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DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 07: A general overall aerial view of Ford Field and Comerica Parkon December 07, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images). Getty Images

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Where to Watch the Detroit Lions (Finally!) Play in the Second Round of NFL Playoffs

From sports bars to special tailgating opportunities, here are the best places to eat or drink on game day

Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

It’s not often that Detroit Lions fans have much to celebrate, but this year shattered all expectations and come Sunday, the Lions will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 2023-24 NFL playoffs.

What does that mean for downtown? A spokesman for Visit Detroit told the Freep and other media earlier this week that the big game could bring in some $20 million in economic activity to the city, based on projections on the number of people who are supposed to descend on downtown, the number of folks at Ford Field, hotel occupancy, as well as activity at restaurants and bars. With so much activity expected to take over downtown, here’s a handy guide to enjoying the food and drink options that Detroit has to offer.

This aerial view, shot from low altitude in a small plane, shows most of downtown Detroit, Michigan. Included in the shot is Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, the Ambassador Bridge, and the Detroit skyline. The Detroit River bisects the image. Getty Images

Detroit, Home to These Culinary Icons

Detroit-style pizza is as much a part of the pizza lexicon as Chicago deep-dish at this point, so why not use game day as an excuse to indulge its its birthplace? Maybe you’re watching from home. Many of these spots deliver. And if you’re looking to round out those squares of pizza with wings, well, the region’s wing game is ever improving. Still, some of you will be out until the wee hours and will inevitably look to satiate whatever appetite you’ve worked up with a late-night hangover cure in the shape of a coney: with chili, onions, and mustard. If coneys aren’t enough to do the trick, another late night option that’s sure to be a winner: the region’s many taquerias and taco trucks, which are often available long after game time has ended. Of course, many of you will be out there all day for tailgating. For a morning or daytime pick-me-up, these brunch spots will provide you with much sustenance to keep you charged and in a festive mood.

Downtown-ish Detroit Neighborhoods to Know

Obviously, downtown will be inundated with traffic and crowds. If it’s been awhile since your last visit, check out Eater Detroit’s downtown map, which is updated multiple times a year, or one of our guides to stadium dining. Of course, some of you want to be near the action, but maybe not smack in the middle of it all. Nearby Corktown and Midtown have ample restaurants and bars to check out.

Bars, Bars, Bars

Watching football apparently makes people thirsty, so if a cocktail or beer will aid in your cheering abilities, metro Detroit is home to plenty of options, from sports bars, speakeasies, dives, and some of the hottest new establishments around.

Lions-Sized Promos

Many of our favorite eating and drinking places have opted to offer special promotions to entice fans into their spaces. While it’s up to you, super fan, to pay close attention to what’s going on at your favorite spots, we’ve unearthed a few game day specials that are sure to amp up the party.

Midnight Temple (2466 Riopelle St) — This Eastern Market Indian restaurant and bar are hosting a watch party starting at 1 p.m. and featuring tandoori butter chicken wings to the menu, just for the playoffs. The wings come from Fairway Packing Co., according to a social media post, that are marinated in masala and placed in a tandoor oven, before they’re sauced once again.

PAO (114 W Adams Ave Suite 200) — Pregame at PAO, situated in the Grand Circus Park area, and be treated to a spread of fusion game day snacks like wagyu egg rolls and sliders, creamy rock shrimp, sweet and sour chicken, truffle fries, and more. Valet parking is available.

Atheneum (1000 Brush St) — A Bar and Lounge , set within the Atheneum in Greektown will be open for breakfast 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. DJ CAPTN 20 will keep the energy pumping from 11 a.m. to game time. Fans will get to catch the game action from the multiple TVs broadcasting throughout the space. For dinner, the hotel’s restaurant Symposia will be open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Roasting Plant (660 Woodward Ave) — This downtown coffee shop has launched its own special blend, Megatron “81” Blend, named after one beloved former Lions player, Calvin Johnson, who was an iconic wide receiver for the team for nine seasons.

Delux Bar & Lounge (350 Monroe) — This Greektown spot will have $3 drafts, beer bucket specials, Honolulu Blue shots, and dance music provided by DJ Brandon Edwards from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations call or text 313-510-9998.

Sabbath Coffee Roasters (24 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson) — If the Lions come out winning Sunday’s match, this Clawson cafe will give away free coffee beverages to all customers on Monday, January 22.

Detroit Lions tailgating at Eastern Market — Tailgating is available on designated lots in the Eastern Market area for $120 (plus a fee) for a single parking space. Lots open at 9 a.m. on the day of the game (sorry, no early or overnight access). Tailgating takes place only in posted lots. Folks are welcome to bring and prepare food on-site for friends and family, cooking is allowed using propane grills and self-contained charcoal grills. Be sure to read all the rules for entry, because there are a lot of them.

Lockhart’s BBQ (202 E 3rd St, Royal Oak) — Lockhart’s BBQ in Royal Oak is hosting a watch party from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 to $100 and include a food buffet and open bar that includes craft beers on draft, bottled beer, wine, and spirits.

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