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Fleetwood Diner: Home of Hippie Hash

Fleetwood Diner: Home of Hippie Hash

I’m ashamed to admit that I just tried Fleetwood Diner for my first time and no, it wasn’t late night. I know, stop judging me.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

Home of Ann Arbor’s famous hippie hash, Fleetwood Diner has been an Ann Arbor staple since it opened in 1949. Open 24/7, Fleetwood has remained the go to spot for late night and brunch for as long as any true Ann Arbor local can remember.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

As a first timer, I obviously ordered the hippie hash-hash browns topped with grilled onions, tomatoes, broccoli, green peppers, mushrooms and feta. It comes with toast and your choice of two eggs any style and I went with my favorite, eggs over easy. We all know there’s nothing better than diner fries, so I got a side order of fries, well done of course.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

The hippie hash lived up to the hype, but it was definitely a lot of food and I wasn’t able to finish it all. The fries were crunchy and perfectly salted, definitely in the running for restaurant wars: French fries (coming soon…). I must admit I was left in a food coma for the rest of the day and this isn’t a spot to go if you’re looking for a healthy meal.

Not only is the food the perfect hangover cure, but the vibes in Fleetwood make you feel like you’re transported back to Ann Arbor circa the 1960s. The walls are decorated with bumper stickers and it’s so small that you can see the chefs cooking the food from wherever you’re sitting in the restaurant. We were in and out in under an hour and didn’t need to wait for a table-bonus points.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

I wouldn’t recommend Fleetwood for anything other than a hungover brunch, definitely go for the hippie hash, or to satisfy your late night cravings-it gets bumpin’ post 2 am.

In 1970, Playboy did an article on Fleetwood Diner, calling it the best little diner in the country. Yes, the entire country. Check it out and tell us if you agree.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (!!)

The post Fleetwood Diner: Home of Hippie Hash originally appeared on Spoon University. Please visit Spoon University to see more posts like this one.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Lila Kalick: Hippie hash, spunky clientele and greasy spooning at Fleetwood Diner

Ann Arbor’s most adored greasy spoon, the Fleetwood Diner, is at the intersection of Ashley and Liberty Streets on the edge of downtown. Last March, tiny Fleetwood celebrated its mammoth existence: 60 years of sassy excellence.

What keeps Fleetwood’s colorful clientele coming back isn’t the service, the food (delicious but, on the whole, standard) or the fact that it’s open 24/7. The appeal is the rolling together of all these aspects and the people who go there into one. In short, it’s the Fleetwood experience that calls patrons in.

Fleetwood’s seedy charm and standing-room-only ambiance provide the perfect avenue for the unexpected. The tin-tackle box exterior is unassuming, looking more like an old trailer than an emblem of the American past.

Inside, the walls are stickered, stamped and shellacked with so many fliers for upcoming concerts that you would think you had stumbled into CBGB in the 1980s. If the black-and-white-checkered floor doesn’t make you feel like you’re at a punk show, the lack of breathing room on any Friday or Saturday surely will. Talking with strangers is completely unavoidable, overhearing bizarre conversations is a must and a violation of personal space should be anticipated. The chances of a fight breaking out are high.

Fleetwood satisfies the same set of unshakable requirements necessary for any space to accurately call itself a modern diner. Sinfully greasy food? Check. Staunch resistance and disdain toward anti-tobacco legislation? Check. An eerie trend of longevity among staff members with either a) tattooed-on face make-up, b) jeans that don’t fit, c) life long struggle to quit smoking greatly inhibited by choice of employment or d) willingness to discuss personal issues with strangers like weight gain or loss, nasty ex-boyfriend situations or childhood memories? Quadruple check.

But what makes a diner emblematic of its home town is not the presence of these elements, but the minutiae — those eccentric characteristics that separate it from the rest of the pack. Fleetwood has plenty of quirks. For one thing, the standout dish Hippie Hash violates the mold of traditional hash browns, branding the beloved American side with a distinctly Ann Arbor flavor. In addition to the usual potato shavings and the healthy helping of oil, you’ll get peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and feta cheese, making it a solid enough choice to stand solo. (P.S. It’s the bomb. )

If you can surmount the series of challenges thrown at you in your quest for deliciousness, perhaps you’ll get to sample this innovative delight. Of course, that would require that you’ve found a table — a difficult task. Next, the waitress: She’ll greet you with contempt, vacancy or perhaps, if it’s early enough, spunk. You’ll overcome this, asking politely then waiting patiently as it takes 35 minutes to get your order. It’s worth every second of the inordinately long wait. And I advise you to go for the whole Hippie breakfast (two eggs any style with hippie hash and toast), because once it gets there you’ll be much hungrier than you first thought.

Another anomaly at Fleetwood is the halal meat. I’ve seen it in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, but never in another diner. Fleetwood employs it in its meaty hippie hash and gyros, but don’t worry vegans — there’s also a seitan version of the hash for all your late night needs.


Watch the video: I met sherry sherry at the FLEETWOOD Diner (December 2021).