Detroit has many traditional and new dining options and is being touted by many as an emerging “Foodie Destination”. My recent finds include:
The Whitney: This is an elegant, fine dining restaurant, located in Midtown in a mansion from 1894. It was the home of lumber baron David Whitney Jr., the wealthiest man in the area at the time. It is formal and elegant with a good staff. It is frequented by locals celebrating special events. I enjoyed The Whitney Salad of spinach, strawberries and a citrus vinaigrette. I also enjoyed the seafood saute with shrimp, scallops and lobster sautéed in butter, herbs and white wine, served over orzo. They have outdoor patio seating, a Sunday brunch buffet, an afternoon high tea and a dessert parlour and bake shop.
Selden Standard: I chose the popular restaurant, Selden Standard, in Midtown after reading some great reviews. I loved the contemporary atmosphere, service and the great food. I enjoyed lunch with a friend who enjoyed it as well. It is now only open for dinner from Wednesday through Sunday, with a menu that changes seasonally and is sourced locally. They also have an outdoor patio which is perfect in the summer months. 3921 2nd Ave.
A block from the DIA is Babo, a perfect lunch spot, at 15 E Kirby St Suite 115. It is a casual, all day diner serving comfort food classics. I loved my omelette and home fries.
Slows BBQ: At 2138 Michigan Ave., this was the perfect spot for lunch. It comes highly recommended for its great barbecue, huge sandwiches and tasty side dishes. I loved the Longhorn sandwich with barbecue brisket, smoked gouda and an onion marmalade. I ordered it without sauce so I could try some of their five different barbecue sauces. I love the sweet one. The pecan pie with vanilla bean ice cream was worth the trip!!!
Across the street is Mercury Burger & Bar known for great burgers and shakes.It also has a popular outdoor terrace. 2163 Michigan Ave.
Vivio’s Eastern Market: Since 1967, this is an Eastern Market casual bar and restaurant featuring American pub food in a classic atmosphere. This is a great spot for lunch for lunch. I had a great Reuben Grill sandwich with sweet potato tots. I will definitely try the mussels next time. They are also known for their extensive Bloody Mary menu.
To the east of the Eastern Market is Sister Pie, which is a bakery making sweet and savory pies. Owner and Chef Lisa Ludwinsk was named a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Baker in 2020. 8066 Kercheval Ave. I enjoyed the cookies and the scone that I bought.
It is located near Marrow at 8044 Kercheval Ave. This is a neighborhood butcher shop and restaurant. You can order lunch at their bar or enjoy their 5-course prix-fixe chef’s tasting menu or ala carte options for dinner. They also feature seasonal and local ingredients. Based on their excellence, they are a three-time James Beard Award-nominated restaurant including a 2023 nomination for chef Sarah Welch for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Across the street is Frenchie’s: This is a casual spot for breakfast, brunch and lunch, featuring burgers, sandwiches and hot dogs. You can also grab a coffee drink or a pastry. 8100 Kercheval Ave.
Downtown dining spots include:
Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine is a restaurant which brings the best in Cuban cuisine and signature cocktails to Detroit. They also feature salsa dancing, jazz concerts and cooking classes. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. I had the zarzuela de Mariscos which is dish of shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels sautéed with onions, peppers and mushrooms. It is flambéed with Spanish brandy and simmered in a zesty tomato broth, then served with white rice and sweet plantains. I also enjoyed a yummy flan for dessert. 1250 Library St.
I also enjoyed my dinner at Leila, a contemporary downtown restaurant serving Lebanese staples such as falafel, meat dishes and hummus, plus creative cocktails. I reall liked he the baba ganoush along with Kafta or lamb kebabs. 1245 Griswold St.
In Mexicotown is Armando’s Mexican Restaurant. This is a casual spot for classic Mexican food since 1967. Open from Tuesday through Sunday, they serve lunch and dinner. The menu includes soups, salads, tacos, fajitas, tortas, tamales and more. I loved the colorful murals. 4242 Vernor Hwy.