9 Menu Items Made with Detroit Pride

Modified: October 24, 2018 | Photos by American Coney Island and Bucharest Grill by Bill Bowen; Buddy's by Marvin Shaouni

From coney dogs to Detroit-style square pizza, Detroit has some pretty unique food options. Try all of the food items below and you’ll be considered a true Detroiter.

1. Coney Dogs:

Greek immigrant Gust Keros opened American Coney Island in 1917. Soon after, his brother opened Lafayette Coney Island next door, using a different recipe and initiating friendly competition. Both joints stand in their same spots today, inspiring Detroiters to pledge allegiance to one or the other.

2. Detroit-Style Pizza:

Think square pan, crunchy crust, deep-dish and full of flavor. Buddy’s, whose legendary pizza originated in Detroit in 1946, offers a Motor City Pizza Collection with pies named after the Detroit Zoo, The Parade Company, The Henry Ford and the DIA.

Hear about the history of Buddy’s and see some of their delicious menu options on their episode of Eats in The D.

A Buddys Pizza slice is some of the best pizza in Detroit

Buddy’s Pizzeria in Detroit

3. Rock ‘n’ Rye -Pulled Pork:

Detroit created the Faygo brand soft drink, but The D’s restaurants put a new spin on it. Grand Trunk Pub offers a Rock ‘n’ Rye pulled pork sandwich, piled with Rock ‘n’ Rye-barbecued pork, cheddar and coleslaw on Texas Toast.

4. Corktown S’more:

Green Dot Stables, a slider joint with a delicious selection of burgers, sides and desserts, is a local favorite. A must-try treat is the Corktown S’more, named after its nearby neighborhood and made with Nutella, cinnamon and marshmallow fluff. Mmmm.

5. Pontchartrain Punch:

Corktown’s Sugar House is known for craft cocktails and an extensive list of spirits. Try the Pontchartrain Punch, named after Detroit’s famous fort established by city founder Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. This delicious drink is made with Bombay gin, Alto Del Carmen pisco, pineapple, lemon and topped with sparkling wine. Who said history can’t be fun?

6. Detroit Dirty Martini:

Cliff Bell’s, Detroit’s famous jazz joint, serves up its signature Detroit Dirty Martini, which mixes Valentine vodka, distilled in the nearby suburb of Ferndale, and McClure’s brine. It’s then garnished with a McClure pickle — from the line of mouthwatering McClure goods that started in a tiny Michigan kitchen and are only manufactured in Detroit.

7. Kuzzo’s Fish and Chicken:

Former NFL cornerback and Detroit native Ron Bartell owns Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles, a southern comfort food joint serving up chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, Kool-Aid and more. Menu items include the Belle Isle Basket, a seafood and chips basket, and Red Wings, chicken wings marinated and grilled in Kuzzo’s spicy sauce.

8. Better Made-Battered:

The Grille Midtown is full of Detroit-themed menu items, such as the “Better Made” Chicken Tenders, battered in Detroit’s own Better Made brand potato chips, or the Loaded Midtown Fries, blackened filet tips, blue cheese-parmesan sauce, red peppers and onion strings. It’s an “upscale casual” way to chow down Detroit-style.

9. Middle Eastern Food:

If you’re looking for classic Middle Eastern menu items packed with flavor, Bucharest Grill has house made specialties and shawarmas that will have you drooling. Or head to Dearborn and visit Al-Ameer, Cedarland, Tuhama’s or another eatery, but don’t forget to snag some pistachio ice cream from Shatila Bakery for dessert.


Read more about food in Detroit.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    American Coney Island
    114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Lafayette Coney Island
    118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    Buddy's Pizza - Detroit
    17125 Conant St., Detroit, MI 48212
  4. 4
    Grand Trunk Pub
    612 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  5. 5
    Green Dot Stables
    2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48216
  6. 6
    Sugar House
    2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  7. 7
    Cliff Bell's
    2030 Park Ave., Detroit, MI 48226