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Mapo mushrooms at Marrow in West Village.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

The Hottest Restaurants in Detroit Right Now, November 2018

Seafood towers, Korean barbecue, mapo mushrooms, and more things to try this month

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Mapo mushrooms at Marrow in West Village.
| Photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard

Welcome to the Eater Detroit Heatmap, which invites diners to experience something new across the city's 143-square-miles. Unlike the stalwart collection captured by the Eater 38, the Heatmap pinpoints the most popular openings of the last six months as well as restaurants that have undergone recent revamps.

This month we’re bidding farewell to Culantro. New in October, let’s welcome meaty new West Village butcher shop and restaurant Marrow, downtown newcomer Besa, and Birmingham restaurant and market Hazel, Ravines and Downtown to the map. Take a look at all of the latest openings here. Without further adieu, here are the hottest restaurants in Detroit right now.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Norma G's

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14628 E Jefferson Ave
Detroit, MI 48215
(313) 290-2938
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Norma G’s joined the Detroit food truck scene back in 2015 and gained a following for its Caribbean flavors. Now in a colorful, freshly renovated restaurant in Jefferson Chalmers, owner Lester Gouvia is bringing the comfort foods from his childhood to a wider audience. Look out for classic dishes like cou-cou and callaloo as well as oxtail and jerk chicken sliders. The restaurant also offers a full bar with draft beer and cocktails.

2. Marrow

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8044 Kercheval Ave
Detroit, MI 48214
(313) 652-0200
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This West Village butcher shop and restaurant from the Royce owner Ping Ho has become a fast-favorite for a relaxed meal. Chef Sarah Welch finds creative ways to weave offal into each level of the menu at Marrow, which is split into build-your-own charcuterie board items, snacks, and entrees. Customers can look forward to everything from glutinous rice dumplings to yakitori to mapo mushrooms. Reservations are recommended. The butcher shop features a variety of local cuts as well as bone broth and rotisserie chickens .

3. Besa

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600 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 315-3000
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High-end dining newcomer Besa joined the downtown Detroit restaurant scene in late October, anchoring the corner of Congress and Woodward Avenue. In the spirit of New American cuisine, chef Kyle Schutte’s menu incorporates a little bit of everything. Expect choices like halibut with golden brown slices of onion, coconut udon with charred squid, and Southern-fried chicken with creamy cornbread and cranberries (consider it Thanksgiving without the turkey). Besa also features an ever so trendy raw bar.

4. Albena

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1509 Broadway St
Detroit, MI 48226

Eater Young Gun Garrett Lipar has returned to the Detroit dining scene with a new eight-seat tasting menu restaurant called Albena inside the Siren Hotel. The high-end, multi-course meal lasts 90 minutes and definitely qualifies as a special occasion at $130 a ticket. Expect beautifully plated interpretations of Great Lakes cuisine with dishes like tomato and stone fruit sorbet, a riff on chicken salad, and okra caviar with Japanese eggplant. Reserve tickets ahead of time online.

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5. Second Best

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42 Watson St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3077
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This Brush Park spot from the team behind Grey Ghost leans hard into ‘90s nostalgia with a playlist to match. Diners can expect bar snacks like seven layer dip deviled eggs and fancy tomato grilled cheeses at Second Best. On the beverage menu find drinks throwback dinks like appletinis, Smirnoff Ice, and an “improved Fireball” shot. One of the more popular novelties on the menu is a 40-ounce bottle of the champagne of beers served in an ice bucket with champagne glasses to match for $15.

6. Chili Mustard Onions

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3411 Brush St
Detroit, MI 48201

This buzzy new restaurant in Brush Park is serving up classic Detroit comfort foods with a vegan twist. Customers at Chili Mustard Onions can feast on coney island staples like meatless coney dogs and hani, alongside a vegan burger dubbed the Big Mock, vegan chicken parmesan, and chili cheese fries. The restaurant also features a full bar.

