The Most Exciting Restaurants In Ann Arbor, Michigan

Photo of Helen Armitage
9 February 2017

Despite its small size, Michigan’s Ann Arbor has a thriving, cosmopolitan dining scene, boasting restaurants serving everything from New American and Cuban-inspired cuisines to contemporary seafood and rustic Italian dishes. Check out our updated guide to Ann Arbor’s 10 Best Restaurants for the best the city’s dining scene has to offer.

Ashley’s | Courtesy Ashley’s


Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
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Ashley’s, Ann Arbor
Ashley’s, Ann Arbor | Courtesy of Ashley's
Ashley’s is renowned throughout the region for its award-winning selection of beers and its warm hospitality. With its inviting interior decked out in a traditional pub style full of exposed redbrick and wood panelling, Ashley’s has a friendly, buzzing vibe; the perfect place to gather with friends to sample one of its many beers, which includes varieties from locations as far-flung as Britain and Germany, alongside a number of Michigan microbrewery offerings.

The Earle

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, French, Italian, $$$
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The Earle
The Earle | © Andy Piper/Flickr
A mainstay on the city’s dining scene for nearly forty years, The Earle first opened its doors back in 1977 and to date remains diners default option for classy, upscale dining. Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, the restaurant serves rustic French and Italian food, and invites guests to dine to the sounds of live jazz in its dining room. Wine-lovers must try The Earle’s extensive selection of over 1,200 varieties.

Frita Batidos

Restaurant, Cuban, $$$
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Gratzi exterior
Gratzi exterior | © Phil Dokas/Flickr
Inspired by Cuban cuisine, Frita Batidos gets its name from two Cuban street food staples; fritas, a burger made with spicy chorizo served in a soft bun, and batidos, tropical-flavoured milkshakes made with fresh fruit, sweetened milk, and the option of a dash of rum. The restaurant was established to celebrate Cuban culture, and create menus that respect seasonal availability and showcase local produce.


Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Jolly Pumpkin
Jolly Pumpkin | Courtesy Jolly Pumpkin
Gratzi has been pleasing diners with its hearty, rustic Italian cuisine for almost thirty years. Situated in the former Orpheum Theatre, the restaurant is faithful to the historic building’s original design, retaining its high ceilings and featuring a beautiful balcony-level dining area. Gratzi introduces a new menu each month, showcasing a different regional cuisine of Italy, and guests can expect appetisers like house-roasted olives flavoured with rosemary, orange zest, and chilli.

Jolly Pumpkin

Bar, Cafe, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
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Microbrewery and restaurant Jolly Pumpkin was established in 2004. From its hip, contemporary pub-style space on Ann Arbor’s bustling Main Street, Jolly Pumpkin serves a menu of salads, sandwiches, pizzas and daily specials. Relax with friends on the Jolly Pumpkin’s rooftop garden, while enjoying options such as the house signature burger with Cambozola cheese, crimini mushrooms, and applewood bacon in a challah roll.


Restaurant, American, $$$
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Logan Restaurant, Ann Arbor
Logan Restaurant, Ann Arbor | By Courtesy of Logan Restaurant
One of the city’s most popular restaurants, Logan was established in 2004. Serving up New American cuisine, with menus based upon reconfigured American classics diners can relax in Logan’s intimate, warmly coloured dining room, while trying appetizers like Southern fried grits, served with pickled cherry tomato, black grapes, roasted garlic and chilli coulis.

Real Seafood Company

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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For seafood fans who like their dishes with a unique, contemporary twist, Real Seafood Company is a must-visit. The restaurant flies in the very best fresh fish from across America, including produce from the New England coastline and the Gulf of Mexico. Offering seasonal menus peppered with local ingredients, creating inventive dishes like the coconut-crusted shrimp with a mango and pineapple salsa, and the house speciality entrée of sautéed Lake Superior white fish with dried Michigan cherries, shiitake mushrooms and fresh basil leaves.


Restaurant, American, $$$
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Vinology sign
Vinology sign | © sfgamchick/Flickr
While its spacious, beautiful interior, exudes style and class, Sava’s nevertheless has a welcoming and laidback ambience that, due to its location in the city’s cultural district. The restaurant serves an eclectic menu built from locally sourced produce, with tempting dishes like pan-seared short rib pierogies with horseradish cream and watercress, and beer-battered Icelandic cod with French fries, blue cheese slaw and tartar sauce.


Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, American, $$$
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A stylish wine bar and restaurant, Vinology is a family-run establishment, who set up the restaurant to share their love of fine wine and food with diners. Accordingly, its extensive wine list of over 150 varieties offers guests both affordable and luxury options. Vinology’s warm, intimate interior sets the perfect scene in which to sample seasonal menus and global cuisine.