Already world famous for its rich automotive heritage, Detroit, Michigan, is fast becoming a hotspot for all-American dining, too. From tucking into a plate of sticky barbecued ribs in a downtown joint to feasting on a plate of classic macaroni cheese in a disused roadside garage, there are so many dining options in this city that we have updated our list of Michigan’s 10 best cultural restaurants.
The menu at Green Dot Stables may be simple but it is certainly tasty. Choose a selection of sliders from an extensive list including the quinoa burger, catfish, fried chicken and mystery meat paired with a choice of regular, truffle and herb, venison chilli, le poutine or Cajun fries. For a slightly healthier addition, order a salad on the side or a soup instead of the fries and stop by of an evening to take advantage of the reasonably priced drink menu. Bottles of beer start at just $2, while wines and cocktails start from $3 per glass.
Green Dot Stables, 2200 W Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 962 5588
Much more than just another brunch spot, French chef Tom Teknos and his partner Stavros Adamopoulos have given a special twist to the lazy breakfast at the Hudson Café. Open daily from 8am, guests can choose to stop by the bar to pick up a speciality coffee and a freshly baked pastry on their way to work, or relax in front of the fireplace with friends or a good book for a drawn-out brunch. All the usual brunch-time fare is available on the menu from pancakes and French toast to omelettes and granola with fruit and yoghurt. There’s also a pretty good sandwich and salad menu for those stopping by during their lunch break.
Hudson Café, 1241 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 237 1000
A timeless Italian treasure in the heart of Detroit, Mario’s has been gracing the nation with authentic dishes cooked tableside since 1948. Today, diners can enjoy the rustic wood-panelled setting whilst tucking into simple yet extremely tasty dishes including spaghetti tetrazzini, gnocchi Piemontese, beef Siciliana and veal Tosca. Situated within walking distance of the theatre district, Mario’s makes for an ideal pre-theatre dinner venue; for anyone itching to give their own performance, the restaurant also hosts ballroom dancing classes at weekends.
Mario’s, 4222 2nd Avenue, Mack, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 832 1616
With a menu created by celebrity Chef Michael Symon, diners at Roast can be sure that the dishes on offer are only of the highest quality. Impressive in sheer size as well as taste, this 200-seat restaurant is made up of the main dining room, semi-private dining area and bar. Michael Symon’s Roast has won numerous prestigious culinary awards, as well as being named the restaurant with one of the best beer menus in the country. For a real treat, stop by for an indulgent and delicious meal dreamed up by this unstoppable Sicilian-Greek chef: start with the crispy lamb sweetbreads, half a dozen oysters, or beef tartare, and follow with either the pork shank confit, Bavette sirloin or lamb sausage.
Michael Symon’s Roast, 1128 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 961 2500
Situated within the historic Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain Hotel in downtown Detroit, The Jefferson House oozes elegance and charm thanks to its sophisticated menu and fancy setting. An extensive selection of wines, port, champagne, Michigan craft beers and cocktails are readily available, leaving no excuse not to partake in both pre- and post-dinner drinks when at the Jefferson. Dishes vary between lunch and dinner sittings but for those dining during the evening, choose between the fig bruschetta, charcuterie board or crab Japanese pancake for starter and follow with the seared sea scallops, 12oz rib eye or smoked lobster mac and cheese for entrée.
The Jefferson House, 2 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 782 4318
Priding itself on using only locally sourced ingredients bought fresh from the Eastern Market, The Majestic Café affords diners the opportunity to eat sustainably in the heart of Downtown Detroit. Perfectly located for a quick meal before or after a trip to the Midtown’s Majestic Theatre Complex, menu options include all-American favourites such as eggs Benedict, spinach lobster and pancake soufflé. For entertainment while you eat, stop by on a Wednesday and take part in the trivia evening, or every second Tuesday of the month to listen to local tales of the famous Motor City’s past.
The Majestic Café, 4140 Woodward Avenue, Midtown, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 833 9700
Nestled within the walls of Detroit’s most iconic mansion from the 19th century, The Whitney serves contemporary cuisine in a charming old-world setting. The theme of the menu is ‘elegant American’ and beef, veal, lamb, fish and seafood all feature heavily in the dishes available. Wine aficionados can enjoy an array of delights from the restaurant’s award-winning wine cellar, and anyone with an interest in the spiritual world should call ahead to find out when the next supernatural evening, panorama dinner or séance will take place in the third-floor Ghost Bar.
The Whitney, 4421 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 832 5700
Playing homage to the city’s rich automotive industry, the Vinsetta Garage dishes up all the classic American staples in what appears to be a real working roadside garage. Of course, it’s not: there are no services and oil changes going on here, just juicy burgers and crispy French fries cooking. The mechanical setting, however, is thoroughly appreciated by diners eager to revel in a bit of heritage whilst tucking into their supper. Pick up a pin-up Vinsetta Garage calendar as a souvenir, adorned with photos of classy ladies posing in a range of vehicles, all fighting for the title of Miss Autorama.
Vinsetta Garage, 27799 Woodward Avenue, Berkley, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 248 548 7711