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Posted on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Hungry? Belgian waffle shop now open in downtown Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs


The Wafel Shop owners Noah Goldsmith and Tia Hoffman inside the new restaurant at 113 E. Liberty Street.

Melanie Maxwell |

Noah Goldsmith and Tia Hoffman, combining their love for Belgian-style waffles and quality coffee, opened the Wafel Shop in downtown Ann Arbor on Monday.

The restaurant at 113 E. Liberty St., the former Cafe Japon space, opened at 10 a.m. following several months of renovations.

“We’re really excited,” Goldsmith said. “It’s been a long journey.”

Goldsmith originally hoped to open the Wafel Shop on South Fourth Avenue, but canceled those plans after realizing the building’s electrical capacity would not meet the restaurant’s needs. In October, he partnered with Hoffman and signed a lease for the space on East Liberty.


A Liege-style waffle from the Wafel Shop with whipped cream, Biscoff and chocolate sauce.

Melanie Maxwell |

The menu at the Wafel Shop includes two types of Belgian-style waffles: the Brussels, with a crispy exterior and fluffy interior, and the Liege, a dense, sweet waffle with chunks of pearl sugar on the inside. A gluten-free waffle will be available next week.

Toppings include fruit, nuts, bacon, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter and Biscoff spread. Each waffle is $5, and toppings cost between $1 and $2. Powdered sugar and butter is included for free.

"We are a waffle shop,” Hoffman said. “We serve waffles and the toppings that adorn them. We’re not doing hash browns or anything like that.”

Goldsmith agreed, saying: “I think that the waffle is really something you can eat any time of day, particularly the Liege waffle. Coming from Belgium, it’s the street food…I think it’s a great blank canvas to add whatever you want to it.”

Their favorite waffle combinations include: the Liege waffle with strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and almonds; or the Liege waffle with Biscoff, whipped cream and strawberries.

The Wafel Shop sources produce from Frog Holler Produce Co., dairy products from Calder Dairy, and Zingerman’s is making a Wafel Shop coffee blend.

“As an owner of a small business, we feel it’s really important to support other small businesses as we grow,” Goldsmith said in a statement. “We’re focused on providing exceptional service and products, and we want area businesses to be involved from the start.“

There are 16 seats at the restaurant, but because it only takes three minutes to make a waffle, customers can get them to go.

“They’re very portable,” Hoffman said. “We can slide them down into sleeves.”

The Wafel Shop is open this week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Normal hours start on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Co-workers Jason Rapai and Matt Rose dig into their waffles from Wafel Shop at the new restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor

Melanie Maxwell |

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

I'll probably indulge at some point, but must confess, I wish something akin to the old Sunflower Cafe would open. Or, maybe a raw restaurant. It seems there are now a plethora of traditional (not such healthy food) restaurants in Ann Arbor.

Kellie Woodhouse

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Wow, I can't wait to have a Liege waffle with chocolate sauce and strawberries and bananas and... Yum!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

A gluten free waffle AND Biercamp bacon? On my way!!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:49 a.m.

Please have chocolate waffles!!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

The official food of Ann Arbor city government: the waffle.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

They could make a piece of public art dedicated to it.

Erin Drasher

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

Will there be a savory waffle?


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

Oh I love waffles! I have been searching for a place for good waffles and what a perfect addition to Ann Arbor! I need to search no more when there is a place that's specifically made for waffles, cannot wait to try it :)


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Cannot wait to try!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Man that sounds good. I have some eggo chocolate chip waffles in the freezer that are doomed tonite. They will have to do until I can check this joint out.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Leggo the Eggo.

Bertha Venation

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

MMMMMMM.....MMMMMMM! Can't wait to try it! I'll be there even if it ISN'T Hoveround accessible! :)

Mark Salke

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

Mmm. Wafels. :-)


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

Oooohhhh, this is not a good post to be reading when hungry!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Or it's the perfect post!

Nick Lemmer

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Seems like a great addition to downtown. Love that small new businesses still feel that they can be successful in the slight change of culture with downtown retail. Good luck to them, anything with Nutella on it has to be good.

Bertha Venation

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Love the smell of Belgian Waffles when wheeling down the sidewalk!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Went there today. Had the leige waffle with butter and powdered sugar loved it!!! Can't wait to go again and try some different toppings.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

I forgot to mention: the bacon is from Biercamp


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:48 a.m.

Booo! Meat!! :((

Nick Lemmer

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

Such fantastic ideas by all. I am definitely going to present them to the team and see what we can get done. Enjoy your waffles!

Kristina Birk

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

@Nick - Even better, supply them some gelato so I can have a warm waffle sundae!

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Good to hear Nick, let me know when you make that first batch so I can give it a try. While we're throwing out ideas here's another: Beer Gelato (give a call to ABC , Jolly Pumpkin, or Wolverine Brewing and see what you can work out) Cheers!

Nick Lemmer

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:47 p.m.

Kyle: Read your comment and totally agree. You have inspired me to try to incorporate this into Iorio's Gelateria. Can't see why Wafel's wouldn't want to supply some batter for what hopefully could be the best waffle cones in Ann Arbor.

Mark Salke

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

There ya go! Now all they need is some @RoosRoast Coffee and Bam!

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

I noticed a photo on the Wafel Shop Facebook page referencing Biercamp and it made me realize one of the great things about Ann Arbor is how well many of the various small retailers work together by sourcing products/ingredients from each other. For example many of the restaurants feature coffee from local roasters like Roos Roast, Mighty Good, etc instead of simply serving the generic bulk roasted options. I hope this trend continues in the future as it is one way I see for the future survival of the small business culture in the US.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:08 p.m.



Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Would love to see a menu - but the website only says coming soon

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Yes, there isn't a menu online, but it's the two kinds of waffles for $5. Then toppings include: bananas, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, almonds, pecans, bacon, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Nutella, peanut butter, Biscoff. They have a coffee drinks also: brewed coffee, americano, latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate, mocha and organic tea.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

How much of a menu do you really need, it practically tells you everything they serve in the article.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

I haven't had a waffle in downtown Ann Arbor since the South Side Grill (or was it Grille?) closed. I was in mourning for the chocolate version for quite some time.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

I'm there!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

Haha sorry guys I meant that in the future sense as in when I get a chance I will be there!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Yeah, really! Don't just say that and leave us hanging!


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

So, how is it?

Katrease Stafford

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Great concept! I plan on checking this place out.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

I am in that area often and am looking forward to trying their Brussels waffles, almost every combination available. I do not think I have ever had a Liege waffle, though. I will want to check that out, too. I applaud their partnering with other local businesses, as it should strengthen them all.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

What will be your waffle combination? I want to try the Biscoff, but you can't go wrong with my dad's classic: maple syrup and strawberries.

John of Saline

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

OK, seriously, who votes down a post about waffle preferences?