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Sep 9, 2010 03:11 PM

Ann Arbor-Best restaurant choice visiting University of Michigan

We are planning a trip in October to visit University of Michigan and will be staying close to the campus. We are looking for ideas for dinner and breakfast. We are very open to type of food, price, etc.. Want something close to campus that would give my daughter a flavor of the university atmosphere.

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  1. I will not give you a specific restaurant but I will mention that you must visit Kerrytown on Saturday Morning. This gives you the Farmers Market, The world famous Zingerman's Deli, and the Kerrytown Markets and shops.

    1. The undergraduate hangout is South University Avenue, running east off of the southern edge of the main quadrangle (and "Diag" sidewalk across it). Lots of Asian places along there that are popular with students of all ethnicities; the Korean diners are really good if you like that cuisine. The classic student bar is the Brown Jug, but food is mediocre. A better bar is Ashley's on State St., on the other side of campus, but it will be crowded on a weekend. For decent pizza close to campus, try Cottage Inn on E. William or Pizza House on Church St. off South U. The latter especially would have a student crowd.

      Upscale: Mercy's in the Bell Tower Hotel is supposed to be very good.

      For breakfast you might try Sava's on State St.—not expensive, and popular for visits of this kind; waitstaff may well be undergrads; very warm and friendly owner if she's there. Or for coffee and muffins, Espresso Royale Cafe, South University and East University, will be absolutely packed with students.

      Zingerman's and the Kerrytown area are great, but these are classic townie areas; you don't get so much of the student atmosphere there.

      1. Angelo's, up near the hill, on Catherine, I think...just across from the hospital, is a jumping, popular place for breakfast...good hash browns and huge breakfasts. Agree w/ Jim M on Cottage Inn -- right off South U, nice dining room, no chain feel and a decent pizza. Off East U, right near East Quad is an awesome hotdog spot --- little dive, serves Vienna Beef hot dogs, sausages, waffle fries --- used to be called Red Hot Lovers, but now maybe Tom's dogs. Best hot dogs/coneys ever! I never missed that place when I visited my, too.

        Red Hot Lovers
        629 E University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

        1 Reply
        1. re: berkleybabe

          Corrections: 1) Red Hot Lovers is now called Ray's Red Hots. Yes, a great place to eat and meet students. Chicago-style dogs. 2) Cottage Inn is on William off State, on the other side of campus from South U.

          If your daughter would be considering one of the North Campus programs (engineering, art, music, architecture, some sciences), you need to look along Plymouth Road. Options: Saica (good Japanese with beer), Nagomi Sushi (cheaper Japanese, friendly, no beer), No Thai (decent fast Thai run by actual Thais, also on South U), several burger places along there too, Cafe Marie for breakfast is right across from North Campus exit.

          No Thai
          1317 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

          Saica Restaurant
          1733 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

        2. You definitely want to go to Zingerman's's famous, and what most U of M students and their families do at least once. Do that for breakfast. I know Angelo's has it's fans, but I have to say it is very overrated. I wouldn't recommend it. It's really nothing special and gets very crowded because there really aren't any restaurants near the huge U of M hospital complex and a local guy wrote a song about it once. The song is really much better than the restaurant.

          I'm going to suggest Dominick's for the true college is right near the business school/law quad and is full of the college crowd and has decent pizza and be sure to get the antipasto salad. It's got the college atmosphere to it.. The law school's architecture is particularly fetching in a collegiate sort of way. I'm guessing your daughter is a high schooler, so she (nor you) will probably be looking for a good bar for this trip, but Dominick's does have a very limited bar.

          BTW as a parent you will be comforted in knowing that Ann Arbor is a fairly lame college town when it comes to the bars. Most Students looking for more of a wild college night life will not choose Ann Arbor....they will head to East Lansing or Madison WI.

          5 Replies
          1. re: momskitchen

            Dominick's is probably at the end of its season though, is it not? From what I heard they open and close for the season on a not so regular schedule. My wife has been here (and loved it) but I have not....I am very much looking to visit.

            1. re: JanPrimus

              This is correct. The back patio at Dominick's is great, but the indoors is less fun (food is OK but basic, sangria is good). If it's a warm October day, check it out, but if there's been a stretch of nasty weather already it's less attractive. Should be still open in October, though.

            2. re: momskitchen

              Thanks for the informative reply. Will try Zingerman's and Dominick's.

              1. re: Property manager

                Just as a caution, Dominicks cards. Now, that doesn't mean they won't allow minors in with parents, but occasionally they do crack down on the underagers. Also, just in my opinion, Dominicks is a place to be experienced with college-aged drinking buddies, not parents. Finally, the food just is not that great. Perfect for drinks, not so much for dining.

                When I was at UM, parents generally ended up at Cottage Inn on William. It's a campus institution. Try the wood-fired pizzas or the classic deep dish.

                1. re: charlesbois

                  As a parent of teens, I will have to offer my family's perspective - my kids love the place and we've been going there since they were small. That being said, it doesn't cater to kids at all. I was just there last weekend, in fact, and I can tell you that kids can be there with their parents. @charlesbois is correct - the food is just okay and they do check IDs of people wanting to buy drinks. But for a senior in HS that is checking out colleges and wants to be around college students, it fits the bill. Have fun!

            3. I haven't lived in A2 for five years, but if New York Pizza Depot (NYPD) is still open on East William, I'd encourage you to try it. Much better pizzas (to my taste) than any other I had in town--it's very casual, by-the-slice, a mid-day stop.

              New York Pizza Depot
              605 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bada Bing

                @ Bada Bing....NYPD changed hands and went downhill.....