Brenna Houck

7. Detroit Shipping Company

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474 Peterboro St
Detroit, MI 48201

Detroit’s first shipping container food hall finally arrived in July with a galaxy of new food vendors, two bars, and a pop-up beer stand. While the final lineup of food stalls at Detroit Shipping Company is still coming online, customers can now check out four of the six additions — chef Maxcel Hardy’s Caribbean chicken stand Coop, chef Genevieve Vang’s phenomenal Southeast Asian street food spot Bangkok 96 Street Food, chef Petro Drakopoulos’ Brujo Tacos & Tapas, and newly opened nitrogen ice cream stand -320° Coffee & Creamery. Customers place orders and pick up their food at the restaurant, before grabbing a seat at one of the many communal tables or bar seats filling the lively two-story Cass Corridor complex.

8. Rocco's Italian Deli

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3627 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3033
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Rocco’s Italian Deli debuted in June inside a roomy, minimalist space with plenty of outdoor seating just off Cass Avenue. The restaurant features a lineup of enticing sandwiches such as the Il Rocco with hot soppressata, mortadella, fontina, spicy red pepper relish, and garlic-lemon aioli or the Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef with slow-cooked Italian beef, giardiniera, and provolone. Rocco’s serves several vegetarian options and also offers a tight selection of coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails. Customers can even take sliced meats and cheeses from the deli case to-go.

9. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

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438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3992
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Chef Anthony Lombardo’s contemporary Italian restaurant made a splashy entrance in late June. A square bar serving Italian wines and spritzes sits at the center of SheWolf’s modern, glassed-in dining room. The restaurant has a coursed format where customers mix and match dishes from different sections. Ten styles of pasta prepared with flour milled fresh daily sets this spot apart, but customers can also find options like tomahawk veal chops with marrow, towers of sliced focaccia, and panna cotta to round out the meal. Reservations are strongly recommended.

10. Urban Ramen

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4206 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 285-9869
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Los Angeles-based noodle shop Urban Ramen is now dishing up ramen in a small, 22-seat space off Woodward Avenue in Midtown. The restaurant, which continues to draw lines months after opening, makes its noodles from scratch at a machine customers can view through the front window. Choose from vegan mushroom, pork, or chicken broth and pair the meal with options like Japanese fried chicken.

11. New Seoul Plaza

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27566 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 996-8922
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Modern Korean dining complex New Seoul Plaza features three distinctive restaurants under one roof. Jinji serves up classic comfort foods ranging from bibimbap to fried vegetable dumplings to kimchi-scallion pancakes with a full complement of Korean wines, beers, and flavored soju. Its sleekly designed sister restaurant Daebak specializes in Korean barbecue. Customers can choose from a range of butchered and marinated protein and grill the meats to perfection right at the table. Don’t miss a trip to Myomee for dessert. The cafe offers a variety of pastries as well as a Korean shaved ice — a rare find in Michigan.

Jinji at New Seoul Plaza.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

12. Adachi

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325 S Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 540-5900
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Award-winning chef Michael Schlow unveiled an Asian-influenced restaurant and bar Adachi in Birmingham’s historic Ford-Peabody mansion in August. The restaurant helmed by Nobu alum Lloyd Roberts serves everything from sushi rolls to tuna poke to yakitori.

13. Hazel, Ravines and Downtown

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34977 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 671-1714
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Metro Detroit restaurant veterans Emmele Herrold and Beth Hussey introduced their first solo project in late October in Birmingham. Hazel, Ravines and Downtown is aiming to hit all the notes with a casual dining atmosphere, a playful menu, and a small market and carryout window. Customers can count on plenty of fresh shellfish whether it be a seafood tower or oysters on the half shell. Herrold’s dishes span the gamut from trendy to internationally-influenced to American comfort foods. Look for items like Argentinian steak and empanadas, bone broth with bone marrow, and grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by a full bar.

