Individuals are the drivers behind large-scale ideas in the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Located just four miles east of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti is a community that exudes creativity and pride. The restaurants are committed to local economic development, using ingredients from the local Farmer’s Markets, paying workers a livable wage, and creating a sense of place within the city. The owners and staff members of Ypsilanti’s dining destinations truly care about every aspect of your experience – from quality service, to meals you are sure to devour, all the way to the type of napkin you place on your lap. In Ypsilanti, the details are just as important as the bigger picture.
Bona Sera Cafe, located in Downtown Ypsi, is a casual fine dining restaurant with a “comfort-fusion” menu. Initially conceptualized as an underground-supper-club (also known as a pop-up), Bona Sera fuses traditional comfort foods with cultural accents. For example, their Shrimp & Grits is a play on the traditional southern comfort dish with flavors from Thailand and Italy. This eccentric hot spot’s menu is seasonal and offers unique specials daily. Their menu items are influenced heavily by local farmers and their products. You will find a few consistent menu items such as scallops, artisanal mac and cheese, and a banoffee dessert.
“If you think of it, you can make it happen in Ypsilanti,” said Bona Sera’s owner. Annette Weathers. She says Ypsilanti was an affordable place to start her business and the welcoming community has continued to support her unique menu offerings.
La Fiesta Mexicana is celebrating its 25th anniversary of serving traditional, Mexican cuisine in Ypsilanti. Owner Michelle Roman moved to the U.S. in 1989 with a vision of introducing the food of her culture to the young demographic in Ypsilanti. She dishes up award-winning potato tacos alongside fresh-squeezed limeade. The Peneque Platter is three small triangle shaped tortillas stuffed with cheese which are pan-fried, and simmered in their flavorful garlic-onion sauce. When you enter La Fiesta a true sense of legacy and love for tradition is impossible to ignore.
Last, but certainly not least is Beezy’s Cafe. With a mantra of serving “simple, honest food”, this refreshing dining excursion is unlike any other. The aroma of freshly baked bread comforts you as you walk through the door and order from the notably quirky staff. Try the Beezy’s Salad with a homemade Arnold Palmer. The salad is crisp, yet sticks to your bones with homemade egg salad, tender chicken, avocado, and crunchy bacon served on a bed of fresh spring mix tossed in pesto ranch.
Owner, Bee Roll, is a community activist who has a passion for creating a sense of local-pride through the platform of her delicious food. When asked how Ypsilanti has helped shape the vision of her restaurant, Bee promptly responded, “I don’t know how to answer that… Ypsi shaped every aspect of the Beezy’s personality- from my love at first sight to the nature of honoring a community that cares deeply about seeing their town succeed.”
A love for food is fostered and cultivated in the city of Ypsilanti. The city has a passion for bringing people together over a hearty meal or an ice-cold craft beer. Dining in Ypsilanti is more than just a meal – it’s an experience, served up by a dedicated community.