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Cynthia Nixon as “Miranda Hobbes,” Sarah Jessica Parker as “Carrie Bradshaw,” Kristin Davis as “Charlotte York.”
Cynthia Nixon as “Miranda Hobbes,” Sarah Jessica Parker as “Carrie Bradshaw,” Kristin Davis as “Charlotte York.”

6 Must-Visit Local Restaurants in Ann Arbor, Michigan

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Despite writing this while wearing a big green Michigan State University sweatshirt and looking out my window at Spartan Stadium, I still, and always will, have a soft spot in my heart for Ann Arbor. Growing up there, I’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to so many amazing local businesses, particularly the amazing restaurants the city has to offer. Here are some of my favorite local restaurants in Ann Arbor that I highly suggest you try out! 

  1. Zingerman’s 

Zingerman’s Deli was where everything began, which opened in March of 1982 under the careful planning and guidance of Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig. One of the most iconic spots in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s has grown into 10 different businesses with many different locations, all under what is now known as the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB). This now includes a deli, bakery, creamery, and more—all of which I highly recommend. Don’t just take my word for it though, just ask former President Obama! The delicious goods have been shipped and recognized all across the nation, meaning you should definitely add this to your Ann Arbor bucket list! 

  1. Benny’s Family Dining

Benny’s has been a staple diner for the Ann Arbor locals since 2000, located off the beaten path of the usual “tourist” areas of Ann Arbor. The diner’s menu is vast and offers all-day breakfast, which is probably my favorite! The family-owned restaurant offers a very homey vibe and is a great place to grab a quick breakfast or catch up with friends over brunch. 

  1. Palio

Palio is an Italian restaurant located on Main Street right at the entrance to downtown Ann Arbor and offers a vast array of delicious dishes. It also has a spacious rooftop patio that is perfect for the spring and summer when the weather is nice. Palio has been an integral part of the downtown Ann Arbor restaurant scene since September of 1991 and has since added a new location in Grand Rapids, MI. 

  1. Chela’s Restaurant & Taqueria

Chela’s is a local Mexican restaurant owned and run by husband and wife Adrian and Lori Iraola. Adrian emigrated from Mexico City to the United States and many of the restaurant’s employees identify as first or second-generation immigrants. All of the ingredients are freshly bought from local markets and allow the dishes to maintain the classic and authentic Mexican taste. Chela’s has also been voted Best Mexican Food by the Michigan Daily. Since opening in May of 2012, Chela’s has been a huge success and now has a second location open in Dexter, MI. 

  1. Blimpy Burger

If you’re looking for a timeless, classic Ann Arbor eatery, Krazy Jim’s Blimpyburger is the place to go! Proudly standing as Ann Arbor’s oldest hamburger stand, Blimpy burger has continued the same traditions since its opening in 1953. Stop by one day to create your own burger (with up to five patties!) and watch it be grilled in front of you. As the website says, “Enjoy the thrill of the grill”! 

  1. Tomukun

With Tomukun, you get the best of both worlds. Located right next to each other in downtown Ann Arbor are Tomukun’s Noodle Bar (opened 2010) and Tomukun’s Korean BBQ (opened 2014). Everything is homemade with fresh ingredients, which is easy to tell once you taste the food. If you still aren’t convinced you need to pay a visit, Tomukun’s owner, Mr. Tom Yon, is a 2004 MSU alumn! Make sure to stop by both the Noodle Bar and the Korean BBQ when you’re in Ann Arbor and show some love to a small business and former Spartan! 

If you ever find yourself in the Ann Arbor area, make sure to give these restaurants a try and encourage your friends to do the same! It’s always a good idea to support local businesses, especially restaurants and other businesses that have been hit especially hard over the past couple of years due to COVID. Both MSU and UofM fans can come together on this one!

Jessie is a junior at Michigan State University majoring in psychology and minoring in cognitive science. In her free time, she loves taking naps, ice cream, traveling, hanging out with friends, and watching Netflix.