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A fruit tart from The Great Commoner.
The Great Commoner

12 New Restaurants and Bars to Check Out in Ann Arbor

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A fruit tart from The Great Commoner.
| The Great Commoner

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to drastically impact lives and businesses, restaurants have had to find new ways to adapt, such as pivoting to carryout menus, reconfiguring dining rooms, and expanding patios. Despite the uncertainty of ever-evolving conditions, several Ann Arbor restaurants have opened and even found ways to thrive.

Below is a guide to exciting new establishments that have opened in the past year. HOMES Campus opened earlier this month as a west side community space with a taproom and cafe. And it’s been a busy past few months in Ypsilanti, with four newcomers on this list : the gorgeous Ypsi Cocktail Club and Bon Appetit Cuisine, the area’s first west African restaurant.

This is a tough time for the restaurant industry and its staff, too, so please, if you do choose to grab a bite, be kind and remember to tip well.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Boro

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5400 Plymouth Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 669-3310
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A local landmark has been transformed into the Dixboro Project, a multi-disciplinary destination with several options for diners. A cafe features bakery items, wood-fired pizzas, and other carryout meals, while the relaxed dining room offers fancier dishes. The Dixboro House, the luxurious third phase, is set to begin service in 2022. 

The gray wooden exterior of the Boro in Ann Arbor with the name of the restaurant “The Boro” painted in white letters on the side of the building. A red metal lamp sits above the name to illuminate it at night John Reyes

2. HOMES Brewery - Campus

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112 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 929-5212
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The popular Ann Arbor brewery has opened HOMES Campus, a new, multi-use place on the far west side. In addition to its selection of beers on tap, the stylish spot showcases Dozer cafe and Smooj, its line of smoothie seltzers. An art-filled seating area has views of its large, outdoor space with fire pits and heaters for cold season.

John Reyes

3. Stray Hen Cafe Ann Arbor

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403 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 929-2590
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Stray Hen serves several healthy brunch alternatives at its light-filled downtown eatery. Choose from breakfast bowls featuring a base of ancient grains, granola, or cauliflower rice, or opt for more than 20 toppings at the oatmeal bar.

Breakfast bowl with avocado, tomatoes, onions, cheese, corn and peppers John Reyes

4. The Great Commoner

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110 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 519-1300
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This French patisserie from the team behind Detroit’s Cannelle is a pastry lover’s dream. The space is as elegant as the buttery croissants, rich eclairs, colorful macarons, and many other delicacies offered. Sandwiches, salads, and a full coffee bar are also available. 

John Reyes

5. Qmin

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619 E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 263-2142
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This fast-casual spot features Indian fare updated with spices from all around Asia. The result is a menu full of brightly-colored dishes packed with flavor — such as the grilled chicken tikka masala in a Thai curry sauce. 

John Reyes

6. Hyperion Coffee Co - Ann Arbor

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111 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 510-0398
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Hyperion features ethically-sourced beans - many of which bear the names of producers - roasted in Ypsilanti and served in downtown Ann Arbor. Java cravers can choose from a full line of coffee drinks and locally-made pastries to enjoy in the cozy, Liberty Street shop. 

7. Detroit Cookie Company — Ann Arbor

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609 E William St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 412-0104
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This is the second outlet for the Ferndale-based cookie purveyor. Here you’ll find dozens of rotating flavors in regular and extra-large sizes. The Peanut Butter Volcano is a can’t-miss item — a peanut butter cookie layered with additional peanut butter, chocolate, and graham cracker crumbs.

8. Side Biscuit

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1232 Packard St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 531-6777
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After months of delays, the popular chicken wing pop-up’s brick-and-mortar location is open. The wings are served with a variety of sauces — from the classic Buffalo and barbecue to global inspirations from Thailand, Korea, and Jamaica. As the name suggests, the biscuits are offered as a side dish, with flavors that change weekly. Items can be ordered online for pickup or enjoyed at one of its sidewalk tables.

A pile of hot wings topped with cilantro sits on a black plate. Side Biscuit

9. Thompson & Co.

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400 N River St
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
(734) 441-6200
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Southern-inspired cuisine is now being served at this landmark Depot Town building, originally built in 1861. Shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and brisket join other comfort food classics and locally-brewed beer. It’s also the home of Mash, a basement whiskey bar in downtown Ann Arbor. 

10. Bon Appetit Cuisine

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421 W Cross St
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 221-5525
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Western African flavors are on the menu in this spot near the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Dishes like fried whole snapper and grilled lamb are available with a variety of sides, including fried plantains and the iconic rice dish, jollof. 

11. Ypsi Cocktail Club

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102 W Michigan Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

The team behind Ann Arbor Distilling Company opened this gorgeous tasting room in downtown Ypsilanti. Bottles of the spirits and are available for purchase and its canned cocktails are created in collaboration with and for the benefit of local nonprofits. 

