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Chestnut cake with white and matcha green marbling and a purple ube pastry surrounded by green plants and delicate forks.
Chestnut cake with white and matcha green marbling and a purple ube pastry from Warda Pâtisserie in Detroit.
Gerard + Belevender

The 38 Essential Restaurants in Detroit

Where to find outstanding Afro-Caribbean bowls, tacos on the go, and exquisite pastries

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Chestnut cake with white and matcha green marbling and a purple ube pastry from Warda Pâtisserie in Detroit.
| Gerard + Belevender

It’s pretty much guaranteed that when arriving in a new city, the timeless question: “Can you recommend a restaurant?” will come up. While it’s impossible to capture the entirety of a city’s dining scene, the Eater 38 attempts to answer that question with a number of insights to fit most occasions and tastes. Updated quarterly, it includes not only longtime Detroit staples, restaurants with loyal followings, but also places worthy of the ultimate night out. These restaurants tell the story of dining in the Motor City right now — how Detroiters are eating, where they’re gathering, and what they value in the community food system.

Removal from the Eater 38 does not mean a restaurant isn’t still great and won’t return, but allows for new entries, keeping the guide fresh, inclusive, and representative. For the latest and buzziest openings head to the heatmap. Takoi, Hazel, Ravines and Downtown (now Hazel’s), Folk, Mink, and Loui’s depart the Eater 38, while El Parian, Warda Pâtisserie, Yum Village, and Michigan & Trumbull join the list. Make your case for your favorite restaurant in the comments on Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing us at detroit@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Noble Fish

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Whenever the subject of sushi in metro Detroit comes up, the discussion almost always turns to Noble Fish, beloved for consistently providing Metro Detroiters with a steady source of over-sized sushi rolls and nigiri for the past 30 years. What started as a market in 1984, a kitchen was later added in 1991, along with a modest sushi bar where guests could marvel at the sushi chefs’ expertise in assembling fresh cuts of fish. More recently, the spot added an expanded dining area, where diners can stretch their legs a bit in a casual atmosphere that’s a step above the grocery store vibes from before. A variety of traditional Japanese snacks like candy, cookies, and rice cakes, are also on hand, as well as bottled teas, sake, and other Japanese beverages. The prices are reasonable. Go for the nigiri like yellow tail or splurge on a large specialty roll like the Michigan, made with tuna, cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayo sauce.

an assortment of nigiri and sushi rolls on a blue and white patterned plate.
Clawson’s sushi destination Noble Fish offers sushi to go (a practice established pre-pandemic) and a variety of snacks as well as Japanese beverages.
Brenna Houck

Mabel Gray

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Chef James Rigato, of Top Chef fame, helms this Hazel Park restaurant. What made this spot stand out when it opened in 2015 was that it was among the earlier New American restaurants in metro Detroit to feature a menu that’s handwritten and that changes daily and with the seasons. Rigato takes his cooking seriously, but the space itself does not feel pretentious, so expect mismatched vintage plates and seating inside a compact dining area in an otherwise sleepy suburb. One visit might entail griddled king trumpet mushrooms, while a return trip could include Colorado lamb ribs made with garlic and fish sauce caramel, sake pickles, sesame, and iceberg lettuce. Reservations are recommended, though the lone diner can occasionally score a seat at the bar if they call ahead and inquire about last-minute cancellations.

Good Cakes and Bakes

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Pastry chef April Anderson recently remodeled her pretty-in-pink bakery and cafe on Livernois. Find treats here like its strawberry crunch cake made with three thick layers of spongy strawberry and vanilla cake, moist cupcakes such as the banana pudding cupcake, colorful cereal and milk bars, as well as a select number of savory items like soups and breakfast sandwiches. During Pride Month, expect specialities like the Rainbow Sprinkle, made with six brightly-hued layers and white frosting. Good Cakes and Bakes is also available for nationwide delivery via Goldbelly.

A table with an umbrella and chairs sits outside the storefront Good Cakes and Bakes. There is an LGBT rainbow flag in the window. Monica Williams

Chef Greg’s Soul-N-the Wall

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When it comes to Detroit sandwiches, few have achieved the legendary status of the Boogaloo Wonderland at Chef Greg’s Soul-N-the Wall: a hoagie topped with beef, tangy red sauce, American cheese, and caramelized onions. This carryout spot’s signature dish pays tribute to an original recipe at the now-shuttered Brothers Bar-B-Q and to the late “Boogie Wonderland” songwriter Allee Willis, who happened to be a big fan of proprietor Greg Beard’s food.

