226 S. Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104Neighborhood:
Latin AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.lena-annarbor.com/
- Phone: 7349942773x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Latin American, Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Gabriel Vera
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Contact: Manager 7349942773x
A word from Lena
A uniquely modern culinary experience inspired by the foods and traditions of Latin America and influenced by the flavors and techniques of American contemporary cuisine.Continued
Our guests are served by professional, attentive and knowledgeable staff.
Our guests are served by professional, attentive and knowledgeable staff.
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Lena reviews from OpenTable diners
94 reviews since June 4, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (40)great for outdoor dining (30)neighborhood gem (28)good for groups (26)hot spot (23)special occasion (21)great for lunch (14)vibrant bar scene (13)romantic (8)late-night find (7)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (5)notable wine list (3)scenic view (1)Show More
- great service...delicious foodOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/27/2014Our waiter was great. The appetizers, salads and entrees we ordered were yummy. (hot goat cheese spread, guacamole, beet salad, roasted cauliflower salad, short ribs and polenta, blue crab burrito, and a sockeye salmon special). Desserts were so-so. They looked great but tasted just ok.Special Features:
- Gone downhill, especially serviceCbw18Dined on 9/27/2014Lena used to be one of our favorite Ann Arbor restaurants for nice ambiance and great food. Now, we have had decent food and lousy service two times in a row. With so many other great options, I doubt we'll go back. Can't recommend Lena anymore.
- Always GoodGKAAVIPDined on 9/27/2014We've been to Lena four or five times for either dinner or breakfast/brunch. It never disappoints. The menu is creative and the food is terrific. Lena has a funky, eclectic vibe and the service is always good - friendly and efficient without being overbearing. All in all, just a terrific place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fine, but not great, and too noisyOTuserVIPDined on 9/26/2014We were 4 adults in our 50s and 60s - older than the rest of the patrons. The burger, roast beet salad, and blue crab burrito all went over well - not stand out foodie food, but competent, friendly, and fresh food. For us, the noise level was too high. My friends had been there before and said when they were seated in a booth it was quieter and conversation was possible. For us, the booths were full and we were out on the center floor, and it was too noisy - music loud, and so people shouting their conversations, making it louder. Ann Arbor has lots of good restaurants, and I will not be going back to Lena any time soon.Special Features:
- FergieVIPDined on 9/26/2014We were there for lunch. Excellent humitas....fish tacos were underseasoned and uninteresting. Our waiter was frank with his opinions about the soups - that was helpful. I wish the atmosphere on the first floor weren't so reminiscent of a cafeteria....it could use some more personality!Special Features:
- Ok place to eat on Main StreetFoodie21Dined on 9/26/2014Lena was an ok place to eat on Ann Arbor's Main street. Nothing special but not bad. The server was not as attentive as he should have been, especially because the place was 1/4 full. The food was ok. There is nothing that I would say my friends and I would crave that would make us go back. Other Main street and surrounding places have foods or experiences that make you say hey I want to go, I am craving xxxxx.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Major service faux pascheezypoofDined on 9/20/2014We've been a few times, in the past we liked the creative menu and overall good service. On our recent visit however Lena has taken significant steps backward. The menu is less intriguing, especially entrees where nothing jumped out at us. Apps were OK. The reason we won't return is simple, we had just been served apps when the server showed up with entrees. After a quick apology they proceeded to serve our entree plates next to our soups, salads & apps, and that was that. Were they trying to get rid of us, or was it just incompetence? Either way it was unacceptable. So many better places to choose, we're done with Lena.
- very good dinnerDinningforFunVIPDined on 9/20/2014So I am a little ambivalent about this restaurant. 1. the meals we ordered were really great - chiascura steak, gnocchi, scallops, all really flavorful and well presented. 2. seating - next to a red pole all night was uncomfortable and made the experience unpleasant. 3. waiter served salad and main course at same time - Why would you do this? Overall - this is my second time here - and would consider coming back - but there are things to work onSpecial Features:
- An off night for Lena2BoysDiningOutDined on 9/19/2014Arrived for our 9pm reservation and was told the computer systems were down... And they could not seat anyone or process food orders, etc. We were encouraged to take a seat at the bar and they would text us when the systems were back up running. Oddly enough the bar (at the back of the restaurant was able to hand write orders and provide drinks and appetizers-which were delicious. The Peach and Jalapeño Margarita are a favorite as are the Plantain Tostadas and the Goat Cheese dip. 50 minutes later we received a text and were seated in the dining room. The night actually was fine to this point. At the table, service, food, kitchen timing were all off. This is a favorite dining spot where we have an great times but they had an off night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EhFHFoodieVIPDined on 9/19/2014The drink menu had interesting options, and the appetizers were acceptable. The entrees were bland and luke warm. Lena is probably an okay choice for a place to meet for drinks and appies, but I would not plan to eat a full meal there.