Ypsi Cocktail Club

12. Latin American Cuban cuisine

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2269 Ellsworth Rd
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 961-7452
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Located in the middle of a Ypsi strip mall, this little diner can be easy to miss. Those who make the effort to find it will be treated to classic Cuban dishes such as rope vieja and Piccadilly. The yuca fries with a cilantro garlic dip steal the show.

John Reyes

1. The Boro

5400 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
The gray wooden exterior of the Boro in Ann Arbor with the name of the restaurant “The Boro” painted in white letters on the side of the building. A red metal lamp sits above the name to illuminate it at night John Reyes

A local landmark has been transformed into the Dixboro Project, a multi-disciplinary destination with several options for diners. A cafe features bakery items, wood-fired pizzas, and other carryout meals, while the relaxed dining room offers fancier dishes. The Dixboro House, the luxurious third phase, is set to begin service in 2022. 

5400 Plymouth Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

2. HOMES Brewery - Campus

112 Jackson Plaza, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
John Reyes

The popular Ann Arbor brewery has opened HOMES Campus, a new, multi-use place on the far west side. In addition to its selection of beers on tap, the stylish spot showcases Dozer cafe and Smooj, its line of smoothie seltzers. An art-filled seating area has views of its large, outdoor space with fire pits and heaters for cold season.

112 Jackson Plaza
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

3. Stray Hen Cafe Ann Arbor

403 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Breakfast bowl with avocado, tomatoes, onions, cheese, corn and peppers John Reyes

Stray Hen serves several healthy brunch alternatives at its light-filled downtown eatery. Choose from breakfast bowls featuring a base of ancient grains, granola, or cauliflower rice, or opt for more than 20 toppings at the oatmeal bar.

403 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

4. The Great Commoner

110 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
John Reyes

This French patisserie from the team behind Detroit’s Cannelle is a pastry lover’s dream. The space is as elegant as the buttery croissants, rich eclairs, colorful macarons, and many other delicacies offered. Sandwiches, salads, and a full coffee bar are also available. 

110 E Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

5. Qmin

619 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
John Reyes

This fast-casual spot features Indian fare updated with spices from all around Asia. The result is a menu full of brightly-colored dishes packed with flavor — such as the grilled chicken tikka masala in a Thai curry sauce. 

619 E Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

6. Hyperion Coffee Co - Ann Arbor

111 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Hyperion features ethically-sourced beans - many of which bear the names of producers - roasted in Ypsilanti and served in downtown Ann Arbor. Java cravers can choose from a full line of coffee drinks and locally-made pastries to enjoy in the cozy, Liberty Street shop. 

111 W Liberty St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

7. Detroit Cookie Company — Ann Arbor

609 E William St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

This is the second outlet for the Ferndale-based cookie purveyor. Here you’ll find dozens of rotating flavors in regular and extra-large sizes. The Peanut Butter Volcano is a can’t-miss item — a peanut butter cookie layered with additional peanut butter, chocolate, and graham cracker crumbs.

609 E William St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

8. Side Biscuit

1232 Packard St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
A pile of hot wings topped with cilantro sits on a black plate. Side Biscuit

After months of delays, the popular chicken wing pop-up’s brick-and-mortar location is open. The wings are served with a variety of sauces — from the classic Buffalo and barbecue to global inspirations from Thailand, Korea, and Jamaica. As the name suggests, the biscuits are offered as a side dish, with flavors that change weekly. Items can be ordered online for pickup or enjoyed at one of its sidewalk tables.

1232 Packard St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

9. Thompson & Co.

400 N River St, Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Southern-inspired cuisine is now being served at this landmark Depot Town building, originally built in 1861. Shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and brisket join other comfort food classics and locally-brewed beer. It’s also the home of Mash, a basement whiskey bar in downtown Ann Arbor. 

400 N River St
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

10. Bon Appetit Cuisine

421 W Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Western African flavors are on the menu in this spot near the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Dishes like fried whole snapper and grilled lamb are available with a variety of sides, including fried plantains and the iconic rice dish, jollof. 

421 W Cross St
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

11. Ypsi Cocktail Club

102 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Ypsi Cocktail Club

The team behind Ann Arbor Distilling Company opened this gorgeous tasting room in downtown Ypsilanti. Bottles of the spirits and are available for purchase and its canned cocktails are created in collaboration with and for the benefit of local nonprofits. 

102 W Michigan Ave
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

12. Latin American Cuban cuisine

2269 Ellsworth Rd, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
John Reyes

Located in the middle of a Ypsi strip mall, this little diner can be easy to miss. Those who make the effort to find it will be treated to classic Cuban dishes such as rope vieja and Piccadilly. The yuca fries with a cilantro garlic dip steal the show.

2269 Ellsworth Rd
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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