Louisiana Creole Gumbo

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Spiced gumbo loaded with seafood is the main event at this decades-old carryout restaurant that originated near Eastern Market. At this Detroit institution, it’s served with shrimp, sausage, cut okra, celery, onions, tomatoes, and a proprietary blend of gumbo seasonings, alongside bayou favorites like red beans and rice, jambalaya, and shrimp po’boys. The original spot is looking to relocate from its Eastern Market location, but there’s a second outpost on Seven Mile and one that opened in October 2021 in Farmington Hills.

The Jamaican Pot

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Good things come in small packages, like the city’s best jerk chicken served up in a strip mall off Eight Mile. While the Jamaican Pot is exclusively carryout, expect to wait a bit while the busy kitchen carefully prepares each order of curry goat and pepper steak. The jerk chicken is made with flame grilled chicken that’s seasoned with a blend of island spices. To drink, cool down that heat with a bottle of Kola Champagne or keep that spice going with a ginger beer. Call ahead for faster pick-up or place an order online.

Joe Ann's Bar B-Q

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Founded by Grace Owens, Joe Ann’s BBQ has been carrying on the tradition of open charcoal pit barbecue since 1951. These days, Owens’ daughter Joe Ann Proctor is keeping that family tradition alive: Customers can expect options like whole barbecued chicken, tender ribs, and pigs feet — all cooked onsite over an open charcoal-fired pit. The fried shrimp paired with Joe Ann’s tangy, spicy barbecue sauce and the tropical shakes are also worth stopping in for. Call ahead to order carryout.

Ribs with white bread, rib tips, and fried shrimp in pools of red sauce in takeout containers.
Joe Ann’s serves whole barbecued chicken, tender ribs, fried shrimp, and pigs feet in takeout containers.
Brenna Houck

Balkan House

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This casual Eastern European eatery makes its home in the lower half of a two-story flat. Customers can count on Bosnian dishes like cevapi and cream cheese-stuffed hamburgers, Turkish coffee, and the restaurant’s claim to fame — döner. Thin-sliced gyro meat, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion are stuffed inside soft on the inside, crispy on the outside lepinja flatbread with sauce drizzled over the top. The menu is halal and available for takeout or delivery.

A close up of a döner sandwich with veggies and meat stuffed in a pocket of soft white bread and drenched with creamy white sauce.
Döner sandwiches are the restaurant’s claim to fame
Brenna Houck

Yemen Cafe

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This local favorite is known for its Yemeni and Mediterranean cuisine served until 1 a.m. daily in a diner-style atmosphere with cushy booth seating, hints of Arabic decor, and a complementary self-serve tea station. Expect platter-sized pieces of fresh flatbread and fiery zhug paired with dishes like chicken ghallaba and tender lamb. The restaurant accepts orders for takeout and offers delivery via DoorDash and Grubhub.

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

Saffron De Twah

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Eater Detroit’s 2019 restaurant of the year has proved itself to be not only a great spot for takeout but also an advocate for its community, preparing takeout meals for people in need through a variety of Saffron Community Kitchen programs, including a collaboration with Brilliant Detroit, a nonprofit that works with children and families in Detroit neighborhoods to promote education, security, and health. The dining space is modest, but welcoming with a heated enclosed patio space. Diners can enjoy Moroccan-influenced cuisine, such as a shareable tomato sauce made with whipped goat cheese and an incredibly crispy and popular fried chicken sandwich, and a sizable menu of non-alcoholic cocktails during dinner hours. Keep in mind that as of July 2022, hours are limited to noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Rose's Fine Food and Wine

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Charming East Jefferson restaurant Rose’s Fine Food and Wine puts a fresh, seasonal twist on the diner genre with a variety of paninis, including one with smoked whitefish from Lake Superior, soft boiled eggs on ricotta toast, a bean herb and roasted cabbage Caesar salad, and vegan raspberry pop tarts. As a bonus, many of the dishes are vegan and gluten-free without skimping on flavor. Currently, Rose’s is available for dining or carryout with online ordering as well as outside picnic table seating available. Rose’s also offers a wide selection of wines.

Named one of Eater’s best new restaurants in 2019, Marrow has been a crucial source for everything from local meats and cheeses to flour to beer and wine. The West Village butcher shop and restaurant is currently offering dinner service. Reservations are required for the five-course prix-fixe chef’s tasting menu. Among the take-home food options from the butcher shop, customers can place orders for charcuterie boards, freshly-cut meats, and a small selection of pantry items — all available for local delivery through Mercato.

