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Detroit’s Best Dining Neighborhoods of 2019

Dearborn, Madison Heights — these were just a couple of the best areas to eat in metro Detroit this year

A hand scoops up bright red cubes of Chicken 65 out of a dish at Aladdin Sweets and Cafe in Hamtramck.
The chicken 65 at Aladdin Sweets and Cafe in Hamtramck.
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.

Dorothy Hernandez, Managing Editor, Model D:

I know it’s not a neighborhood but Hamtramck has so much diversity in terms of food, from Bangladeshi to Polish to pizza. And döner kebab (can you tell I’m obsessed)?

Serena Maria Daniels, Founder and Editor, Tostada Magazine:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Southwest Detroit has to be the most interesting, dynamic dining neighborhoods in the city. Nowhere else in the city will you find such a range in styles and price points. Old school Mexican-American, to inspired Vietnamese and cash-only taquerias, authentic Neapolitan pizza and newer Latino-owned places are focusing on regional Mexican specialities that are challenging what we formerly thought of when it came to Mexican food or drink. Plus, just a short drive from all manner of Middle Eastern cuisine in Dearborn.

Melody Baetens, Restaurant Critic, The Detroit News:

I think I said Capitol Park and Corktown in recent years, and both continue to be super. How lucky are we to have Madison Heights, though? Even with hip, hot Ferndale and Royal Oak nearby, Madison Heights continues to be really interesting and bountiful.

Mark Kurlyandchik, Restaurant Critic, Detroit Free Press:

I continue to be amazed by the abundance of amazing — and diverse! and affordable! — food options available in Dearborn/Dearborn Heights. As someone who grew up in and spent most of my life in metro Detroit, I took it for granted for years. But then I realized I was recommending Dearborn spots to every out-of-town food writer and friend as the *one thing* you had to eat while you were here. Even just driving through and marveling at all the bakeries, butcheries, grocers, and other food businesses is a treat in itself.

Brenna Houck, Editor, Eater Detroit:

This is a tough one because some of my favorite spots from this year were just incredibly spread out. From a sheer volume of openings, downtown Detroit really filled itself out this year — with restaurants particularly lumped into the area between Broadway and Woodward Avenue. Hamtramck and Dearborn, I think, are always having a good year, thanks to the sheer amount of good, diverse cuisine stuffed into city limits. Perhaps the real winners of 2019, were areas like Core City with Ochre Bakery and Magnet, the Palmer Park area with the addition of Pink Flamingo To-Go, and Saffron De Twah on Gratiot Avenue. Good food isn’t just in the core downtown neighborhoods. It’s found everywhere.

John Reyes, Ann Arbor Contributor, Eater Detroit:

South Central Ann Arbor — Ricewood’s opening as a year-round restaurant within the newly reimagined York is now the center of small stretch of small, eclectic dining experiences.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]