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Detroit's Best Dining Neighborhoods of 2017

Experts pick the hottest areas for restaurants of the past year

Go! Sy Thai opened a new location in Capitol Park, one of the hottest dining areas in downtown Detroit in 2017.
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 closed out the year by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and publishing their responses throughout the week. Next up: What was the best dining neighborhood in Detroit this year? Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below.

Melody Baetens, Features Reporter, Detroit News:

The variety downtown continues to grow, especially with the redevelopment of Capitol Park.

Lexi Trimpe, Web Editor, Hour Detroit:

Grandmont Rosedale had a great year with the addition of River Bistro and Maty’s. It’s definitely a neighborhood to watch in 2018.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

It’s hard to pick just one because the activity this year wasn’t super-concentrated in one geographic area like it has been recently. That said, Capitol Park is beginning to turn into downtown’s restaurant row — and will only continue as more planned food and beverage projects come online. Overall, though, if I had to spend a day or two exploring food and drink options in just one ‘hood, it’d be hard to beat Corktown.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

It was certainly a huge year for Capitol Park, which saw a wave of openings from Go! Sy Thai to Bad Luck Bar and Eatori Market. I think Corktown and Southwest Detroit are still some of the best dining neighborhoods in the city in terms of the variety of options available and walkability. Grandmont Rosedale/Rosedale Park also kicked it up a notch this year with spots like Detroit Vegan Soul and River Bistro. I think that neighborhood alongside Jefferson Chalmers will be the ones to watch in 2018.

Serena Maria Daniels, Editor, Tostada Magazine:

Capital Park has, in my opinion, shaped up to be quite a gem for food and drink. When I first moved to Detroit in 2011, I went to a few loft parties there off Griswold, probably totally illegal, but they gave me a glimpse of that DYI vibe the city’s known for. When the area started getting redeveloped, I was worried that it would get swallowed up by more chains like Wahlburgers or Calexico. But it’s really turned out to be a surprisingly diverse little pocket of downtown. You can have brick oven Neapolitan pizza at La Lanterna, delicious takeout from Go! Sy Thai, post up for hours at Urban Bean Co. or Dessert Oasis, pick up a few groceries at Eatori, splurge on a steak dinner at Prime + Proper or cocktails at Bad Luck Bar and get your nails done while sipping champagne at TEN Nail Bar. Oh, and grab fancy treats for your pooch at City Bark… And the businesses are for the most part locally-owned, which I think is important.

Nick Britsky, Beverage Director, Thrillist:

Corktown: It got a head start on everyone and still has one of the best varieties and selections. Others are catching up fast.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Despite some gems opening elsewhere in Ann Arbor, downtown is still the place to go.

Dorothy Hernandez, Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Definitely Southwest Detroit. There’s so much diversity with Salvadoran, Venezuelan (I went to El Rey de las Arepas for the first time and wanted to eat all of the food), Dominican, etc. but there’s also newer places like PizzaPlex, which is more than just a pizzeria — I love its community focus.

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