A Selection of the Best Restaurants in Ann Arbor

March 7, 2024
Shannon O'Sullivan

A Selection of the Best Restaurants in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is widely recognized for its diverse and rich dining scene. This city boasts an array of restaurants catering to an eclectic palate, ranging from classic American diners to sophisticated fine dining establishments. For those looking to explore the culinary delights of Ann Arbor, the following guide highlights 10 of the best restaurants that promise an unforgettable dining experience. Updated in March 2024, this curated list includes timeless institutions, innovative newcomers, and everything in between. Whether you're a local or a visitor, diving into Ann Arbor's food scene is a must-do, offering flavors and dishes that cater to every taste and occasion.

THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Ann Arbor

When it comes to dining in Ann Arbor, the options are as diverse as the city itself. From the street food-inspired dishes of Frita Batidos to the fine dining ambiance of the Gandy Dancer, there's something for everyone. The city's rich culinary landscape is a reflection of its vibrant community and the influence of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor’s best restaurants provide not just a meal, but a unique dining experience that can range from tasting exotic international cuisines to enjoying a gourmet American burger. As we explore these restaurants, remember each spot reflects a piece of Ann Arbor's eclectic dining scene.

Over the years, dining in Ann Arbor has evolved, with eateries adapting to offer diners not just food, but an experience. These restaurants have continuously updated their menus, wine lists, and dining environments to meet and exceed the expectations of their patrons. These places have become more than just eateries; they are destinations for those looking to celebrate, indulge, and explore varied cuisines. The commitment of these establishments to quality, innovation, and ambiance has firmly established them as must-visit restaurants in the Ann Arbor area.


Spencer in downtown Ann Arbor is not just another restaurant; it's an institution that celebrates the farm-to-table philosophy. The chefs here have a knack for turning simple, locally-sourced ingredients into delicious, sophisticated dishes. The wine list at Spencer is meticulously curated, featuring a range of international and domestic selections that perfectly complement their cuisine. This Ann Arbor restaurant offers a cozy, yet refined dining experience, making it an ideal spot for anyone looking to enjoy a meal that's both casual and sophisticated. The ambiance mirrors the city's blend of rustic charm and urban sophistication, ensuring every diner leaves with a memorable experience.

The dedication of Spencer to providing a unique dining experience in Ann Arbor is evident in their ever-evolving menu that emphasizes seasonal ingredients. It's a place where both the university crowd and longtime locals converge, drawn by the allure of its culinary offerings and the warm, inviting atmosphere. From the attentive service to the expertly prepared dishes and the thoughtful wine list, dining at Spencer is a testament to Ann Arbor's vibrant food scene. It's a must-visit for anyone seeking to indulge in the best of Ann Arbor's culinary delights, making it a standout among the city's array of dining options.

Frita Batidos Ann Arbor

Frita Batidos brings a slice of Cuban street food to the heart of Ann Arbor, offering a unique blend of flavors and textures that stand out in the city's dining landscape. This restaurant is a beloved spot for University of Michigan students and locals alike, known for its vibrant atmosphere and deliciously distinctive fritas and batidos. The concept, inspired by traditional Cuban cuisine, marries well with the dynamic energy of Ann Arbor. Diners can enjoy a casual, yet engaging dining experience, where the quality of the street food-inspired dishes transports them to the streets of Havana. As one of Ann Arbor's best restaurants for casual dining, Frita Batidos captures the essence of Ann Arbor's love for innovative and accessible cuisine.

Since its opening, Frita Batidos Ann Arbor has continually updated its offerings to keep the dining experience fresh and exciting. Beyond the signature fritas and batidos, the menu features a variety of dishes that cater to various dietary preferences, making it a versatile dining spot in downtown Ann Arbor. The open, welcoming space encourages communal dining, reflecting the inclusive spirit of Ann Arbor's community. Whether you're in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Frita Batidos provides a taste of Cuban street food excellence, adding a unique flavor to Ann Arbor's restaurant scene. Their commitment to quality and authenticity makes it a standout choice for anyone looking to eat in Ann Arbor.

Zingerman's Delicatessen

Zingerman's Delicatessen is not just a deli; it's a landmark in Ann Arbor's gastronomic landscape. Established in the historic Detroit Street Filling Station, this Ann Arbor institution has been serving up gourmet deli delights for decades, winning the hearts of both locals and visitors. Its expansive menu features a variety of artisanal bread, fine cheeses, and premium meats, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts. The commitment of Zingerman's to quality and community has cemented its status as one of the best places to eat in Ann Arbor. The deli's lively atmosphere, combined with its exceptional culinary offerings, makes every visit a unique and enjoyable dining experience, reflective of Ann Arbor's dynamic dining culture.

