The best local restaurants in Detroit are a treat for visitors wanting to sample tried-and-true classics, local hot spots, and creative must-tries. Restaurants include decades-old family-run eateries, food trucks, pizza chains, and elegant fine-dining establishments oozing with old-world charm.

    Whether you're craving comfort breakfast food from an old-school neighbourhood diner, a traditional Italian dinner or a hot dog at 2 am, Detroit restaurants won't disappoint. Read on to discover our curated list of the best local restaurants in Detroit.

    1

    Tamaleria Nuevo Leon

    For some delicious handmade tamales

    Tamaleria Nuevo Leon, located a few blocks east of Mexicantown, is a popular local spot to hit in Detroit if you’re craving a good tamale. The small, take-out only Mexican establishment has been serving some of the best – and cheapest – tamales since 1950.

    Tamales are hand-rolled and steamed in a large pot. The menu is simple, and you can expect tamale fillings such as pork, chicken, and cheese-jalapeño. Don’t forget to carry some banknotes as this is a cash-only spot.

    Location: 2669 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 313-962-8066

    Map
    2

    Detroit 75 Kitchen

    A popular food truck with inventive sandwiches

    Detroit 75 Kitchen is an award-winning, artisan stationary food truck in Southwest Detroit. Founded in 2014, it attracts crowds with its unique setting of colorful street art, umbrella-covered picnic tables, and a creative menu.

    A good, well-made sandwich is difficult to find. But head on over to Detroit 75 Kitchen and the only difficulty will be trying to decide which of the many delicious sandwiches to order. You can find shawarmas, pressed sandwiches, barbecued chicken egg rolls, and cilantro fries. Standouts include the 3rd Street Philly sandwich made with bell peppers, mushrooms, chopped steak, and provolone.

    Location: 4800 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48209, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed Saturdays to Mondays)

    Phone: +1 313-843-3215

    Map
    3

    Duly's Place

    As recommended by celebrity chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain

    Duly’s Place Coney Island is an enduring old-school neighbourhood American diner in Central Southwest Detroit. For decades, locals and in-the-know tourists have flocked to this informal eatery to munch on Detroit’s famous Coney hot dog – a chili dog with mustard and onions served on a steamed bun.

    You may want to complement your hot dog with some chili fries on the side. Besides hot dogs, the diner serves hearty, inexpensive breakfast staples slathered in butter, such as pancakes, French toast, bacon, and eggs. Take note that Duly’s Place is a strictly cash-only spot.

    Location: 5458 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209, USA

    Open: Monday from midnight to 3 pm, Tuesday from 7 am to 3 pm, Wednesday from 7 am to 11.59 pm, Thursday–Sunday 24 hours

    Phone: +1 313-554-3076

    Map
    4

    Buddy's Pizza

    The birthplace of Detroit’s original square, deep-dish pizza

    Buddy’s Pizza is an iconic pizza chain with multiple locations throughout Detroit. It was established in 1946 and was the first to create the square, deep-crust pizza known today as ‘Detroit-style pizza’. To prepare the thick-yet-airy square with a crunchy exterior, the dough is stretched twice and then molded into a thick steel pan similar to a cast-iron skillet.

    You can order a classic pizza with sauce, Wisconsin brick cheese, and pepperoni. Feeling adventurous? Create your own dish by choosing your favorite cheese, meat, and fresh vegetable toppings. The restaurant also serves salads, wings, meatballs, thin-crust pizza, and gluten-free pizza.

    Location: Madison Building, 1565 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226, USA

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 313-765-1500

    Map
    5

    Detroit Vegan Soul

    Delicious plant-based comfort food for vegans and non-vegans

    Detroit Vegan Soul serves strictly plant-based dishes inspired by Southern comfort food. The dishes are made from fresh, mostly organic ingredients. All are non-GMO and made without preservatives, sugars, dairy, or animal byproducts. Whether you are vegan or want to dine on good, healthy food, this is a fantastic place for a wholesome, hearty meal.

