Proof That Iceland's Ring Road Is the World's Most Beautiful Road Trip
Slows Bar BQAddress and Info
2138 Michigan Ave
Wouldn’t it have been funny if this had been something else??? OMG it would have been so. Funny. Alas, this is really it, and you know, it's pretty popular regardless.
Best egg sandwiches
Astro CoffeeAddress and Info
2124 Michigan Ave
They're really freaking good, guys.
Best cocktail bar
Sugar HouseAddress and Info
2130 Michigan Ave
Maybe you've heard of this one before? (Probably. It's pretty popular.) Besides the slammin' cocktails, find cheese and charcuterie, and also relish trays, pickled vegetables, smoked salmon, and truffle popcorn.
Best new restaurant
KatoiAddress and Info
2520 Michigan Ave
Seriously, what IS this place and why did we have to wait so long for it?? "Thai-ish" cuisine inspired by Southeast Asia and beyond with its own radio livestream and in-house DJ/beverage director in a space that looks straight out of Blade Runner, and, sweet jesus, the cocktails.
Best wine bar
MotorCity WineAddress and Info
1949 Michigan Ave
Half wine bar, half wine store stocked with worldly wines, MotorCity Wine has pairings of the best things that go with said wine, such as, cheese plates, charcuterie, and guest pop-ups. Plus, rosé on the patio. Rosé ALL day.
Best fried chicken
Gold Cash GoldAddress and Info
2100 Michigan Ave
It's all about that pickle brine and some good-old Southern comfort food.
St. Cece'sAddress and Info
1426 Bagley Ave
Ideally enjoyed on the patio in the summer or by the fire in the winter, either way you've got biscuits and gravy and rum cinnamon peaches over waffles with horchata ice cream.
Bobcat Bonnie'sAddress and Info
1800 Michigan Ave
Taking its cues from global cuisines but not a "fusion" of any particular one of them, Bobcat Bonnie's serves no-fuss gastropub fare in a friendly neighborhood bar with a nice mix of vegetarian- and vegan-friendly foods and down-home, rib-stickin', meaty Midwestern eats.
Ottava ViaAddress and Info
1400 Michigan Ave
With excellent pizzas, pastas, cheese and meat platters, salads, and a bocce ball court out back, Ottava Via is a no-brainer for one of the top Italian restaurants in metro Detroit.
Bucharest GrillAddress and Info
1623 Michigan Ave
Yet another "obviously." Yes, you could have written this list yourself. But you didn’t.
Detroit Institute of BagelsAddress and Info
1236 Michigan Ave
Who needs multiple places serving the exact same items when you can have just one that does it really well? Detroit Institute of Bagels does bagels -- and many variations on the theme -- very well, and it is the only bagel shop we need. Unless a second one opens in Midtown. We could also maybe need that too.
Best French café
Le Petit ZincAddress and Info
1055 Trumbull St
This place is so freaking charming you want to pinch it, and the menu, while super simple, is also simply elegant. Enjoy sweet and savory crêpes, oeuf de crudités, ratatouille, salade nicoise, Quiche Lorraine, and more, and if the bees are bee-having (HA!), do enjoy these items on the patio.
Best deli sandwiches
Mudgie's DeliAddress and Info
1300 Porter St
This kind of goes without saying, but for the sake of being comprehensive, we'll just go ahead and say it again. But if all you know about Mudgie's is its sandwiches, it's time you paid another visit: with a full bar, an excellent selection of Michigan-made beers, meads, ciders, and wines, full dinners, and Sunday brunch service, Mudgie's is so much more than just the deli that made it famous in the first place.
Best other sandwiches
RubbedAddress and Info
2015 Michigan Ave
There is another sandwich shop in Corktown, and it deserves your attention. Rubbed might be living under Mudgie's size-able shadow, but it stands on its own with a playful sandwich menu, beautiful cheeses, prosciutto plates, and an excellent "After Dark" menu with items like a King's Cut Black Angus prime rib and a three-bone lamb rack.