A tattooed arm reaches into the butcher case at Marrow.
Marrow has been a crucial source for everything from local meats and cheeses to flour to beer and wine during the pandemic.
Gerard + Belevender

Sister Pie

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Sister Pie is a nationally renowned Detroit bakery with a fresh rotation of pie flavors rolling out monthly. Expect the unexpected in seasonal pie flavors, ranging from Michigan strawberry, rhubarb, and lavender, toasted marshmallow butterscotch, or the the crowd favorite salted maple. The shop, helmed by Eater Young Gun Lisa Ludwinski, has been motivated by the pandemic to find new ways to serve its community, like providing groceries and delivery service to neighbors in need. The bakery currently is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for orders online, or for sidewalk sales.

Pietrzyk Pierogi

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Owner Erica Pietrzyk is known for her non-traditional takes on Polish dumplings like the Holiday Special, a pierogi packed with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and green beans. It’s those kinds of fun flavors that turned Pietrzyk Pierogi into a hit pop-up restaurant and now a food stall inside Gratiot Central Market. Pietrzyk offers in-store shopping, curbside service, and shipping with an online shop, where customers can order packages of frozen pierogi, meal kits with Polish staples, and even pay-it-forward meals to help people in need. Pietrzyk is also available at 20 local retail locations.

Two whole pierogis on bed of sauerkraut with what looks like rings of green leeks. Everything is on a blue and yellow decorative plate.
Erica Pietrzyk is known for her non-traditional takes on Polish dumplings like the Holiday Special, a pierogi packed with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and green beans
Mar Manzanares-Bobadilla Brock

Father-and-son restaurateurs Sameer and Samy rolled out Leila as an homage to the matriarch of their Lebanese family. Leila brings a modern interpretation of Lebanese cuisine to downtown Detroit. The focus here is on small plates (think: grilled kibbeh and makanek, a spicy lamb sausage) to be shared and paired with a Lebanese pilsner. Make a reservation for dinner Tuesday to Sunday evening.

A view of the interior at Leila looks over the lounge area toward the rectangular bar and an open kitchen at the back of the restaurant.
The elegant Leila makes its home in a historic spot in downtown Detroit.
Michelle Gerard

Grey Ghost Detroit

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New American favorite Grey Ghost remains one of the few committed seven-day-a-week dinner options in town. The vibe offers guests a touch of sophistication with moody lighting and sleek, modern decor, in a usually packed dining room and patio. Linger over entrees like duck pot pie, cheeseburgers, and dry-aged New York strip steak as well as cocktails, beer, and wine.

The exterior of Grey Ghost and its enclosed patio on a sunny fall day.
New American favorite Grey Ghost offers seating on an enclosed patio.
Gerard + Belevender

Detroit Shipping Company

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This shipping container food hall in the Cass Corridor neighborhood is keeping diners fed with curbside pickup, delivery, and in-person dining. The space is a hub of international cuisines from the many eclectic food vendor stalls, including gigantic pad thai rolls from Bangkok 96 Street, Nepalese dumplings from Momo Cha, jerk chicken from Coop, NYC style lamb and rice bowls from Halal Street,  and ice cream or coffee from -320 Coffee & Creamery. Place orders online with the individual restaurants.

The ribs are on a plate slathered in a dark guava barbecue sauce with grilled corn covered in cheese and sprinkled with purple cabbage slivers and cilantro.
Detroit Shipping Co. is a hub of international cuisines including Bangkok 96’s Thai street food, Nepalese dumplings from Momo Cha, ribs (above), and a more.
Gerard + Belevender

Rocco's Italian Deli

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Modern Italian deli Rocco’s in Cass Corridor is open for dining in, as well as ordering online pick-up for a range of products including dry pasta, coffee, bread, and options like take-and-bake rigatoni. Don’t overlook the sandwiches here. The Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef is a popular option with melting provolone over a crusty hoagie roll stuffed with fragrant beef braised and spicy giardiniera.

The brick exterior of Roccco’s Italian Deli on a cloudy day.
Don’t overlook the sandwiches at Rocco’s
Gerard + Belevender

Selden Standard

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This dinner spot for New American cuisine takes diners into a beautifully restored interior with reclaimed wood, subway tiled walls, and a minimalist aesthetic and its menu focuses on seasonal small plates. Think halloumi, octopus, roasted carrot salad, and rigatoni, just to name a few featured menu items. The cocktails are equally as creative with ample use of seasonal fruit, local herbs or shrubs, and house-made syrups. Reservations are available 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Warda Pâtisserie

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Eater Award-winning bakery Warda Pâtisserie serves some of Detroit’s best desserts from its charming cafe on West Alexandrine. Owner Warda Bouguettaya specializes in stunning tarts, pastries, and breads influenced by her world travels. Look out for options like pear and almond frangipane tarts, quiche, and cream-filled maritozzi.