    You can find many delicious options on the menu, including smoked coconut bacon, mac and cheese, maple-glazed yams, fried tofu bites, and seitan pepper steaks. Going one step further to support a sustainable planet, the restaurant's takeout packaging is 100% compostable.

    Location: 19614 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48223, USA

    Open: Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 313-766-5728

    Map
    6

    Lafayette Coney Island

    A Downtown Detroit institution for hot dogs

    Lafayette Coney Island is a legendary spot for traditional Coney dogs. The Coney is a snap-casing hot dog served in a steamed bun covered with white onions, yellow mustard, and chili sauce. A trip to Detroit won’t be complete without trying 1 – or 4 – of these tasty creations.

    Located in Downtown Detroit, Lafayette is a simple place with good service. It stays open until the early hours of the morning, making it a popular destination for some grub after a long night of partying in the city.

    Location: 118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 4 am

    Phone: +1 313-964-8198

    Map
    7

    Giovanni's Ristorante

    Experience rustic Italian fare with old-world charm

    Giovanni's Ristorante is a classy-yet-welcoming, old-school Italian spot in Detroit. The restaurant has stood the test of time, and rightly so. The consistently delicious authentic food is prepared from old-country recipes, including the homemade pasta created every week in the pasta room. Try the gnocchi with Bolognese sauce, cannelloni stuffed with wild mushrooms, or lasagna drenched in béchamel.

    The exquisite food is complemented by an extensive wine list of bottles from Italy and beyond. The restaurant offers warm and inviting several dining spaces. However, the wine room with a fireplace and leaded glass and the speakeasy in the back are the perfect settings for a romantic night out or a quiet dinner with friends.

    Location: 330 Oakwood, Detroit, MI 48217, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 3 pm to 8 pm, Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 4 pm to 9 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 313-841-0122

    Map
    8

    The Rattlesnake Club

    An elegant, old-school spot for skyline and river views

    The Rattlesnake Club is a beloved Detroit dining destination famous for its award-winning cuisine, world-class wines, and picturesque setting just steps from the Detroit RiverWalk. The menu is predominately American but with inventive twists here and there. Dishes are prepared with regional, seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients, including local game birds and meats.

    You can sit on the outdoor terrace in the warmer months and enjoy sweeping city views and Canada's shore across the river. The restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner, so reservations are recommended.

    Location: 300 River Pl Dr, Detroit, MI 48207, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 4.30 pm to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 4.30 pm to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 313-567-4400

    Map
    9

    Redcoat Tavern

    A British-American pub and burger joint since 1972

    Redcoat Tavern opened in 1972 in the northern Detroit suburb of Royal Oak. Since then, it has been a long-time favorite for locals seeking some of the best burgers in town. The relaxed British-American pub's burgers are gigantic, and you can build your own with toppings such as smoked gouda, banana peppers, guacamole, and a range of sauces.

    A must-try is Redcoat Tavern’s award-winning ‘Brasserie Burger’, with bacon, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and dijonnaise sauce. You can also order salads, sandwiches, and fish and chips. And in keeping with its British-style roots, the beer list is a page long.

    Location: 31542 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 10.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 248-549-0300

    Map
    10

    Scotty Simpson’s Fish and Chips

    A popular local chippie since 1950

    • Food
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Group

    Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips is an informal, cash-only eatery dating back to 1950. It serves arguably the best fried Nova Scotian cod fish and chips in Metro Detroit – as voted by locals. Besides superb seafood, you can also order hamburgers and sandwiches.

    Be sure to save space for the star of the dessert menu: Scotty's seasonal pies, made fresh every Friday. The selections change with the season, but you can almost always expect to see banana cream pie or chocolate pie on the menu.

    Location: 22200 Fenkell Ave, Detroit, MI 48223, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm, Friday from 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 2 pm to 8 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +1 313-533-0950

    Map
    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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