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Detroit Food Writers Reveal Their Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2016

Which up-and-comers won over writers and critics?

Michelle and Chris Gerard
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

As is tradition at Eater, we close out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and we'll be publishing their responses throughout the week. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below. Next question: What were the top restaurant newcomers of 2016?

Aaron Foley, Editor, BLAC Magazine:

First off, I have to give props Belle Isle Pizza — do not be fooled by the exterior or the fact that it’s just take-out only. I’m glad there’s another pizza place that uses quality and fresh ingredients, and isn’t afraid to take risks with putting them all together. I went to more social gatherings at Queens Bar than I could count — summer nights on their patio are my new favorite, and they’re a very welcome addition downtown.

Serena Maria Daniels, Dining Editor, Metro Times:

Katoi, Flowers of Vietnam, La Rondinella, The Peterboro

Dorothy Hernandez, Managing Editor, Hour Detroit (Co-owner of Sarap Detroit):

Katoi, Flowers of Vietnam, La Rondinella

Melody Baetens, Features Reporter and Bar/Restaurant Columnist, Detroit News:

Katoi. Pie-Sci. La Dulce. The Boboville Brunch at Kelly’s. Stache International. O.W.L. Peterboro. GoGos. Parc.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Mikette. It’s a French restaurant from the same team that brought Isalita and Mani, arguably two of the best restaurants in Ann Arbor. Miss Kim, part of the Zingerman’s empire, features Korean food made with fresh, local ingredients.

Flowers of Vietnam
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Lexi Trimpe, Food Writer, Freelance/Hour Detroit:

I’m sure almost every foodie in the city will have the same answer: Katoi. Their unique flavors combined with an atmosphere and attitude that is quintessential Detroit set them apart from other newcomers. Plus, those crispy spare ribs are just too good to pass up.

Kat Rembacki, Editor, Core Detroit:

Grey Ghost, Stache International, La Rondinella, The Peterboro, Flowers of Vietnam and Katoi (Detroit location)

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

It was a great year for Detroit restaurants, but you'll have to wait until we announce our Best New Restaurants list in February to find out how they stacked up.

Seoung Lee, Social Media Influencer, Chow Down Detroit:

Katoi is easily my new favorite restaurant in Detroit.

Nick Britsky, Cocktail Expert, Freelance:

Katoi was so unique on many levels from the brilliant food to the exciting atmosphere.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

There were a lot of impressive openings this year. The ones that stood out for me were, — of course — our restaurant of the year, Katoi. Parc, La Rondinella, O.W.L., and Flowers of Vietnam were also some of my favorites.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]