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Bowls of Afro-Caribbean food including jerk chicken, fried ginger chickpeas, and suya fried chicken at Yum Village.
Meals from Yum Village in New Center.
Michelle Gerard

Where to Grab a Filling Lunch in Detroit

From meals in a bowl, pizza-by-the-slice, to filling tacos, these are the best bets for a quick meal on a lunch break

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Meals from Yum Village in New Center.
| Michelle Gerard

The work-from-home era has redefined what the ubiquitous lunch break means, but it hasn’t changed our appetites. While many office employees are continuing to work remotely, there are still plenty of workers who have to leave the house and still more in need of a place outside to break up the pandemic monotony. When leftovers from last night’s dinner just won’t do, it’s crucial to have options for an affordable, fast meal during a lunch break.

Downtown has ample choices for this type of everyday customer, as well as in Midtown, New Center, and Hamtramck, just a few districts with a high concentration of office workers. Below find a guide to some of the best options. Don’t get stuck with a sad desk lunch.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Maine Street Restaurant

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This diner with old-school vibes is a popular choice for those who work in Hamtramck City Hall and has a little something for everyone. With sections dedicated to Italian, seafood, Greek, filling entrees like meat loaf or lamb chops, pita sandwiches, chevapi, and most breakfast items available all day, it’s a good choice for indecisive groups.

Yemen Cafe

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For diners comfortable with sharing, Yemen Cafe in Hamtramck features a number of family-style dishes, including its gallaba with hummus (available in chicken or beef), shawarma platter, and fattoush. Stay for awhile in the laid back dining room or call ahead to pick up and take back to the office.

Lamb on saffron rice, a plate of rice mixed with chicken and vegetables, and a large piece of Yemeni flatbread next to a silver dish of garlic paste. Brenna Houck

Baobab Fare

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The New Center area is a major hub for office workers, requiring plenty of lunch options. Baobab Fare is open for lunch and features cuisine from the eastern African country of Burundi. The hearty all-halal menu includes flavorful dishes like kuku (pan-fried chicken with mustard-onion sauce), veggie-friendly intore (stewed eggplant), and every Tuesday ugali (an okra stewed accompanied by a dense corn flour ball, ideal for scooping).

The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

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For folks looking for more vegetable-forward options, the Kitchen by Cooking with Que has lunch options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Order a shawarma (available with chicken or spiced tofu), an MLT (a sandwich with maitake mushroom “bacon,” butter lettuce, sliced tomato, and garlic mayonnaise), a handful of soups and salads, plus a a matcha latte or other coffee drinks. For the work-from-home crowd, the Kitchen also offers a subscription meal plan, complete with entrees, sides, and smoothie starters.

Yum Village

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Lunch is made for meals in a bowl. In a rush? Take one to go. Prefer taking time in the restaurant and have the option to take the rest home? That’s easy for bowl-based entrees. Afro-Caribbean restaurant Yum Village gives guests a chance to customize their own bowl, which starts with jollof rice, choice of flavorful protein, and sides.

Supino Pizzeria New Center

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Can’t go wrong with a slice and a salad for lunch. The fairly new Supino location on Woodward in New Center offers dine-in and carryout service. Whether on a budget and in need of a quick slice on the go, or want to impress a group of clients, Supino is equipped to handle both.

Plum Market Kitchen

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The Plum Market outpost inside the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center has a vast variety of dining options with its impressive hot and cold food bar, where customers can build their own salads, pick out ready-made entrees like chicken pot pies, sandwiches, and sushi, and grab a quick beverage. There’s also a location downtown.

Workers in Art Center can find a solid lunch option in Babo. For the breakfast anytime fan, there are options like avocado toast, omelettes, and lemon ricotta pancakes, plus a selection of espresso drinks as well as several salads, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.

SuperCrisp

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Craving some Ima but don’t have enough time during lunch break to savor a big bowl of udon? Restaurateur Mike Ransom recently opened a fast-casual spot featuring Ima’s popular karaage fried sandwiches (available in chicken, fish, and tofu-form), halal wagyu beef burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries, salads, and other snacks. Top it off with a yuzu strawberry lemonade and then get back to work.

El Taco Veloz LLC

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Lunch on the run? Head over to El Taco Veloz’s located inside Marcus Market. Pick up a box of tacos, a hefty burrito, quesadillas, and tortas — all with choice of meat fillings. To drink, grab an agua fresca like horchata or hit up the cold beverage section of the market for a variety of sodas, kombucha, and juices.

Seasons Market & Cafe

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The newly open Seasons Market features the Garden Cafe, where diners can select a variety of packaged lunch items like salads, rice bowls, and baked goods, curated from local food makers. Grab some lunch and have a seat upstairs in the market’s loft. During the warmer months, lunch on the outdoor garden patio.

