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Food Trends Detroit’s Restaurant Scene Needs, According to Restaurant Experts

Ramen, sit-down soul food, conveyor belt sushi, and more

Rice Price Surge Impacts Sushi Restaurants
Conveyor belt sushi, anyone?
Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images
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 closed out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and we've been publishing their responses throughout the past week. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below. Final question: What dining trend/food do you wish we had more of in Detroit?

Aaron Foley, Editor, BLAC Magazine:

More sit-down soul food options. Take Southern Belles’ Bistro in Ferndale, for example — the reason why it’s working so well is because not only is the food good, you can actually take time to enjoy it. And, as I’ve been clamoring for forever, more stuff outside of downtown. Yes, you can point to a Livernois or a Vernor or a Mack, but there’s lots and and lots of space in between to fill.

Serena Maria Daniels, Dining Editor, Metro Times:

I would like to see more chefs of color in Detroit be recognized for their talents.

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

Asian night markets. In-N-Out burgers. More ramen options.

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

I wouldn’t mind a conveyor sushi restaurant.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

In Ann Arbor, I’d like to see more fine dining in strip malls. Prevailing wisdom has been that they had to be downtown, but the high rents have led to uninspiring menus as restaurants are pressured to sell to the masses. Mikette has proven that a strip mall restaurant can be beautiful and attract people away from all the downtown action.

Lexi Trimpe, Food Writer, Freelance/Hour Detroit:

While we’ve seen a ton of Asian-fusion spots pop-up in the last few years, I wish we had more unique and traditional ethnic cuisines in the city proper, especially more niche offerings from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Kat Rembacki, Editor, Core Detroit:

It’s cliche, but I would love to see the raclette cheese trend pop up on a few menus. I used to melt bowls of cheese in the microwave when I was a kid, so this raclette revival is like a childhood dream fulfilled.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

I would sell my soul to anyone who brings Berlin-style döner kebabs to Detroit.

I'm also very happy to see caviar service becoming a thing again. Salmon roe on buttered bread is my comfort food, so I'd love to see the caviar trend continue and diversify to include some more affordable fish-egg options. Now I just have to convince the Free Press to allow me to do a story ranking all the local offerings.

Seoung Lee, Social Media Influencer, Chow Down Detroit:

Genuine Street food! And I’m not talking about Food Trucks. I mean street food carts like in NYC and other big cities all across the world.

Nick Britsky, Cocktail Expert, Freelance:

Japanese salaryman and late night food. While it does exist in very small pockets, I’d love to see this really take hold somewhere; takoyaki, okonomiyaki, robata, etc.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

We have some solid Thai restaurants in metro Detroit and Katoi in Corktown doing Thai-influenced dishes, but I’d love to see just a great, casual but well-done Thai restaurant in the city. Maybe someplace that does takeout. It’s something that I miss from other cities I’ve lived in. I’d also love to see more delivery in general. There’s demand for it.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]