Batch BrewingAddress and Info
1400 Porter St
That's another word for sandwich! And Batch's come in varieties like shrimp po-boy and pork belly. Also, beer.
Brooklyn Street LocalAddress and Info
1266 Michigan Ave
Brooklyn Street Local definitely has poutine. And it is definitely a poutine worthy of praise. But for the sake of giving every other item on the menu its proper due, every other item on the menu is sourced from local purveyors and made from scratch in-house. Whatever the daily-special quiche is, order it.
Best fish fry
Nancy Whiskey PubAddress and Info
2644 Harrison St
Every Friday, noon-8pm! Plus -- whiskey!
PJ's Lager HouseAddress and Info
1254 Michigan Ave
There are, sadly, not a lot of good places to get gumbo around town. And places that do serve gumbo, and are even ostensibly Louisianan in nature, do not necessarily serve good gumbo. PJ's serves good gumbo, as well as po-boys fit for a Detroit palate.
Best Irish(-ish) cuisine:
McShane's Irish Pub & Whiskey BarAddress and Info
1460 Michigan Ave
For a neighborhood called Corktown, there sure aren't a whole lot of Irish, or even quasi-Irish-ish, bars or restaurants left. McShane's is holding down this fort with items like bangers & mash and shepherd's pie. And also Irish egg rolls. (Hint: they have corned beef in them.)
Green Dot StablesAddress and Info
2200 W Lafayette Blvd
Again, obviously. Blah blah blah, mystery meat, etc.
Best bar burger
Nemo's BarAddress and Info
1384 Michigan Ave
The fact that Nemo's is still stubbornly holding out despite the many, many changes of the face of Corktown makes it charmingly a Detroit 'throwback,' if you will. This place has been around for over 50 years, since the days of Old Tiger Stadium (or, really just "Tiger Stadium"). There's absolutely nothing special about it, and that's what makes it special. And it does serve a damn good burger.
1. Slows Bar-B-Q2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit
2. Astro Coffee2124 Michigan Ave, Detroit
3. Sugar House2130 Michigan Ave, Detroit
4. Katoi2520 Michigan Ave, Detroit
5. Motor City Wine1949 Michigan Ave, Detroit
6. Gold Cash Gold2100 Michigan Ave, Detroit
7. St. CeCe's1426 Bagley St, Detroit
8. Bobcat Bonnie's1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit
9. Ottava Via1400 Michigan Ave, Detroit
10. Bucharest Grill2040 Park Ave, Detroit
11. Detroit Institute of Bagels1236 Michigan Ave, Detroit
12. Le Petit Zinc1055 Trumbull St, Detroit
13. Mudgie's1300 Porter, Detroit
14. RUBBED2015 Michigan Ave, Detroit
15. Batch Brewing Company1400 Porter St, Detroit
16. Brooklyn Street Local1266 Michigan Ave, Detroit
17. Nancy Whiskey2644 Harrison St, Detroit
18. PJ's Lager House1254 Michigan Ave, Detroit
19. McShane's Pub & Whiskey Bar1460 Michigan Ave, Detroit
20. Green Dot Stables2200 W Lafayette, Detroit
21. Nemo's Bar & Grill1384 Michigan Ave, Detroit
Slows is a small Corktown BBQ spot with a gourmet spin on delicious slowly cooked meats and plenty of hearty sides on the menu to match. This littler eatery has a cool rustic interior and a serious craft beer menu and over 50 draft beers on tap to pair with your barbeque.
Astro Coffee is a small and cozy cafe best known as the first place in Detroit to get a proper pour-over, but it is also known as the place with the kick-ass egg sandwich, which comes with soft-scrambled eggs, fresh herbs, and an extra-garlicky aioli on a Zingerman's rustic Italian roll. Flat whites are also exceptional here.
