Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://pricklypearcafe.com/
  • Phone: 7349300047
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Saturday: 11:30am - 2:00pm.
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Saturday: 2:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 2:00pm - 9:00pm.
    Sunday Brunch: 11:00am - 2:00pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southwest, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Gary Pearce
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Prickly Pear can cater your off site party or event. We can provide for weddings, meetings and our back patio is available through October 15 for private rental. Please call 517-403-7857 or email us at pricklypearaa@gmail.com
  • Private Party Facilities: The Prickly Pear Cafe has been an Ann Arbor favorite since first opening in 1991. The restaurant and outdoor patio are some of the most popular dining spaces in the area, perfect for you next private event. Treat your guests to a pleasing outing when you host your gathering at Prickly Pear.
  • Private Party Contact: Event Coordinator 8888856758

Getting there

  • Cross Street: William
  • Public Transit: There is a bus stop at Fourth and William Streets.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking is available in an open parking lot on the corner of Ashley and William. Metered parking is also available on Main Street which is located behind the Prickly Pear.
A word from Prickly Pear
The Prickly Pear Café has been an Ann Arbor favorite since first opening in 1991. The menu features many southwest inspired specialties. Mexican favorites are given a unique twist including many vegetarian options and outstanding soups and salads. The butternut squash soup is famous locally, while the buffalo meat enchiladas even merited mention in Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ autobiography.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Prickly Pear reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (30)neighborhood gem (20)fit for foodies (11)great for lunch (11)good for groups (6)romantic (5)special occasion (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (3)great for brunch (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • first timer
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We were visiting our grandson at U of M. Read good reviews online and decided to give it a try, glad we did. Used open table to make reservations, which couldn't have been easier. All of the staff were welcoming. Food was GREAT, service fast, will return again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Solid
    DlynnA2VIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Good food, good drinks, good service. There is a reason it has been a staple on Main Street for so long. Reservations recommended for thurs - Sunday for sure or larger groups.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mostly very good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our main dishes were excellent. The squash soup and buffalo enchiladas deserve their reputations. The only flaw was in the mains' accompaniments: rice was overdone and beans (though not the beans acocmpanying the tamale) were way salty. Late in the meal, the owner visited our table to ask how we liked the food. When we told her the above, she seemed genuinely concerned and went to the kitchen to sample the beans herself. She returned and confirmed our criticism and offered us a free dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • prickly pear
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    great local Mexican food. Service and food were both excellent
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dissapointing
    Mike
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Having been here several times I was extremely disappointed. Service was atrocious, wait times to order and receive food were unacceptable. The margaritas and food were good, although not great, but orders were incorrect. Ultimately, we were brought our tab of $112 and our guest and I provided our credit card and asked it to be split. The server returned and said she had messed up and instead split the amount of $136 without telling us in advance! How could you at least not let us know you would be charging our cards for more than you initially said?! Our guests and I will not be back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Might Have Been the Crowd
    JDsLiverVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Visited during Art Fair weekend, so the crowds may have contributed. Appetizers were very good; entrees were unimpressive, bland. Bland should never be a word used at a Mexican restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cherry pecan salad
    MikeRossTravel
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Quite good but too sweet. Chips and salsa excellent
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The rest of my life
    Nosher
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I have been all over the US insearch of the ultimate chile relleno. There is a really good one at Doc Martin's in Taos. But the best chile relleno plate in the US is Prickly's. They serve it was a complex red mole and a blue cheese sauce and either sautéed veggies or spinach. I sent the chef a message and told him that I am 55 years old. I plan to eat chile rellenos every 2 weeks for the rest of my left and I plan to live to be 85. Thus he should take whatever action he feels is necessary. I have been eating at Prickly for 20 years now. In the summertime I recommend their scallop salad. Grilled scallops with guacamole, michigan dried cherries and their special black bean mix. Life is good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pleasant Surprise
    JaveaJim
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Nice blend of southwestern, mexican and american fare. Large portions ... great value. Sidewalk, diningroom, patio out back. Our server was excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing food
    DaveVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We sat outside on beautiful Ann Arbor evening. Had a mojito to start out and it was ok. My wife liked her margarita. Ordered some burritos after a while and got some chips and salsa. The chips were fine but the burritos were not very good. Mine was dry and lacking much flavor. It was basically just some dry meat in a tortilla. Not very good. You can do MUCH better in this town for less money.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor service, bugs in drinks
    a2townie
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Our out of town guests look forward to dining in the courtyard when they visit. On this last visit, we were told at different times that the courtyard was not available; that it was only for parties larger than ours; and that no one else was seated there (which was not true). We were told they could not have that section open as they were understaffed, which would have been fine if they were busy or had not seated others there. The place was dead. They could have made our out of town guests happy without straining the staff. When we asked why they seated another party there, we were told they made a big stink and so were seated there. I guess we didn't make a big enough stink. Also, had fruit flies in my margarita, but am used to that here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never miss
    Eddie
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    As always, the service and food were great! Our favorite in Ann Arbor.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Declining...