Chestnut cake with white and matcha green marbling and a purple ube pastry surrounded by green plants and delicate forks.
Chestnut cake with white and matcha green marbling and a purple ube pastry from Warda Pâtisserie in Detroit.
Gerard + Belevender

Shangri-La

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This Cantonese restaurant in the Cass Corridor is a popular destination for all-day dim sum like steamed pork buns, rice rolls, and cakes, as well as a variety of curries, noodle dishes, and soups. The unpretentious setting – with two and four-seat tables, along with limited bar seating — a great place for dining in (and people-watching), although takeout is popular, too.

Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails

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A bright-green jewel just across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails offers seasonal options like braised rabbit, beet salad, grilled caesar salad, and its famous twice-cooked egg alongside beer, wine, and cocktails. Reservations are available 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. 

a salad with yellow and pink radishes in a black bowl. Bill Addison/Eater

Yumvillage

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Specializing in flavorful Afro-Caribbean dishes served in the style of a grain bowl, Yum Village has become beloved for its jerk chicken, curry chicken, crisp and juicy suya fried chicken, and vegan akara (black eyed pea fritters). Protein options can also be built into a combo bowl with additions like maafe rice (flavored with West African peanut stew), fried ginger-curry chickpeas, sweet pepper salad, and West African jollof rice with tomato, garlic, and smoked peppers. While the spot makes for the ideal meal on the go, a recently obtained liquor license now allows Yum Village to serve booze. A second location is also set to open soon in West Village.

the dining room of Yum Village shows wooden ables and a diverse selection of chairs.
The dining room of Yum Village, the popular Afro-Caribbean restaurant in Detroit’s New Center area.
Gerard + Belevender

Joe Louis Southern Kitchen

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This all-day breakfast restaurant established in honor of Joe Louis is an homage to the Detroit boxing legend’s Southern upbringing. Launched by Johnny Cannon — owner of Sweet Magnolia’s in Southfield and the former New Center Eatery — in partnership with Joe Louis II, the menu features many Southern favorites, including cinnamon roll flapjacks, bananas foster French toast, bread pudding, key lime pie flapjacks, Creole shrimp and grits, and Cajun fried turkey leg.

Baobab Fare

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Baobab Fare is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Nadia Nijimbere and Hamissi Mamba, who fled Burundi for the United States in 2014. The restaurant serves tasty recipes — including an incredibly flavorful mbuzi (slowed-roasted goat shank with corn salad, plantains, yellow beans, and rice), weekly specials like the ugali (a traditional East African dish made up of a dense corn flour ball, served with savory okra stew) served every Tuesday, and Ji, the eatery’s signature bottled passionfruit juice. The couple’s unique offerings bring in throngs of customers in Baobab’s exquisitely modern-feeling renovated space in the city’s New Center area.

Pie-Sci Pizza

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Neighborhood pizzeria favorite Pie-Sci serves an eclectic selection of rotating pizza specials with punny names. Customers can order a round pizza here, but the square slices with crunchy corners and a buttery crust are particularly excellent. Choose from rotating weekly specials like the Ganoush Jack City with a garlic crust, baba ganoush base, mozzarella, black tahini-lemon drizzle, toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley. Pie-Sci is also vegan-friendly. Call ahead (and keep calling if you don’t get through the first time) to place an order for pickup.

Michigan & Trumbull

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The argument over who does Detroit-style square pizza best is a contentious debate, and one needn’t take a side. There are plenty of excellent pan pizzas around the region. However, for those in the mood for a little razzle-dazzle with their caramelized cheesy corners, Michigan & Trumbull is the place to be. Currently available for pick up and Sunday dine-in, offerings include a selection or Detroit-style red and white pizza, New York-style rounds, and deep-fried calzones as well as salads, roasted veggies, and wines, beers, and select pantry items.

Customers sit outside in the dark on Michigan & Trumbull’s rooftop.
The rooftop dining area at Michigan & Trumbull, purveyors of Detroit-style pizza in the city’s Corktown neighborhood.
Gerard + Belevender

Mudgie's Deli and Bar

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Mudgie’s Deli has experienced a series of setbacks, including the death of its founder Greg Mudge and a small fire in March 2022 that impacted operations. However, that’s not stopped the deli’s friendly staff from pushing forward with carryout breakfast options, as well as lunch service. In addition to offering great beer, and wine to-go, the deli continues to serve excellent sandwiches like the The Mayor — featuring salami, turkey, cheddar, banana peppers, romaine lettuce, and chipotle mayo on rye bread.

