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DETROIT
Restaurants:
  • Favorite restaurants
  • Local and regional specialties
  • American
  • Asian
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  • Travel Guide: Michigan
  • Detroit's ethnic cuisines—as well as some Midwestern culinary styles—provide a variety of dining experiences. Greektown, in the heart of downtown, offers Mediterranean specialties while Mexicantown, a block-long collection of Latino restaurants on the southwest side, serves up scrumptious Mexican and other Latin American treats. Dearborn, the westside suburb close to downtown, is home to the nation's largest Arab-American community and, as a result, offers some great Middle Eastern food. In the Old-World ambience of Hamtramck, a tiny eastside suburb, you'll find rich and hearty Polish cooking. Other ethnic choices are Italian, Asian, soul food and Caribbean. Tucked among all these are places that serve up tasty Great Lakes whitefish or pickerel; pork slathered in tangy, Michigan cherry sauce; and Detroit-style spareribs—a giant slab of ribs grilled and served whole.

    Below is a sampling of restaurants in town. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of a dinner for one and not including drinks, taxes or tip: $ = less than US$18; $$ = US$19-$30; $$$ = US$31-$65; and $$$$ = more than US$65.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

    Beans & Cornbread—Expect to wait in line for a table at this popular spot that takes soul food to new heights. Bright artwork, an open kitchen and a rhythm-and-blues ambience set the scene for a dining experience that includes meat loaf, greens and catfish—but also less soullike selections such as escargot in puff pastry and filet mignon. Whatever your entree, it's wise to save room for the sweet-potato cheesecake. Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11 am-3 pm; dinner Tuesday-Thursday 5-9 pm, Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday 3-10 pm, Sunday 2-9 pm. $$. American Express not accepted. 29508 Northwestern Highway, Southfield. Phone 248-208-1680.

    Intermezzo—An industrial storefront has been transformed into this hip eatery, located in the tiny, but charming Harmonie Park neighborhood, two blocks from Greektown. During warm weather you can eat outdoors, surrounded by clubs, coffee shops and art galleries. Some items on the menu: jumbo shrimp appetizers, seafood cannelloni with creamy palomino sauce, hearty lasagna and crispy salads with delicious dressings. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-3 pm, dinner Tuesday-Saturday 5 pm-midnight. Reservations recommended Friday and Saturday nights. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. 1435 Randolph St., Detroit. Phone 313-961-0707.

    The Lark—Constantly changing Continental menu, in a tiny room modeled after a Portuguese inn. Imaginative dining in an operation lovingly tended by owner Jim Lark, who roams the world looking for new recipes and ideas on presentation. Prix-fixe menu, extraordinary wine list. Reservations, which are mandatory, should be made as far in advance as possible. (The Lark is not amused when they are not kept.) Just north of Maple Road, W. Bloomfield (25 mi/40 km from downtown). Tuesday-Thursday 6-8:15 pm, Friday and Saturday seatings at 6 or 9 pm. Reservations are mandatoryReservations required. Jackets for men. $$$$. Most major credit cards. 6430 Farmington Rd., Detroit. Phone 248-661-4466.

    Rattlesnake Club—You can't talk about restaurants in Detroit without mentioning local chef Jimmy Schmidt, whose restaurants have put the city on the national culinary map. For nearly a decade, this eatery overlooking the Detroit River has teased palates with its creative Midwestern dishes and, in the summertime, with scrumptious lunches on its outdoor patio perched on the waterfront. Monday-Friday 11 am-2 am, Saturday 5 pm-midnight. $$$. Most major credit cards. 300 River Place, Detroit. Phone 313-567-4400.

    Too Chez—Upscale American cuisine that looks like artwork and tastes delicious. The owner, a former member of the popular '80s rock group, The Romantics, serves up specialty feasts, such as the Macrobiotic Feast. Reservations requiredReservations required. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. 27155 Sheraton Dr., Detroit. Phone 248-348-5555.

