A Detroit Foodie’s Restaurant Bucket List


I absolutely LOVE dining out in Detroit and the surrounding area! We have so many amazing food experiences available to us, from food trucks at Eastern Market to upscale cuisine in and around the city!



Here are some of my tried and true favorites, and a few spots that are still on my wish list:


American Coney Island, Detroit

Featuring diner fare and (arguably) the best coney dog around.  I can’t pick a side in the long enduring family rivalry between American and their next door neighbor Lafeyette Coney.  Here’s the story behind the feud!


Bad Brad’s BBQ, Utica, New Baltimore, & Clinton Twp (Carry-Out)

Some of the best BBQ around!  Promising everything from scratch, and food made with love.  Expect a wait during peak hours, but the taste is totally worth the extra time it takes to get a seat!


Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Detroit

Southern comfort food made right and amazing live jazz performances, need I say more?


Cadiuex Cafe, Detroit

Known for their extensive beer collection, mussels, and feather bowling, the Cadieux is a great place for a night out.  Belgian dishes and pub favorites fill the menu, and there is a regular schedule of great live music of all genres.


Cafe d’Mongo’s Speakeasy, Detroit

Only open on Friday & Saturday evenings, serving soul food, stiff drinks, and a fantastic atmosphere straight out on the 1930’s.  A true mixing bowl that represents what Detroit is all about, come here with friends for a night out.


Central Kitchen + Bar, Detroit

Classic American fare, a fairly casual atmosphere, and a nice selection of craft cocktails, beer, and wine.


Cliff Bell’s, Detroit

Come for the fantastic food and drinks, stay for the live music and the atmosphere.


Cuisine, Detroit

Upscale dining at it’s best!  Chef Paul’s menu of European style fare and the carefully selected wine menu make the perfect pair.


El Barzon, Detroit

It sounds counter-intuitive to combine Mexican and Italian menus, but El Barzon pulls it off! 


Gold Cash Gold, Detroit

Farm-to-table from local sources is the mission at GCG, reserve the Chef’s Table and watch how it’s done!  Small plates or tapas style, so you you share and try several items.


Green Dot Stables, Detroit

While sliders doesn’t exactly bring up the word gourmet to mind, at Green Dot the menu ranges from Mystery Meat (varies by the week) to Korean to quinoa versions and everything in between.  The menu is all a la carte, they have a good selection of beer, and the prices are unbeatable.  Green Dot is a popular place, so expect a wait during the dinner hours and after.


Hudson Cafe, Detroit

If you’re craving breakfast or brunch, this is your spot.  From omelets that dreams are made of to fantasy french toast and fresh squeezed orange juice.


Huron Room, Detroit

Some of the best Fish & Chips you’ll find locally, as well as excellent craft cocktails!


Inn Season, Royal Oak

Vegetarian and Vegan dining at it’s farm-to-table best.  Even the meat lovers in your life will be OK with pretending to be an herbivore for a night.  Amazing gluten free pizza, salads, and veggie versions of classic comfort food fills the menu.


Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit

Featuring diner fare and (arguably) the best coney dog around.  I can’t pick a side in the long enduring family rivalry between American and their next door neighbor American Coney. 


La Feria, Detroit

Spanish tapas at it’s finest.  If you want to try it all, this is the place to do it! 


Mabel Gray, Hazel Park

It’s off the cuff location aside, Mabel Gray is hands down some of the best food you will put in your mouth.  The atmosphere is casual and kitschy, the craft cocktails are divine, and the food is second to none. Utilizing the best of what is available locally, the menu at Mabel Gray changes daily.  Try the Tasting Menu, and just eat what the chef gives you!


Marais, Grosse Pointe

For dinner or brunch, you can’t go wrong at Marais.  They also offer a tasting menu, where the chef will serve you the very best of what he has available in his kitchen that evening!


Mercury Burger Bar, Detroit

If you love burgers, dogs, tater tots (fried in lard!) and boozy milkshakes or beer, this is your place!  It tends to be busy, especially when there are other events happening downtown, so if you don’t want to wait try lunch or off peak hours.


Mon Jin Lau, Troy

Asian fusion cuisine and sushi at it’s best.  The vibe is young and uptempo and there are often special events happening, so be sure to see their website and find out what’s going on if you’re looking for a fun night out.


Mudgie’s Deli, Detroit 

Try Mudgie’s for brunch or their fantastic sandwiches.  It’s a fairly family friendly place and has a kids menu.  If you come without the kids there is a huge craft beer menu.


One Eyed Betty’s, Ferndale

One of the best burgers around, but also serving amazing comfort foods, homemade donuts, and a huge beer menu.  Try the beer cheese soup, you won’t regret it!


Ottava Via, Detroit

Upscale Italian dining in Corktown.  In warmer weather you can dine outside on the back patio too.


Parks & Rec Diner, Detroit

Farm fresh local foods made into the best breakfast ever!  Classic breakfast food as well as some truly innovative combinations to tempt your taste buds.


Pegasus, Detroit & Saint Clair Shores

This Greektown classic serves up traditional Greek recipes.  The atmosphere is casual, but still nice enough for a date night.  Don’t forget the Saganaki and then head over to the casino!


Pho Lucky, Detroit, Novi, Redford, & Southfield

The menu is focused on Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho but includes other Vietnamese specialties as well.


Polish Village Cafe, Hamtramck

All of your favorite Polish comfort classics from stuffed cabbage to kielbasa to dumplings in one amazing place.   PVC is the real deal!


Pollo Chaplin, Detroit

This hidden gem is tucked inside a house in Southwest  Detroit.  REAL Mexican food to make your mouth happy, and the prices will make your budget smile too!


Public House, Ferndale

A delicious mixed offering of small plates, craft cocktails, and good beer.  It’s hard to go wrong at Public House.


The Rattlesnake Club, Detroit

A city staple for years, whether for a burger, a fine dinner, or a wedding the Rattlesnake Club never disappoints.  Take a stroll along the river after dinner!


Redcoat Tavern, Royal Oak

Legendary burgers and fish & chips will satisfy your hunger and their enormous beer list will sake your thirst!  The atmosphere is dim and speakeasy-ish at this longtime favorite.  Expect a wait in the evenings, but here’s a secret – they will put your name on the list if you call when you’re en route!


Roast, Detroit

Michael Symon’s downtown Steakhouse takes fine dining to the next level.  The menu offers a variety of new flavors and classic comfort.


Rose’s Fine Food, Detroit

Come for the food and the ethics – Rose’s serves fantastic farm fresh, made from scratch deliciousness and also pays their staff a living wage.  They do accept tips, but they are split by the entire staff and a portion is donated each month to a charity of the staff’s choosing.


Rubbed, Detroit

This formerly lunch-only Corktown staple now serves dinner on the weekends!  Sandwiches, comfort classic entrees, and even coconut milk straight from the coconut!


Selden Standard, Detroit

This neighborhood restaurant is cozy and offers excellent craft cocktails and a seasonal, rotating menu of American style small plates. 


Small Plates, Detroit

Upscale casual, but don’t be afraid to bring the kids!  They offer a children’s menu in addition to the large selection of tapas to share with the table.


Supino Pizzaria, Detroit

This Eastern Market favorite serves up amazing pizza!


Taqueria El Rey, Detroit

This little Mexican restaurant serves up BIG flavor!  Tacos, Burritos, Grilled Chicken, & Ribs to make your mouth water, so come hungry!


Texas de Brazil, Detroit

Though it’s a chain, this Brazilian Steakhouse serves up one of the best meals you can get around the metro Detroit area.  The dinner price is a flat rate and includes the “salad bar” which has a HUGE selection of veggies, cheeses, meats, sushi, and more plus the all-you-can-eat variety of grilled meats.  From chicken to lamb, to sausage to filet Mignon, the gauchos offer sample size portions of each to your heart’s content.  Wear your stretchy pants!


Townhouse, Detroit

The atmosphere alone makes this newer downtown restaurant – a sister to its Birmingham location – worth trying and the well thought out menu and cocktails make a second trip a good idea too!


Town Tavern, Royal Oak

Nestled on West Fourth Street in Royal Oak, this hot spot has a vintage, cozy feel and serves up some amazing food! A great place to catch up with the girls, or for a date night. Don’t miss the Lobster Mac, with an adult beverage on the side!


Travis Diner, Saint Clair Shores

Cash only, this little diner serves up it’s famous sliders, plus breakfast all day, and other typical diner fare.


Vicente, Detroit

Delicious Cuban food, with both entree size options as well as small plates so you can share with the whole table.  On Friday nights, around 10 PM, the tables in the center of the room get moved aside and they offer free salsa dancing lessons!


The Whitney, Detroit

Another Detroit legend that never disappoints.  The combination of excellent food and atmosphere make this fine dining experience one you’ll want to repeat.


Wright & Co., Detroit

This newer casual restaurant serves American far
e at the next level along with some of the best craft cocktails in town.


What local hot spots make your list?


Share them with us!



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