It’s not hard to find great coffee and a tasty snack in Ann Arbor. Indeed, the city is brimming with many charming independent cafés and coffee shops that serve the local community and students who want their caffeine fix. They’re also places that offer some of the state’s best coffee. The following are the cafés that we think you should know.
Cafe, American, $$$
A fixture in Ann Arbor since 1978, Afternoon Delight is a popular choice for both natives and University of Michigan students, with queues regularly stretching down the block. Whether you’re stopping in for breakfast or lunch, there are broad menus of American favorites to choose from, including giant omelettes and eggs benedict or sandwiches and soups, and an extensive salad bar.
Another hip and independent café, Lab offers some of the best and most creative coffee in the city, as well as a range of locally baked pastries, loose-leaf teas, a rotating yogurt bar and even craft beer and wine. It’s also a clean, bright and spacious place to meet friends or study, with cool music and local art on the walls.
You can find Literati Coffee on the second floor of the bookstore of the same name, suitable if you’re looking for a relaxed place to grab a coffee and read or simply gaze out onto Washington Street. The space also regularly hosts events, book clubs, author readings, and other community-oriented gatherings; it can be crowded around exam times.
In the Nickels Arcade, Comet Coffee is a tiny café that’s either cozy or cramped, depending on your perspective. The coffee is amongst the best in the city though, and it also has pastries and a selection of tea. Space is at a premium, even including the few tables outside under the glass roof of the arcade, so they discourage people from taking up tables with laptops for extended periods.
You can find Mighty Good Coffee all over Ann Arbor, with locations downtown, on the University of Michigan campus and over at the Arbor Hills shopping mall. Its flagship downtown has batch-brewed drip coffee ready to go and a manual brew bar of seasonal coffee, as well as a full espresso service and a wide selection of tea. If you’re hungry, it also has a toast bar featuring Avalon Bakery bread.
RoosRoast prides itself on roasting its own coffee with its high-tech and eco-friendly roaster. As well as selling those roasted beans to people across the country, it has two cafés in Ann Arbor, and its newest location is on Liberty in the heart of downtown. Alongside the amazing coffee, it has a small food menu, which features items such as avocado on toast and a burrito.
Away from the bustle of downtown, Black Diesel Coffee is a large and spacious café east of Michigan Stadium. Using a variety of sustainably sourced beans roasted by Michigan roasteries, it’s passionate about its espressos and pour-over coffees. It also has a small breakfast and lunch menu including pastries and sandwiches and serves gelato seasonally.