Smart Lunch Picks: Ann Arbor, MI

Decided to pick a few of my favorite lunch spots in Ann Arbor.  I love trying out new restaurants and these shops resonated with me because they offer healthy options, good portions, and great prices.


Neopapalis gives you the choice to customize pizzas, sandwiches, and salads with different proteins and veggies. The Pizzas are huge so a couple of us usually end up splitting them. Good proteins include Canadian bacon, chicken, and steak. As far as extras, Vinaigrettes for salads and red marinara for pizza sauce are the smartest picks.

Bottom line: big portions, lots of options, solid price

Healthy menu picks:

  • Margherita pizza with steak/chicken, spinach, green and red peppers, roasted garlic, and sliced mushroom.
  • Sandwich with rosemary herb chicken, cucumbers, arugula, olives, Roma tomatoes, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Salad with spinach, cucumbers, red onions, Roma tomatoes, artichokes, turkey, provolone, and house vinaigrette on the side

Chela’s Restaurant & Taqueria

Great alternative to chipotle with a greater selection. Protein choices include chicken, steak, carne asada, shrimp, and tilapia, with guacamole being the best substitute for sour cream or cheese.

Bottom Line: very affordable, great alternative to chipotle, authentic taste

Healthy menu picks:

  • Steak/Chicken burrito with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo and jalapenos and a side salad.
  • Two chipotle chicken tacos or chicken tamales with a side of rice and beans
  • Chipotle chicken torta with mayo and guac on the side and a side salad.

Salads Up

Salads Up offers more than enough veggie options coupled with quality proteins. Totally customizable, I usually stick with chicken, steak, eggs or quinoa. For dressing, the clearer the better, a vinaigrette or dressing on the side is the move.

Bottom line: Very healthy, kind of expensive, always fresh

Healthy menu picks:

  • Spring mix with black beans, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, wild rice, roasted shrimp, and shallot balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Yia Yia salad: Spinach with olives, quinoa, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, onions, feta, lemon-herb vinaigrette, and a cup of soup
  • Wrap with kale, grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, onions, steak, parmesan, and spinach pesto vinaigrette

Jake Bivens


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