One of Detroit's leading mixology bars, this hip Corktown spot uses eclectic spirits and mixers to make inventive and delicious drinks. Bartenders clad in tiki shirts or vests shake and stir creative concoctions with off-the-beaten-path liquors -- cacaçha, mezcal, absinthe, madiera, and chartreuse, to name a few -- and homemade infusions and syrups. While the specialty menu rotates seasonally, the staff's encyclopedic knowledge of classics from Aperol Spritzes to Zombies ensures a constant flock of regulars, aided by the antique hunting lodge décor (taxidermy animals mounted throughout, vintage bar stools, original brick facade from 1888) and dim, sultry ambience.
The building that houses this Corktown restaurant might be a nondescript white square, but the interior reveals a dazzling light show that illuminates a full bar and communal tables. Katoi's speciality is Thai, and though the menu changes frequently, it consistently delivers creative, flavor-forward dishes that have won the praises of critics and chefs alike, including James Beard Award-winning Marcus Samuelsson. The most you can do is hope that the wonderfully crispy Thai fried chicken is on the menu when you're there.
Half wine bar, half wine store stocked with worldly bottles, Motor City Wine has pairings of the best things that go with the grape juice, such as cheese plates, charcuterie, and guest pop-ups. This Corktown spot makes all of their bottles available for consumption on premises for just an $8 corkage fee. Enjoy a glass while listening to live bands playing everything from jazz to motown.
Gold Cash Gold, named for the pawn shop that previously occupied the space, serves up farm-fresh American fare in the cleverly repurposed space. GCG kept the shop’s iconic exterior murals and signage and even used salvaged wood from the old shop, along with warehouse windows re-welded and set with stained glass, and serves a menu just as timeless and unique. Whether you stop in for brunch or dinner, expect to find upscale dishes like Buttermilk Soup au Lait (pistachio dumplings with a pecorino crisp), dry-aged duck with tequila red beans, pork sausage, sweet potato purée, and chilis, and pickle-brine fried chicken and waffle with homemade ranch. Keep an eye out for the fresh-baked daily doughnut that’s definitely worth the calories.
This casual gastropub serves up delicious burgers, a make-your-own noodle bowl, and plenty of local craft beers and spirits. Though anything but austere, the woodwork, stone, and stained glass that deck out this pub make for a composed ambiance, a casualness continued in the patio in the summer and in the colder months, by the live fireplace placed smack-dab in the middle of the dining room for all to enjoy.
Named after the owner's grandmother's vehicle of choice, Bobcat Bonnie's is a casual hangout destination complete with an arcade game room and Golden Tee Golf. Taking its cues from global cuisines but not a "fusion" of any particular one of them, the menu offers up no-fuss gastropub fare, as well as inventive bar snacks and eats, like Cap'n Crunch chicken fingers, sardine butter, and fried goat cheese. Most important is the build-your-own Blood Mary and mimosa bar, where guests can truly have it their way.
A traditional Italian joint in Corktown that also boasts a backyard with bocce ball, Ottava Via makes tasty Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked in a brick oven, with traditional flavors like the Margherita or catch-all Italian. We won't stop you from trying a classic, but we suggest the Funghi, which comes with portobello, crimini, shitake, and cipollini mushrooms, and Tartufo cheese.
Just a quick walk from the ballpark, Bucharest is a great spot for both lunch and late-night shawarma. BG is open until about 2am on weekends, so you can get your spiced beef or chicken (or vegetarian venison, which they have) fix on your way home from a night out. Best of all, this location includes plenty of seating and free parking.
Corktown's home for baglemaster Ben Newman’s bagel sandwiches, this spot offers up bagels with avocados, eggs, goat cheese, bacon, and of course, cream cheese, in between slices of chewy, fresh-baked bagels. The space is perpetually bright, airy, and beautifully tidied in honor of the most important meal of the day.
Le Petit Zinc is as close to a French-style bistro as you can get in this part of the Midwest. Expect lighter French fare like pastries, Jambon et Fromage (ham and cheese) crepe salees (savory), Miel (honey) or Nutella crepe sucrees (sweet), to slightly heartier meals like quiche lorraine, ratatouille, and Salade de Chèvre aux Noix (rosemary olive oil over goat cheese on a a toasted baguette with walnuts, potatoes, tomatoes and greens). Named for the zinc bar tops common in French bistros, Le Petit Zinc welcomes you to leave your mark on its easy-wearing zinc surfaces in this low-ceilinged, friendly neighborhood spot. In warm weather, the quaint, romantic backyard garden patio will transport you (and your date) to the French countryside.
