Known for its downtown venues, Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, has flourished into a destination for entertainment, nightlife, and trendy eateries in recent years. Taste Royal Oak’s finest food at these 10 great local restaurants.
Café Muse was opened by David Smith and Greg Reyner in 2006. Reyner refers to the menu as ‘comfort food with a twist.’ The European-style menu is full of award-winning dishes, like the grilled cheese that combines fontina, mozzarella, and Havarti cheese with tomato, basil and honey. It’s a delectable sandwich that received a five-star rating on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Other sandwiches have won local and national awards. The breakfast menu has even more delicious dishes, like the exotic mushroom scramble with Boursin cheese and truffle oil. Order a mimosa or Bloody Mary, and enjoy some of the finest food around at Café Muse.
Owner Bobby Laskaris and his father and chef Panagiotis Laskaris created their award-winning Greek street food venue as a simple alternative for lunch. KouZina pairs fresh ingredients with simple yet elegant preparations to create a small, high-quality menu filled with street food treats. In Greek, ‘kouzina’ means kitchen. In KouZina’s kitchen, the Laskaris family makes fresh pita for gyros, like the Bobby, a gyro made with lamb, pork, and chicken. The large portion sizes are great for a quick and filling lunch.
Redcoat Tavern specializes in a recipe they’ve been perfecting for more than 30 years — simple, messy burgers. The dark interior’s red lighting makes the restaurant intimate and cozy. Not to mention, no-one will notice how quickly you polish off your Redcoat burger and a side of crispy onion rings. If burgers aren’t for you, the tavern also sells great salads, sandwiches, and clam chowder. Because the locals love it, you can expect a wait for a table, but hang around and grab a drink at the bar — it’ll be worth it.
Boukie’s Mediterranean fare provides a healthier lunch option with plenty of vegetarian options. The food reflects many Mediterranean countries with a focus on Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients, the friendly owners prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night dining. Try the sampler plate designed for two people, which includes baba ghannouge, hummus, tabbouli, fresh pita, falafel, grape leaves, and chicken and beef schwarma at a reasonable price.
D’Amato’s traditional Italian cuisine is served amid a classy atmosphere. Customers rave about Sunday brunch, where customers are welcome to a Bloody Mary bar (which includes several types of tomato juice mixes and toppings like bacon, pickles, meat, cheese cubes, and peppers). They are also offered a huge selection of eggs Benedict options (which includes eggs Benedict served with chicken and waffles, crab cakes, Caprese salad, salmon, or prime rib). During brunch, customers are treated to live music with their meal. Dinner — when the lighting grows dim and the vibe becomes more intimate — is also a treat at D’Amato’s. Try the linguine with white clam sauce for an unforgettable meal.
Iron Horse is a newer addition to the Royal Oak scene, and its atmosphere oozes cool. The restaurant and bar mainly serves Mexican cuisine and fantastic cocktails. The happy hour tacos are a great deal, and any of the topping choices leave customers happy. The interior of the rehabilitated old building is quite dark. But, you can also take a seat by the large windows that look out onto the street. The varied menu has burgers, burritos, pizzas, and more, with plenty of good vegetarian options.
This old diner is a favorite among locals. Customers quickly become regulars, and inside the tiny diner, it feels like everyone knows each other. The menu is simple with classic diner meals like French toast, omelets, thick burgers, homemade soups, and tasty milkshakes. The service is friendly and food is served quick. Come to Monty’s Grill for an affordable, filling breakfast or lunch.
Bistro 82 takes its inspiration from the bistros of France, and its menu reflects popular French cuisine. The decor is modern and upscale, carrying over to the iPads that customers use to place their orders. Treat yourself to a high-end meal made with quality ingredients and cooked with skill. Start with the grilled artichoke appetizer or the goat cheese salad, which is served with granny smith apples, honey, and nuts. Any of the entrees are sure to please — try the steak frites, braised lamb shank, or scallops.
With the warm and simple decor inspired by the Belgian monasteries where the original brewing styles Monk Beer Abbey uses were invented, this restaurant’s menu is full of inspired dishes and great beers. The made-from-scratch cuisine features mussels prepared in five different styles, gourmet burgers, chorizo mac and cheese, and beer-braised oxtail. The top-notch beer menu has many Belgian options best enjoyed in the cozy, dimly lit interior. Monk Beer Abbey is one of Royal Oak’s hidden gems. Its happy hour prices are the icing on the cake.
Enjoy high-quality sushi in an excellent atmosphere at Ronin Sushi. The dim ambiance is both modern and cozy, making this one of the trendiest restaurants in the area. The upstairs lounge area is complete with couches and booths with windows looking down on the streets of downtown Royal Oak. Try a classic sushi roll or one of the Americanized dishes like the ribs, spicy tuna tacos, or Mountain Dew roll. Each roll is presented with color and flair, adding a fun element to the sushi joint.