14. Gran Castor

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2950 Rochester Rd
Troy, MI 48083
(248) 278-7777
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The restaurant group behind Vinsetta Garage debuted its latest Latin American-influenced restaurant Gran Castor in Troy in August. The eclectic Southwest-style decor includes lots of bold patterns and colors and is paired with a menu comprised of items like curried oxtail tacos, chicken tortilla soup, and spiced dark chocolate soft serve.

1. Norma G's

14628 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48215

Norma G’s joined the Detroit food truck scene back in 2015 and gained a following for its Caribbean flavors. Now in a colorful, freshly renovated restaurant in Jefferson Chalmers, owner Lester Gouvia is bringing the comfort foods from his childhood to a wider audience. Look out for classic dishes like cou-cou and callaloo as well as oxtail and jerk chicken sliders. The restaurant also offers a full bar with draft beer and cocktails.

14628 E Jefferson Ave
Detroit, MI 48215

2. Marrow

8044 Kercheval Ave, Detroit, MI 48214

This West Village butcher shop and restaurant from the Royce owner Ping Ho has become a fast-favorite for a relaxed meal. Chef Sarah Welch finds creative ways to weave offal into each level of the menu at Marrow, which is split into build-your-own charcuterie board items, snacks, and entrees. Customers can look forward to everything from glutinous rice dumplings to yakitori to mapo mushrooms. Reservations are recommended. The butcher shop features a variety of local cuts as well as bone broth and rotisserie chickens .

8044 Kercheval Ave
Detroit, MI 48214

3. Besa

600 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

High-end dining newcomer Besa joined the downtown Detroit restaurant scene in late October, anchoring the corner of Congress and Woodward Avenue. In the spirit of New American cuisine, chef Kyle Schutte’s menu incorporates a little bit of everything. Expect choices like halibut with golden brown slices of onion, coconut udon with charred squid, and Southern-fried chicken with creamy cornbread and cranberries (consider it Thanksgiving without the turkey). Besa also features an ever so trendy raw bar.

600 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

4. Albena

1509 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226

Eater Young Gun Garrett Lipar has returned to the Detroit dining scene with a new eight-seat tasting menu restaurant called Albena inside the Siren Hotel. The high-end, multi-course meal lasts 90 minutes and definitely qualifies as a special occasion at $130 a ticket. Expect beautifully plated interpretations of Great Lakes cuisine with dishes like tomato and stone fruit sorbet, a riff on chicken salad, and okra caviar with Japanese eggplant. Reserve tickets ahead of time online.

1509 Broadway St
Detroit, MI 48226

5. Second Best

42 Watson St, Detroit, MI 48201

This Brush Park spot from the team behind Grey Ghost leans hard into ‘90s nostalgia with a playlist to match. Diners can expect bar snacks like seven layer dip deviled eggs and fancy tomato grilled cheeses at Second Best. On the beverage menu find drinks throwback dinks like appletinis, Smirnoff Ice, and an “improved Fireball” shot. One of the more popular novelties on the menu is a 40-ounce bottle of the champagne of beers served in an ice bucket with champagne glasses to match for $15.

42 Watson St
Detroit, MI 48201

6. Chili Mustard Onions

3411 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48201
Brenna Houck

This buzzy new restaurant in Brush Park is serving up classic Detroit comfort foods with a vegan twist. Customers at Chili Mustard Onions can feast on coney island staples like meatless coney dogs and hani, alongside a vegan burger dubbed the Big Mock, vegan chicken parmesan, and chili cheese fries. The restaurant also features a full bar.

3411 Brush St
Detroit, MI 48201

7. Detroit Shipping Company

474 Peterboro St, Detroit, MI 48201

Detroit’s first shipping container food hall finally arrived in July with a galaxy of new food vendors, two bars, and a pop-up beer stand. While the final lineup of food stalls at Detroit Shipping Company is still coming online, customers can now check out four of the six additions — chef Maxcel Hardy’s Caribbean chicken stand Coop, chef Genevieve Vang’s phenomenal Southeast Asian street food spot Bangkok 96 Street Food, chef Petro Drakopoulos’ Brujo Tacos & Tapas, and newly opened nitrogen ice cream stand -320° Coffee & Creamery. Customers place orders and pick up their food at the restaurant, before grabbing a seat at one of the many communal tables or bar seats filling the lively two-story Cass Corridor complex.