Zingerman's goes beyond being a mere eatery; it's a cornerstone of Ann Arbor’s culinary identity, attracting food lovers from all over. The deli’s vast selection of specialty foods, coupled with its dedication to using locally sourced ingredients, exemplifies the community-centric ethos of Ann Arbor’s best dining establishments. Whether you're looking for a quick sandwich or a sophisticated cheese and wine pairing, Zingerman's Delicatessen offers an unparalleled selection that enhances the dining experience in Ann Arbor. This iconic spot not only serves as a gathering place for the community but also stands as a testament to Ann Arbor's rich culinary tradition and its appreciation for high-quality, artisanal food.

Mani Osteria and Bar

Mani Osteria and Bar exemplifies Italian cuisine at its finest, right in the heart of Ann Arbor. This acclaimed restaurant is celebrated for its innovative approach to Italian dishes, combining traditional techniques with local Michigan ingredients to create unforgettable flavors. The Osteria's wood-fired pizzas are particularly renowned, drawing diners from across the Ann Arbor area and beyond. Its dynamic wine list, featuring both Italian and local wines, perfectly complements the menu, making Mani Osteria an essential destination for both wine lovers and food enthusiasts alike. The ambiance of the restaurant, characterized by its open kitchen and contemporary design, offers an inviting and lively dining experience that echoes the spirit of Italy with a distinct Ann Arbor twist.

The dedication of Mani Osteria to crafting a unique and compelling dining experience is evident in every dish served. From the handmade pastas to the meticulously selected cocktail offerings, the restaurant provides a taste of Italy that is both authentic and innovative. It’s a place where the vibrant atmosphere of Ann Arbor meets the rustic charm of Italian dining, creating a perfect place for both casual lunches and upscale dinners. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a meal out, Mani Osteria and Bar stands out as one of the best restaurants in Ann Arbor, offering a blend of culinary excellence and hospitable warmth that defines Michigan’s dining scene.

Tomukun Noodle Bar

Tomukun Noodle Bar offers a culinary journey through Asian flavors in the bustling heart of Ann Arbor. Specializing in a wide array of noodle dishes, from warming ramen bowls to zesty pho, Tomukun has become a staple among the University of Michigan students and the wider Ann Arbor community. The restaurant's commitment to authenticity and quality is reflected in each dish, offering a dining experience that's both comforting and exhilarating. With its casual atmosphere and expansive menu, Tomukun Noodle Bar is a prime destination for those seeking to explore the rich tapestry of Asian cuisine without leaving the confines of Michigan. It's a vibrant spot within Ann Arbor's dining landscape, perfect for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner with friends.

The popularity of Tomukun Noodle Bar is a testament to Ann Arbor's appetite for diverse and international dining experiences. The restaurant's innovative approach to traditional Asian dishes, coupled with its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients, makes it a standout in the city's competitive dining scene. The lively ambiance, friendly service, and extensive selection of noodle-based dishes create an atmosphere that's both inviting and exciting, reflecting the dynamic spirit of Ann Arbor's culinary culture. Whether you're craving a hearty bowl of noodles or looking to sample various small plates, Tomukun Noodle Bar offers an exceptional dining experience that captures the essence of Asian street food in the heart of Ann Arbor.


Sava's, situated on State Street in downtown Ann Arbor, represents the pinnacle of eclectic dining in the city. With its vast and varied menu, Sava's caters to a wide range of tastes and dietary needs, making it a favorite among University of Michigan students, locals, and visitors alike. The restaurant's commitment to sourcing ingredients locally ensures that each dish not only tastes fresh but also supports the wider Michigan community. The atmosphere at Sava's is always vibrant and welcoming, making it the perfect spot for everything from a leisurely brunch to an intimate dinner. As one of Ann Arbor's best restaurants, Sava's stands out for its dedication to providing a memorable dining experience that combines quality, creativity, and community.

The success of Sava's can be attributed to its ability to blend a diverse menu with a warm and inviting ambiance, reflecting Ann Arbor's inclusive and vibrant culinary scene. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty American breakfast, a light and healthy salad, or a world-inspired entrée, Sava's has something to satisfy every palate. The restaurant's commitment to excellence extends beyond its menu, from its attentive and friendly service to its chic and comfortable interior design. For those looking to dine in Ann Arbor, Sava's offers not just a meal, but a place where food, culture, and community converge, making it a must-visit destination in the heart of Michigan.


Ricewood, nestled in the bustling Ann Arbor food scene, offers a unique blend of BBQ and Asian fusion cuisine that has quickly captured the hearts of locals. This food truck turned restaurant is celebrated for its innovative approach to comfort food, combining rich, smoky flavors with fresh, vibrant Asian ingredients. Ricewood's menu features a variety of dishes that showcase the best of both worlds, offering a dining experience that is both familiar and unexpected. The casual, laid-back atmosphere of Ricewood makes it an ideal spot for a relaxed meal outdoors, reflecting Ann Arbor's appreciation for innovative and unpretentious dining. It’s a culinary gem that provides a unique twist on traditional BBQ, making it a standout restaurant in the Ann Arbor area.