    Twingos—In business for just two years and already this tiny French-styled bistro has blasted through a neighboring wall to expand. The homemade baguettes and dressings make any sandwich a heavenly treat, and the French onion soup is a favorite. A block from the Wayne State University campus, this sweet spot with light fare lures a mixed bag of diners—from students chatting over caramel cappuccino to business executives working their way through flaky quiches. Daily lunch 11 am-3 pm; teatime starts at 4 pm; dinner 5-11 pm. $. Most major credit cards. 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit. Phone 313-832-3832.

    The Whitney—In the showplace mansion of 19th-century lumber baron David Whitney. The exquisite setting is matched by the food. Antiques and meticulously restored furnishings accompanied by excellent lamb and veal dishes, such delicacies as pecan-crusted whitefish and New Zealand venison, fresh bread and killer chocolate desserts. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-2 pm; dinner Monday-Thursday 5-9 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 pm-midnight, Sunday brunch 11 am-2 pm, dinner 5-8 pm. Reservations imperativeReservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Phone 313-832-5700.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    LOCAL AND REGIONAL SPECIALTIES

    Traffic Jam & Snug—From the portabello mushrooms in puff pastries to the baked brie dressed with Michigan berries (whatever kind is in season), this spot near the theater district focuses on fresh. So fresh, that the restaurant serves homemade cheese, homemade bread, homemade beer and homemade ice cream. The menu is heavily vegetarian, although there are several chicken entrees, and the burgers are big and juicy. Save room for the divine desserts. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-3 pm; dinner Tuesday-Thursday 4-10:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 pm-midnight. $. American Express not accepted. 511 W. Canfield, Detroit. Phone 313-831-9470.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    AMERICAN

    Fishbone's Rhythm Kitchen Cafe—A smash-hit restaurant in Greektown. Adventurous Cajun menu, lively atmosphere. Jambalaya, muffuletta sandwiches, alligator appetizers, and ribs and chicken barbecued in Fishbone's trademark whiskey sauce. Dozens of hot sauces on a tray at your table. Monday-Thursday 11 am-midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 am-2 am, Sunday brunch 10:30 am-2 pm, then open to midnight. Reservations advised. $$. Most major credit cards. 400 Monroe, phone 313-965-4600. A second branch of Fishbone's is located in Southfield, a Woodward West suburb. Monday-Thursday 11 am-midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 am-1 am, Sunday 10:30 am-midnight. 29244 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, phone 248-351-2925.

    Memphis Smoke—This restaurant is a favorite in the trendy Royal Oak dining scene. Featuring Southern-style pork ribs, catfish fingers and red beans and rice, it's a lively eatery with excellent live music. Monday-Saturday 11 am-2 am, Sunday noon-2 am. $$. Most major credit cards. 100 S. Main (at 11 Mile Road), Royal Oak (12 mi/19 km from downtown), phone 248-543-4300.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    ASIAN

    B. D.'s Mongolian Barbecue—Choose your meats, vegetables, sauces and spices for your own custom stir-fry and watch the staff cook 'em up for you. All-you-can-eat. Monday-Thursday 11 am-11 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-12:30 am, Sunday noon-10 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. 310 S. Main, Royal Oak, about 12 mi/19 km from downtown, phone 248-398-7755.

    Hakata—Traditional Japanese: sushi bar, tatami room. Very popular with visiting auto executives. Quiet and tasteful. Monday-Friday lunch 11:30 am-2 pm, dinner 5:30-10:30 pm (Friday till 11 pm), Saturday 5:30-11 pm, Sunday 5-9 pm. Reservations suggested. $$$. Most major credit cards. 32443 Northwestern Highway, Farmington Hills, 23 mi/41 km from downtown, phone 248-737-7220.

    Mon Jin Lau—There are the old familiar dishes at this upscale Chinese restaurant, along with the chef's own (as he calls them) "Nu-Asian" creations such as sea scallops with corn chile sauce and a side of fried taro root. If you like spicy food, try the hot-hot-hot Mongolian beef. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-4 pm, dinner daily 5 pm-midnight. $$. Most major credit cards. 1515 E. Maple Rd., Troy, phone 248-689-2332.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH

    Cafe 317—Formerly Cassia's, the new owner has upscaled the diner menu to include crepes, pastas and more. Daily 8 am-3 pm. $-$$. Most major credit cards. 317 S. Washington, Royal Oak, phone 248-548-0080.

