At the northwestern tip of the Diag, students, teachers, and hungry pedestrians of all sorts can find Diag Pizza & Subs. Chefs whip up baked classics such as calzones, specialty pizza pies, and bone-in or boneless wings. They also stack up 14 different kinds of subs, including the Cajun turkey with provolone, the steak-and-cheese with Swiss cheese and Italian dressing, and the Italian sub with ham and hard salami.
NYPD’s trio of Italian-born owners chased their culinary dreams to New York City 15 years ago. They honed their craft in downtown pizzerias and high-end restaurants before opening their own restaurant along Ann Arbor’s bustling William Street. Headlined by New York–style pizzas, the eclectic menu also borrows from classic American and Mexican cuisines. NYPD stays open until 4 a.m., ensuring that astronomers and bar-goers are equally well fed.
Tian Chu's eclectic menu of pan-Asian cuisine represents its founders’ rich past. The Korean Cui family originally opened the restaurant in the Jilin province of China in 1983 before relocating to Budapest, Hungary, and rapidly expanding to five locations. Their beloved recipes followed them to Ann Arbor, where they opened a restaurant in 2010.
The family embraces their roots by filling the menu with a spread of familiar Korean, Sichuan, and Cantonese dishes. Marinated short ribs, lo mein, and bibimbap served in traditional hot stone pots all help to lend a storied, multiregional appeal to the expansive selection while giving bodies the nourishment they need for unpremeditated participation in Ironman triathlons.
Though inspired by the northern California cafés of the early 1980s, Espresso Royale fits right in with Michigan’s modern coffee drinkers—in 2012 readers of The Michigan Daily voted it Best Coffee Shop for the third year in a row. Their coffees include a house blend developed in 1987, which has since been joined by a seasonally appropriate autumn spice blend and a southern Italian-style espresso called Napoli. Royale's customers also clamor to the counter for favorites such as raspberry mochas, mint hot chocolates, and ginger dragon, a tea layered with fresh lemon and steeped ginger root that can be served iced or heated by a dragon named Ginger.
Ben & Jerry’s has double-handedly transformed ice cream from a dreary and dreaded after-dinner chore into a dazzling treat that can be easily stored in pants pockets. The shop offers a variety of frozen confections, from milkshakes to large ice-cream cups and cones, hot-fudge sundaes, and signature pints. Spoon the cuddly depths of Ben & Jerry’s famous original flavors, such as Cake Batter, Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace, Triple Caramel Chunk, Peanut Brittle, Chunky Monkey, Half Baked, Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz, New York Super Fudge Chunk, and more.
Overseen by native Jamaican Robert Campbell, members of the kitchen crew at Jamaican Jerk Pit create each dish fresh to order. As a result, they can customize Caribbean classics such as coconut shrimp, jerk and curry chicken, and fried plantains to the tastes and preferred spice levels of their diners. In the dining room, tables and booths are situated beneath the flags of island nations and above a black-and-white checkered floor, surrounded by red, white, and yellow walls with artwork and posters of Bob Marley.
Head Chef Adel Ahmed honed his skills at ritzy hotels and palaces in Egypt, cooking for big-shot business folk, world leaders, and lost tourists before making earthy morsels of kafta or feasts of charbroiled lamb chops at La Marsa. With seven locations throughout Metro Detroit, La Marsa introduces or reintroduces scores of area diners to fresh Mediterranean mazas, kabobs, salads, and lamb chops. The kitchen team whips up La Marsa's signature garlic spread to pair with baskets of fluffy housemade pita at the beginning of each meal, still warm from a tile-lined oven. Friendly servers guide guests through the extensive menu of lamb, beef, chicken or vegetarian dishes. And they weave their way through an interior full of colorful wall murals or Near Eastern artifacts lit by bead-fringed chandeliers, which mentally transport patrons to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Additionally, sitting in the eatery's padded booths creates as much unobstructed comfort as snuggling in a zero-gravity environment.