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Bigg Burger in Livonia.
Yelp/Chelsea B.

Where to Grab a Bite in Detroit Before Hitting the Road

Quick and easy meals to satisfy cravings on the go

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Bigg Burger in Livonia.
| Yelp/Chelsea B.

What makes the ultimate road trip food? It should be fast, easy to hold, not too messy, filling, and above all delicious. The destination is all the better if it’s in close proximity to a freeway (let’s not extend the car trip too long) and has great drinks.

In honor of Eater’s inaugural Road Trip Week, here find a guide to some of the best bets in metro Detroit for homegrown fast food, gas station cuisine, and carryout. Many of these spots serve sandwiches, wraps, and burgers because they’re naturally a little easier to eat in transit. For vegetarians and vegans, there are options here for you too. The only thing left to do is plan your next out of town excursion.

Did we miss your favorite quick-grab? Drop a note at the tipline or in the comments. Map points are organized north to south.

Next Read: 10 Restaurants Worth the Drive From Detroit

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Mr. Kabob

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Fill up your gas tank and grab a bite while you wait at this hidden gem in Berkley. Mr. Kabob delivers formidable road trip fuel in the form of Mediterranean dishes like beef kafta wraps and raw juices that are designed primarily for carryout.

Ernie's Market

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While it’s not necessarily a “quick grab,” Oak Park icon Ernie’s Market’s monster carryout-only sandwiches are worth a stop ahead of a long trip. Proprietor Ernie Hassan addresses everyone with a friendly “Hey baby” before taking their order while tucking Hershey’s kisses into palms. The store also sells chips, sandwiches, sodas, and other road-worthy snacks and is close to Eight Mile and Woodward Avenue. Plan to spend a little time in line and bring cash.

Bigg Burger

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Homegrown fast food restaurant Bigg Burger serves fresh burgers with a selections of toppings and spreads that rivals Five Guys, plus breakfast croissants, grilled cheeses, and shakes. A drive-thru makes it easy to grab a bite before hitting the highway, though being made-to-order you’ll probably have to wait a little longer for your meal.

Boostan Cafe

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Choose from an assortment of subs, sandwiches, and burgers ideal for eating on the go at this Middle Eastern restaurant in Hamtramck. Service is fast — even quicker if you call ahead — and don’t forget to order a smoothie.

Asian Corned Beef

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Close to M10 and I-96, Asian Corned Beef is a quick stop on the way out of town. This takeout-only mini chain fries up extra large “egg rolls” stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, and veggies. Service is fast and the tightly wrapped pockets make easy eating on the go. Don’t forget your cash.

Avalon Bakery

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Every road trip inevitably requires a shot of caffeine — even more so if you’re leaving early. Avalon’s original Cass Corridor cafe is relatively close to the M10 and I-75 and offers plenty of coffee to fuel your travel alongside fresh baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and other snacks to munch on in the car.

Beyond Juicery + Eatery

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A healthy option close to I-75, this metro Detroit juice bar chain offers plenty of fresh drinks for the road plus build-your-own wraps with fillings like turkey, chicken, and veggies. Service is fast, which makes it easy to grab a meal and get out of town.

One of the best spots in Dearborn, Hamido does a high-volume carryout business. For something quick on the go, call ahead and pick-up one of the restaurant’s shawarma sandwiches. The garlicky falafel is also a good bet.

Detroit Institute of Bagels

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Sandwiches can be messy car foods at times, but chewy bagels held fast with schmear are a hearty, easy-to-eat option. DIB also offers plenty of snacks, drinks, and coffee to help fuel a road trip.

Telway Hamburgers

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Sometimes you just want a bag of greasy, meaty burgers during a long drive. For that, bypass Mickey D’s and head to Telway. Grab a cup of coffee to stay alert on the road and don’t forget your cash.

Bucharest Grill

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Few things are better suited to a carryout meal than shawarma empire Bucharest Grill’s pita sandwiches. The locations are perched beside Detroit’s major arteries — Eight Mile, East Jefferson, Michigan Avenue, and Woodward — for quick stop on the way to the highway.

A box of Bucharest shawarma wrapped in tin foil to-go. Courtesy of Bucharest

Taystee’s Burgers

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Another filling station destination close to I-94, Taystee’s offers one of the best burgers in town. The juicy, halal patties come topped with everything from seasoned french fries to fried eggs to nachos cheese. More toppings, of course, means things can get messy. If your planning to eat in the car, consider going with one of the simpler (but no less delicious) burgers and fries.

Taqueria El Rey

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While tacos aren’t ideal road trip fare, El Rey’s burritos satisfy a similar craving in a package more suitable for in-vehicle consumption. The “big burrito” comes filled with rice, beans, onions, cilantro, and cheese, plus house salsa for extra spice. Choose from a variety of meats including marinated pork, chicken, steak, and more.

