Bomber Restaurant: Anchoring Ypsilanti Through the Decades

. September 30, 2018.

Bomber Restaurant

306 E Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti, MI 48198 . 734-482-0550.
Open daily: 7am-3pm

The Short Course

1. Kid-friendly: Yes.
2. To avoid wait: Come before 8am or after 1pm.
3. Noise level: Low.
4. Bathroom amenities: Changing table.
5. High chairs? Yes.
6. Got milk? Yes.
7. Kids’ menu? Yes.
8. Anything healthy for kids? Yes.
9. Food allergy concerns? Talk to your server about any concerns.

Bomber Restaurant was warm and welcoming from the moment we walked in. From the hostess to the server to the manager, we were impressed by the friendliness of everyone we interacted with. And the service wasn’t just friendly, it was also fast; a winning combination for families with small kids!

History, community, and family

“Did you see the bomb?” owner Johanna McCoy asked our 5-year old as his eyes danced from plane to plane dangling from the ceiling. He responded asking whether it was real. “Of course,” McCoy responded with a sly grin. “I love this place, we should come here more,” exclaimed my 5-year old. It’s not just the WWII photos and memorabilia that set Bomber apart from other local diners. McCoy maintains close ties within the local community and is deeply connected to the area’s role in advancing the Arsenal of Democracy. Originally opened in 1936 as Baldwin’s Diner the named changed to ‘The Bomber’ in the 1940s in support of the B-24s made down the road at Willow Run. It changed hands and names again in the 70s and was renamed ‘Bomber’ when McCoy took ownership in 1986.


All of the memorabilia in the restaurant was donated by guests, collectors, and admirers. McCoy does joint tours with Yankee Air Museum and hosts nearly a dozen original Rosies who visit to celebrate Bomber’s Rosie the Riveter day each Palm Sunday. This neighborhood, anchoring the Southeast corner of historic Depot Town, has changed a lot in the 24 years since McCoy has owned Bomber. She finds this section of downtown Ypsilanti has become much more active and also cleaned up a lot along the way. As a result, McCoy mentions, Bomber is more family-friendly now than ever before.

Good eats. No frills.

We started with an order of chili cheese fries ($6.95). The whole family enjoyed this appetizer of crunchy fries covered in a thick and slightly sweet chili with thinly shredded cheese in perfect proportions. Bomber has a great children’s (and senior) menu with prices that are easy to swallow ($3.75-$6.50 each). Our kids chose the grilled cheese and cheeseburger meals, prepared simply and served with French fries, chips, or applesauce. No frills here, but our 5- and 3-year olds didn’t mind one bit. We also tried the Bomber Melt ($6.95) which was diner-rific; a well-seasoned patty on rye bread with melted Swiss cheese and sautéed onions.


Of course our family had to try the Bomber Breakfast ($11.25) challenge; a dish with a big reputation and that has been featured on The Food Network. It did not disappoint! A mountain of breakfast potatoes served with four eggs, toast, and whole lot of breakfast meat- six sausage patties, seven sausage links, ten slices of bacon or two slices of ham. We foolishly ordered this for just one person when in reality it could have easily fed all four of us! Our verdict: with crispy bacon, perfectly cooked eggs, and breakfast potatoes the whole family loved, it’s not just a novelty item; it’s a darn good breakfast dish.

A parting gift

On the way out our little ones were delighted to be given a wooden airplane toy to take home with them as a souvenir of our visit! This little touch perfectly punctuated the Bomber’s dedication to both history and as a family-friendly environment.

History buffs and kids will delight in the memorabilia and model airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Tourists and college students come for the Bomber Breakfast Challenge. And all that visit the Bomber Restaurant find a down-home and family-friendly diner serving up good food at a decent price.