What is an iconic Ann Arbor restaurant? Ask anyone who has ever spent time here as a student, traveler, or “townie,” and they are likely to name several favorites in an instant. From debating the best place to celebrate or console on football Saturdays to deciding where to eat after the bars close, the choices have always sparked passionate conversation. In Ann Arbor, people are known to have strong feelings about the best places for pizza, coffee, beer, burgers, noodles, and burritos. Although many of the go-to hangouts are long gone, a surprising number still thrive. And there are always a few newcomers coming along to win the hearts of the next generation of diners, nibblers, and noshers. Some are fine restaurants and taverns, and others are lunch counters, diners, carry-outs, and drive-ins — but in each and every case, they are unique and together make up a collection of iconic local eateries.
Author Offen, BGS ’78, is senior VP and creative director at the advertising agency Doner, in Detroit.