A cafe counter accented with reclaimed wood, POS system, a pastry display case, white subway tiles, and ingredients stored in the background
The Garden Cafe inside Seasons Market in Midtown
Gerard + Belevender

Bucharest Grill

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Located on the outskirts of downtown, Bucharest Grill is serving some of Detroit’s favorite chicken shawarma. The local chain is often busy during peak lunch and dinner hours, so call ahead to ensure a shorter wait.

La Pecora Nera

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This pint-sized Italian deli off Washington Boulevard is geared towards lunch crowds with made-to-order sub sandwiches, salads, espresso, and gelato. Grab a PLT with pancetta, lettuce, tomato and dine-in at one of the communal tables or pick up an antipasto salad to-go.

Chickp Detroit

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This larger, fast-casual version of longtime walk-up window Chickpea in the D serves quick meals perfect for taking back to an office or grabbing a bite at one of the dine-in tables. Choose from options like chicken shawarma wraps, falafel rice bowls, and chicken fattoush salads. Many of the items are gluten-free or vegan.

a falafel bowl with hummus, pickles, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic sauce in a brown bowl Brenna Houck

Mootz Pizzeria and Bar

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This New York-style pizzeria on Library Street offers a full service, dine-in menu, but for folks just looking to grab a slice it also offers a quick-service, carryout area called Side Hustle. Choose from pre-made pizza slices like classic pepperoni and Philly Cheesesteak, warmed up in a conveyor belt oven.

7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.

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Library Street’s homegrown fast-casual salad chain 7 Greens specializes in lighter lunch options. Customers can build-their-own meal of choose from a variety of signature salads, wraps, and grain bowls such as the Umami Bomb with spinach, kale, kimchi, quinoa, carrots, mushrooms, edamame, bean sprouts, a fried egg, and Korean spicy sauce. The restaurant also serves smoothies.

Orchid Thai Restaurant

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Longtime Orchid Thai is a longtime favorite of downtown office workers. Pick a few appetizers like spring rolls, crab cheese, and hot and sour tom yum koong soup, or select a curry, pad Thai, or pa-nang duck entree.

Cannelle Detroit

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While Cannelle is certainly good for satisfying a sweet tooth or picking up a loaf of bread on the way home, it’s also a great spot to grab lunch. The cafe serves fresh paninis and savory croissants in addition to its many impressive French pastries.

Go! Sy Thai

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Head to Go! Sy Thai in Capitol Park for big plates of fried rice, pad thai, and drunken noodles. The restaurant offers an online ordering option, so customers can efficiently grab a meal without wasting time waiting for food on their lunch hour.

Avalon Café and Bakery

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Whether the day calls for a pizza, avocado toast, or a Reuben sandwich, Avalon’s downtown outpost has the bases covered. This pastry and espresso shop offers an extensive fast-casual menu with beer and wine available from the bar.

Nathan's Deli

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This Bricktown-area deli located just off Jefferson Avenue is a good bet during the downtown lunch hour for dine-in or carryout. The restaurant serves deli menu standard bearers such as chicken salad to roast beef on a choice of white, wheat, or rye bread. For a little extra customers can add an onion or kaiser roll.

American Coney Island

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Downtown icon American Coney Island has been serve hot dogs topped with chili, mustard, and onions to working-class Detroiters for 102 years and counting. The flat-iron shaped restaurant serves up affordable meals fast.

Lafayette Coney Island

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Efficiency is the game at Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit where it’s not uncommon to see waiters carrying multiple plates of coney dogs in their arms. Hot dogs are always grilling near the window, ready for the next customer to drop in for a quick meal.

Shake Shack

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The Campus Martius-area outpost of this beloved New York chain serves all the menu highlights from griddled burgers on Martin’s Potato Rolls to chicken sandwiches to hot dogs. The restaurant’s app makes it easy to pre-order for pickup.

Maine Street Restaurant

This diner with old-school vibes is a popular choice for those who work in Hamtramck City Hall and has a little something for everyone. With sections dedicated to Italian, seafood, Greek, filling entrees like meat loaf or lamb chops, pita sandwiches, chevapi, and most breakfast items available all day, it’s a good choice for indecisive groups.

Yemen Cafe

Lamb on saffron rice, a plate of rice mixed with chicken and vegetables, and a large piece of Yemeni flatbread next to a silver dish of garlic paste. Brenna Houck

For diners comfortable with sharing, Yemen Cafe in Hamtramck features a number of family-style dishes, including its gallaba with hummus (available in chicken or beef), shawarma platter, and fattoush. Stay for awhile in the laid back dining room or call ahead to pick up and take back to the office.

