Serving delicious and wholesome plant-based comfort food, plus a bar and ice cream menu. Fast-casual, hip setting. Outdoor seating. Carry out available. Open for lunch & dinner Monday-Saturday and brunch on Sunday.


Breakfast and lunch served Monday-Friday. Plant-based menu includes made-from-scratch sandwiches, soups, entrees and baked goods. Free parking, free wifi, spacious light-filled dining room. A 5-10 minute walk from U-M North Campus.




A fun, casual eatery with table service for lunch and dinner five days a week and Sunday brunch. We accept reservations large and small. Live music Wednesdays and Sundays. Patio seating. A portion of our proceeds goes to support Youth Justice Fund.



Our mission

The mission of The Lunch Room LLC* is to prepare high-quality, nutritious vegan food, and to demonstrate the breadth and versatility of plant-based whole foods. The Lunch Room, when possible, uses local and organic produce, makes everything from scratch from fine ingredients, and emphasizes environmental sustainability.

*The Lunch Room LLC is the parent organization of The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen, The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe, and Detroit Street Filling Station.



The founders and owners of The Lunch Room are Phillis Engelbert and Joel Panozzo, good friends and next-door neighbors who love cooking and serving vegan food. They share a philosophy that “work” should be the pursuit of what you love and should reflect your values and interests. Work at The Lunch Room embraces freedom, creativity, fun, egalitarianism, social justice and community.


The Lunch Room began as a twinkle in Joel’s and Phillis’ eye in the summer of 2010. They started out by preparing dinner parties and brunches for friends, featuring experimental vegan dishes. From October 2010 through February 2011 they hosted a series of “pop-up” dining events at local retail establishments.

The Lunch Room’s next step was to open a food cart, which operated during the 2011 and 2012 seasons at the downtown Ann Arbor food cart courtyard, Mark’s Carts. After completing a successful second season, The Lunch Room decided to sell the cart and move on to bigger adventures.

The Lunch Room went brick-and-mortar with a Restaurant in Kerrytown in August 2013 and added a bar a year later. A second location, The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe, opened in February 2015 in the Huron Towers Apartments on the north side of Ann Arbor. In 2016 Lunch Room Acres was founded in Belleville, to supply fresh produce and flowers.

In August 2017 the Detroit Street Filling Station location opened in the historic Staebler Family Oil Company filling station. The space was previously occupied by Argiero's Family Italian Restaurant for 40 years. This location provides table service and accepts reservations for parties large and small. It features an outdoor patio, weekly live music, and a seasonally changing menu.



Charitable Donations

In January 2016, The Lunch Room began its "10% for the Community" program by donating to local nonprofits 10% of sales on Saturday nights at the restaurant. We later added 10% of sales all day Tuesdays at The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe. This program continued through the summer of 2017. At that time, we began thinking about ways to make our giving more targeted and more impactful. We decided that we wanted to focus on helping young people getting out of prison to get back on their feet. 

In June 2017 The Lunch Room teamed up with local prisoner rights attorneys and advocates to start a nonprofit called Youth Justice Fund.

The mission of the Youth Justice Fund (YJF) is to assist returning citizens, sentenced as youth to a term of imprisonment, with services and resources necessary to ensure human dignity and full participation in their communities. 

YJF helps provide formerly incarcerated persons, some locked up as young as 14 years old and many of whom are still young, with housing, clothing, transportation, job placement, mental health services, and the like.

Our business now supports the Youth Justice Fund by paying the salary of its staffer, and by hiring returning citizens. 

Recovery is good business

Ongoing Support

Since our days as a food cart, we have supported the following organizations with monetary and in-kind contributions.

At this point, all of our charitable giving is focused on Youth Justice Fund. Thank you!


What people are saying

The Lunch Room brings a unique option to Ann Arbor’s dining scene: a vegan restaurant that offers high-quality, nutritious food using
local and organic ingredients.
— Ann Arbor News. Restaurant Award: The Lunch Room Vegan Restaurant in Kerrytown (Deals of the Year Awards). 11-1-13.

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Recipe box

You’ve been asking for our recipes… and we’ve decided to give them to you!
Our Recipe Box is on temporary hiatus. We have been quite busy with kickstarting our new venture, Detroit Street Filling Station. Stay tuned by signing up for our email newsletter.




Lunch Room Acres (is the place to be)

Yup, The Lunch Room started farming! In an effort to bring the freshest and highest-quality, pesticide-free produce right to their guests' tables, The Lunch Room this season began growing its own produce. On a friend's land in Belleville, Lunch Room staff are growing kale, heirloom tomatoes, string beans, cucumbers, sage, zucchini, mint, basil, tarragon, lemon grass, rhubarb, and all sorts of peppers and squash. This farm-fresh produce is used at both locations, in regular menu items, soups, and dinner specials. And the flowers raised on the farm adorn tables at the restaurant and
at the cafe.
The farming project was begun as an experiment, one which has already been deemed a success and for which there are plans to repeat next year.


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