The diverse food scene in Ann Arbor makes it a great destination for culinary tourism. For starters, the wide selection of ethnic food restaurants spans many cuisines from Japanese, Vitenmase, Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Indian; as well as Irish, French, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Polish, German, Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Ethiopian. Add to that list classic American bistro menus, college town bars and grills, farm-to-table fare, vegetarian eateries, food trucks, beer gardens, breweries, coffee shops, and bakeries, and you can begin to understand why Ann Arbor appears as a favorite on food city lists. To top it off, the accessibility of restaurants within walking distance from so many neighborhoods, without the hours-long waits all too common in big city restaurants; the midwest price points; and the fine restauranteering and amazing creative chefs; add up to making Ann Arbor a food city worth exploring.
Ann Arbor As Food City
For locals, the Ann Arbor food scene also provides convenient access year round to farm grown produce through farm markets, farm stops, and nearby farms with you-pick and CSA options. The county hosts over a dozen farmers markets, including several in Ann Arbor: the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown, Dixboro Farmers Market on the northside, Westside Farmers Market, Pittsfield Township Farmers Market on the southside, and the centrally located Cobblestone Farmers Market near Buhr Park. This means fresh organic local produce is available nearly every day of the week during the growing season!
Ann Arbor’s unique Argus Farm Stop provides a year-round indoor market and a revisioned way of supporting over 200 local and Michigan farmers, providing them a retail market space every day of the year. The storefront connects people directly to their local food source and eliminates the thousand mile journey from farm to plate that is commonly part of the industrialized food chain. The enthusiasm from the community helped Argus Farm Stop expand to a second location, with a convenient westside storefront on Liberty Street and a centrally located storefront on Packard Road. Argus Farm Stop now teaches their model of enterprise in other Michigan communities who also want to create a direct farm-to-community model that bypasses some of the costs of middlemen and transportation fees, and allows consumers to develop a relationship with the people who grow their food.
It may be surprising to live in Ann Arbor and have such easy access to the country, and what better way to experience this than a farm visit! There are farms right outside the city with CSA options and several you-pick options including strawberries in June, blueberries in late summer, raspberries in September, and pumpkins in October. Green Things Farm, located 5 miles from downtown, is a family owned and operated certified organic farm, with CSA and you-pick options, and pigs and cattle for meat. Garden Works, a family owned and operated certified organic field produce, is also located just outside the city. Seeley Farm is also close to downtown on Warren Road and offers certified organic vegetables. White Lotus Farms on Liberty in Ann Arbor has delivery and pickup options and also offers artisan breads and crafted cheeses.