Detroit 75 Kitchen

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Located near the Ambassador Bridge and freeway entrances for I-75, this gas station parking lot fixture makes it easy to refuel while grabbing a bite to-go. McDonald’s fries have nothing on the cilantro garlic spuds served here and the sandwiches and wraps are suitable for eating on the go. Call ahead for a faster pick-up.

Mr. Kabob

Fill up your gas tank and grab a bite while you wait at this hidden gem in Berkley. Mr. Kabob delivers formidable road trip fuel in the form of Mediterranean dishes like beef kafta wraps and raw juices that are designed primarily for carryout.

Ernie's Market

While it’s not necessarily a “quick grab,” Oak Park icon Ernie’s Market’s monster carryout-only sandwiches are worth a stop ahead of a long trip. Proprietor Ernie Hassan addresses everyone with a friendly “Hey baby” before taking their order while tucking Hershey’s kisses into palms. The store also sells chips, sandwiches, sodas, and other road-worthy snacks and is close to Eight Mile and Woodward Avenue. Plan to spend a little time in line and bring cash.

Bigg Burger

Homegrown fast food restaurant Bigg Burger serves fresh burgers with a selections of toppings and spreads that rivals Five Guys, plus breakfast croissants, grilled cheeses, and shakes. A drive-thru makes it easy to grab a bite before hitting the highway, though being made-to-order you’ll probably have to wait a little longer for your meal.

Boostan Cafe

Choose from an assortment of subs, sandwiches, and burgers ideal for eating on the go at this Middle Eastern restaurant in Hamtramck. Service is fast — even quicker if you call ahead — and don’t forget to order a smoothie.

Asian Corned Beef

Close to M10 and I-96, Asian Corned Beef is a quick stop on the way out of town. This takeout-only mini chain fries up extra large “egg rolls” stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses, and veggies. Service is fast and the tightly wrapped pockets make easy eating on the go. Don’t forget your cash.

Avalon Bakery

Every road trip inevitably requires a shot of caffeine — even more so if you’re leaving early. Avalon’s original Cass Corridor cafe is relatively close to the M10 and I-75 and offers plenty of coffee to fuel your travel alongside fresh baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and other snacks to munch on in the car.

Beyond Juicery + Eatery

A healthy option close to I-75, this metro Detroit juice bar chain offers plenty of fresh drinks for the road plus build-your-own wraps with fillings like turkey, chicken, and veggies. Service is fast, which makes it easy to grab a meal and get out of town.

Hamido

One of the best spots in Dearborn, Hamido does a high-volume carryout business. For something quick on the go, call ahead and pick-up one of the restaurant’s shawarma sandwiches. The garlicky falafel is also a good bet.

Detroit Institute of Bagels

Sandwiches can be messy car foods at times, but chewy bagels held fast with schmear are a hearty, easy-to-eat option. DIB also offers plenty of snacks, drinks, and coffee to help fuel a road trip.

Telway Hamburgers

Sometimes you just want a bag of greasy, meaty burgers during a long drive. For that, bypass Mickey D’s and head to Telway. Grab a cup of coffee to stay alert on the road and don’t forget your cash.

Bucharest Grill

A box of Bucharest shawarma wrapped in tin foil to-go. Courtesy of Bucharest

Few things are better suited to a carryout meal than shawarma empire Bucharest Grill’s pita sandwiches. The locations are perched beside Detroit’s major arteries — Eight Mile, East Jefferson, Michigan Avenue, and Woodward — for quick stop on the way to the highway.

A box of Bucharest shawarma wrapped in tin foil to-go. Courtesy of Bucharest

Taystee’s Burgers

Another filling station destination close to I-94, Taystee’s offers one of the best burgers in town. The juicy, halal patties come topped with everything from seasoned french fries to fried eggs to nachos cheese. More toppings, of course, means things can get messy. If your planning to eat in the car, consider going with one of the simpler (but no less delicious) burgers and fries.

Taqueria El Rey

While tacos aren’t ideal road trip fare, El Rey’s burritos satisfy a similar craving in a package more suitable for in-vehicle consumption. The “big burrito” comes filled with rice, beans, onions, cilantro, and cheese, plus house salsa for extra spice. Choose from a variety of meats including marinated pork, chicken, steak, and more.

Detroit 75 Kitchen

Located near the Ambassador Bridge and freeway entrances for I-75, this gas station parking lot fixture makes it easy to refuel while grabbing a bite to-go. McDonald’s fries have nothing on the cilantro garlic spuds served here and the sandwiches and wraps are suitable for eating on the go. Call ahead for a faster pick-up.

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