It used to be that shopping downtown meant wilted produce and expensive, limited choices. Not anymore!
In downtown Ann Arbor, you have access to the best of the best—fresh-from-the-farm produce, eggs, milk, and meat as well as baked goods and fresh-roasted coffee—everything you could possibly want.
And, the shopping experience is fun! Downtown Ann Arbor is filled with one-of-a-kind stores and food prepared by artisans who live right around the corner. Many of the merchants and staff you’ll meet are experts that do what they love, offering a warm and friendly atmosphere to all of their customers. Whether it be a refreshing salad made with organic ingredients or free-range aged prime beef, Ann Arbor groceries are dedicated to providing the highest quality food and services.
Food options have never been better or more nutritious than they are today in downtown Ann Arbor.
Check out some of my favorite food places:
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Going strong for 102 years and counting, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market is a staple where shoppers can find a huge range of local and delicious items: fruit, vegetables, prepared foods, jams, pickles, krauts, coffee, chocolate, meats, and cheeses, as well as potted plants and flowers.
No trying to decipher confusing food labels here! You’ll get to talk with, and buy directly from, the person who produced your food, meaning you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips, and you’ll get a very personal shopping experience, too.
The Market runs year-round on Saturdays, and in the summers it’s on both Wed
nesday and Saturday mornings, with occasional food truck rallies taking place on select Wednesday evenings.
People’s Food Co-op and Cafe Verde
Longtime Ann Arborites in the know remember when, in 1971, it was just a storefront with bags of bulk items like peanut butter, honey, rice, beans, and sunflower
seeds, run completely by volunteers with a commitment to locally grown, organic food and protection of the environment.
Now, in its 50th year, People’s Food Co-op and Cafe Verde have grown into a full-service grocery store and cafe, and still, uphold the same values of sustainably and organically sourced food they were founded on.
Here you’ll still find bulk and individually packaged dry goods like flour, beans, rice, nuts, and dried fruit, as well as a great assortment of delicious cheeses, quality wines and craft beer, and environmentally sensitive home and personal care products. The friendly staff will be happy to help you find whatever it is you’re looking for.
At Cafe Verde next door, you’ll find a hot food bar with fresh salad fixings, soups, and sandwiches, as well as a full-service cafe with house-made baked goods.
The famous Ann Arbor restaurant, which started off as a small deli in Kerrytown and has now grown to become a community of ten independently operating businesses, is a go-to spot for connoisseurs seeking out artisan foods of international renown.
Zingerman’s Deli remains in its signature Kerrytown location, next to Community High School and one block away from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and a short walk from the People’s Food Co-op. Not only will you find their world-famous sandwiches here, but also a storefront with a wide array of bread, cheeses, meats, olive oils, vinegar, preserves, and other delicious products. Sampling encouraged!
Their most popular menu item is the #2 Zingerman’s Reuben: a presidentially-endorsed hit.
Argus Farm Stop
Opening their first location in 2014, Argus Farm Stop has rapidly grown and developed a dedicated customer base. At the urging of their farms who have expanded their businesses, they decided to open a second location in 2017! Part of the reason for that is its innovative business model, a model where farmers and food producers set the prices for their items and receive 80% of the profits.
Everything sold at Argus is locally sourced and organic, and because of that, the items are incredibly fresh, high quality, and environmentally friendly, and supportive of the local economy.
Argus carries fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and cheeses, meat and fish, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, flour, and more.
Nearly 30 years ago, Bob and Lisa Sparrow started an Ann Arbor meat market, aiming to offer grass-fed mea
ts, sausages, and poultry.
The market has since grown to include fresh produce, specialty items, everyday groceries, and a lunch counter. Sparrow meat market located in Kerrytown’s historic market district offers free-range air-chilled poultry, duck breast, whole duck, certified organic lamb, free-range pork, prime veal, veal shanks, aged prime beef, homemade free-range pork & chicken sausages, Cajun sausages, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pies and more. Kerrytown’s markets and shops houses Sparrow produce as well, both are unparalleled in quality.
Operating at the corner of Spring St. and Miller Avenue since 1952, Knight’s Market has a long-been grocery store and full-service butcher. The selection is great, and the prices are reasonable. While there are now also two Knight’s restaurants in town, the market also supplies meat to dozens of other area restaurants, including Casey’s, Red Hawk, and Fraser’s.
Knight’s is a great place to stop by if you’re looking to pick up groceries for dinner; they’re sure to have everything you need!
While many know it solely as an ice cream store, the Old West Side’s beloved Washtenaw Dairy actually carries a range of milk, cream, cheeses, donuts, soymilk, and tofu in addition to ice cream.
Here you’ll get friendly, down-to-earth service and prices that are hard to beat.
Besides, their chocolate milkshake is one of the best in town, and their donuts have a cult-like following.
Morgan & York
If you’re looking for quality wines and cheeses, you’ve come to the right place. Morgan & York also carries coveted artisan items, like balsamic vinegar and olive oils, traditional Italian torrone, imported salami, chorizo, and black forest ham, Marcona almonds, and panettone. Many of these items are not found in your average grocery store at all, especially at the level of quality you’ll find at Morgan & York.
Owners Tommy York and Matt Morgan’s attention to detail is not just made evident by their finely curated grocery selection, but also by their delicious prepared foods, including seasonal soups, cheese trays, and made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Take your food to go, or sit down and enjoy it at one of their tables near a large window.
And if you’re an espresso fanatic, you can’t pass theirs up; brewed to perfection, it’s some of the best in town.