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This is based on personal experiences. You'll have to look up the locations yourself. Generally, the food is good, but to an outsider, can seem expensive. If you live in Ann Arbor, spending $10 on lunch seems no big deal. There's a lot of choice.
It's biased towards Main St. and the surrounding area.
Kai Garden (S. Main) offers a pleasant environment
for a reasonable price.
Eastern Accents (S. 4th) has a limited lunch choice, including some Chinese lunches, a good be bim bop, and an extensive tea selection.
Middle Kingdom (S. Main) is relatively upscale, with large portions
Amadeus (E. Washington) has an upscale atmosphere.
Parthenon (S. Main) serves a good gyro sandwich and salad.
Raja Rani (S. Division) and
Shalimar (E. Washington) have very
good buffet lunches. Go to the closest one, it can be
hard going walking back after sampling everything.
The Madras Masala lunch buffet (Maynard, almost underneath the parking structure), is also excellent.
Argiero's (Detroit, Kerrytown) is OK.
Save money by drinking water.
Miki (S. First) is very good, but expensive.
There's another good place in Kerrytown, but I can't remember what it's called. Yamato, that's it.
Teriyaki Time (Detroit St.) is very cheap and good.
Kosmo Deli (Kerrytown) serves a good be bim bob at the counter.
Eastern Accents (S. 4th) also does be bim bob.
Sabor Latino (N. Main) used to be excellent and cheap.
Tios (E. Liberty) is also OK.
Prickly Pear (S. Main) might be to your taste if your not into spicy food.
Banditos (S. 4th) has big portions.
Jerusalem Garden (S. 5th) is excellent and cheap. Surroundings are not upscale, but you can sit at a counter and watch the falafels being fried.
Arbor Brewing (E. Washington) and
Grizzly Peak (W. Washington)
are both popular.
Cafe Zola (W. Washington) is really liked by a colleague, so I've been there many times for the Turkish Brunch.
Red Hawk Grill (S. State) allows good customization of sandwiches, for example with peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
Sottinis (S. 4th) does reasonably priced subs.
Taste Our Goods (5th Avenue) does counter and take-out breakfast and lunch.
Zingermans (Kerrytown) is famous, but not cheap.
Siam Cuisine (Braun Ct./N 4th in Kerrytown) has
an excellent spicy lunch. Recommended if you
have a cold, or even if you don't.
No Thai! (N. 4th, S. University) arrived after I left Ann Arbor.
Seva (E. Liberty)
does a large and good bean burrito, even for a non-vegetarian.
Monahans Seafood in Kerrytown has been recommended.
Personal favorites used to be Sabor Latino (has changed owners, no longer as cheap apparently), Jerusalem Garden, and Cafe Zola (mainly through familiarity - a colleague always wanted to eat there).
Favorites include Saica (Japanese, on Plymouth Rd), Dalat (Vietnamese, in downtown Ypsilanti), La Fiesta Mexicana (Mexican - surprise) on Cross St. near EMU in Ypsilanti, and the Lighthouse Diner in Dexter. My current favorite restaurant is Palm Palace, formerly Charlie's/La Shish (Carpenter Rd).
Last updated September 2010 - thanks to JS.
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