Buffalo Chicken Beer Cheese Fondue Fries Are Like an Edible Sports Bar
Italian and Mexican fusion that brings the best of both worlds
The long-awaited sister restaurant to El Barzon finally opened its doors in March; prime for those who just can’t decide what they want to eat, the Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant specializes in both wood-fire pizzas and Pueblan tacos. Feeling adventurous? Opt for the chapulin pizza, topped with roasted grasshoppers.
Upscale burger joint inside Detroit's historic Capitol Park
From the masterminds behind Voyager (a Food & Wine restaurant of the year) comes this new Downtown burger destination. The menu is perfectly concise, only featuring a dozen options including burgers made with 100% pasture-raised Michigan beef, sandwiches, and basic sides. Good news for homebodies, the location now offers online ordering and delivery.
Al fresco dining destination outside Beacon Park
Latin for “light,” Lumen has certainly shined since opening in April. The largely open-air hotspot is located directly outside Detroit’s Beacon Park, offering picture-perfect dining with a view. From the owners of Griffin Claw Brewing, the restaurant may not look like your average brewpub, but its eclectic American fare pairs perfectly with the location’s healthy variety of craft beers and cocktails.
Elevated Latin cuisine paired with an impressive wine program
If you’re craving tapas, look no further. From the owners of Vicente's Cuban Cuisine, Bolero offers Latin classics like tapas and ceviche with flavors spanning from Brazil to Argentina, and just about everywhere in between. Beyond that, the eatery offers an extensive bar program, with some imported wine selections exclusive to the location.
Cozy cafe and coffee shop featuring all-day brunch
From the duo behind the Farmer’s Hand in Corktown comes this cozy cafe (only steps away). Offering all day “brekky,” the menu is highlighted by seasonal breakfast and brunch selections like quiches, granola bowls, and colorful toasts with toppings like beet hummus, citrus ricotta, and sardines.
Reimagined takes on eclectic curry dishes
Popular fish and chips restaurant the Huron Room underwent a complete transformation earlier this year, reopening as Fist of Curry. Owned by Inlaws Hospitality, the group behind Greendot Stables and Johnny Noodle King, the casual curry spot features dishes inspired by Indian, Japanese, Jamaican, and Thai cuisine.
Vietnamese-inspired favorites inside a newly-renovated Coney Island
After closing in March 2017 for a remodel, Flowers of Vietnam reopened in early 2018. Headed by owner and chef George Azar, the former Coney Island dishes out Vietnamese-inspired fare like Korean-fried caramel chicken wings, steaming bowls of pho, and egg cream coffee.
Cute, casual cafe featuring light French eats
Detroiters can once again cure their crepe craving at this Detroit mainstay. After unexpectedly closing its Corktown location in September, Le Petit Zinc reopened in Midtown inside the Strathmore Apartments building in March. The cafe offers classic French selections including sweet and savory crepes, quiches, pastries, and more.
Upscale, modern American cuisine from revered chef Kate Williams
Lady of the House has wowed both local diners and national voices since opening last September, taking home a 2018 Best New Restaurant in the Country nomination by the James Beard Foundation. Headed by chef Kate Williams, the former St. Cece’s place specializes in upscale, locally-sourced cuisine, with standout items like whole roasted chickens, steak tartare, and potato doughnuts. Since opening, the location has added a weekend brunch menu, including house cocktails like the Lady Gin and Tonic. National buzz, including a recent New York Times review, has only added to the intimate restaurant’s popularity, so reservations are highly recommended.
Highly celebrated seasonal fare, with a menu that changes daily
It's probably safe to call Mabel Gray the most famous restaurant in Michigan right now, thanks to the slew of national accolades and media attention it has garnered in part due to chef James Rigato's larger-than-life personality, but also because he practices what he preaches. With an all-star team supporting him in the kitchen, behind the bar, and on the dining room floor, Rigato has achieved what many thought to be the impossible: creating a world-class restaurant in the sleepy inner-ring blue-collar bedroom community of Hazel Park. (For those of you keeping score, this is the second time he has achieved such a feat; the first with The Root.) By spearheading plans for more restaurant and bar concepts along John R between 9 & 10 Mile, transforming it into a culinary corridor, you can expect to see much more from Rigato & Co. in the coming year, but Mabel Gray will remain his culinary coup d'état, a flaming middle finger to the "conventional" restaurant wisdom that had metro Detroit dining stuck in stasis for decades and proof positive that, indeed, if you build it, they will come.
Attractive Midtown addition known for its meat-centric, snout-to-tail menu
It's got "grey" in the name and honors a famous regional ghost (this one a rum-running pirate on the Detroit River rather than the ghost of a woman haunting the Indiana Dunes State Park) so it lent itself to comparisons to Mabel Gray long before its doors ever opened. The comparison is both fair and favorable, as Grey Ghost -- located in the old Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe space in Midtown, a space that has long offered incredible promise that previous concepts failed to deliver on -- is a kindred spirit in culinary ethos, from the house-made charcuterie and "we dare you to thumb your nose at this" fried bologna to the robust, boundary-pushing cocktail program overseen by local startender Will Lee.
Culinary mainstay known for small plates and craft cocktails
Selden Standard set the standard; all the rest are just following suit. There isn't a lot we can say about Selden Standard that we haven't said already, so suffice it to say that, even though the restaurant no longer has that new restaurant smell, chef Andy Hollyday's menu continues to impress as one of the best in Detroit.
Award-winning dining destination known for seasonal, locally-sourced offerings
Chef Doug Hewitt works miracles with a small kitchen and VERY open line, which is all the more reason to be impressed by the quality of food Hewitt and his team put out there. From the popular twice-cooked egg and the cap steak to the house-made burrata and grilled octopus, every item is consistently outstanding, all complemented by owner Sandy Levine's small but excellent beverage program.
Upscale American hot spot with a prime Downtown location
With a prime location in Campus Martius, Parc has continued to impress diners since its opening in November. The kitchen, headed by executive chef Jordan Hoffman, serves up “re-defined Detroit cuisine,” pulling inspiration for Hoffman’s childhood and traditional Midwestern fare. The seasonal menu is highlighted by fresh pasta, meaty entrees, and flashy desserts like the flaming Baked Alaska. Oh, and if you're worried about ambiance, don't be: Parc's dining area is surrounded by glass windows, and offers a view of downtown Detroit unlike anywhere else. Looking to sample? Stop in during the week for happy hour from 3 to 6pm to pair a $6 wire pour with oysters on the half-shell, served with lemon chile oil, mint gremolata, and fresh lemon.
Hip, communal noodle house specializing in udon and curry bowls
Noodle lovers rejoice: There’s a new place to get your udon fix in Detroit proper. Since opening in late December, Ima has already created a small cult following. Taking the place of Rubbed (RIP), the storefront serves up signature noodle soups, rice bowls, and curry in a communal setting. Unlike more traditional noodle shops, the location touts vegan and vegetarian fare, including the dangerously addictive steamed edamame, served with chilis, lemon, olive oil, and sea salt; and the forest udon, made with a porcini broth, sesame tofu, smoked trumpets, and seasoned with rosemary and garlic oil.