Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in Detroit Right Now

Updated On 01/09/2019 at 05:29PM EST Updated On 01/09/2019 at 05:29PM EST

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Adachi Restaurant

Adachi

Birmingham

Pristine sushi and Japanese-influenced dishes in an elegant setting
Housed in the historical Ford-Peabody Mansion, Adachi is classy all around. At the helm of the Japanese-inspired restaurant is James Beard winner chef Michael Schlow and executive chef Lloyd Roberts. The results of this collaboration between two culinary masterminds (aside from his James Beard award, Schlow has also appeared on shows such as “Top Chef Masters,” and Roberts has worked for top chefs around the world) are elevated dishes like king crab “risotto” with white miso and green onion and prime koji steak with yuzu bearnaise. They’re complemented by an impressive list of sakes, local and Asian beers, and wine.

Antihero

Antihero

Ferndale

Stylish izakaya that blends Korean, Japanese, and American flavors
The long-awaited third restaurant from the Working Class Outlaws group -- the people who brought Ferndale the popular taco and tequila joint Imperial as well as the craft cocktail and slider hotspot Public House -- finally opened its doors this fall after a series of setbacks, and it was worth the wait. Purists might take umbrage with Asian-inspired dishes like the kimchi carbonara with Spam crumbs, but these playful flavor combinations make Antihero fun, plus let’s not forget an izakaya is essentially a Japanese pub, and this is next-level bar food. Vegetarians will also enjoy offerings such as fried tofu, a play on the popular Japanese dish chicken karaage. In true izakaya fashion, sakes, soju libations and craft cocktails complete the experience.

Hazel, Ravines & Downtown

Hazel, Ravines & Downtown

Birmingham

Grab & go or dine in at this casual fine dining spot
Beth Hussey and Emmele Herrold first collaborated at popular craft beer hot spot One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, with Hussey as managing partner and Herrold as executive chef. Years later, Hussey reached out to Herrold to say it was time to “get the band back together.” The result is Hazel, Ravines and Downtown, three concepts that represent three neighborhoods in Birmingham, with each of the three concepts featuring an array of menu offerings including snack boards made for sharing, Argentinian Asado, and post-workout pick-me-ups. No matter where you are in the gigantic 10,000-square-foot space, you’ll experience a farm-to-table, made-from-scratch ethos and a casual vibe that’s a departure from the typical formal Birmingham fine dining scene.

ima

Ima

Madison Heights

Second outpost of popular noodle shop expands to the ‘burbs
When chef Michael Ransom opened his noodle shop, it quickly became a hit in Corktown -- so it was only a matter of time before he expanded, both in terms of food offerings and a new home. The Madison Heights location is bigger in just about every way, from the fleshed-out menu to the physical size (and parking, thanks to its location in a strip mall). In addition to the savory bowls of ramen you know and love (including spicy tori and shoyu), you'll also find shareable options like the salmon and potato salad: a nod to the potato salad you’ll find in Korean banchan, but with a Japanese twist.

Marrow

Marrow

West Village

Combination butcher shop, bar, and restaurant
Need to pick up a couple of steaks to cook for dinner? Want to let someone else do the cooking? Maybe you want to learn how to break down a whole hog -- whatever the case, Marrow’s got you covered. This West Village spot has a butcher shop offering premium cuts of meat, charcuterie, and other provisions for a good night in, as well as a restaurant with a flavor-forward menu of hearty options like dry-aged house beef with scallion pancake, romesco romanesco, and mapo mushroom.

Courtesy of New Seoul Plaza

New Seoul Plaza

Southfield

Three Korean restaurant concepts in one
Reminiscent of Korean food courts in New York and LA, New Seoul Plaza boasts three Korean restaurants under one roof. Try traditional dishes with a modern twist like stir-fried spicy squid and pork belly at Jinji; cook your own Korean barbecue feast at Daebak; and treat yourself to a shaved ice dessert with Oreos or black beans at Myomee.

Norma G’s

Jefferson-Chalmers

New brick-and-mortar of a popular Caribbean food truck
Before opening this casual full-service restaurant on the far east side of Detroit, Lester Gouvia built a following with his food truck (named Norma G’s after his mother, who serves as the inspiration for his business). The authentic Caribbean offerings include Doubles (fried dough filled with sauteed chickpeas) and chicken pelau, while the shareables are more modern: Oxtail is presented in slider form, and jerk chicken is served as wings.

Emily Berger/Thrillist

SheWolf

Midtown

Next-level Italian food
One of Thrillist’s Best New Restaurants in the country, SheWolf is a love letter to Rome and modern Italian cuisine. From the delicate crudos to the zeppole doughnuts, every dish is expertly and meticulously prepared. At the heart of the menu you'll find housemade pasta (all of the flour is milled in-house), including classics like cacio e pepe, carbonara, and amatriciana, as well as more creative takes such as the orecchiette with spicy lamb ragu and chestnut-filled agnolotti. Except for the legit Champagne, all of the wines are Italian, and the servers are well versed (without a hint of pretension) in selecting the perfect vino to pair with your scallops and carpaccio.

best of the best

Lady of the House

Lady of the House

Corktown

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.

Joe Vaughn

Mabel Gray

Hazel Park

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.

Michelle & Chris Gerard

Grey Ghost Detroit

Midtown

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.

Courtesy of Selden Standard

Selden Standard

Midtown

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.

courtesy of Chartreuse Kitchens & Cocktails

Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails

Midtown

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.

PARC

Parc

Downtown

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.

Michelle & Chris Gerard

ima

Corktown

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.