As part of Eater’s ongoing Year in Eater tradition, of annual tradition that is , Eater Detroit has taken a look back at the site’s most-read stories of 2023. In addition to being excited about the city’s many restaurant openings and dining guides, Eater Detroit readers were most enthusiastic for stories on how Black Detroiters are reshaping the city’s restaurant scene, from an inside look at Detroit’s first Black-owned food hall to news about the first Black woman chef to lead a Michelin-starred restaurant who is making her way in the Motor City. Readers were also interested in learning about the Michigan chefs and restaurants that were recognized as semifinalists and nominees for the 2023 James Beard Awards. And, of course, news about downtown restaurant developments was always a hot topic among readers.
Here are the 14 stories that caught the attention of Eater Detroit readers this year, plus, 16 additional stories that you might’ve missed this year that are worth reading.
14. Catch a Glimpse of the Bars and Restaurants Coming to the Dramatically Restored Book Tower Downtown
Perhaps the largest downtown restaurant development of the year, readers were excited to learn about the new food and drink options inside one of the city’s treasured historic skyscrapers.
Five Michigan-based chefs and restaurants were named as nominees for the 2023 awards.
Three Detroit and Lansing-based cafes described as “queer-identified” coffee shops were the targets of threats this year.
Lower Woodward’s beloved Orchid Thai closed its doors for good this year, following nearly two-decades of feeding downtown office workers.
Eater Detroit contributor Stacey Brugeman impressed readers with an all-encompassing guide to enjoying the natural beauty of northern Michigan during the autumn season — including the best places to eat and drink along the way.
Eater Detroit contributor Mickey Lyons provided readers with an inside view of Hazel Park’s newest tropical-anytime bar.
Eater Detroit offered insight about the growing number of Black chefs who are using their platforms to educate diners about the contributions of African Americans throughout history.
Eater Detroit dove into concerns among residents about parking in the area surrounding Mad Nice, a new coastal Italian eatery that opened this year in Midtown.
Readers were jazzed to learn about the many metro Detroit restaurants, bars, and chefs that made the James Beard’s “long list” of semifinalists for 2023.
Readers are embracing the maximalism trend of 2023 and were pleased to learn details about a new “clubstaurant” experience that opened in downtown Detroit this year.
Closings are an inevitable part of the life of a restaurant, but sometimes a closing hits harder than others. Such was the case with the announcement that Avalon Bakery’s original flagship location and PizzaPlex in Southwest Detroit would shutter permanently.
One of the United States’ most enduring American Mexican chains, Taco John’s, announced plans this year for a major expansion into the Michigan market, much to the delight of readers.
Chef Mariya Russell — who made headlines in 2020 when she walked away from the Chicago restaurant where months prior she made history when she was named the first Black woman chef to lead a Michelin-starred establishment — was the subject of much excitement this year when she hosted a series of pop-ups in metro Detroit.
Because there’s more to Detroit’s dining scene than whatever is going on in greater downtown, readers were the most excited to learn details about the city’s first Black-owned food hall on the city’s westside.