Ann Arbor, although sitting outside Detroit, is still one of the most happening places in Michigan. It’s got all the charm of a small town with all the amenities of the big city. But parks, entertainment, and music are only a piece of the puzzle. The culinary scene in Ann Arbor is one you have to experience to believe. From regional favorites to international delicacies, you’re bound to find something to enjoy. So while you’re spending the weekend at WordCamp Ann Arbor, tour the city and chow down at one of these nine great restaurant picks.
What’s better than a good old fashioned smash burger? An old fashioned smash burger with a side of crispy, hot french fries. Krazy Jim’s isn’t just famous for the food, though. There are some pretty strict rules around ordering. Whatever you do, read the rules for ordering before you do anything else. Don’t answer questions that you’re not asked, eat your burger, and enjoy.
In every city, big or small, there are gems hidden in the most unexpected places. Sometimes you need a little help finding them, a sherpa, if you will, to show you the way through the untamed wilderness. Everest Sherpa lies in the corner of an unassuming strip mall, but there’s nothing unassuming about this place. From dumplings and naan to stew and paneer, enjoy unique Nepalese favorites right here in America’s heartland.
The Nepalese of Everest Sherpa only scratches the surface of delicious asian cuisine offered in Ann Arbor. Miss Kim was founded by Ji Hye Kim in an effort to not only showcase delicious Korean favorites, but also showcase the diverse produce grown right in the heart of Michigan. They also host culinary events throughout the year. The Monday after WordCamp, they’ll be hosting Vegetarian Fest! Get your tickets before your trip and you’ll have something to look forward to all weekend.
No night of eating would be complete without a drink to wash it down with. Alley Bar is one of the oldest operating establishments in Ann Arbor, pouring libations over 130 years. They serve Michigan spirits, beer brewed right down the street, and quality ingredients that you could only get from the most agriculturally diverse state in the union. Their signature? The Pickleback. A shot of Paddy’s Irish Whisky followed by a shot of pickle juice. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
A Mexican restaurant in Michigan? You better believe that when we put a Mexican restaurant on a list, we mean business. The purveyors of Isalita take trips to Mexico often, and pay special attention to the street food that lines the thoroughfares of Mexico City. But Isalita isn’t all traditional Mexican. They put their own special Michigan take on dishes ranging from salmon fish tacos to chorizo hash.
Few breweries capture the time and space of a location like the Jolly Pumpkin. Their beers are as different as their labels—special, artistic, striking—and their food is just as unique. There is a full food menu and a beer menu as tall as you, so you might want to make a little bit more than a ‘short trip’ to this location. Can’t make it? Don’t worry! They have locations all over Michigan, so stop by if you see one while you’re out and about.
What can we say about Biercamp that can’t be said with five little words: handcrafted beer and cured meats. A hearty selection of local meats are cured using recipes passed down through generations. Their beer isn’t nearly as traditional, though. Biercamp crosses styles and cultural lines, brewing distinct flavors that you won’t be able to taste anywhere else.
Just like Mexican food, when we put a southern-style fried chicken joint on a list, you best believe it’s one worth visiting. Choose your cut of chicken, the style of sauce, and eat it whatever way you like, whether it’s a sandwich, a plate, or even wings. Be sure to try their famous strawberry corncake before you go (and maybe get a couple for the road!).
‘Real Deal Barbecue in the Midwest’ says it all. WestSide Barbecue has everything you need to get a taste of summer. From classic cuts to unique eats, WestSide boasts some of the best barbecue in Michigan. They even offer classic barbecue sides, like cheesy mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and homemade spicy pickles. Don’t miss out on this authentic taste of the south way up north.
While WordCamp Ann Arbor promises to be a crazy fun weekend, we’ll be stuck at home watching you all enjoy yourselves over Twitter. But that’s ok! Send us a shoutout from your favorite restaurant and we might send some awesome swag your way.