Tucked away in a strip mall with an unassuming storefront is a deli and bakery sure to delight the senses! Exotic Bakeries & Syrian Cuisine is a Middle Eastern deli specializing in Syrian cuisine combined with a bakery that offers both Middle Eastern and American desserts. The surprising part is that in addition to regular fare, they offer an amazing variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options!
“I’m surprised by the number of vegan options available. There are more vegan options here than I have seen at any other restaurant!” expressed Sophie Radakovich, a first-time diner at the restaurant, upon looking at the deli case.
Exotic Bakeries & Syrian Cuisine is owned and operated by husband and wife team Monib and Jinan Elkhatib. They have been in business for 21 years. When asked how he came to specialize in offering veg-friendly cuisine, Monib replied, “I have to cater to my customers. There is a vegetarian and vegan client base at the University of Michigan and they needed more options for dining out. I’m happy to say I’ve been offering the U of M community fresh, fast, quality food for over 20 years.”
The vegetarian selection consists of items such as spinach pie, falafel, spinach divine, m’jeddarah, hummus, zucchini babaganouj, okra, grape leaves, lentils, beet salad, and fatoosh salad. All the items are carefully labeled with ingredients so you know what items are vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free. Monib is also very helpful and will let you know exactly which items suit your dietary needs.
The dessert selection includes baklava, lemon bars, magic bars, cookies, and cake. There are some vegan options and even one vegan, gluten-free dessert! Jinan also makes wedding and birthday cakes and is happy to cater any occasion.
The food is reasonably priced. Items can be purchased individually or by the pound. However, combo plates are available with a variety of items for one price. Sandwiches and salads are made to order. Inside and outside dining is available as well as carry out.
If you are craving Middle Eastern cuisine or just need a fresh, fast, quality meal, give Exotic Bakeries & Syrian Cuisine a try. After all, 20 years of discerning palates can’t be wrong!
Exotic Bakeries & Syrian Cuisine is located at 1721 Plymouth Rd, in Ann Arbor in the Courtyard Shops complex. They are open Monday through Friday 10 am to 8 pm and Saturday 11 am to 6 pm. 734-665-4430