Mike and I were invited by our good friends Krin and Etan to join them on a road trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan. They both attended college at the University of Michigan, and Etan actually grew up in Ann Arbor, so this would be the REAL-DEAL insider’s view of Ann Arbor.  I jumped at the chance and said yes, before I even heard the details…which were even better than I could have imagined!

Breakfast of Champions

On Saturday, we woke up early to beat the crowds for brunch at an old favorite of theirs: Angelo’s Restaurant, open since 1956, and famous for it’s deep-fried french toast. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed for the summer, but if you are ever in Ann Arbor, I hope you’ll check it out and report back!

Instead, we tried out Sava’s Cafe in the heart of downtown, a recommendation from our friend Kyle, which made for a satisfying start to our day. (Thanks, Kyle!)

Ann Arbor Art Festival

The reason Krin and Etan picked THIS particular weekend for our road trip was specifically to attend the 52nd Annual Ann Arbor Art Festival.  The entire downtown area fills up with booths of artists, vendors, and retailers.  The event is said to attract over 500,000 visitors over the span of 4 days.  Yet while the streets were lively, I never felt crowded like I do at events in Chicago.  It was a perfect, laid-back afternoon full of lots of exploring.

A really funky alley we discovered:

I was also thrilled to see veggie-friendly food offerings at the fair.  For lunch, I enjoyed a Sweet-Potato Quinoa burger with Vegan Curry Aioli on a Gluten Free Bun from the booth operated by Ann Arbor’s Jazzy Veggie restaurant. Yum!

While browsing the art booths, we also stopped into many of the area’s stores.  Urban Outfitters and outdoor gear stores, Bivouac and Moosejaw, were all having serious sales. We adored Organic Bliss green-boutique, and I sampled Michigan Cherries to my heart’s content at Cherry Republic.  We also spent some time in the Flagship/Headquarters Borders store, which sadly was having its going out of business sale.

Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Mid-day, we walked over to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, which was just a few blocks away from all of the festival activity.

      

For a mid-day snack, the four of us shared lots of goodies, including organic blueberries (which I washed in the drinking fountain), ice-brewed coffee, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and Alfajores (South American chocolate-covered cookies).

Krin got some adorable canvas tote bags, and I also picked up some snacks for later, including a Mindo chocolate bar and home-made raw snack-bars by Folktory.

     

     

     

Lastly, we took a walk around the University of Michigan‘s beautiful campus, before beginning our evening festivities.

Stay tuned for the rest of our weekend including pre-dinner drinks, a vegetarian feast, and the Zingerman’s empire!

What was the last Road Trip you took? 

Have you ever been to an Art Fair?