Best restaurants in Detroit
What is it: Three-time James Beard award semifinalist Andy Hollyday has given Detroit a stylish getaway right in Midtown, in the form of Selden Standard, a New American restaurant offering seasonal, locally sourced small plates and cocktails.
Why go: Depending on your mood and the kind of outing, you can dine in the upscale conference room or overlook the pizza oven and open kitchen in the more casual part of the restaurant. Either way, order the duck sausage with the very delicious cauliflower with tahini sauce, cumin, cilantro and pickled hot pepper.
What is it: Chef Kate Williams is the queen of Detroit’s up-and-coming culinary scene, turning every restaurant she graces into a must-visit. That is especially true at the Lady of the House, which feels like a mix of modern farmhouse and fine Parisian dining.
Why go: The homey restaurant serves food on chef Williams’ grandmother’s china. Try the sweet carrot bisque with simple farm greens—grown right here in Detroit.
What is it: Mi Pueblo is a family-friendly restaurant that highlights the gastronomical traditions that characterize the state of Jalisco in Mexico.
Why go: From the steaming baskets of freshly made tortilla chips served alongside homemade salsa to the complex stews of pork, skirt steak and tongue, everything prepared at this longtime Mexican favorite is flavor-forward and worth a visit all on its own.
What is it: Michael Symon became a Detroit favorite when he opened Roast inside the stunningly renovated Westin Book Cadillac hotel. These days, the eatery’s meat-forward menu is a regular pick among the city’s foodies.
Why go: From the beef cheek pierogies to the lamb neck risotto and the roasted marrow, carnivores will love the hearty dishes prepared at Roast. The setting is sexy and intimate, making this a great date night destination.
What is it: This relative newcomer has already earned a spot on many “best of” lists for its massive steaks, modern and luxurious space and attention to detail. The dry-aged steaks and chops are prepared in-house for a minimum of 28 days, resulting in a supremely moist and tender cut of meat.
Why go: The meat, of course. But also the healthy selection of seafood, caviar and raw specialties to balance out the smoky, meaty flavors defining most of the menu.
What is it: Michigan native Thomas Lents has traveled around the globe to learn about food and he has now brought all that knowledge to Detroit in the form of the Apparatus Room, his New American eatery inside the Detroit Foundation Hotel.
Why go: Everything about this restaurant screams luxury and visual delight. The food also earns raves, especially for the light sauces and deep flavors defining each dish. Those who crave the best should opt for the Lents’ chef’s table, which he personally prepares, or the 36-hours braised French veal.
What is it: Since 1938, Detroit’s high rollers have dined with friends and family at this legendary destination. It recently reopened after a hiatus, and the reboot has been lauded as even better than the original.
Why go: The menu reads like a classic steakhouse’s, showcasing premium cuts like the Australian wagyu New York strip and bone-in ribeye. You might also want to consider ordering the sautéed lake perch and thyme-brined chicken breast.
What is it: A low-key, no-frills eatery serving big portions of soul food from a counter. Expect meatloaf, liver and turkey breast-based dishes.
Why go: There’s a reason Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern stopped by Motor City Soul Food on his Delicious Destinations show. The restaurant’s wide array of soul food and classic dinner options have made generations of Detroiters happy and full.
What is it: This hotspot calls itself a pub, but don’t let its modesty fool you. The food and drinks at the Common are anything but.
Why go: The neighborhood pub boasts outdoor seating but you should really stop by for the food: try the beet and goat cheese sliders, mushroom and barley risotto and the duck-fried chicken, soaked in a brown sugar brine.
What is it: Farm to table has never tasted as sophisticated as it does when in the accomplished hands of the chefs at Gold Cash Gold. The former pawn shop in the Corktown neighborhood is straight-up good.
Why go: Fresh food? Yes, please. Longtime favorites include the scallop ceviche and the spicy chicken sandwich, a golden chicken breast served with Habanero hot sauce.