- Reasonable prices and decent foodNickiDined on 9/14/2014Prices are very affordable and happy hour would be a great deal. Had papas rancheras which was chorizo, potatoes and onions/peppers in a nacho cheese sauce (better than it sounds but not what I was expecting). Cuban sandwich was big but a bit sweet and had minimal mustard and pickles. Adobo chicken salad was also very sweet and not overly flavorful. The place has a cool 60's latin/cuban ambiance. Our waitress was overeager but effective. I would go back for happy hour and drinks.Special Features:
- Menu Change Soon?A2FoodieDined on 9/12/2014I've been here three times over the past two years. Great food, awesome atmosphere. I just wish they'd change the menu up a bit, is love to see what new things they could come up with.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loud but goodDlynnA2VIPDined on 9/5/2014If you want to actually have a conversation with the person across from you sit in a booth or outside. It gets loud in there. That said, food and drinks are spot on and all of the kids menu is scratch made and excellent as well. Have never had a bad meal here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Friday Night Lena DinnerWhensDinnerDined on 9/5/2014The food was well prepared. However, the sweet potato gnocchi was too sweet; the whole dish tasted as if it were coated in maple syrup. Their craft beers are available at other restaurants in Ann Arbor - nothing special there. Service was good. The waitress was attentive, but didn't have a strong grasp on the menu. The ambiance was disappointing. I got the impression that I was eating in a college cafeteria. The food and drinks were fairly pricey - 80 dollars for a two person meal. I guess we were expecting a little more for that cost. If you are going to try out Lena, I would go during their happy hour. It may be better as a casual dinning restaurant; especially if you have a large group - lots of space in the restaurant.Special Features:
- Appetizers/Drinks 👍 Meals 👊yalesmomDined on 8/31/2014Do not stop at Lena's if you're in a hurry. We weren't, so the slower kitchen service didn't bother us. The drinks and appetizers were fantastic. Both the potato cakes with cheese and the calamari would warrant a return trip. Our table had 5 different meals. The sweet potato gnocchi was the only meal with real flavor. I'm not sure if we would go again for dinner, but I can't wait to return to try the rest of the appetizers and a few more drinks from the fun drink menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousnessbeppyDined on 8/31/2014I had a great experience at Lena. The jalapeno/peach margarita was wonderful. I was hesitant to try it and I'm so glad I did. My friend and I shared the calamari, which was so tender and the sauce was delicious. We had the fish tacos, which were good but nothing special. And the guacamole which I liked a lot. We shared flan for dessert, it was incredible. We sat at a booth with a pole in the table, so it was very private. The service was good too. I would love to go back and try new things, but definitely getting the margarita again and probably the calamari too. I highly recommend Lena to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I used to love itEllenVIPDined on 8/30/2014But things are not quite as tweaked as they had been - maybe it is because I was so cold.
- surprisingly goodrickVIPDined on 8/30/2014Some unusual items on he menu, for example, humitas. However, I was impressed by how well prepared the dishes were. I had the ribs and they were tasty and tender but not fatty or dry. We will definitely return soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Glad I came here!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/30/2014I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Lena! For starters, the food was fantastic. Our server was extremely knowledgeable of the menu and very friendly. She helped me decide on what I wanted to eat and it was delicious. Lastly, the ambiance was perfect for a nice date night with my girlfriend. I highly recommend eating here!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousdiscerningdinerVIPDined on 8/28/2014Great food, accommodating staff, festive cocktails. One of our favorites in Ann Arbor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice!KrisDined on 8/26/2014Very good service and food. I loved the music. I had a ceaser salad which was wonderful. I'd have to go back and try some more exotic dishes to give a really serious review but I liked what I had.Special Features:
- jumblerDined on 8/24/2014This is a place we will go back to. The server was very helpful and friendly and the food was very good. We enjoyed the free dessert because we and our friends were celebrating wedding anniversaries.Special Features:
- Nice mix of food and favorscandysVIPDined on 8/23/2014First time there with group of six and everyone got different things everyone seemed pleased. Tasty appetizers and mains. We did not have dessert.Special Features:
- poor service this timestylurusDined on 8/10/2014. We made reservations and were seated, but with many staff standing around we weren't waited on for a LONG time. Many waiters walking by without making eye contact. Finally, one waiter working the tables across the room came over, messed up our order, didn't bring water after being asked, delivered the wrong food to the wrong folks, etc. The restaurant wasn't even busy. The food was ok, but the total experience wasn't worth the price. We've been here other times with great service and good food.