Lamb on saffron rice, a plate of rice mixed with chicken and vegetables, and a large piece of Yemeni flatbread next to a silver dish of garlic paste. Brenna Houck

Baobab Fare

The New Center area is a major hub for office workers, requiring plenty of lunch options. Baobab Fare is open for lunch and features cuisine from the eastern African country of Burundi. The hearty all-halal menu includes flavorful dishes like kuku (pan-fried chicken with mustard-onion sauce), veggie-friendly intore (stewed eggplant), and every Tuesday ugali (an okra stewed accompanied by a dense corn flour ball, ideal for scooping).

The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

For folks looking for more vegetable-forward options, the Kitchen by Cooking with Que has lunch options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Order a shawarma (available with chicken or spiced tofu), an MLT (a sandwich with maitake mushroom “bacon,” butter lettuce, sliced tomato, and garlic mayonnaise), a handful of soups and salads, plus a a matcha latte or other coffee drinks. For the work-from-home crowd, the Kitchen also offers a subscription meal plan, complete with entrees, sides, and smoothie starters.

Yum Village

Lunch is made for meals in a bowl. In a rush? Take one to go. Prefer taking time in the restaurant and have the option to take the rest home? That’s easy for bowl-based entrees. Afro-Caribbean restaurant Yum Village gives guests a chance to customize their own bowl, which starts with jollof rice, choice of flavorful protein, and sides.

Supino Pizzeria New Center

Can’t go wrong with a slice and a salad for lunch. The fairly new Supino location on Woodward in New Center offers dine-in and carryout service. Whether on a budget and in need of a quick slice on the go, or want to impress a group of clients, Supino is equipped to handle both.

Plum Market Kitchen

The Plum Market outpost inside the Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center has a vast variety of dining options with its impressive hot and cold food bar, where customers can build their own salads, pick out ready-made entrees like chicken pot pies, sandwiches, and sushi, and grab a quick beverage. There’s also a location downtown.

Babo

Workers in Art Center can find a solid lunch option in Babo. For the breakfast anytime fan, there are options like avocado toast, omelettes, and lemon ricotta pancakes, plus a selection of espresso drinks as well as several salads, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.

SuperCrisp

Craving some Ima but don’t have enough time during lunch break to savor a big bowl of udon? Restaurateur Mike Ransom recently opened a fast-casual spot featuring Ima’s popular karaage fried sandwiches (available in chicken, fish, and tofu-form), halal wagyu beef burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries, salads, and other snacks. Top it off with a yuzu strawberry lemonade and then get back to work.

El Taco Veloz LLC

Lunch on the run? Head over to El Taco Veloz’s located inside Marcus Market. Pick up a box of tacos, a hefty burrito, quesadillas, and tortas — all with choice of meat fillings. To drink, grab an agua fresca like horchata or hit up the cold beverage section of the market for a variety of sodas, kombucha, and juices.

Seasons Market & Cafe

A cafe counter accented with reclaimed wood, POS system, a pastry display case, white subway tiles, and ingredients stored in the background
The Garden Cafe inside Seasons Market in Midtown
Gerard + Belevender

The newly open Seasons Market features the Garden Cafe, where diners can select a variety of packaged lunch items like salads, rice bowls, and baked goods, curated from local food makers. Grab some lunch and have a seat upstairs in the market’s loft. During the warmer months, lunch on the outdoor garden patio.

A cafe counter accented with reclaimed wood, POS system, a pastry display case, white subway tiles, and ingredients stored in the background
The Garden Cafe inside Seasons Market in Midtown
Gerard + Belevender

Bucharest Grill

Located on the outskirts of downtown, Bucharest Grill is serving some of Detroit’s favorite chicken shawarma. The local chain is often busy during peak lunch and dinner hours, so call ahead to ensure a shorter wait.

La Pecora Nera

This pint-sized Italian deli off Washington Boulevard is geared towards lunch crowds with made-to-order sub sandwiches, salads, espresso, and gelato. Grab a PLT with pancetta, lettuce, tomato and dine-in at one of the communal tables or pick up an antipasto salad to-go.

Chickp Detroit

a falafel bowl with hummus, pickles, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic sauce in a brown bowl Brenna Houck

This larger, fast-casual version of longtime walk-up window Chickpea in the D serves quick meals perfect for taking back to an office or grabbing a bite at one of the dine-in tables. Choose from options like chicken shawarma wraps, falafel rice bowls, and chicken fattoush salads. Many of the items are gluten-free or vegan.

a falafel bowl with hummus, pickles, red onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, and garlic sauce in a brown bowl Brenna Houck

Mootz Pizzeria and Bar

This New York-style pizzeria on Library Street offers a full service, dine-in menu, but for folks just looking to grab a slice it also offers a quick-service, carryout area called Side Hustle. Choose from pre-made pizza slices like classic pepperoni and Philly Cheesesteak, warmed up in a conveyor belt oven.

Related Maps

7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.