Batch Brewing Company

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Batch Brewing Company’s New Orleans-influenced menu is available for dining in or carryout as are its brews in bottles and cans. The brewery currently offers lots of outdoor seating under an open-air pavilion, as well as indoor seating. The space has also become known for serving as a place to uplift community through its various pop-ups and fundraisers in support of other local businesses impacted by the pandemic and other crises, such as a Monday and Tuesday pop-up featuring Taqueria El Rey, which was recently devastated by a fire.

Customers sit at distanced picnic tables inside a partially enclosed pole barn in the Batch Brewing Company parking lot. The picnic tables are on top of astro turf.
The brewery currently offers lots of outdoor seating under an open-air pavilion.
Gerard + Belevender

Chef Mike Ransom’s Eater Award-winning izakaya-influenced restaurants in Corktown, Midtown, and Madison Heights are known for their rich earthy broths swimming with udon noodles and karaage fried chicken or tofu sandwiches all set in a casual, bright space with available indoor and outdoor seating. Coming soon, the Corktown establishment will relocate just west inside the former space that housed Gold Cash Gold.

Hands hold a karaage hot tofu sandwich over a basket filled with potato chips at Ima.
Ima serves a karaage hot tofu sandwich over a basket filled with potato chips.
Gerard + Belevender

Tamaleria Nuevo Leon

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Carryout-only fave Tamaleria Nuevo Leon has been serving handmade tamales to Detroiters since the 1950s. The restaurant keeps the menu simple with fast, friendly service. Expect fillings like pork and chicken alongside rotating specials such as cheese-jalapeño tamales. Don’t forget to take cash and call in large orders ahead of time.

El Parian Taco truck

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Southwest Detroit is arguably the taco truck capital of the city and the operators behind El Parian are in many ways leading the pack. With five mobile locations that can reliably be found at the same address daily, El Parian offers a little something for everyone at each of its locations, including a Mexican seafood spot El Imperio at 7812-7816 Vernor Highway, Wicho’s Burgers at Vernor and Pearl, and three taco-centric trucks, including this one at Vernor and Ferdinand.

The El Parian food truck’s window is open and surrounded by menus at its West Vernor location. Brenna Houck/Eater

Duly's Place

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For a late-night taste of Detroit’s famous coney dog — a chili dog with mustard and onions on a steamed bun — there’s no better spot to indulge than Duly’s Place. Thursday through Sunday, the spot is open 24 hours, Mondays are open midnight to 3 p.m., Tuesdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Come for the dogs with a satisfying snap or a wallet-friendly breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes. With more than 90 years under its belt, the diner is still a go-to spot for coney island classics with consistency and an ambience worthy of an essential greasy spoon. Be prepared: Duly’s takes cash only, so hit up an ATM on the way.

The exterior of Duly’s Place is shown in an old brick building next to barbershop Southwest Styles. Duly’s has a green and red sign with an arrow pointing towards the restaurant that says “24 Hours” and a red awning.
Duly’s is open 24-7 for coney dogs
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Detroit 75 Kitchen

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It’s almost impossible to go astray with this food truck’s menu, but it’s always wise to order the 3rd Street Philly with a side of cilantro fries. Sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, chopped steak, and provolone are layered between two fresh slices of sesame seed-topped bread and pressed. It’s crispy, spicy, and saucy in all the right ways. The chicken tenders here are also a worthy comfort food.

A customer orders food outside of the Detroit 75 Kitchen food truck on a sunny day during summer 2020.
Reservations are a must for indoor dining or for seating in one of the luminaria at the restaurant
Gerard + Belevender

El Asador Steakhouse

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This Southwest Detroit gem is a great spot to splurge on a steak flavored with poblano pepper or savor a plate of grilled fish tacos. Reservations are a must for indoor dining or for seating — parties of four or more — in one of the all-season, enclosed outdoor luminaria. Trays to go are perfect for large parties.

El Asador
The steak at El Asador is flavored with poblano pepper
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Hamido, a bustling Lebanese diner in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, is great for Lebanese breakfast staples or entrees like a crisp, refreshing fattoush salad, falafel rich in pungent garlic flavor, shawarma, and kibbeh. Dine in or place an order for a meal platter to-go and bask in abundant leftovers.