The Best Restaurants in Detroit’s Southwest Side

Photo of Kate Harrington
9 February 2017

The Southwest side of the Detroit encompasses a number of lively, diverse areas within the city. A vibrant mix of people bring with them a vibrant mix of food and with options ranging from Mexican to ramen, the Southwest side has some of the best places to eat in the city.

Gold Cash Gold | © Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Gold Cash Gold

Bar, American, $$$
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Gold Cash Gold was recently opened in late 2013, on the site of an abandoned pawnshop. Opened by the seasoned owner of Corktown’s Slow’s Bar B Q, Gold Cash Gold is now focused on fried chicken. Brick walls, wood floors, and hipster antiques decorate the space. Unbelievably crafted American dishes served in a former pawnshop give Gold Cash Gold the forefront of the Detroit allure.

El Barzon

Restaurant, Mexican, Italian, $$$
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El Barzon is both an Italian and Mexican restaurant, dedicated to being unbiased and not picking favorites between the cuisines. Both the Italian and Mexican fare fall somewhere between upscale and traditional. However, the Italian focuses on an array of pastas and seafood, whereas the Mexican is centered on meat dishes and traditional Mexican selections. Set in a brick-walled venue, El Barzon’s décor encourages a casual yet traditional Mexican/Italian meal.
Price: Fine dining
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm, 5 pm-9 pm
Watch out for: the Pollo de Mole Poblano

Ottava Via

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Ottava Via
Ottava Via | © Russ/Flickr
Ottava Via is a down-to-earth Italian restaurant. Recently opened in the historic Corktown district, Ottava Via is dedicated to serving Italian pizzas, wines and service. The menu is largely dedicated to pizza (the Italian pizza has the limelight), but there’s also a selection of pastas. Set in a urban casual setting, Ottava Via is ideal for a low-key lunch or dinner situation.
Price: Mid-range
Hours: 11 am-10 pm
Watch out for: the truffle butter pasta and the Italian pizza

Los Galanes

Restaurant, Mexican
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Honeybee Market, Mexicantown, Detroit
Honeybee Market, Mexicantown, Detroit | © Liza Lagman Sperl/Flickr
Arguably the best taco spot in Mexicantown, Los Galanes has perfected the doughy, almost chimichanga-styled taco. This is the staple dish here. However, Los Galanes also has a massive selection of other traditional Mexican dishes that are equally as good, just not as publicized. The restaurant is located in the heart of Mexicantown, surrounded by the famous Honey Bee market and other restaurants and bakeries.
Price: Mid-range
Hours: 11 am-11 pm
Watch out for: the flaming cheese

Johnny Noodle King

Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Vegetarian
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If not the first, Johnny Noodle King is one of the very few ramen and noodle restaurants in Detroit. Situated in the Southwest area, Johnny Noodle King is the premiere restaurant for the noodle trend. However, this restaurant has added a modern twist to the ramen palette with infusing different tastes like Southwestern meat choices.
Price: Mid-range
Hours: 11 am-10 pm
Watch out for: the pork belly ramen

Motz’s Hamburgers

Motz’s Hamburgers is either the best burger spot in Detroit or one of the best. The decades-long rivalry between Motz’s and Telway Burgers is complex. However, in the Southwest part, Motz’s burgers are the best. Working with the slider format, Motz’s dolls up the thin burger with onions, pickles, and sometimes bacon. Everything goes great with the fries, also.
Price: Budget
Hours: 9 am-5 pm
Watch out for: the bacon burger
Motz’s Hamburgers, 7208 W Fort St, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 843-9186

St. Cece’s

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub
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St. Cece’s is a former Irish pub that now serves a variety of different types of dishes all depending on the seasonal and local produce. The menu has been made up of Polish, American, and Southern dishes all comprised of local and organic produce. St. Cece’s stays true to the Irish-pub roots by having a full-bar that offers reasonable drinks (especially at happy hour).
Price: Mid-range
Hours: 11 am-12 am
Watch out for: the seasonal dishes and changing menus

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