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10 Iconic Greasy Spoons (And What To Order There)

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Detroiters love a greasy spoon. They love them so much, they invented their own unique kind of diner that's (mostly) not found in any other region in the world — the coney island.

That bracingly original combination of iconic Greek classics (gyros, saganaki, etc), the coney dog and all-day breakfast menus began in downtown Detroit in the early decades of the 20th century, and spiraled out into the suburbs and state beyond for the next 100 years.

But there are other delicious, greasy spoon hideaways in the city that don't necessarily merit the coney island moniker. True, most of these 11 greasy icons are coney islands — but we'll let you ferret out the differences over a cup of coffee and an omelette at any of these classic Detroit diners. There's menu suggestions included in case you need them, but you probably already know your next move here.

As always, let us know if we missed your favorite greasy spoon. The fun continues all week, and we might feature your forgotten favorite in a future story.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Polish Village Cafe

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2990 Yemans St.
Hamtramck, MI 48212
(313) 874-5726
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It might not be fair to call Polish Village a greasy spoon, but the Hamtramck cafe is a source of beloved and low-key comfort food for a broad swath of the region, Polish or not. Order a sauerkraut pierogi. [Photo

2. Zeff's Coney Island

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2469 Russell St
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 259-4705
With fresh food to be had all around in Eastern Market, slipping into Zeff's is a detour worth devoting your time to. Order a plate of corned beef hash. [Photo]

3. Elwood Bar & Grill

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300 E Adams Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-2337
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The Elwood isn't where it used to be — literally. The restored and rediscovered Woodward Ave. Art Deco diner has become a Comerica Park mainstay, which doesn't make it any less grease-tastic. Order the basic burger and fries. It's worth it. [Photo

4. The Brooklyn Street Local

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1266 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 262-6547
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This map is meant to highlight the city's iconic Greasy Spoons, but this newbie to the scene is a worthy addition. Order the poutine breakfast plate. [Photo

5. American Coney Island

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114 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-7758
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The other (or original) coney island in the heart of Downtown Detroit, American has the distinct honor of being one of Downtown's only 24-hour eating establishments. Order their classic coney. [Photo]

6. Lafayette Coney Island

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118 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 964-8198
Arguably where it all began back in 1914, the same thing could be said about this icon's neighbor. Whatever your take on which is better, it's worth snagging a seat and ordering a classic coney. [Photo]

7. Duly's Place

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5458 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 554-3076
For more than 90 years, Duly's has been dishing out the goods in a simple and increasingly time-warped setting. Things change, but Duly's doesn't. Order the chili dog. [Photo]

8. Plaka's Cafe

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535 Monroe St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-4687
A rather un-coney island Greek diner, Plaka's is another 24 hour cafe with extra grease on the Greek side of the menu. Order a pile of their pancakes. Photo

9. Colombo's Coney Island Restaurant‎

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5414 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 849-0995
This Southwest Detroit 24-hour diner burns brightly with coneys and coffee for all. Their eggs and toast breakfast special usually goes over well with any crowd. [Photo]

10. Telway Hamburgers

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6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 843-2146
Telway does it right. People tend to love their coffee — really, they do — but we're partial to their pile of standard sliders. You can still order coffee, too. [Photo]

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1. Polish Village Cafe

2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck, MI 48212
It might not be fair to call Polish Village a greasy spoon, but the Hamtramck cafe is a source of beloved and low-key comfort food for a broad swath of the region, Polish or not. Order a sauerkraut pierogi. [Photo
2990 Yemans St.
Hamtramck, MI 48212

2. Zeff's Coney Island

2469 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207
With fresh food to be had all around in Eastern Market, slipping into Zeff's is a detour worth devoting your time to. Order a plate of corned beef hash. [Photo]
2469 Russell St
Detroit, MI 48207

3. Elwood Bar & Grill

300 E Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
The Elwood isn't where it used to be — literally. The restored and rediscovered Woodward Ave. Art Deco diner has become a Comerica Park mainstay, which doesn't make it any less grease-tastic. Order the basic burger and fries. It's worth it. [Photo
300 E Adams Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

4. The Brooklyn Street Local

1266 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
This map is meant to highlight the city's iconic Greasy Spoons, but this newbie to the scene is a worthy addition. Order the poutine breakfast plate. [Photo
1266 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

5. American Coney Island

114 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
The other (or original) coney island in the heart of Downtown Detroit, American has the distinct honor of being one of Downtown's only 24-hour eating establishments. Order their classic coney. [Photo]
114 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

6. Lafayette Coney Island

118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
Arguably where it all began back in 1914, the same thing could be said about this icon's neighbor. Whatever your take on which is better, it's worth snagging a seat and ordering a classic coney. [Photo]
118 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

7. Duly's Place

5458 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
For more than 90 years, Duly's has been dishing out the goods in a simple and increasingly time-warped setting. Things change, but Duly's doesn't. Order the chili dog. [Photo]
5458 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

8. Plaka's Cafe

535 Monroe St, Detroit, MI 48226
A rather un-coney island Greek diner, Plaka's is another 24 hour cafe with extra grease on the Greek side of the menu. Order a pile of their pancakes. Photo
535 Monroe St
Detroit, MI 48226

9. Colombo's Coney Island Restaurant‎

5414 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
This Southwest Detroit 24-hour diner burns brightly with coneys and coffee for all. Their eggs and toast breakfast special usually goes over well with any crowd. [Photo]
5414 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209

10. Telway Hamburgers

6820 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210
Telway does it right. People tend to love their coffee — really, they do — but we're partial to their pile of standard sliders. You can still order coffee, too. [Photo]
6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210

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