It’s no secret that Ann Arbor is a culinary oasis. Thanks to our James Beard award-nominated establishments and fan favorite restaurants, we’ve gotten quite a bit of attention on the national level. The praise is well-deserved, as our food landscape is rich with both hyperlocal and global cuisine ranging from lowbrow to high-end. That’s exactly why Aniruddh Gala founded By the Sidewalk Food Tours. A former resident of North Carolina, Gala originally visited Ann Arbor for a weekend getaway. “I was impressed by the culinary scene the town had to offer. Local, yet diversified flavors coupled with the area’s history, culture, and lifestyle made me excited to share it with everyone.”
Not long after one of his weekend trips to Ann Arbor, Gala moved to the area and began offering guided, food-centric walking tours of the city. “The idea behind our food tours is not to just enjoy a meal. We strive to provide a holistic experience by showing and telling our guests what the beautiful town of Ann Arbor is all about.”
As a Food Ambassador for By the Sidewalk, I have the honor of doing just that. On our Classic Ann Arbor tour, we kick things off in Kerrytown, a charming, historic neighborhood just north of downtown. As we learn about the history of Annarbour (as the city was initially called), we visit two Kerrytown gems to try a variety of delicacies, including a world-famous sandwich that put Ann Arbor on the map. Next, we head into the Kerrytown Market & Shops to meet a local food purveyor and sample their unique speciality goods. Then it’s time to leave Kerrytown (and let things digest a bit). We walk a short distance to another neighborhood, the Old West Side, passing historic sites and public art along the way. There, we see how a former gas station has been transformed into an innovative neighborhood market and taste some seasonal Michigan-made goodies. Finally, we loop back to Ann Arbor’s vibrant downtown for even more food, such as authentic Italian pizza and gelato. That brings our culinary adventure to an end; from there, you’re welcome to continue eating your way through Ann Arbor or take a nap — you might need one after all that food!
While the Classic Ann Arbor tour is a great introduction to the city, it barely scratches the surface. The city has so much more to offer! For those hungry (both literally and figuratively) for something specific, By the Sidewalk offers private, customized tours. Visit bythesidewalk.com for details.
We hope to see you on the sidewalks of Ann Arbor soon!