    Clique—The ultimate in diners. The Clique has been serving up eggs and ham with hash browns on the side for as long as many Detroiters can remember. For lunch, burgers, sandwiches and soups are the main fare. Monday-Friday breakfast 6 am-11 am, lunch 11 am-3 pm; Saturday and Sunday 7 am-3 pm. $. No credit cards. 1326 E. Jefferson, phone 313-259-0922.

    International House of Pancakes—The downtown International House of Pancakes is the place for breakfast among Detroit's movers and shakers. Owned by singer Anita Baker and her husband, this IHOP offers the same pancakes-and-waffles fare as the rest of the chain, but the Motown decor adds a distinctive Detroit touch. Daily 6 am-10 pm. $. Most major credit cards. 2701 E. Jefferson, phone 313-393-2400.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    COFFEEHOUSES

    Brazil Coffee House—Great java and delectable desserts in this Royal Oak coffeehouse. Silk-covered couches and occasional (quiet) live music. Be prepared for a heavy poseur element. Monday-Thursday 9 am-midnight, Friday and Saturday 11 am-2 am, Sunday 11 am-midnight. $. Most major credit cards. 305 S. Main, Royal Oak, phone 248-399-7200.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    CONTINENTAL

    Opus One—For elegant dining downtown, this is the place. The menu bursts with delights such as pork chops with Michigan cherries, Dover sole with rock-shrimp stuffing, and even pheasant. Those with the will to wave away the pastry cart can still indulge with homemade cinnamon ice cream. Superb service and a knowledgeable chef. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-3 pm, dinner Monday-Saturday 5 pm-midnight. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Reservations recommended. 565 E. Larned, phone 313-961-7766.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    FAST FOOD

    Lafayette Coney Islands—Coney Islands—hot dogs slathered in onions, chili and a variety of condiments—are a Detroit institution. This place serves up the genuine article, as well as burgers, fries and other grill foods. Lots of local color. Downtown. Daily 8 am-4 am. No reservations. $. No credit cards. 118 W. Lafayette, Detroit. Phone 313-964-8198.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    GERMAN

    Jacoby's Since 1904—A cozy treasure trove of friendly faces and the best German food in the area, located between the downtown area and Greektown. Besides its choice of German dinners, including Wiener schnitzel and potato pancakes, Jacoby's serves onion soup to die for and such U.S. favorites as prime rib and chicken pot pie. Sunday brunch includes banana pancakes, eggs New Orleans and a traditional German breakfast. Full wine list and entertainment on the weekends. Monday-Friday 11 am-9 pm; Friday and Saturday noon-9 pm; Sunday brunch 10 am-3 pm and Sunday dinner 3-9 pm. $. Most major credit cards. 624 Brush (People Mover Bricktown station), phone 313-962-3334.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    ITALIAN (INCLUDING PIZZERIAS)

    Lelli's—Old fashioned, crowded and loud, with food served up in staggering quantities. Main dining room and smaller, more intimate nooks in the original building. Sicilian-style dishes. The regulars drool over the chateaubriand. Monday 11 am-3 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 11 am-9:30 pm, Friday 11 am-10:30 pm, Saturday 3-10:30 pm and Sunday 3-8:30 pm. Closed Monday. (Hours vary somewhat according to season; call ahead.) Reservations required. $$$. Most major credit cards. 7618 Woodward, phone 313-871-1590. A second location is at 885 Opdyke Rd., Auburn Hills, phone 248-373-4440. Monday-Thursday 11 am-10 pm, Friday 11 am-11 pm, Saturday 11 am-11 pm and Sunday 11 am-9 pm.

