Ann Arbor, Michigan
We’ll give you a few hints into this city-guide: Home of the “Big House”. Bleeds maize and blue. Have any ideas? This town not only has some of the best Saturday tailgating, but it’s where tons of locals and visitors alike choose to spend their time exploring historically diverse spaces, beautiful outdoors and delicious food options. We’re talking about Ann Arbor, people! Keep up, there’s no grading curve on this jam packed college-campus guide.
M | K | N
8:00 AM | Cozy corners fill the interior of Lab. Just a few doors down from Red Yoga, this tiny outpost will cure any energy deficiency you may have. We opted for our usual almond milk lattes and a grabbed a yummy gluten free berry bar for a snack to get us even more revved up for our day of exploration. College kids live off this stuff, right?
505 E Liberty St # 300
9:00 AM | Don’t let the yoga part deceive you- Red Yoga is extremely intense, in all the best ways. The room is Infused with infrared lights and kept at a hot hot hot temp. The two of us that are more equipped with the workout gene loved the fast paced movement under the heated lamps, while the other (cough Kate) chose to meditate. Whichever your speed, Kelli the owner/ instructor will make you feel at om (yeah, we got yoga jokes).
421 E. Liberty
10:00 AM | Don’t be distracted by the beautiful interior and creative branding, Wilma’s came to blow your tastebud’s mind with their colorful and nutritious food. Smoothies, bowls and various toasts fill the menu- all crafted with organic produce and superfoods to supercharge you for the day ahead. with ingredients like blue algae and bee pollen, the mermaid bowl is not something you can get elsewhere. Go for that with a golden milk smoothie to really taste with all the colors of the wind. Pro Tip: Wilma’s is literally around the corner from the hotel, so if you’re craving a little mid-day snack, their lunch/dinner options are equally as vibrant as breakfast.
403 East Washington
11:30 AM | Every detail put into the Graduate Hotel reminds us of our college days, or what we can remember from them. From the “student ID” room keys to the mini library near the front desk, we really felt like we were getting the full campus experience by staying here. The rooms have every bit of an elevated boutique hotel that somehow makes you feel at home while you’re on the road. The staff is extremely friendly and happy to help with anything you might need during your stay. Bring your pup if you please, this hotel is pet-friendly!
After you check-in, freshen up for the rest of the day’s activities with our favorite malin+gotez products provided in the shower.
615 East Huron Street
12:30 PM | You didn’t think you’d go to Ann Arbor to get your cuban-inspired street food fix, did you? Well, we’re here to surprise and delight; Frita Batidos offers just that. The Frita, a burger made of chorizo topped with shoestring fries inside a soft, egg bun – and the Batido, a tropical milkshake made with fresh fruit, crushed ice and sweetened milk. Start your adventure with some plantain chips and guac, and entertain your hands while you wait playing a game of dominos in this whimsical and causal environment. Pro Tip: Vegetarians, don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious burger options for you, too!!
117 West Washington Street
1:45 PM | You’ll need to walk off your full stomach, and what better way than to shop some of the unique stores this town has to offer? We love the mix of local boutiques that carry some of our favorite brands along State Street. Around the corner from lunch, you’ll find Today Clothing, Literati books, Dear Golden Vintage and Shinola, to name a few.
State Street, Ann Arbor
4:30 PM | Drop by the Graduate to drop off your treasures accumulated from the day. We weren’t that mad that there was a horrible snow storm that kept us cozied up inside of our sitting room sipping a hot chocolate and snacking on locally-made goodies. Pro Tip: If you’re visiting during warmer days, definitely take advantage of the free bike rental and take a few spins around the block.
6:00 PM | In the mood for some pre-dinner libations? Head over to The Bar at Braun Court. Seasonal cocktails and daily specials are worth exploring while you’re there. Who can refuse a gin and house-made tonic?
327 Braun Court
7:30 PM | Owned by the same group behind Wilma’s, Aventura is another one of those “must-go’s” in Ann Arbor, and every local will tell you that. The happy hour is one of the best in the area, and they serve some of the most dangerously smooth sangria. With food options to rival their drink choices, you may want to put in your dinner order while you sip, as the authentic paella is truly worth the 45 minute wait. Pro Tip: sound like a local and ask the bartender about their vermouth flights.
216 E. Washington St.
9:00 PM | Walking up to the Last Word you feel like you may have been transported to another city or another time. Definitely not where you would think to sip on some creative cocktails and imaginative light bights that The Last Word has to offer. As you step inside of what you think is a small speakeasy off of a side street, you come to soon realize this bar is much larger than you had originally thought. We love a good quiet speakeasy, but we also found comfort in a simple hideaway bar with good lighting and better conversation. We always go for the house old fashioned, which they coined as their Cole’ Fashioned with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Dolin Genepy Des Alpes, brown sugar and bitters; or the made-to-share flaming volcano with “lots of rum, a bit of brandy, more rum and fresh fruit juice.” Any route you take, you can be sure you’re in great (cocktail shaking) hands.
