Discover some of Ypsilanti’s best-kept secrets with our friends and Ypsi community members, Kyunghee Kim and Leo Chen! We teamed up with the creative couple to craft an exclusive, one-day itinerary showcasing some of their favorite Ypsi gems, told authentically through their first-hand experiences.  

Whether you’re a resident, a student looking for fresh ideas, or a new visitor ready to explore the Ypsi scene, Kyunghee and Leo have you covered.  Enjoy an exciting day filled with adventure, eye-opening discoveries, and local wonders. Leo and Kyunghee couple exploring Ypsilanti

Join us in this one-day adventure and be inspired to create your own self-guided tour! 

Morning Fuel: 
Hyperion Coffee Co

Hyperion coffee company latte artThere is only one way to start your Ypsi morning if you are a coffee lover. Hyperion Coffee Co. is our favorite. It’s got super cozy, hipster vibes with beautiful plants layered throughout the shop. Service here is always amazing, with friendly and knowledgeable baristas. If you’re like us, creative spaces and art is something to admire and enjoy. Latte Art / Cappuccino Art / Cortado Art is always on point. It also goes without saying that whether you enjoy drip coffee, cold brew, latte, cappuccino, or some other drink, everything is delicious. If you need another reason to love and support this shop, their mission of producing coffee that’s ethically sourced through the partnerships with a variety of farmers in different countries should tell you about how much care Eric Mullins, Dan Kubera, and Alex Merz have for the coffee bean.  306 N. River St., Unit D | Open Daily, 7am-6pm.   

Grab a Bite:   
Bird Dog Baking

Next, if it’s a Sunday, you must head to the back alley of Bird Dog Baking for brunch. They currently offer all items including  bread/pastries to go. We are looking forward to the opening of their cafe this year. Bird Dog Baking is owned by Jennifer Haglund and Mark Bogard who met in San Francisco at Josey Baker Bread. If you love supporting local, you’ll appreciate their mission of supporting local communities and farmers and can read about it here.  

bird dog baking breakfastWe tried their open-face lox on a nice thick cut of dark rye with house-cured salmon, cream cheese, red onion, radish, capers, and dill. It was super delicious, flavorful, and fresh. We recommend picking up a loaf of Ypsi Sour to munch on for later or to make sandwiches for the week. 200 W. Michigan Ave. | Sunday Brunch pick-up, 10am-1pmClick here to view more top breakfast & brunch spots

The Best Shopping plus More:
Stone & Spoon   

Inside of stone & spoonFor an early afternoon activity, walk along Michigan Avenue to explore some one-of-a-kind shops. If you are looking for a local gift, Stone & Spoon carries many Michigan makers, like Bookend Candle Co. and Worthwhile Paper which are both based in Ypsilanti. From home decor to chocolate to stationery to kitchenware, it’s a store that will inspire cozy living. We can’t wait to go back and check out The Gallery which is upstairs. The Gallery at Stone & Spoon offers space for often marginalized artists to show their work. 110 W. Michigan Ave. | Open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11am-7pm / Sundays 12-5pm.

Afternoon Nature Escape: 
Rolling Hills County Park  

rolling hills county parkNext, when we want to stay super local and don’t want to drive to one of Ann Arbor’s parks, Rolling Hills County Park is great. This particular trail (Rolling Hills Perimeter Loop) located just across from Wiard’s Orchards, has an entrance with no fees. There are only five parking spaces available. While the spaces fill up during warmer months, we were never without a spot in the winter months. This trail has both options of paved or unpaved and it is flat if you want an easy walk. We appreciate how quiet and secluded this trail is and it is pet friendly. Afternoon winter walks and sunset walks are particularly nice here. 7660 Stony Creek Rd.  

Ready for Dinner:
Ypbor Food Museum  

ypbor food museum outsdideFor dinner, something warm is a must for the winter. Ypbor Food Museum, formerly known as Ypbor Yan, is our favorite Sichuan restaurant in Ypsilanti. They have two menus: American Chinese which includes all of the classic favorites (crab rangoons, wontons, egg rolls, fried rice, and lunch specials) and their Traditional Sichuan menu where you can find all the items that we enjoyed. 

ypbor food museum mealThese are some of our favorites from the traditional Sichuan menu: No. 017 - Sichuan Peppers with fish, No. 071 - Mapo Tofu, No. 104 - Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup, and No. 033 - Salt & Pepper Shrimp. The portions are generous and each dish tastes fresh and comforting. Ambiance is inviting with great service. Whether you are coming alone or eating with a big group, they have a large table that can accommodate up to 20 people. 2800 Washtenaw Ave. | 
Open daily, 11:30am-9pm (weekends until 10pm). 

After Dinner Drinks:
Ypsi Cocktail Club

Ypsi cocktail club exteriorTo end the day, check out Ypsi Cocktail Club which is a satellite bar serving locally crafted spirits from their local boutique distillery Ann Arbor Distilling Co. who sources all their ingredients from farmers in the State of Michigan. The cocktail menu at Ypsi Cocktail Club features their locally crafted spirits ranging from Arbor Seasonal Gins, Fox River Whiskey, Water Hill Fruit Liqueur, Arbor Vodkas, and other Water Hill Specialties.  

Leo and Kyunghee visit Ypsi Cocktail ClubWe enjoyed the Krampus Kink - Water Hill Fernet, Black Cardamom, and Fig and Almond Simple Syrup. It was incredibly well balanced, sweet with earthy nuances and herbaceous undertones. We also tried a mocktail- Rosemary’s Baby (lemon, lavender simple syrup, honey and soda). It was a lemony, refreshing drink with a hint of lavender and rosemary without it being too sweet. We were impressed. They open at 4pm so it’s great for people like us who aren’t much of night owls. The ambiance is vintage with a mix of modern, cozy, and intimate.  102 W. Michigan Ave. | Open Tuesday – Saturday, 4-10pm & Sundays 2-8pm. 


Whether it’s grabbing some local coffee and taking a walk at a park or venturing out to one of the restaurants, we hope you spend some time in Ypsilanti and feel the warmth it has to offer. And, wherever you are, we encourage you to support your local businesses.  

See what Leo & Kyunghee are up to Next 

Leo & Kyunghee holding See us BloomGet the latest updates for Leo’s Meogjia pop-ups: Subscribe to the newsletter to stay connected.  

Buy Kyunghee’s first book, See Us Bloom at Literati Bookstore, Booksweet, order on Modern Marigold, or check it out at the Ann Arbor District Library

Check out Fields of Lilacs, Kyunghee's wellness & lifestyle blog dedicated to help others in their overall well-being by providing wellbeing tools, plus travel, home, and Michigan highlights.

The Creators & Authors:  

We’d like to give a very special thank you to our friends Kyunghee and Leo for taking us on this journey! Learn more about this welcoming couple and follow their adventures. Please visit their websites to contact them for collaboration. 

Kyunghee Kim, author, creator, coach.   
Leo Chen, Chef, storyteller, travel & local eats blogger.