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Detroit’s Top Restaurant Standbys of 2019

From Lebanese breakfast spots to Detroit-style pizzerias, restaurant writers discuss their mainstays around town

Tamales and pupusas on plates at Antojitos El Catracho.
Antijitos El Catracho.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

As is tradition at Eater, we closed out 2019 by surveying local food writers and our own staff on various restaurant-related topics, and publishing their responses throughout the week. First up: The top restaurant standbys. Readers, feel free to share your thoughts below.


Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

Pie-Sci was among my favorite carryout haunts this year, particularly for the square pizzas. I was a frequented flyer at Warda Patisserie, Anthology Coffee, Duly’s, Rose’s Fine Food, Detroit Shipping Company, Hygrade Deli, Taystee’s Burgers, and, of course, Ima.

Dorothy Hernandez, Managing Editor, Model D:

Ima (I say this every year I know) and Pizza Connection (by far my favorite Detroit-style pizza) are my go-to’s when I don’t know what to do for dinner. I also liked Latido for drinks and the ribs and empanadas (I am going to miss them when their residency at Joebar is over!). Ochre Bakery was also a go-to spot for breakfast and lunch meetings. And I apparently lived underneath a rock for most of the year and just discovered Balkan House — I went back the next day after trying it for the first time and have been back several times since.

Serena Maria Daniels, Founder and Editor, Tostada Magazine:

I’ve got a few new standbys for 2019. Lately I’ve been a big fan of breakfast foods and I really enjoy the breakfasts at Antojitos El Catracho. This is a Honduran restaurant and has a lot of the breakfast staples of Central America like platanos, beans, crema, and queso fresco, as well as pupusas, fluffy tamales, and chorizo and eggs. I’ve also become a believer in Hygrade Deli breakfasts. You can’t go wrong with the corn beef and hash or an order of pancakes. For more of a special breakfast, Folk Detroit always has the freshest ingredients, the playlists are always on point, and the service, well, everyone there is super sweet.

Melody Baetens, Restaurant Critic, The Detroit News:

Fort Street Galley, Balkan House, Karl’s, Folk, Cannelle, Jose’s Tacos, Azteca Madison Heights and Town Tavern.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

I found myself in Dearborn and its surrounds more than ever this year. The two-year-old Lebanese brunch spot Al Tayeb, which is technically in Garden City, became a standby for me in 2019, along with Dearborn Meat Market (for the kebab), Lebon Sweets (for the knafeh “cheesedome”), and Qahwah house (for the Yemeni coffee and sabaya). I’d been to all three of the aforementioned spots before, but they made it into the regular rotation this year.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

Ricewood, Taqueria La Torre, and Loomi Cafe.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]

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