Bell’s Diner Serves South Korean Flavors Next to American Classics

The family-owned business started off as an American diner but evolved into an essential stop for authentic Korean entrees in Ann Arbor.

Bell's Diner
The french dip is one of the items on the American menu, among other sandwiches and burgers. Image courtesy of Mary Racette.

Authentic Korean cuisine and American classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can all be found served under the same roof at Bell’s Diner on Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor.

Bell’s Diner has come a long way since Ben and Anna Kwon opened in 1987. From what started off as an all-American diner, Bell’s Diner has built a community of loyal customers through its large selection of South Korean dishes. At first, breakfast basics were their specialty, but the owners slowly began introducing new Korean meals day-by-day, the menu eventually grew to what it is today.

Owner Ben Kwon said the family-owned and operated business prioritizes serving their customers to the best of their ability. He said loyal customers and local support helped the business survive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dine-in Experience at Bell’s Diner

Bell’s Diner’s dining room was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic until they reopened in May 2021. Upon their reopening, they have been able to show off their interior’s fresh look.

The owners utilized the downtime during the pandemic to renovate the dining area. Kwon said the space looks very different after the renovations, which includes new flooring and painted walls.

Eating at Bell’s Diner is an especially pleasant experience because of the friendly and accommodating service. The kindness which radiates from the owners and employees has contributed to the loyal customer base which the business has built over the many years.

Bell's Diner
Bell’s Diner’s most popular dish is the bibimbap. Image courtesy of Mary Racette.

Unique Menu of American and South Korean Classics

Kwon said bibimbap is not only the most popular dish but it is one of his favorite items on the menu. He said he finds himself eating it almost every day. The warmth and spices of the marinated beef, chicken, or tofu is cooled down by fresh vegetables and placed on a bed of rice. The bibimbap is well seasoned but not overly spicy. Ask for a side of Korean hot sauce to add extra heat to the dish.

You can either start off your meal with an appetizer of mandoo or order it as a full meal with rice and kimchi. Mandoo is vegetable dumplings that are lightly fried and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

For a hearty classic, the bulgogi beef entree is a large platter of steaming hot marinated beef stir-fried with onions and green peppers. This dish also comes with the choice of white or brown rice.

If your cravings categorize more under the flavor palate of American-style sandwiches and burgers, Bell’s Diner offers a large selection of options. This includes items such as the Reuben, french dip, and bacon cheeseburger. They also serve breakfast all day.

2167 Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor. 734-995-0226. bellsdinerannarbor.com.