- great evening outgenrcVIPDined on 8/8/2014Thanks to Lena for a wonderful dinner! Although there was a minor hiccup (they ran out of one of the specials after we ordered it), the restaurant was kind enough to reduce the price of an alternative entree. We were of course delighted when the original dish was available after all, and the restaurant was beyond generous in comp'ing the price of the now-extra entree. Great drinks and overall experience even without the free dinner!Special Features:
- A great downtown additionjackDined on 8/8/2014Although the restuarant has been open for a while, this was our first trip. Apparently it is a second-coming of the Habana Restuarant originally on Washington. That being the case, We enjoyed our meal at least as much as we had enjoyed our meals at Habana. The menu is definitely unique (where else might you order blue crab burritos). Our server was excellent, making sure our food came in a timely fashion after we advised her we had an 8:00 o'clock concert. The location is excellent, particularly on a warm, summer Ann Arbor evening. The owners have done a nice job in renovating the site. We will go back and will recommend Lena to friends.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Latin gem on Main streetSJ28Dined on 8/2/2014Very nice atmosphere. The waitress was knowledgable about the menu and food preparation. All 4 in our party really enjoyed their food. We had jerk chicken, adobo chicken salad, fish tacos and beef tacos. Too bad there wasn't a plantain side dish to try. The indoor hostess, however was a bit of a mess, kind of rude and unwelcoming. Luckily all went uphill after we got our table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A fun place to dine. . .YdeekDined on 8/1/2014We had the goat cheese, and focaccia bread appetizers - they were both excellent. The drinks were good and fairly priced. We sat outside and very much enjoyed the evening and people watching!! The waiter served us at a leisurely pace and did not rush us out of there despite the busy night. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make suggestions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Diverse Latino Flair MenuLiv2dineDined on 8/1/2014Lena has a wide variety of Latino menu items almost to the detriment of the restaurant. Paella was good but not especially authentic. Fish tacos were good but not outstanding. Gin mojitos are a house specialty. Tasty sweet variation to the traditional rum based drink. Good service. Surprised there were open tables on a hustling bustling Friday night in Ann Arbor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Extremely WelcomingMzParkrDined on 8/1/2014Lena was fantastic, as usual. It was my friends first time and she absolutely adored it. Food is always fresh with fast friendly service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Simply AmazingOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/31/2014The food here is absolutely amazing. The server was quick to provide us with his favorite dishes, and his recommendations were not far off from the truth. I would go back to Lena in a heartbeat.Special Features:
- Bland foodSteveDined on 7/25/2014Tasteless food. The corn cake appetizer had no discernible flavor. The beef short ribs clearly were made on a different day and 4 thin 1 ounce slices was hardly appropriate for $22. Restaurant much worse than 6 months ago. Total bill of $190 for a meal worse than you'd get at Applebees
- Great attention to us!FoodieAtHeartVIPDined on 7/25/2014My husband and I invited two other couples to join us for an evening out including dinner and a local music performance. We were seated in the front section of the restaurant, since it was early and no one was in our section and the music was so loud we couldn't really hear each other - we asked them to turn it down, and they did! From there the experience only improved! One guest ordered the duck soup and said she had dreams about it that night because it was so amazing. Another guest ordered the sweet potato gnocchi and the men at the table all coincidentally (and without discussion about it) ordered the blue crab burrito they all loved it! I ordered the beef churrasco and it was incredible! Try this place!Special Features:
- good, not greatJimhenryDined on 7/21/2014Nice menu, but only fair food. My ceviche was very good: the crab burrito, however, was bland and disappointing.Special Features:
- mediocreSteakerloverDined on 7/18/2014Lena was mediocre in terms of food and ambiance. Nothing particularly good, nothing particularly bad.
- MediocreKeepingUpDined on 7/12/2014This was our first (and likely only) foray to this SouthAmerican/Cuban/Latin American restaurant. The menu was interesting, with good fish, vegetarian and meat choices, but our meal was marred by: misinformation about the ingredients in one dish, which therefore had to be returned; the noise level, which made it nearly impossible to have a conversation; and the pacing of the meal - salad, soup and entree arrived at the same time! The food was tasty but unremarkable, including duck soup, sweet potato gnocchi, and blue crab burrito. Cost was fair for the food and portions.
- A Disappointing ExperienceSusanDined on 6/27/2014We went during Restaurant Week and it was the first time that week that I felt we didn't get our money's worth. The timing was off - cocktails (which had too much ice and not enough drink) arrived simultaneously with the first course. The gazpacho soup (which I normally love) was so hotly spiced my husband couldn't eat his and I (who love spicy food) couldn't finish it. My husband asked for a replacement and the waiter agreed but the other first course arrived after the main course did. The main course of halibut was quite good. The dessert - basil lime sherbet - was inedible. I can't recommend Lena's.
- DisappointmentvpbranDined on 6/26/2014Downtown Ann Arbor is seeing a huge upsurge in new dining but Lena feels like the chef and management are just going through the motions. Our fish was over-cooked and dry, and a steak was tough and under-cooked. Neither the drink or food menu has changed since the opening a few years ago. Service was attentive and tried to be helpful but it can't make up for mediocre food. This is our last visit.
- The food was terribleJustGo2GraziDined on 6/25/2014Brought my mom and sister there to meet my girlfriend - luckily I didnt need any help from the food to make the dinner go well. Everything we ordered was terrible. The Guac was nothing special at all, kinda runny and thin. The drinks we got were alright... I got a bloody mary/beer thing the waitress recommended and it was so bad i had her take it back and give me a mojito. the mojito had very little alcohol in it. We ordered salads, which were spicy (?), we got two taco variations, both of which fell apart and were subpar (fish tacos and pulled pork), and I got the short ribs which were cold and tough to chew. Our waitress was nice, but clearly she has a terrible menu to work with.
- Liked LenaAAArtDined on 6/20/2014Our group of four enjoyed this first visit. Fish for two, gnocchi for one and beef for me. Really tasty appetizers - all served fresh and promptly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.