BOAA: Best Mexican: Chela's
There are restaurants that you go to with great frequency. There are restaurants you profess to love. There are restaurants to which you feel some kind of intense loyalty, akin to your dedication to a religion or sports team. And then there is Chelas. Originally found on the corner of Liberty and Maple, Chelas serves without a doubt the greatest Mexican food in the greater Ann Arbor area and quite possibly the entire country. Is that hyperbole? Not to the legions of devoted followers that pack the restaurant seven days a week. You can’t get a better meal for under ten dollars unless you make it yourself, and even then it’s not likely. Chelas seems to effortlessly pull off that perfect local establishment atmosphere of familiarity and comfort that makes it impossible to not want to return again and again.
There are people out there who hold in their hearts a great love of Chipotle and other places like it. But Chipotle is to Chelas what McDonalds is to Knight’s Steakhouse. Where else but Chelas will you find employees who know your name after only a few visits? Where else but Chelas can you get three tacos for less than the price of a movie ticket. Where else but Chelas can you go for a meal that is that fast, that easy, and still that good. The answer? Nowhere. There is only one Chelas. You can find it on Maple and on 5th. If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on what has become the go-to staple for Mexican food in Ann Arbor. Jump on the bandwagon and get to Chelas as soon as is physically possible. You won’t be disappointed.