Bucket List: The Things You Need to Eat in Ann Arbor Before You Graduate


Unfortunately for University of Michigan seniors, it’s almost graduation time. That means it’s time for bucket lists. Break into the stadium at night (#worthit), paint the rock one last time, do a bar crawl, a scavenger hunt, sit in on a lecture you’re not enrolled in, and find a place to sign Skeeps.

Wherever you go next will no doubt have great food, but won’t bring you the same memories as a hungover MoJo brunch on Sundays. Bonus points if you got there during breakfast hours and stayed until they brought out the chocolate chip cookies. So, we’d like to bring you the food bucket list for Ann Arbor. The Freshman 15 has nothing on the Senior 20.

1. Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure at Zingerman’s


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If you know, I don’t need to tell you. But if you’ve been coming to Zingerman’s for the past four years and getting the Reuben every single time because President Barack Obama did, you’re doing it wrong. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Reuben. But #73, Tarb’s Tenacious Tenure is something you just need to try before you leave. My love for this sandwich knows no bounds. Someone stole half of mine from the sorority house kitchen fridge in 2008 and I am still looking for the thief. If you’re reading this, I haven’t forgotten and I don’t forgive you.  


2. Dinner from No Thai #3  


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Guys, do you even know about No Thai #3? Or did you spend your first two years braving the lines at the South U location and then going to Kerrytown during your last two in an effort to be classy? Head over to the location on Plymouth St. The drunken noodles are still on fleek (that’s what the college kids are saying, right?). The Sweet & Spicy Chicken is the same sweet and spicy goodness that the other two locations have, plus you’ll run into fewer people you know. This is probably for the best, especially when you get to that inevitable point in the meal where you’re just using a spoon as a vehicle for the sauce. Note: We do not endorse going to No Thai #4, which is located in East Lansing. Ever.


3. Collider at Rod’s Diner



The collider is Rod’s Diner’s version of a blizzard. Get yours with Cap’n Crunch for maximum bliss. Ice cream season lasts all of about three weeks in Ann Arbor, but when that glorious time comes, Rod’s is always the move.


4. Chipati at Pizza Bob’s



You’ll know people who swear by the Chipati at Pizza House. Those people are called liars. Stay away from those people. They’re the same kind of people who think 10:00am is an acceptable wakeup time for a 12:00pm game. For the uninitiated, a Chipati is basically a salad except that there’s literally nothing healthy about it. It’s an enormous pita that probably weighs ten lbs filled with lettuce, tomato, raw mushrooms, and shredded cheese probably from a bag, with an addictive sauce on the side. It’s incredible, and also probably all of the calories and carbohydrates you need to consume for three days. You can add chicken, you can not add chicken. Live your life. Just make sure you get it at Pizza Bob’s. Pizza House is for post-Rick’s cheesy bread and pizza only. Both with ranch. Speaking of…


5. Feta Bread at Pizza House


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If a night at Rick’s doesn’t end at pizza house, were you even at Rick’s at all? Get the feta bread (or any kind of cheesy bread) and pizza and hang out at this sit-down late night staple for a while.


6. Climb Mount Nacheesmo at Tio’s Mexican Cafe


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This isn’t the greatest food in Ann Arbor, but if Adam Richman climbed the mountain for Man Vs. Food, it’s definitely something you should try. It’s a 5 lb plate of nachos (supposedly the biggest in the world). If you don’t feel like conquering it yourself, share one with friends and throw back a few margaritas. It’s a good memory.


7. Frita at Frita Batidos



Frita Batidos is Cuban-inspired street food by Eve Aronoff, who you may remember from season six of Top Chef. She originally opened a fine dining restaurant that you would go to with your parents, but Frita Batidos is what’s up. You could still take your parents here, especially if they want to feel cool. Get the chorizo, but if that’s not your thing, any of the fritas will do the trick.


8. Lobster Bisque at Le Dog


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Get a hot dog at Le Dog. No, JK. Don’t do that at all, that’s not what you do at Le Dog. Do get the soup, though, especially the lobster bisque, if it’s available which is only on Thursdays and Fridays, and only until they run out of it, which can be pretty early in the day. If they don’t have any left, any of the other options are solid choices.


9. Raisin Bread at Angelo’s


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Sometimes you wake up and you need an omelet the size of your head, and that is what Angelo’s is for. It’s an Ann Arbor institution that has been around since 1956 and in the same family since it opened. The omelets, sandwiches and other breakfast items are good, but it’s the raisin bread toast that’s always the star of the show. Don’t skip it because you’re “gluten free” or on a “spring break diet,” that’s what post-college is for.


10. Burger at Blimpy Burger



Blimpy Burger was putting fried eggs on burgers before you ever even thought of that as an option. Guy Fieri did an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives here. They’re in a new location now (RIP old Blimpy Burger) but they’re still grinding their own beef and doing it really, really well. Get a double with mushrooms, onions, the egg, and all the veggies, and get a basket of fried veggies to share. Don’t mess up the rules of ordering. You will get yelled at.


11. Hippie Hash at Fleetwood Diner



Fleetwood diner is open 24 hours and is home to the famous hippie hash, which is homemade hash browns topped with grilled tomato, green pepper, onion, mushroom and broccoli topped with feta cheese. It’s really good. Come in after the bar closes at 2:00am. Order Hippie Hash. Eat. Repeat.


12. Late Night Anything At Panchero’s



This place isn’t good at all, if we’re being honest. But when you’re drunk it doesn’t matter and you have to do it at least once, so while you’re in A2 for a few more weeks, make your way over.


13. Grilled Cheese from Grilled Cheezerie


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Mac-N-Cheese Grilled Cheese. Need we say more? Get that, the Shroom, or the You’ve Goat to Have it and you’re in business.


Don’t eat the chicken fingers at Skeeps. Do stay long enough to see them put out the chicken fingers at Skeeps. And of course: For today, goodbye. For tomorrow, good luck. And forever, GO BLUE.

[Image via Zingerman’s Deli Instagram]

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