Northside Grill | Michigan | An Ann Arbor Breakfast Best

Review by: Michael Stern

Friendly Diner Vibe

At first glance, outside and in, the Northside Grill looks like a common cafe: bare tables, green-upholstered booths, knotty pine walls. A waitress patrols the dining room with three different pots of coffee in her two hands (regular, decaf, flavored). But at first bite, you know you are in for something extraordinary: an Ann Arbor breakfast best.

Even before the food arrives, you’ll notice that it is a diner with a difference. At 7:30am, NPR’s “Morning Edition” wafts from the radio. When you order coffee and choose French roast, the waitress says, “Good! It’s fair trade organic.” Oscar Mayer did not supply the bacon. No, it is nitrate-free and preservative-free. Cage-free chickens lay the eggs. You begin to think that Elvis iconography on the walls hangs there with a twist of cultural irony.

Kitchen With A Higher Calling

As you eat, you become certain that an elevated consciousness informs the kitchen. Just ease a fork down into a stack of apple-oat bran pancakes. The cakes really have a tweedy oatmeal texture. Large chunks of apple deliver fruity tang and cinnamon vibe. You will pay extra for real Michigan maple syrup. Worth it!

Just looking at a plate of potato pancakes makes me very happy. Crisp and crunchy on the outside but creamy within, they sparkle with herbs and spices. Slivers of grilled red onion festoon their top. Ramekins of sour cream and apple sauce come as companions.

Jump Start The Day!

Breakfast skillets, built upon hash browns and topped with eggs, meats, and cheeses of choice, are mountainous. The Nitro Skillet wows me every time with its “nitro mustard sauce” that infuses vegetables of all kind and melted cheese on top. The menu boasts that it is a “hot & spicy, flavorful jump start to your day!”

It is no secret that the Northside Grill is an Ann Arbor breakfast best. Expect to wait for a table any day, especially on weekends.

Directions & Hours

7am - 3pm
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

What To Eat

Potato Pancake

Apple Oat Bran Pancake

Red Eye

Hobo Skillet


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