474 Peterboro St
Detroit, MI 48201

8. Rocco's Italian Deli

3627 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Rocco’s Italian Deli debuted in June inside a roomy, minimalist space with plenty of outdoor seating just off Cass Avenue. The restaurant features a lineup of enticing sandwiches such as the Il Rocco with hot soppressata, mortadella, fontina, spicy red pepper relish, and garlic-lemon aioli or the Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef with slow-cooked Italian beef, giardiniera, and provolone. Rocco’s serves several vegetarian options and also offers a tight selection of coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails. Customers can even take sliced meats and cheeses from the deli case to-go.

3627 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

9. SheWolf Pastificio & Bar

438 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201

Chef Anthony Lombardo’s contemporary Italian restaurant made a splashy entrance in late June. A square bar serving Italian wines and spritzes sits at the center of SheWolf’s modern, glassed-in dining room. The restaurant has a coursed format where customers mix and match dishes from different sections. Ten styles of pasta prepared with flour milled fresh daily sets this spot apart, but customers can also find options like tomahawk veal chops with marrow, towers of sliced focaccia, and panna cotta to round out the meal. Reservations are strongly recommended.

438 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201

10. Urban Ramen

4206 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Los Angeles-based noodle shop Urban Ramen is now dishing up ramen in a small, 22-seat space off Woodward Avenue in Midtown. The restaurant, which continues to draw lines months after opening, makes its noodles from scratch at a machine customers can view through the front window. Choose from vegan mushroom, pork, or chicken broth and pair the meal with options like Japanese fried chicken.

4206 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

11. New Seoul Plaza

27566 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034
Jinji at New Seoul Plaza.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Modern Korean dining complex New Seoul Plaza features three distinctive restaurants under one roof. Jinji serves up classic comfort foods ranging from bibimbap to fried vegetable dumplings to kimchi-scallion pancakes with a full complement of Korean wines, beers, and flavored soju. Its sleekly designed sister restaurant Daebak specializes in Korean barbecue. Customers can choose from a range of butchered and marinated protein and grill the meats to perfection right at the table. Don’t miss a trip to Myomee for dessert. The cafe offers a variety of pastries as well as a Korean shaved ice — a rare find in Michigan.

27566 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034

12. Adachi

325 S Old Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

Award-winning chef Michael Schlow unveiled an Asian-influenced restaurant and bar Adachi in Birmingham’s historic Ford-Peabody mansion in August. The restaurant helmed by Nobu alum Lloyd Roberts serves everything from sushi rolls to tuna poke to yakitori.

325 S Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

13. Hazel, Ravines and Downtown

34977 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

Metro Detroit restaurant veterans Emmele Herrold and Beth Hussey introduced their first solo project in late October in Birmingham. Hazel, Ravines and Downtown is aiming to hit all the notes with a casual dining atmosphere, a playful menu, and a small market and carryout window. Customers can count on plenty of fresh shellfish whether it be a seafood tower or oysters on the half shell. Herrold’s dishes span the gamut from trendy to internationally-influenced to American comfort foods. Look for items like Argentinian steak and empanadas, bone broth with bone marrow, and grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by a full bar.

34977 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

14. Gran Castor

2950 Rochester Rd, Troy, MI 48083

The restaurant group behind Vinsetta Garage debuted its latest Latin American-influenced restaurant Gran Castor in Troy in August. The eclectic Southwest-style decor includes lots of bold patterns and colors and is paired with a menu comprised of items like curried oxtail tacos, chicken tortilla soup, and spiced dark chocolate soft serve.

2950 Rochester Rd
Troy, MI 48083

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