This artisanal deli is a source of pride for Detroit natives, and it should be: nearly all the meats are roasted in-house and everything from soups, salad dressings, and ketchup is made from scratch. What isn't homemade is sourced from local vendors, and the result is hearty sandwiches like a Reuben on onion bread and the multi-meat Gutty packed with salami, pastrami, corned beef, bacon, and beef brisket. A formidable selection of craft beer, including local and imported bottles, makes Mudgie's a veritable Corktown hot spot for locals on the lunch prowl.
This Corktown eatery is first and foremost a charcuterie and sandwich shop, but three nights a week it hosts an upscale, meat-focused dinner service. The space is small and casual, but the meat offerings, particularly the charcuterie plates, are generous. It's not a cheap outing, but you will definitely get your money's worth regardless of what you order.
Co-owners Stephen Roginson and Jason Williams bring nano-brewing to Corktown, with delicious small-batch, handcrafted Detroit beer. Also on order is a dope assortment of bar snacks on a weekly rotating menu. We can't say for sure what'll be there when you stop by, but expect creative and flavorful takes on classic bar fare: past dishes include braised pork belly sandwiches, shiitake and bok choy arancini, and chili chicharrones.
Founded in 2012 by a Canadian couple, Brooklyn Street Local is a homey Corktown lunch destination for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Ingredients are sourced fresh from Detroit's urban farms and are used to create an array of flavorful favorites, such as The BSL, traditional poutine made with organic cheese curds and beef gravy (can be adapted to vegan appetites), The Works, a thick, organic beef patty topped with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg, the Vegan Reuben served on rye, and rich banana walnut pancakes. The interior has all the marks of an American diner (banquette seating, warm hanging lamps, framed photographs on the walls), but the stylish outdoor patio calls to mind the industrial cityscape of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Established in 1902, Corktown’s Nancy Whiskey holds one of the oldest liquor licenses in Detroit. Besides pour whiskey, the Irish pub, inhabiting the ground floor of an old corner building, does other thing right: fry seafood. Fish ’n’ chips, battered cod and seafood tacos are all the rage at a weekly fry. Live music on the weekends and television sets reliably tuned to Lions, Tigers and Wings games keeps the ‘Cheers’ atmosphere alive.
This longstanding Corktown joint is known for raucous rock shows, Cajun fried fare, and its rowdy vibes. Case in point: back in the 2000s', PJ's played host as a hangout for the likes of rowdy DET indie rockers The White Stripes and The Von Bondies. Come for the mosh pits, and stay for the gumbo and fried pickles!
This Corktown Irish bar is perfect for St. Patrick's Day or a drink before a Tigers, Red Wings, or Lions game. Pre-game with hearty, Irish fare; McShane's reps its roots with items like bangers & mash, shepherd's pie, and lots of and lots of Guinness. Pro tip: you have to order McShane's insanely addictive corned beef Irish egg rolls. Thank us later.
You expect sliders to be on the bar menu. But how about 22 different kinds of them? Lansing's Greed Dot Stables takes the slider staple and brings it to its most elaborate end with a selection of playful takes. You can always get a buffalo chicken or cheeseburger slider (which are on offer, don't worry), but try out the unexpected combos: the Korean hosts kimchi and peanut butter atop a beef patty while a PB&J is given a savory zing with chipotle-raspberry jam. And because surprise is the spice of life, you can always order the mystery meat. The rest of the wood bar, designed to recall a horse stable, feels familiar as any neighborhood drinking hole... just with fried baloney on the menu.
Find Nemo in Detroit. This 50 plus year old Corktown favorite not only provides Irish pride and a casual atmosphere in the form of Jameson, Guinness and Jager, but also hosts its own fleet of shuttle buses offering rides to Detroit sports games and other events. It really doesn't get any better than cheap drinks and free transportation.