Recently, I met a woman through work who is new to town. Our first conversation quickly turned to that sometimes engaging, sometimes agonizing topic: Ann Arbor restaurants. She was looking for recommendations for my favorite weekday dinner spots — places you can get a meal for under 15 dollars (not including wine or tip). I find that AA is particularly challenging in this range, but here are a few quick ideas along these lines.
- Paradise Restaurant, in the Colonnade shopping center on Eisenhower, fits this bill perfectly. A bowl of pho (about 8 bucks), some spring rolls or potstickers, and you have yourself a delicious Vietnamese meal. The proprietors, Vicki and Allen, have been running this multi-asian (Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese dishes all on offer) for about 8 years, and from the way they are greeted by their customers — hugs, questions about their daughter, effusive compliments — they’ll be around quite a while longer.
- I’m a fan of two Thai restaurants, Tuptim, on Washtenaw towards Ypsilanti, and a new place that just opened at the corner of Main and Williams next to the BP station, Marnee Thai. Tuptim is a bit of a haul for me, since I live on the West side of AA, but Marnee Thai is nearly as good. It’s a good sign that when I picked up a takeout order last Wednesday at Marnee Thai, there wasn’t an empty seat in the place. Their prices are roughly the same (around 10-12 bucks for coconut curry).
- I like Kosmo’s in Kerrytown and University Café on Church St for bi bim bop and other Korean fare, though Kosmo’s is a funky diner/lunch counter that stays open till 9pm and has typical lunch counter offerings in addition to its Korean ones. Bi bim bop will set you back about 8 bucks at both places.
- Burgers and fries at Café Zola. The absolute best in town; french fries are hand cut and served in a milkshake cup. Comes in at $14, easily enough for two to share.
What are your picks for weekday dinners out in Ann Arbor?
883 W. Eisenhower (Colonnade)
Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat. noon–11 p.m.
Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. & 5–9:30 p.m.
Sat. & Sun. noon–9:30 p.m.
414 S. Main
Mon.–Thurs. 11:15 a.m.–2:30 p.m. & 5:30–9:30 p.m.,
Fri. 11:15 a.m.–2:30 p.m. & 5:30–10 p.m., Sat. 11:15 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 5:30–9:30 p.m.
407 N. Fifth Ave. (Kerrytown Shops)
Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Sat. noon–9:30 p.m. Closed Sun.
112 W Washington St
7:00am – 4:00pm daily
(omelettes and waffles not served after 3:00)
5:00 – 10:00pm Sunday through Thursday
5:00 – 11:00pm Friday & Saturday