301 W. Huron
11:00 PM | You knew this day was coming. Whether you know everything or nothing about this college campus, we know you’ve heard whispers of “we’re going to Rick’s later” through passing on the streets and in hallways. Yep. We’re sending you to the classic college bar. Rick’s is a quintessential stop on this guide, and one that is a prerequisite for undergrads before receiving their diploma. This underground dance haven has cheap drinks and plenty of forgotten nights that make the most memories. Even if you don’t spend the entire night here, it’s worth a dance or two to really get that college experience. That is the Michigan difference, right?
611 Church St
12:30 AM | The ever-nostalgic Fleetwood Diner gives you a sense of comfort you need to end a long day. After you may have been over-indulging in delicious cocktails (and fireball shots), this is just the place you need to be. With menu items like the classic “hippie hash”, this diner spot is a local staple. Pro Tip: Entertain yourself while you wait for your food by reading all of the fun wall stickers!
300 S Ashely Street
9:00 AM | Comet Coffee is just one of those feel-good places. With a glass box full of fresh pastries that greet you and the aroma of hot java, this coffee house is filled with all the goods to get your AM brain up and running.
16 Nickels Arcade
10:30 AM | A vegan restaurant to rival most meat-eaters’ tastes, Detroit Filling Station came to please. Located in the Kerrytown district of AA, these are the same owners behind the Lunch Room (another locally-famous vegan outpost). We’re huge fans of the tempeh ribs, Lisa Simpson biscuit sandwich and apple fritters. Pro Tip: Sunday Jazz Brunch is LIT!
300 Detroit Street
11:45 PM | Take some time sifting through the History and Art museums around campus. You could easily get lost for hours immersing yourself into the parts unknown of these explorative outlets and assorted archives. Protip: There’s a Monet in the UMMA and a mummy in the LSA Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
U of M Museum of Art: 1105 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
1:00 PM | Starting as a food truck and opening her first location in 2016, Miss Kim is under the Zingerman umbrella, so you already know the food is about to be on point. But if you need reassurance, we’re here for it. Not only is every menu item keeps true to it’s cultural Korean traditions and chef’s new take on Korean-American plates. Go for the fried chicken sandwich and the tofu beet rice bowl with a side of soju and you’re setting yourself up for success, my friend.
415 N 5th Avenue
2:30 PM | Amongst all of the architectural beauty this city has to offer, this courtyard, deemed the Law Quadrangle, is not only a beautiful structure, but, true to U of M nature, an educational one. You can bring your doctorate-of-law friend with you to come interpret the window illustrations (or google it, because we did!). This Law Quad is an exact replica of a building in England and a great location to stop and breathe while you’re in the midst of a college campus. Rumor has it that they almost filmed a Harry Potter film here - we knew it reminded us of Hogwarts!
625 S State Street
4:30 PM | After spending a day in the books, it seems fitting you unwind at Study Hall Lounge. Just across the street from campus, from a casual cocktail to bottle service, this bar is anything you want it to be and more. Make sure to check out their DJ line-up, they get some good ones!
1220 S University Ave.
6:30 PM | A super-small and super-friendly environment, Spencer makes you feel like you’re home. The husband and wife duo behind this enchanting restaurant really knows how to welcome a crowd. You can taste the love in each bite of the carefully crafted menu. Do not pass up the roast onion with parsnip, winter grain, brown butter and crab apple. Also, the charcuterie board came to please everyone at your table. Pro Tip: if you’re stuck waiting in line for a table, shop around the wine selection for sale at the front of the restaurant! There are some gems.
113 E Liberty Street
8:45 PM | Babs’ Underground is considered one of Ann Arbor’s “best kept secrets”, situated below the Schwaben Building on Ashely Street. You’ll find handcrafted cocktails, single malts, rare bourbons and craft beer on the menu inside of a high-end finished interior. This isn’t a party in your parent’s basement.
213 S Ashely Street
10:00 AM | Ask anyone you pass on the street where you absolutely must eat while in AA and their first answer will be Zingerman’s Deli. A local (and national) staple that has earned every bit of their fame, both the deli and the “next door cafe” are worth spending some time exploring. We know you’ll want to head straight for the deli counter to order, but walk around the mini grocery area to stock up on some of their unique olive oils, vinegars, cheeses and baked goods. Ask a staff member for a taste if you’re unsure. When you do walk up to the massive menu hanging above the deli counter, make your decision very wisely, even though there are truly no wrong answers in this pop quiz. Pro Tip: the cafe next door has authentic GELATO!
422 Detroit Street
Thank you to the teams of: The Graduate Hotel, Zingerman’s Deli, Red Yoga, Miss Kim, Detroit Filling Station, Spencer, The Last Word, Frita Batidos, Wilma’s, Today Clothing, Shinola and Aventura for hosting us these past 48 hours.
on to the next city!