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  • The Satiated Blonde

Discover My Top Must-See Destinations in Ann Arbor

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downtown ann arbor tulips in bloom

Throughout the summer of 2023 we made a few trips up to Ann Arbor, Michigan. We really like the food and shopping options. We even went there to celebrate our anniversary! I also like finding small, unique shops and some bigger named, unique shops (like Zingerman's) and Sparrow Market. (expanded post coming soon!)

pic of Tios sign

When we want Mexican while we're in town, there are two downtown options (so far) that we keep returning to: Tios Mexican Cafe and Isalita. We often get Tios for the way home when my hubby wants some churros (we found a new place for churros, too--keep reading!). This time at Tios, we got some street tacos for the road (is that as funny to you as it is to me? lol). Anyways, we got the tinga taco, al pastor, steak taco, churros (with a different dip), chips and salsa. I was pleasantly surprised by their tacos and I really like a good straightforward street taco: meat, onions, cilantro -- like the ones we tried in Dublin, OH! (post coming soon)

I mentioned that we like Ann Arbor for shopping, that also includes grocery shopping. Plum Market is one of our faves and where I discovered a bunch of chewy snacks for taste testing, Confetti brand pickled onions, jalapenos, and cucumbers (they are all so good, but the onions are my favorite!), Olipop (affiliate code: SATIATEDBLONDE and you can read my flavor review here!), Calder Dairy ice cream (their vanilla is my favorite; really straightforward ingredients and it tastes/has the texture of angel food cake - so good!), De La Calle Tepache (my favorite is the mango chile, but my hubby really like them all). They also carry specialty cheeses through a partnership with Zingerman's, including one of my new favorites, Ossau Iraty.

On the downtown strip, we can't help but pop into Shinola to try on some watches, look at the luxurious, well-made leather goods, test out their pens, and ultimately end up in the basement cafe.

We were invited to a concert (didn't end up working out for me, even with the special earplugs my hubby thankfully bought - there were just too many noise vibrations for me, anyways, that part doesn't matter as much). Mid-way through the show, I ended up at an ice cream shop down the block that had a line out the door, where I enjoyed the evening at one of their picnic tables. They also have a full catalog book of all their ingredients that they're willing to share, which is awesome! The concert also happened to be during the art festival, so it was a hoppin' time around the city.

meal at Isalita

I know you're still here to find out where we got the new, giant churros, but I'll get there. We started with a late lunch at Isalita. I've gotten their tacos and birria before, but this day I tried the fajitas. The trio of salsas is also very tasty!

mini french press and to go cup at cafe zola

It ended up being a later (much later) evening than any of us had planned. My hubby was driving home and wanted some coffee so we stopped in Cafe Zola. The downtown location is very different than the Zola Bistro. I much prefer the ambiance at the cafe, but we have grabbed a quick lunch at the bistro - kobe burgers, the olive appetizer, and mineral water. Anyways, my husband opted for a mini midnight french press at the cafe and by happenstance, we found the biggest churros we'd ever seen, right across the street at a new Cuban street food restaurant, called Frita Batidos. They have other food, too--my husband and his parents tried the seasonal fried cockles special. They still have some things to work out for communication with where drinks are picked up (around the corner), but it could have been because it was just so late (and busy).

holding giant churro in car on ride home

I still think about that churro when I sit in the back seat of the car - it rained cinnamon sugar back there so hard every time we moved, I could hear it hitting the seats, but we laughed all the way home. It was like an elephant trunk. I really don't think the picture captures it! Another note is that most of the time we can find free parking or just do the hourly parking in the parking garages, but every once in awhile when there's a special event, like when we happened to be there for the art festival, parking is hard to find and quite expensive.

Check out the other posts I've shared on our A2 adventures:

Want to stay in the loop on my outings and favorite places? Check out my stories! Share your favorite places to visit in the comments.

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