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cheap eats in downtown Ann Arbor

Danimal Oct 14, 2009 09:31 PM

Any suggestions? I've been slacking on bringing my lunch. I'd like to find some good grub for under $5. I've checked out Blimpy Burger, BTB burritos, the falafel places, Jamaican Jerk Pit, Le Dog, and that vegan buffet. Except for Blimpy, I'd like to move on.

  1. t
    trapani Apr 24, 2010 04:57 PM

    Soup at Monaghan's (fish market in Kerrytown). Different chowder each day.

    Back to Eastern Accents: try the kim bop, Korean sushi.

    1. d
      dct Nov 3, 2009 12:50 PM

      Another possibility is the People's Food Coop on 4th ave. They have a hot food bar at lunch--not sure about the price, but there is also soup and just plain groceries. I've bought a hunk of cheese and a banana for lunch there before. The lunch bar does include chicken, but everything is well labeled for vegetarians.

      1. d
        dct Nov 2, 2009 12:53 PM

        It's hard to do downtown for under 5. When I worked there 4 years ago, I was always looking for good options. I second Sottinis--great sandwiches, and if you split a big one, you have $ left over for a pop.

        I liked Le Dog a lot, but it's all about soup, not the hotdogs. And of course, people have different tastes.

        I had coworkers who would get filled buns at Asian Accents and call that lunch, but it's not enough for me.

        Crazy Wisdom has soup from Seva, usually comes with a big piece of bread and butter. The soups change, so it's a bit chancy.

        For another pizza option try NYPD on William--about a block closer to downtown than Silvios. I think you can get 2 slices for closer to $6, but they are good.

        For those who mentioned bibimbap--is anyone under $7? I love it, but it's not cheap usually.

        1. m
          Michigan Mishuganer Oct 29, 2009 06:45 PM

          some cheap place ideas- Have you tried Frank's on Maynard (old style diner type food & really bad coffee) have not eaten there in some time but it's pretty cheap & has an interesting atmosphere ,
          or Momo tea (Taiwanese snacks) on S. University has some cheap tasty food
          you can get tea eggs or some simple sandwiches -fried egg , ham & cucumber toasted sandwich for $2.95 -

          White Market is also popular for really cheap sandwiches (I've never tried) & salad bar

          Also the sandwich place is now open in the new Zaragon Apt complex on East U, they have sandwiches on Zingerman bread & some other things, rice bowls,salads- i think it's owned by the late Zanibar folks. (what a lot of Zs!)

          1. m
            Michigan Mishuganer Oct 23, 2009 10:21 AM

            Sushi.com on N.University
            get 2 rolls , I like avocado and the picked daikon roll.
            it comes w/ salad, soup & tea

            it will be under $5.00 before tip.

            also Bibimbop places are good & cheap
            I like Kangs on South U

            2 Replies
            1. re: Michigan Mishuganer
              momskitchen Oct 23, 2009 06:27 PM

              I like Kangs, too

              1. re: momskitchen
                Jim M Oct 23, 2009 07:10 PM

                I like them all. University Cafe does a good stone pot bi bim bop that's still hot 45 minutes after you order it. I've talked to U-M students who've moved to the big East Coast cities after graduating, and they miss these Korean places once they're there.

                Entrees are more than $5, but you get a lot of food.

            2. momskitchen Oct 15, 2009 04:24 PM

              I just had a great breakfast sandwich made my the two gals that run the new tiny grill at Sparrow meat market. I'd definitely try them for lunch and it was a great food. It might not be under $5, but it's close to $5

              1. c
                charlesbois Oct 15, 2009 06:41 AM

                Aside from the places you've mentioned, here were some of my standards when I worked downtown:

                Twiggim (Korean vegetable tempura) at Kosmo's Deli in Kerrytown is excellent, and is under $5.

                Sottini's subs on 4th between Washington and Liberty can get you out the door for $4 for an 8-inch sub. Try the Wolverine. Their cold cuts are very fresh. They always have a line at lunch, which is a good sign.

                Wonton soup and an eggroll from Middle Kingdom is around $5.

                Newly repoened Red Hot Loves on East U (I think it's renamed Ray's Red Hots?) can get you a chi-dog for under $5.

                Did you know you can eat at Zingerman's for around $5-6? Get a potato knish and matzo ball soup.

                4 Replies
                1. re: charlesbois
                  Jim M Oct 15, 2009 09:33 AM

                  Oh, yeah, Kosmo's! If you don't mind eating with a bunch of high school students, their burgers are good too, and well under $5. You can put kim chi on them. Right across, Monahan's Seafood has chowder of the day for $4.95. Sandwiches at Taste Our Goods in Kerrytown are above $5 but very good.

                  1. re: Jim M
                    momskitchen Oct 15, 2009 04:20 PM

                    My favorite Kosmo's item is their hot and sour soup! It's the best I have ever tasted. I pestered Don there for his recipe, and he told me the ingredients...here's my attempt at it that's fairly close:


                  2. re: charlesbois
                    berkleybabe Oct 15, 2009 07:46 PM

                    Red Hots re-opened --great! Still Vienna beef products? New owners? Dish details.

                    1. re: berkleybabe
                      Jim M Oct 15, 2009 09:04 PM

                      Yes, you can certainly dine for $5 at this place. It is now called Ray's Red Hots, with new owners connected to the former longtime manager. They have switched from Vienna Beef dogs to Red Hot Chicago. I haven't been yet (I get only an occasional hankering for tube steaks), but the reviews and buzz have said that it's largely unchanged.

                  3. j
                    Jim M Oct 15, 2009 06:15 AM

                    Uneven, and service can be flaky even for takeout, but you can often get excellent pizza slices, mostly but not exclusively veg, at Silvio's on North University. They used to have a lunch special for $5 or $5.50 with pizza and soup, and many of the soups are pretty good too. No guarantees--it's just that kind of place. Could also get a couple of slices for $5.50 at Pizza Pino on Liberty at the other side of downtown. Malaysian Curry at Eastern Accents is $5.50 and good, and their Asian-style buns are $1-$3. Could probably get several tacos or tostadas at Sabor Latino on Main for under $5. That place had a rough start after the ownership change, but I went in last week and had a great dinner--I think they're getting it together.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jim M
                      crw77 Oct 15, 2009 03:00 PM

                      When did Sabor Latino change ownership? I vowed never to go back, but if there's a new owner, I might reconsider.

                      1. re: crw77
                        Jim M Oct 15, 2009 03:39 PM

                        It was about two or three months ago. Menu has been pretty much overhauled, and there are lots of new dishes, most of them Mexican. The owner is Mexican-born. Pos. review on AnnArbor.com (although I don't think much of their food critic):


                        Anyway, I'm ready to go again.

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