The Hottest Restaurants and Bars in Ann Arbor Right Now, Summer 2017

11 new spots to check out this season

Pasta with fresh herbs and morel mushrooms at Ollie Food + Spirits


Ann Arbor’s dining scene is proving to be healthier than ever as new eateries and drinking establishments have popped up all over town with menus showcasing cuisines from all over the world. From fine dining to fast-casual there’s something for all tastes and budgets.

National trends like hot chicken, poutine, and cold-pressed juices continue to make inroads into the Ann Arbor metro area’s restaurant scene, while spots like First Bite and HOMES are are more than willing to set their own new trends. Several new entries in the Main Street and South University areas are also proving that downtown Ann Arbor is still a vital hub for good food and drinks.

Below, find a guide to the hottest new spots in Tree City freshly updated for summer. For more established eateries, don’t miss Ann Arbor’s essential restaurants map.

1. HOMES Brewery

Ann Arbor’s newest brewery pours hop-forward beers and sour ales in a modern space adorned with brightly colored graphic art. In addition its striking interior, HOMES eschews the usual brewpub burgers and pizza in favor of Asian street food. The pairings work well, especially the rounded texture of the Sincerely, Nelson pale ale with the strong flavors of the bulgogi fries.

John Reyes
2321 Jackson Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 954-6637

2. Nightcap Ann Arbor

Modern cocktails take center stage at this dark, contemporary cocktail lounge on Main Street. Liquid nitrogen, centrifuges, and other new-school bartending techniques bring a theatrical element to customers’ drinking experiences where the construction and presentation are as important as the final product in the glass.

220 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 369-6070

3. First Bite

This Main Street fast-casual restaurant serves a largely vegetarian menu that caters towards clean-eating crowds with non-GMO, organic ingredients. Diners can expect a wide range of veggie burgers served on a whole wheat turmeric buns alongside rice bowls, wraps, salads, and smoothies.

108 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 369-4765

4. Haymaker Public House

After several months as the pop-up Curtain Call, the Haymaker Public House recently opened with menu filled with hefty burgers, craft sausages, and poutines along with dozens of local brews on tap. The 1/2 pound burgers, with combinations like the Fat Californian (topped fried avocado and chipotle mayo) or the brisket with smoked brisket and BBQ sauce, are also available in slider form.

203 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 997-5399


The four sisters behind Detroit-based Drought just opened their latest outlet in Ann Arbor. The company’s line of cold-pressed juices feature natural and organic fruits and vegetables for a nutrient-filled refreshment or as part of an intensive cleanse program.

204 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 531-6065

6. Fred’s

The bright, airy corner dining room of this fast-casual restaurant and coffee bar matches the fresh and light items on the menu. Trendy dishes such as avocado toasts and poke join fruit bowls, smoothies, and salads for those interested in healthy food choices.

Poke Bowl

 John Reyes

403 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 669-3552

7. Cantina Taqueria + Bar

With help from James Beard-nominated chef Magdiale Wolmark, the former BTB Cantina on South University recently said goodbye to its name and burrito-heavy menu in favor a selection of enticing tacos. The list ranges from a classic carnitas and carne asada to smoked pork belly with onion marmalade to a vegan taco with mushrooms, plantains, and mole sauce.

1140 S University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 222-3715

8. Smoke’s Poutinerie

Poutine, Quebec’s gift to the culinary world, comes in around 30 different varieties at this Canadian chain’s first Michigan outlet. Bacon, chicken, pulled pork, beef, and different vegetable combinations join the standard poutine ingredients — crispy fries, fresh cheese curds, and gravy. The adjoining Beaver Trap bar promises 50 taps of ciders and beers to wash it all down.

1300 S University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 408-1350

9. Rappourt Brew & Chew

This new watering hole on the fast-growing north side of Ann Arbor features electronic menus listing over 40 beers on tap drawing on both international and regional breweries. In terms of food, Rappourt’s gastropub menu offers a wide variety of sandwiches, alongside tacos, burgers, and chicken wings prepared three ways.

2721 Plymouth Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 929-2430

10. Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken

Ricewood proprietor Frank Fejeran’s first brick-and-mortar venture is a fried chicken shack in the middle of Michigan. The chicken is perfectly cooked and optionally topped with sauce that lives up to its “Hot AF” moniker. While the chicken is deservedly front and center, the biscuit donut — glazed deep-fried biscuit dough — is dangerously close to upstaging the main attraction.

15 W Michigan Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 905-7994

11. Ollie Food + Spirits

Ypsilanti’s Depot Town has two new dining options as the former Café Ollie has split into two businesses. Ollie Food + Spirits features a seasonal menu with fresh, local ingredients and craft cocktails in a slightly upscale, date-night atmosphere. Fans of the old cafe and bakery can now get their fix (along with ice cream) next door at Cream and Crumb.

42 E Cross St
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
(734) 482-8050

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