The International Culinary Travel Association defines “culinary travel” as the “pursuit of unique and memorable culinary experiences of all kinds,” and food-oriented travel is one of the fastest growing segments of today’s travel industry. For the foodie traveler, what a destination has to offer in terms of food and drink is just as important as its tourist attractions.
If you consider yourself a foodie traveler, then Ann Arbor, Mich., should quickly rise to the top of your places to visit. With a diverse array of about 250 restaurants concentrated into just 25 square miles, when it comes to gastronomic experiences, this small Midwestern city is huge.
“Whether you’re into traditional or eclectic, formal or casual, Ann Arbor has it all – from small, cozy cafés to fun, energetic pubs, to sophisticated fine dining establishments,” says Mary Kerr, President of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “More and more travelers are discovering that Ann Arbor is one of our country’s premier foodie destinations.”
Ann Arbor provides an abundance of culinary choices, so planning ahead and doing some homework on the city’s restaurants is a must - especially for the first-time visitor. There are so many restaurants in Ann Arbor that appeal to virtually every type of foodie, and the most difficult task you will face during your planning will be deciding which establishments to visit during your stay. You may quickly find that three meals per day just won’t do in order to try all of the flavors that make this city so authentic and unique.
If you enjoy foods that remind you of your childhood, you will be right at home at Krazy Jim’s Blimpie Burger, where you can create your own burger any way you like it. On the other end of the spectrum, the foodie who loves to try new and exotic recipes might consider the flavorful adventure of Ethiopian cuisine at The Blue Nile.
For those who appreciate dishes that blend the culinary traditions of multiple cultures, Café Zola’s menu is the perfect mix, featuring items with French, Italian, Mediterranean and Turkish influences. The Earthern Jar is the health-conscious foodie’s idea of nirvana, with its full buffet of natural, wholesome and primarily vegan items. For those foodies whose culinary experience is as much about the atmosphere as it is about fine dining, The Gandy Dancer, set in the restored 1886 Michigan Central Depot, is the perfect night out, and those interested in the “locavore” movement will be impressed with Grange Kitchen and Bar’s diverse menu of items produced in Southeast Michigan
This is just a small spattering of options available to those visiting Ann Arbor. If you’re lucky enough to be within driving distance from this culinary haven, you still won’t be able to take in all of the tastes this city has to offer in just one day, so grab your suitcase, pack some loose clothing and prepare to partake in a true food lover’s paradise.
Click here to learn more about Ann Arbor’s Foodie Paradise
Click here to see Ann Arbor’s Winter Foodie Itinerary
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