The transition of Ricewood from a beloved food truck to a permanent establishment in Ann Arbor speaks to its popularity and the quality of its cuisine. The restaurant's commitment to using high-quality ingredients and its flair for combining flavors in novel ways have set it apart in a city known for its diverse dining options. The laid-back vibe of Ricewood, coupled with its delicious food, offers a dining experience that's steeped in the spirit of Ann Arbor's vibrant food culture. Whether you're a BBQ aficionado or an adventurous foodie looking to try something new, Ricewood provides a dining experience that's both satisfying and unique, making it a must-visit spot in Michigan's dining scene.

Miss Kim

Miss Kim, a gem in Ann Arbor's dining landscape, offers an authentic taste of Korean cuisine with a modern twist. Using locally sourced ingredients, this restaurant crafts dishes that respect traditional Korean flavors while incorporating contemporary culinary techniques. This commitment to quality and authenticity has made Miss Kim a favorite among those seeking a genuine Korean dining experience in Michigan. The restaurant's ambiance, with its sleek design and warm lighting, creates an inviting space that's perfect for both casual meals and special occasions. Miss Kim stands as a testament to Ann Arbor's dynamic and diverse food scene, offering a culinary journey to Korea that's both accessible and unforgettable.

The menu at Miss Kim is a reflection of Ann Arbor's hunger for genuine and sophisticated international cuisine. From the perfectly fermented kimchi to the savory bulgogi, each dish is prepared with care and attention to detail, ensuring an authentic Korean taste with a fresh, local twist. The restaurant's approach to Korean dining is not just about the food; it's about creating a holistic experience that encompasses Korea's rich culinary traditions and hospitality. Whether you're a longtime lover of Korean food or a curious newcomer, Miss Kim offers a dining experience in Ann Arbor that's rich in flavor, culture, and innovation, making it a pivotal part of Michigan's culinary fabric.

Knight's Steakhouse

Knight's Steakhouse is a beloved staple in the Ann Arbor dining community, known for its classic American steakhouse fare and welcoming atmosphere. This established restaurant prides itself on serving high-quality, locally sourced beef, ensuring that each steak is perfectly aged and cooked to order. The robust wine list and classic cocktail offerings complement the hearty meals, making Knight’s an ideal spot for both casual dinners and special celebrations. The restaurant's traditional steakhouse ambiance, complete with dark wood furnishings and a cozy vibe, transports diners to a classic era of American dining. Knight's Steakhouse embodies the essence of the hearty American meal, making it one of the best places to eat in Ann Arbor for those seeking a time-honored dining experience.

What sets Knight's Steakhouse apart in the Ann Arbor dining scene is not just its commitment to quality steaks but also its dedication to local sourcing and community involvement. The restaurant's longevity and popularity are a testament to its ability to maintain traditional steakhouse values while adapting to contemporary tastes and preferences. Whether you're there for a succulent ribeye or a tender filet mignon, Knight's ensures a memorable dining experience that reflects the robust culinary culture of Ann Arbor. For locals and visitors looking for the classic steakhouse experience with a Michigan twist, Knight's Steakhouse stands as a beacon of culinary excellence, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere that's hard to find anywhere else.


Aventura, located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, is a culinary destination that beckons diners with its vibrant flavors of Spain. This restaurant is celebrated for its authentic tapas, paella, and extensive wine list, offering a slice of Spanish cuisine in Michigan. Aventura's dedication to creating a genuine dining experience is evident in its carefully curated menu, which features a variety of traditional dishes prepared with a modern flair. The lively ambiance, enhanced by the elegant and rustic décor, makes Aventura an ideal spot for gatherings, whether it's a casual dinner with friends or a festive celebration. As one of Ann Arbor's finest restaurants, Aventura encapsulates the city's eclectic dining scene, offering a taste of Spain that's both authentic and innovative.

The success of Aventura in Ann Arbor can be attributed to its ability to transport diners to the streets of Barcelona or the coasts of Andalusia through its culinary offerings. The restaurant's commitment to using the freshest ingredients, paired with its skilled preparation of tapas and paellas, ensures an exceptional dining experience that's rich in flavor and culture. The meticulously selected Spanish wine list complements the menu, adding another layer to the dining experience by offering an exploration of Spain's renowned wine regions. Aventura stands as a testament to Ann Arbor's love for global cuisine, offering an inviting and sophisticated space where diners can indulge in the art of Spanish dining, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts in Michigan.

More Michigan real estate insights