    NWinA2
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Mediocre. I have a long-standing gripe with their rather lousy salsa (fresh tomatoes would help). We each had a rather pricey, and I thought only OK bowl of gazpacho (less quantity and cheaper would have been a good place to start). The rest of food was good but not great. The service was uniformly terrible. Throughout the meal we appeared to have two different waiters, who could only summon any enthusiasm when it came to the up-sell. Our entrees came out when we weren't even half way done with our soup, and then neither waiter ever came back. I might have ordered another drink, but nobody asked. It took forever to get our check, and even longer to get it paid and returned. Not going back any time soon.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Pear Rocks!
    coachsok
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The Prickley Pear NEVER disappoints! The food, attentive staff and let's not forget the well-stocked bar are always top drawer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our Favorite Mexican restaurant
    Debby
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Love this restaurant - we have tried other Mexican restaurants, and no one can top this one - always a great meal/service/price.....
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty good
    Kads
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    The good was a little bland, but I enjoyed the experience. I don't know if I would go back, but it was nice to try another Ann Arbor restaurant. Service was awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was great....BUT ..
    KitKat
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    We love prickly pear..and have for years..our food was awesome..except for the tortilla chips..they were cold and all broken to bits.even when we asked our waitress numerous times to bring another helping..they also were a bowl of broken bits..our chicken fajitas were awesome as usual..BUT...our waitress was horrible..she never returned..we had to go inside to find her twice..we even had to ask bust boy for salt,and take out box when she never returned..it took over an hour to receive our food...the other outside waiter was serving his tables who ate had coffee and left before we received ours and we were their 15 min before they had arrived ...and not just one table..numerous tables.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tex Mex
    Tervygirl
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Nice menu...TexMex. Love the shrimp and scallop quesadillas and margaritas! Fast and courteous service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    It was nice and we didn't wait for long for having reservations. The host was welcoming and the wait staff we nice. The food wasn't anything great just average, we had steak and it was ok. My wife loves the daiquiris. Nothing outstanding but a good little restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 34 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 79 reviews are from the Prickly Pear reviews archive.
  • Nice night out
    Lovelife
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    This was my second time at Prickly Pear, I love the atmosphere there. I made a reservation and requested a booth but when we arrived there wasn't one immediately available. The host was very helpful and offered us a seat outside, at first we weren't interested as it was pretty cool out. However we were informed that it was heated so we gave it a try. It was really nice and quite warm, I loved the music and the atmosphere. The walk however to the location is pretty undesirable.. you basically walk almost through the kitchen! You encounter wait staff trying to work. I would have preferred not to see the kitchen. It would be nice if they could close that area off. Also my meal was pretty bland which was a bit disappointing.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A unique southwestern twist
    IanHDVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I've enjoyed Prickly Pear as a great neighborhood southwestern food option. It's unique twist on typical Mexican dishes and seasonally changing specials make it a great place to dine.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    Snandrsn
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Been 3 times and love food each time. Buffalo meat is so good, fajitas and empanadas too. Different flavor
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what it used to be
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    This WAS one of my husband and my favorite restaurants in town -- especially for brunch. The menu has changed. Our favorite meal isn't offered anymore. The tortilla chips are no longer homemade. The food was "ok", but we can make better food at home. I left half of my meal because it was nothing special. The cheddar biscuit was flat, overcooked and terrible. The only enjoyable part was the golden margarita -- it was very good. The restaurant smelled of cleaner. In fact a bottle was left out on a table, but the giant garbage can in the women's restroom was full of refuse and the whole place seemed rather unclean for just opening for the day. We won't be back...
