From cakes to brunch to coffee to lunch at Jefferson Market

. November 1, 2017.
Mighty Good Coffee with a shrimp roll

 After finishing a cup of coffee and a delicious lemon poppy seed muffin at Jefferson Market, I stood to bus my dishes. That’s when I was greeted with open arms.

“I’ll take those,” said a smiling Nic Sims, co-owner and chef.

Here’s the catch. She didn’t know I was scouting her restaurant and I didn’t know she owned it until we started chatting.

Sims and husband David Myers bought Jefferson Market earlier this year. The couple, owners of Mighty Good Coffee, now serve their locally roasted coffee and New American comfort food at Jefferson Market, directly across from Bach Elementary School on Ann Arbor’s Old West Side.

Cozy and comfortable

The ambiance of Jefferson Market is warm and friendly. The kitchen and coffee bar open to a dining room filled with a long communal table, cozy tables for two, and bar stools by the front windows. A bright orange bookcase holds coffee for sale, plus books and stuffed animals for kids to play with while visiting. Outside there’s chalk and bubbles as well as more seating on the sidewalk and back garden. There are even free dog biscuits for the family pet.

Jefferson Market Interior

Jefferson Market boasts a full-service coffee bar, homemade pastries, like their signature peach-tree muffin or spiced date scones, and a selection of dishes for weekday lunch and weekend brunch. They are renowned for their custom cakes, too, offering tons of flavors, fillings, and buttercream frosting or fondant.

Brunch unplugged

After my first visit, I returned with my 10-year-old daughter for brunch. I considered Huevos Rancheros and Salmon Hash before settling on the Shrimp Roll ($10) with homemade shrimp salad on a King’s Hawaiian roll. My daughter chose Pecan Pancakes ($9.50) with Michigan peaches in ginger syrup, and caramel sauce. Sides included a wedge of cantaloupe for her and spring greens for me.

Pancakes with Michigan peaches in ginger syrup and caramel sauce and a wedge of cantaloupe

The menu rotates seasonally so selections will vary. While there is no kids’ menu, Sims commented that the staff is happy to make scrambled eggs or grilled cheese. Just ask.

I sipped Mighty Good coffee (Yes, it was good!) while my daughter drank chocolate milk. Soon enough brunch arrived. My shrimp roll was fantastic. Old Bay seasoning enhanced the shrimp, complemented by crunchy cucumber, cool hard-boiled egg, and the sweet bun. The spring greens with orange vinaigrette were bright and fresh.

“How is it?” I asked my daughter.

“It’s delicious.”

“Can I have a bite?”


After I made a sad puppy face, she gave me a taste. The pancakes were flavorful and the caramel sauce was decadent. Its sweetness was enhanced by the peaches and balanced by the crunchy pecans.

For dessert, we split a salted chocolate chip cookie ($3) and a slice of chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream ($5). I tasted real ingredients like butter and brown sugar in the cookie, laced with chocolate. The cake, served chilled, was pretty to look at and tasted rich and sweet.

“We want people to feel good about what they’re eating,” Sims said, “and we’re definitely family-friendly.”

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Go mid-morning or mid-afternoon
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: It’s downstairs with a changing table
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? White or chocolate
Kids’ menu? No, but the staff is happy to cook scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, etc.
Anything healthy for kids? Fresh ingredients abound. A side of fruit is available.
Food allergy concerns? Let them know your concerns and they’ll help. For instance, they can cook food separately with fresh utensils.

Jefferson Market
609 West Jefferson Street | Ann Arbor | MI 48103
Phone: (734) 665-6666
Hours: Tue-Fri 7am-4:30pm | Sat-Sun 8am-2pm
Closed Mondays