Joel Panozzo

I co-own and operate three plant-based restaurants in Ann Arbor: The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe and Detroit Street Filling station. Featured in Bon Appetit, New York Times and Detroit Free Press, we attract those searching for vegan cuisine as well as those just interested in food made and baked from scratch with many of the ingredients sourced within Southeast Michigan. Our community is our focus and our staff is what make our guests feel at home. We are living wage employer providing health & dental benefits, earned time off and a retirement plan.

We have two restaurants within 50 steps of the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. I am continually blown away by the depth and breadth of the fruits and vegetables grown and the handcrafted products being produced in Southeast Michigan. Many restaurants have seized on this opportunity to make these locally produced products sing.

  • 1


    Spencer - East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor MI

    I have been caught on more than one occasion saying that co-owner Abby Olitzky makes vegetables sing. Her partner in crime, Steve Hall, assures a warm welcome like you are entering their living room at home. On a recent dining experience, I set my fork down and said to my friend that this may be one of the best meals I have eaten.

  • 2

    Jerusalem Garden

    Jerusalem Garden - East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor MI

    Ali Ramlawi and his team’s fresh handmade falafel is the best I have eaten in the States. His hummus’ secret ingredient, jalapeños, assures the flavors of his dishes do a spicy dance on your pallet. The family’s 24 years in business makes Jerusalem Garden a pro at their craft, ridiculously fresh Middle Eastern food.

  • 3

    Detroit Vegan Soul

    Detroit Vegan Soul - Agnes Street, Detroit MI

    Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery-Boyd are doing it. They were visionaries that saw a need for plant-based soul food in Detroit. Their ability to take a dream and make it a reality inspires me and others. Their food has taken the city by storm, which has meant their expansion to a second location in the city.

  • 4

    Mighty Good Coffee

    Mighty Good Coffee - North Main Street, Ann Arbor MI

    David Myers passion for coffee pours out of him. Ann Arbor is lucky to have someone with his drive roasting some of the best coffee. Period. His partner, Nic Sims, has taken the iconic Jefferson Market (their fourth most recent location) and made it into a local food destination yet again.

  • 5

    Tomukun Noodle Bar

    Tomukun Noodle Bar - East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor MI

    There are few meals I crave more than Tom Yon’s well-crafted menu at Tomukun. You may see a line, but you never have to wait long since the tables turn over quickly at this ramen hotspot. There are late night hours on the weekend and a killer happy hour. If you do end up needing to wait for a table, grab a coffee, beer or wine through the passageway to Lab. You can bring your unfinished drink to your table.

  • 6

    Ann Arbor Farmers Market

    Ann Arbor Farmers Market - Detroit Street, Ann Arbor MI

    Every city I visit when traveling, I attempt to stop at their farmers markets. I can say hands down the Ann Arbor market takes the cake. There is a ton of rich history in this producer only market that opened in 1919. That means everything that is being sold is being grown or manufactured by the person behind the table. Some of my favorite finds are: Goetz Farm, Green Things Farm, A2 Seeds, Mindo Chocolate and Boochy Mama’s.

  • 7

    The Brinery

    4175 Whitmore Lake Rd - Ann Arbor, MI 48105 USA

    Well, there is no physical retail space, there are plenty of places to find The Brinery’s products around Southeast Michigan. From grocery stores to restaurants serving their products to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. David Saturn Klingenburger has built a pickle, hot sauce and fermented vegetable empire. He is arguably making some of the best fermented vegetables in the country. And all of his veggies are coming from farms in Southeast Michigan. The Brinery’s sriracha hot sauce is from another planetary realm.

  • 8

    V Kitchen Vietnamese Cuisine Correct

    V Kitchen Vietnamese Cuisine Correct - West Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor MI

    I am almost constantly craving Vietnamese food. V Kitchen more than satisfies my cravings. My favorite part is flipping towards the back of the menu to find pages of exclusively vegan menu items. Vietnamese cuisine is a perfect marriage of flavors and spices and the menu has some surprising dishes I have not had anywhere else. The only downside is that it’s not stumbling distance from my house.

  • 9

    Street Beet Detroit

    The Lunch Room - North 5th Avenue, Ann Arbor MI

    Meghan Shaw & Nina Paletta are the masterminds behind the plant-based pop-up Street Beet. Stay tuned to their Instagram to see where they are popping up next. Sometimes even multiple times in one week. Their popular Taco Hell themed pop-up is a vegan spin on Taco Bell mainstay items. I will not be surprised to see these two have their own brick-and-mortar space soon. Catch them now to say you found them before they were known.

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