Please share your tips for finding a cheap lunch in Ann Arbor!


  • "Hungry Hungry" website lists public events around the city which have free food, often lectures or similar public events. Website is no longer updated.

One technique for finding an inexpensive lunch is to eat from the breakfast menu.

State Street area

Main Street area

  • [1] Great Harvest Bread Co. on Main (near Ann Arbor Saline Road in the Busch's plaza, has pretty much their entire menu of sandwiches/soups under $5. And you know how darn good that bread is!! Uh-huh!!
  • Ahmo's provides many meals under 5 dollars, including falafel in pita for 4 dollars. Also, they have possibly the best gyros in town.
  • Tasty soup and a slice of bread from Amer's is $2.64 after tax.
  • Ashley's Bar on State Street between William and Nickel's Arcade has some great lunch specials, such as a cheesburger and fries, for $4.95 including beverage.
  • Barry Bagels will serve you a "junior size" sandwich on any of their bagels for just under $5. You can get get some nice group deals if you use their coupons, found on their website.
  • Big Ten Burrito, tortilla wrapped bricks of love filled with anything from beans to people, ranging from 2-9 dollars each.
  • Copernicus in South Main Market sells polish rolls for $0.60, which are the perfect size to put a dollar or two of fresh sliced deli meats and cheese on. Some assembly required, but you can get a DIY hearty sandwich for $3, and they'll make it for you for $3.99.
  • DiBella's is an East Coast chain, but their only Michigan location is on Eisenhower just off Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. Great Old Fashion submarine sandwiches on fresh baked bread.
  • Earthern Jar, on Fifth, is priced by-the-pound, and $5 worth is generally plenty.
  • Frank's has a good breakfast/lunch plate of eggs, hash browns, and toast at for just over $4.00. Take a look at their menu -- many of their breakfast and lunch specials come in at around $5.00.
  • Jimmy John's is ubiquitous and has sandwiches under $5.
  • King Shing on Carpenter has Chinese lunch specials at $3.99 (veg) to $5.25 (seafood).
  • Kosmo @ Kerrytown, 90% of the menu is under 5 dollars.
  • Le Dog is an Ann Arbor institution, and serves inexpensive turkey franks and polish sausages, along with their fine soups (although many of those are more than $5, but well worth it). The East Liberty outpost closed in 2015, leaving the Le Dog = La Soup South Main Street location open. Cash only.
  • Mr. Greek's Coney Island on State Street has cheeseburgers for $4.65, a variety of sandwiches for $4.95, and coney dogs for $1.95 each. Drinks are about $1.50, so a coney dog and drink is well under five bucks.
  • New York Pizza Depot is $2 for a slice of pizza these days (around 2.80 for a slice with stuff on it). They also have a deal for a drink and 2 slices for 5$ (last I checked) Their slices are gigantic and good.
  • Pita Kabob Grill on William, near State Street has good, cheap pita sandwiches, including the popular Chicken Shawarma pita for $3.95, which contains fries inside the sandwich.
  • Pizza by the slice for less than $5 at Pizza Pino, located at the corner of W Liberty and First.
  • Potbelly may be a chain, but their sandwiches are quite good, and only $4.19. There's also Jimmy John's, Subway, Quizno's which all have similar offerings in about the same range.
  • Sabor Latino has tacos for about a $1.55 and burritos for under 2.
  • San Fu on Main between Moseley and Madison has some lunch specials under $5 (and a few more just above).
  • Sottini's isn't a chain, and has very good sandwiches, most in the $4-4.50 range.

West side

  • Chela's has a lunch special (two tacos or tamales, rice, beans, and a pop) for $5.50. (2012)

North side

Kerrytown area

  • Cafe Verde has a salad bar and a hot bar. Buy a couple of pieces of bread by the slice and some hummus by the pound and there's your $5 lunch. There's a wide range of food next door ready to eat at the People's Food Coop, so you can buy a single banana or apple for dessert.
  • The Farmer's Market, at Kerrytown, provides all sorts of handmade organic goodies, and since there's no middle man, they're as cheap as the dirts from whence they came (Wednesdays and Saturdays only
  • Teriyaki Time next to Kerrytown is already pretty cheap, but they regularly run specials of a chicken skewer for $0.99 and a tempura vegetable skewer for $1.99. Two chicken skewers, or one of each, is basically a meal.

South University area

  • Amer's on Church Street sells salads by the pound.
  • Backroom Pizza on Church Street has slices of cheese pizza for $1.
  • Jimmy John's in several locations across Ann Arbor.
  • Ray's Red Hots on East University has a Chicago Dog for $2.50, and Dollar Dogs w/two toppings for a measly $1.25.
  • Sadako on South University sells cheap vegetarian sushi with an avacado or cucumber roll being 2$ each, but items with fish can be pricy. If you order more than 6$ worth of food you get free soup and salad.
  • Za's on East University offers customizable pizza & pasta for under $5


Many of these restaurants are reviewed in The Communicator's annual "where to eat" review.


Done deals

These deals are done for :-(

  • Yamato has delicious chicken-rice balls ($3-3.50) and chicken / vegetable curry ($4) at their takeout room in the back of Kerrytown. [closed 20xx]
  • Silvio's in the same building with sushi.come. Has great italian style organic pizzas. Lunch special - slice, soup & drink for $5. Also: pizza slices in $1.75 to $2 range. On North University. (COVID casualty)


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