    Roma Cafe—Downtown in the Eastern Market area, the oldest restaurant in the city. Operated by the Sossi family for 75 years. First-rate veal and pasta dishes. Open Monday-Saturday 11 am-10:30 pm (seated by 10:15 pm). Reservations suggested. $$$. Most major credit cards. 3401 Riopelle, phone 313-831-5940.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    MEXICAN

    Xochimilco—Authentic Mexican treats, from burritos to enchiladas and homemade tortilla chips, all served in generous portions. The margaritas are good there, too. Daily 11 am-4 am. $. Most major credit cards. 3490 Bagley, phone 313-843-0179.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    MIDDLE EASTERN

    La Shish—A fabulous restaurant to explore the world of Middle Eastern cuisine. Tabbouleh, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, hummus and fresh juices are just a start. $$. Most major credit cards. La Shish has two locations on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, two more in the northern suburbs. The original restaurant at 12918 Michigan Ave. is small and lively, but doesn't serve alcohol. Phone 313-584-4477. The second—and the best—is larger, roomier and slightly more formal at 22039 Michigan Ave., phone 313-562-7200. Two other locations are 32401 Van Dyke, Warren, phone 810-977-2177; and 37610 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills, phone 248-553-0700. All are open daily 10 am-midnight.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences

    ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES

    Blue Nile—If you've never tried Ethiopian food, this is the place to give it a whirl. The meal begins with hot cloths to wipe your hands, which you'll eat with in this utensil-free dining room. The house specialty is a communal platter—actually a huge sheet of spongy injera bread—heaped with tasty treats. Diners break off pieces of bread to scoop up the food, some of which is spicy, some mild. Both meat and vegetarian buffets are available. You're encouraged to ask for seconds—they're part of the deal! Daily 5 pm-midnight. $$. Most major credit cards. 508 Monroe St. (in Greektown), phone 313-964-6699.

    Cadieux Cafe—One-of-a-kind place in the city's old Belgian neighborhood. Mussels are the big attraction. Colorful and informal, popular with locals on the east side. Feather bowling (a Belgian derivative of bocce ball) in a side court. Sunday 4-10 pm, Monday-Wednesday 4-11 pm, Thursday 11 am-11 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-midnight, Sunday 4-11 pm. No reservations. $$. Most major credit cards. 4300 Cadieux, south of the Ford Freeway, phone 313-882-8560.

    Excalibur—A sophisticated, upscale place that does an admirable job with such standards as filet mignon and lobster tails. Also on the menu is regional specialty Lake Superior whitefish with sundried cherries and pistachios, cooked on a plank. We're told that Frank Sinatra used to eat there when in town. Lunch Monday-Friday 11 am-4 pm; dinner Monday-Saturday 4 pm-1 am (last seating is 10:45 pm). $$$-$$$$. Most major credit cards. 28875 Franklin Rd. (at Northwestern Highway), Southfield. Phone 248-358-3355.

    New Hellas—Anchor of the Greektown establishments. Crowded, noisy tables jammed against each other. Young crowd. Traditional Greek specialties, lamb chops, sea bass. Downtown (People Mover Greektown station). Daily 11 am-midnight. No reservations. $$. Most major credit cards. 583 Monroe St., Detroit. Phone 313-961-5544.

    Polonia-Jaworowka—Old World Polish favorites served in a charming European atmosphere. Signature dishes include pierogi, golombki and some of the best homemade soups in the city. The combination plate is a tasty introduction to Polish cuisine, which is often underrated. Monday-Thursday 11 am-7 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-8 pm, closed Sunday. Reservations suggested on weekends. $. American Express not accepted. 2934 Yemens, Hamtramck (about 5 mi/8 km from downtown), phone 313-873-8432.

    Sweet Lorraine's—The menu is lengthy, and the daily specials are as eclectic as they come—from French pot pie to crab wontons to Spanish paella. Don't leave without at least a taste of the Yukon Gold potato salad. The secret ingredient? Michigan maple syrup. Daily lunch 11 am-4 pm, dinner 4 pm-midnight. Saturday and Sunday, brunch also. $$. American Express not accepted. 29101 Greenfield Rd., Southfield, phone 248-559-5985; a second location at 303 Detroit St., Ann Arbor, phone 734-665-0700.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | American  | Asian  | Breakfast and brunch  | Coffeehouses  | Continental  | Fast food  | German  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Mexican  | Middle eastern  | Additional experiences



    Information prepared by Weissmann Travel Reports
    Copyright © 2000 by Reed Travel Group. All rights reserved.




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