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great find!
    Ssrd512
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    we celebrated a big occasion at the Prickly Pear and everyone loved it! The Margaritas were amazing, the salsa was fresh, everyone loved their meals and the Tres Leches cake for dessert was the most amazing thing we've ever eaten. The service was friendly and accommodating and the owner is just lovely. A perfect any occasion or special occasion place.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sooze
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Dinner and lunch both wonderful. Only wish it could be a bit quieter.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inconsistent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    This place is not one of my favorites in Ann Arbor. We have been here several time, and when ordering the same dish, you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes it is good - sometimes it is not. The food is very inconsistent.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our favorite AnnArbor stop
    Eddie
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    The food is always great and the service is always top notch. They always deliver. You can't go wrong with the Prickly Pear.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I used to lve your food, I
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    I used to lve your food, I have not been for about 2 years. This time I didn't fine the food as good as it used to be, it was just fair at best. Our waite person was kind of a snob. I brought my office manager for dinner, she had never been before. She heard me rave about the resturand food service. I didn't have heart to tell her it used to much better. We have taken many people to your resturant. Our tip showed how much we liked the service 10%, I usually tip really good if the service is good. He treated us like we were just women and would not tip much anyway, well got what he asked for.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, deafening ambience
    flashdancegordon
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    My husband and I used to live in Ann Arbor, but have since moved out of the country. Prickly Pear was top on our list of places we wanted to dine while in town. We booked a birthday celebration for 6 on a Friday night. I was thankful we were able to get a reservation for a large party, at the last minute, because it was impossible to book anywhere else. My friends hadn't been before, but they have heard me raving about it for years. We were seated in the back tent area. Everything was as good as I remembered; everyone had a delicious meal and enjoyed their food. However, the back area was full of large parties, and the noise was overwhelming. It was a really unsatisfactory experience, and I would not recommend taking a large party.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Downtown Dining
    merlsNbeans
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    It was a great evening out in downtown ann arbor. Prickly pear has great drinks and the food was good. Tables are a little close together but patio seating is also limited so that is understandable.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Return every year
    Eater
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    We visit Ann Arbor every spring and always spend at least two of those dinners at the Prickly Pear -- good value and excellent food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, small portions
    A2foodie
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Delicious food! I ordered one of the small options, but it was on the small side of small... Especially for the price. Next time (because I hope there will be a next time!) I plan to spend a bit more, get the bigger meal and perhaps have a little bit to take home. :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another delicious meal...
    LizzyB
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Another good meal. This restaurant has never disappointed in the quality of food and preparation. Notable marq's as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Flavor?
    Alma
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Every single dish is filled with the most amazing flavors. They also have the best margaritas in the state!
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best meal I've had in a long
    yummy
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    Best meal I've had in a long time! I LOVED the frozen lemonade :)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My favorite Southwest/Mexican place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    The food is great, salsa is fresh, seafood is better than anywhere I can think of. The service is polite and timely. Dessert was average yet free because a birthday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What I've been Missing
    DrOhNoVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Very tasty Southwestern food - spicy and flavorful. The margaritas are delicious, too. Restaurant is narrow - one storefront - but has booths along one wall with very high, decorative wooden dividers. Gives good sense of privacy. Also has an original tin ceiling. This place has been here for ever, but for some reason I have never tried it before. Will be back many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Tex Mex Cafe
    Pharrpost
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    I had wanted to stop in for years as it's across the street from Real Seafood where we frequent. The food was very good. I can definitely recommend and will be back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great and Reliable
    Foodywithfriends
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Just love this place. Nothing negative. Food, drink and service is all really good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible experience
    Poze
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Was terribly disappointed & we will never go back. First, the place stinks from the cooking. My coat still smells 3 days after being in there from grease. There is no ventilation. If you like smelling like a greasy spoon after being in a place, this is for you. Secondly, for some ungodly reason, they were working in the basement during the dinner hour! Drills, saws & noise like you wouldn't believe! We were told the only time the repair could be done was during dinner on a Sunday night!!! Really? The reverberation made the floor shake so not only did you hear the awful noise, but you were constantly on edge with the reverberation. The food and the prices in no way could make up for the smell and the noise. Steer clear of this place!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic