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Food & Dining in Detroit
 
 
 

Detroit is one of the best places for eating out in the United States, and not many people know this. The great restaurants are not concentrated in a few spots, but are found throughout the metropolitan region. Getting off the beaten track and finding these places is worth the extra effort, particularly if your taste runs to the adventurous.

Detroit boasts a handful of restaurants that rank with the best in the nation. Some upscale restaurants give gourmet treatment to regional specialties such as tasty Great Lakes whitefish slathered in tangy Michigan cherry sauce. At the other end of the price scale are the Coney Islands – relatively inexpensive diner-style eateries that take their name from the chili dogs they serve. Many of these eateries have a Greek connection and serve gyros and Greek salads as well as a variety of burgers and sandwiches. They're found all over the metropolitan area.

Dining times are generally 6 am-10 am for breakfast, 11 am-2 pm for lunch and 5 pm-10 pm for dinner, though many restaurants stay open until 11 pm or later on Friday and Saturday night.

Places to Dine

Downtown

During the lean years in the 1970s and '80s, Greektown’s single block of Athenian restaurants, known for their saganaki, or flaming cheese, kept downtown from going completely dark at night. Now Greektown has grown and prospered. Carrying on the Greektown tradition are places like the Pegasus Taverna, the Laikon Café, the New Parthenon and the New Hellas Café. Nearby can be found the Cajun excitement of Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café.

A little further east, the warehouse district known as Rivertown offers several American restaurants, including the trendy Rattlesnake Club. On downtown’s north end, in the new theatre district, are the elegant Century Grille, filled with old-world charm, and the bustling Hockeytown Café.

Mexicantown, which starts about a mile west of downtown, is the port of entry to the city’s large Hispanic section on the southwest side. The revival of this vibrant neighbourhood has been heralded by restaurants such as Xochimilco and other innovators. The farther west you go along Bagley or Vernor avenues, the cheaper and more authentic the food. You can have Central and South American cuisine at El Comal.

Cultural Center/New Center

The eclectic fare that can be found in and around the Wayne State University area includes the unique Whitney, located in an elegant old mansion; the local favourite Traffic Jam & Snug; the Majestic Cafe for Middle-Eastern fare; and two of the city’s oldest traditional Italian restaurants: Mario’s, and, farther east in the Eastern Market area, the Roma Café.

The West Side

Detroit has the largest Arabic population of any American city, and it is concentrated in the eastern end of Dearborn. Here, along Michigan and Warren avenues, is an unmatched assortment of Middle Eastern restaurants. La Shish, one of the first, is the most well-known, but there are myriad other good choices, all offering nutritious, tasty food at remarkable prices.

The food gets blander as you travel farther into the suburbs, but there are plenty of family restaurants along streets like Telegraph Avenue.


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