Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
No trip to Ann Arbor is complete without a meal at Zingerman's. From their freshly baked breads to their overstuffed sandwiches to a wall wholly devoted to olive oil, this foodie institution located in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown district makes your visit to A2 complete.
You may be a bit overwhelmed as you enter the Zingerman's campus, established here in 1982 by University of Michigan graduate Ari Weinzweig and his partner Paul Saginaw. It's a campus because it's not merely one store but a series of buildings surrounding a small, triangular courtyard full of colorful picnic tables. There is a stand-alone Next Door Cafe bakehouse for baked goods, chocolates and confections, all made on the premises; a coffee roastery, and a dairy creating artisan cheeses.
When visiting for the first time, go past the bread and deli counters, pick up a menu and get in line. The line moves slowly, and you are going to need that time to make your way through hundreds of menu items you can eat on the spot or catering items like noodle kugel, salads, and platters you can order to take home or cater your next party.
Keep in mind these sandwiches are not cheap. For example, a Binny's Brooklyn Reuben can set you back almost $20. But Zingerman's does not shy away from that fact and instead goes into great detail about what goes into making some of the highest quality sandwiches around: only using the best quality meats, vegetables and cheeses, and the freshest baked bread.
After you've ordered, find a seat either upstairs or, if the weather allows, outside under a colorful umbrella. The place is cyclist and dog-friendly, judging from not only the bike rack but the row of dog bowls set up for some thirsty Fidos. And if you can't decide what to eat or cannot possibly fit any more into your stomach after consuming a Zingerman's sandwich large enough to share with at least two people, take home it's expansive mail order catalog.