of Ann Arbor. This Kerrytown spot serves a variety of huge sandwiches with fresh-made bread and meats prepared in-house. Zingerman’s is so good that it’s expanded to a variety of restaurants around the area, such as the delicious Miss Kim in Kerrytown, as well as a catalogue where you can order bread, gifts, snacks and more.
341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
On any given weekend in Ann Arbor, Isalita on East Liberty Street is bustling and bumping. This is the spot for modern Mexican food in a hip and trendy atmosphere. We recommend getting one of their margaritas of course, but they also have a list of other yummy cocktails (some spicy)!
314 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Family-owned Jerusalem Garden is a quiet and cozy little spot for top-notch falafel, lentil soup, hummus, sandwiches and more. I may be a little bit obsessed with the chicken shawarma at Jerusalem Garden. Also, do yourself a favor and get a side of their French fries with whatever you order.
608 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Originally from Chicago, Slurping Turtle opened its Ann Arbor doors just a few years ago to serve ramen, sushi and other Japanese dishes with a unique twist. Seating here is mostly communal, but don’t worry about how loudly you slurp your noodles — it’s actually considered a compliment!
113 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Spencer’s decor and vibe are to die for, and so is its brunch…and its cheese boards…and its wine… OK, it’s all good! Enjoy yummy light meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients in a bright, friendly space. All of their wines are also naturally made!
209 S 4th Ave., Ann Arbor
Although the macarons are absolutely delicious, and you absolutely have to try a couple, this shop and cafe is so much more than that! Fresh scones, ice cream sundaes, affogatos and French press coffees make up the menu of this cute, French-inspired spot.
403 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor.
Wilma’s has quickly become an Ann Arbor brunch favorite, but their other menu items are also to die for (try their avocado toast and ABC toast). Their fresh lunches, including their açaí bowls, salads and smoothies, pair well with the bright, creative interior space.
301 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor
Named after the famous gin drink, The Last Word in Ann Arbor is a master at craft cocktails. This basement bar is so cozy, and it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing night of drinks with friends. They also hold fun TV trivia nights and will even create a unique drink menu based on the show!
505 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
This Liberty Street coffee shop Lab is a delightful, bright space. With pour-overs, tasty coffee drinks, local pastries and other cafe fare, it’s a great place to spend the morning or afternoon working or studying. They also have exciting live music events!
112 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Whether it’s occupied by regulars or bustling with people out on the town, Alley Bar is always a good time! Their cocktail menu mostly sticks to the classics and the favorites, and cocktails on the front page are only $5 on Mondays!
220 Main St., Ann Arbor
From tiki drinks to cold-brew and whiskey beverages, Nightcap has a variety of specially curated craft cocktails. With big, sleek booths, trendy music, and lots of people to socialize with, Nightcap is a great place to spend a night out.
303 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor
The Grotto, or the Beer Grotto, aspires to be “everyone’s watering hole.” This place is a popular stop for college students, sports fans and happy hour goers alike. The Grotto features over 30 rotating beers on tap as well as a list of craft cocktails. They also have a food menu and a cute covered patio! A little something for everyone!
208 S. 1st St., Ann Arbor
The Blind Pig has become one of Ann Arbor’s most well-known spots for live music. This two-floor bar has hosted a variety of musical acts, and also serves beer and other drinks in a no-frills space.
337 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
Whether it’s new or thrifted, classic or eccentric, you can probably find it at Ragstock. If you’re looking for an oversized sweater, Hawaiian shirt, or maybe just a cute tee, Ragstock’s mix of new and thrifted clothing items and accessories ensures that there’s something fun for everyone to wear.
114 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
Crazy Wisdom is Ann Arbor’s best place to get your metaphysical fix. This cafe and book shop focuses on their variety of teas, and their cozy digs make it a relaxing place to have a cup with a friend. Get your tea to go if you want to sip while you browse wellness books, stones and crystals, and more.
216 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
Rock, Paper, Scissors is one of the cutest stationary shops you ever will see. Their unique cards, decor, homewares, bags, toys and more make the shop a fun place to browse. This is your one-stop-shop for a great gift with a personal touch. They also make customized cards for wedding invites and more!
514 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor
If you’re a bookworm, Dawn Treader is a little slice of paradise. Like a scene from an indie movie, this Liberty Street staple is wall-to-wall gently used books. Any topic you can think of, Dawn Treader’s got it. Take the time to take a peek inside.
309 S. State St., Ann Arbor
Located near the corner of State Street and Liberty, Verbena is your downtown Ann Arbor destination for the cutest women’s clothing, accessories and more. This boutique has an amazing selection of scarves and sweaters — just in time for fall!
211 S. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor
Dear Golden is one of the most aesthetically pleasing vintage shops you will ever see. Each piece of clothing is specially curated, high-quality and fashionable. Whether you’re feeling a little ’80s or are looking for a 1950s party dress, this shop is definitely a place to check out.
207 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor
Sam’s has been selling clothing classics in Ann Arbor since 1946. With reliable brands such as Levi’s and Converse, as well as a friendly staff and positive shopping experience, why would you mess around anywhere else?
301 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
Shinola crafts and sells some of the best watches, wallets, and other leather goods around. If you want to give a gift that will really wow, buy a luxury piece by what has quickly become one of the most iconic Detroit brands.
415 N. 5th Ave., Ann Arbor
Located in Ann Arbor’s historic Kerrytown neighborhood, Found has become a shopping must-have. The shop has an eclectic mix of upcycled jewelry, art, home goods, and decor — many created by local artists. You can also shop for vintage rugs, textiles and more.
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