Eat well, students. It might be the only week you can — affordably, at least.

On Monday, local restaurants kicked off Ann Arbor’s Restaurant Week, a long-standing city tradition, which provides students on a budget with an opportunity to try restaurants normally reserved for a wealthier clientele.

Running through Jan. 17, patrons can enjoy seven days of lunch and dinner specials at fixed prices at 58 downtown Ann Arbor restaurants. Throughout the week, participating venues serve lunch for $15 and three-course dinners for $28 — with some restaurants offering two for one pricing.

While the event is also held annually in June, this week’s event will feature more participating restaurants, including The Original Cottage Inn, Gratzi, Café Zola and Frita Batidos, among others.

Maura Thomson, director of the Main Street Area Association, said the January event is usually busier than its summer counterpart because there are fewer competing special events offered in the winter in Ann Arbor.

“We typically try to choose weeks where restaurants are historically very slow,” Thomson said. “We’re trying to help restaurants get a little more business and give people the opportunity to try these new places during a time when it is not as busy and your odds of getting a table are better.”

Aventura and The Lunch Room are new additions to Restaurant Week. Aventura is a tapas restaurant run by the owner of Sava’s on State Street and The Lunch Room is a new vegan restaurant located in Kerrytown.

“Even people who aren’t vegan or vegetarian would enjoy it,” Thomson said. “If you haven’t experienced that vegan cuisine it’s a good time to try it.”

While The Lunch Room is serving food within its usual themes, Restaurant Week specials are usually fancier than those included on the usual menu, Phillis Engelbert, co-owner of The Lunch Room, said. While the restaurant serves tacos every Tuesday night, additional toppings will be offered as a Restaurant Week special.

This year’s Restaurant Week will also be the last that includes the vegetarian restaurant Seva, as the restaurant will be moving from its Liberty Street location later this month.

Thomson said establishments may be very crowded and advises restaurant goers to check restaurant menus online and make reservations.

An interactive map, featuring each restaurant’s specials, can be viewed below.


Red: Dinner two for $28
Blue: Dinner for $28 per person
Green: Both options available


Red: Lunch two for $15
Blue: Lunch for $15 per person
Green: Both options available

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