Food & Drink

Detroit’s 9 best bets for after-hours eats

Published On 12/18/2013 Published On 12/18/2013

There are certain times when you leave the bar and there's a tiny voice in your head telling you that it's time to go home, but a much louder voice in your stomach is demanding to be fed. Listen to the second voice, and make him happy with these nine best bets for Detroit dining in the wee hours.

Courtney Ochab

American Coney Island
Downtown
American Coney Island hasn’t changed much in their 87 years of operation, and continues to cook up top-flight Detroit coneys. Still family owned and operated, their generations-old recipes get served up alongside the highest quality Dearborn Sausage links. Not that you'll be thinking about all that history when you're stuffing your face at this 24hr joint.

Courtney Ochab

Lafayette Coney Island
Downtown
Yes, TWO coney joints. It IS Detroit, after all. Lafayette's natural-casing frank arrives on a steamed bun, topped with mild Greek-style chili, chopped white onions, and yellow mustard. It doesn't HAVE to be consumed after 2a, but they ARE open until 3a (and 4a on weekends). Go ahead and spring for extra chili. You clearly aren't bringing anyone home at this point.

Flickr User iamjohnroney

Xochimilco
Mexicantown
Pronounced so-she-mil-co. Good luck pulling that one off when you're multiple beers deep. Though it's one of the smaller restaurants in Mexicantown, it's also one of the busiest on the strength of it's abundant, affordable plates of rib-sticking Mexican eats. Botanas and margaritas are a great way to close out the night, or if there's no more drinking to be done, get your taco fix until 2a.

Courtney Ochab

Bucharest Grill
Foxtown/Theatre District; Inside the Park Bar
This is the shawarma haven. Perfectly seasoned beef or chicken, pickles, onions, tomatoes, and enough garlic to cover any hint of beer on your breath (though, it's now replaced with garlic). The line is usually out the door, but it moves quickly, and they even deliver if you're already immobile. Pro tip: the shawarmas even come in six-packs!

Courtney Ochab

Telway Hamburger System
Southwest Detroit
If it's late and you're hungry but you're having some serious financial regret about the bar tab you just closed, this is your spot. Burgers, fries, and coneys each check in around $1 or less, 24hrs a day. White Castle has nothing on these guys. 

Flickr User Jon Juan

Plaka Cafe
Greektown
Need breakfast before you go to bed? This 24hr Greektown diner is your spot. Feed your face with a massive fluffy omelette, or if you're saving that for when you wake up, you can't go wrong with a gyro. The comfy booths may look like they're made for four, but you have 10 hungry friends who think otherwise.

Flickr user rob_rob2001

Sgt. Pepperoni Pizzeria & Deli
Midtown; at the Garden Bowl
After a show at the Magic Stick or a late night at the Garden Bowl, nothing complements the boozy, sweaty smell you're giving off quite like some greasy pepperoni pizza. It’s said that the perfect window for stuffing your face is seven minutes after it’s pulled from the oven -- enough time for the molten lava cheese to become edible.

Loco's Tex-Mex Grille

Loco's Tex-Mex Grille
Greektown
Spicy Mexican and Southwestern dishes served while the staff shouts "Ole!" ... just like they do South of the border (probably)! This makes for an ideal post-Comerica stop to fill up on deep-fried tacos or Mexican pizza if you don't want to stray TOO far from your comfort zone. Hopefully business won't be hit to hard with the trading of Prince Fielder. 

Bert’s Marketplace

Bert’s Marketplace
Eastern Market
This jazz club has showcased local talent and served up soul food since the 1980s, and Bert's still draws a late night crowd while also playing host to some serious national acts. You never know who'll show up, but you know you'll be able to mow through ribs, chicken, and catfish doused in assorted special sauces until 3a on weekends.

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1. Lafayette Coney Island 118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

While no one knows for sure where the Detroit coney dog originated, what's clear is that Lafayette is one of two establishments serving the premier version. Grab your own plate with a side of chili cheese fries, and ignore the sassy cooks and the dinginess of the space. You're here for the coney.

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2. American Coney Island 114 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

Located besides archrival Lafayette Coney Island, American Coney Island has been serving paper platefuls of the crispy fries-and-chili covered hot dog meal since 1917. The spot continues to be family-owned and -operated, and the only way you can get your hands on their secret Detroit chili sauce is by ordering your own dog, or a Coney Kit, which comes complete with 12 Dearborn Sausage brand special recipe hot dogs, buns, a sweet onion, American's famous family-owned Detroit chili sauce, instructions, and a hat.

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3. Xochimilco 3409 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216 (Mexicantown)

Xochimilco is a great spot for a late night taco and a margarita. It's open until 2a, so after a night at the bar you can make a game out of trying to pronounce the name (so-she-mil-co).

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4. Bucharest Grill 2040 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (Rivertown)

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.

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5. Telway Hamburger System 6820 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210

The Telway Hamburger System is open 24 hours, serving you sliders, fries, and coneys for ridiculously cheap prices. This counter serve takeout joint is the type of place that sells burgers by the bag from it's unapologetic, squat home in the middle of a parking lot. Nothing about Telway is about fine presentation, especially its uniquely thin patties that pack a fat flavor wallop, but they still make one hell of an impression. While you're there, keep your motor running with some of their famously delicious and equally cheap coffee.

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6. Plaka Cafe 535 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226 (Greektown)

Plaka cafe is a full-service diner that's reliable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They have a Greek twist (check out a gyro breakfast platter), and are open 24hrs so you can satisfy your cravings at any hour.

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7. Sgt. Pepperoni's Pizzeria & Deli 4120 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

Located inside the Garden Bowl, Sgt. Pepperoni's will sell you their signature specialty pizzes by the pie or by the slice. They're open until 2a, so whether you want to grab a slice or a sandwich on your way home from the bar or a show, you're in good hands.

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8. Loco's Tex-Mex Grille 454 Lafayette St E, Detroit, MI 48226 (Greektown)

Open until 4a on Friday and Saturday (2a the rest of the week), Loco's has an extensive menu of all your favorite Mexican classics (tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas) alongside burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheeses. Also -- the strong, well-made margaritas won't disappoint.

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9. Bert's Marketplace 2727 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207 (Eastern Market)

Bert’s Market Place is your all-in-one spot for food and entertainment. The restaurant is known for their juicy smoked BBQ ribs served with an original (secret) recipe sauce. The homestyle South food is seasoned to perfection and slow cooked on the spot. The family-friendly restaurant is perfect for lunch or dinner, or for late nights out (Bert’s is open until 3am on the weekends). For entertainment, there are weekly events including Monday Jazz performances, Friday ballroom dance lessons, and Saturday karaoke shows.

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