Detroit has recently taken the “foodie” world by storm. With National Geographic naming The D an “unexpected city for food lovers” and Detroit-style pizza finally getting the recognition it deserves, the restaurant scene in the city finds itself bursting at its delicious seams. The rest of the country is finally catching on to what locals have known all along – one of the best activities in Detroit is eating.
It’s hard to narrow down the best places to grab snacks, soup, sweets and savories across the city, with each neighborhood curating their own unique sets of restaurants, menus and ambiances. But the downtown Detroit core has always had a range of powerhouse food stops and the list continues to grow.
Looking for a casual yet lovable dive bar before you hit Ford Field for a Lions’ victory? Downtown has that. Seeking a super classy date night before a show at the Fox Theatre? This area of the city has that, too.
Downtown Detroit Restaurants
Here’s the lowdown to eating like a local for any occasion in downtown Detroit:
- Dime Store
One of the best brunch spots in the city, Dime Store’s downtown location in the Chrysler House serves up eggs benedict, hashes and gourmet mac and cheeses that would make any foodie smile.
Perfect for: Saturday (and maybe even Sunday too…) brunch with good friends who don’t mind squeezing into the busy space for a couple delicious bloody marys.
- Central Kitchen + Bar
Central’s prime location in downtown’s Cadillac Square makes it a perfect stop for any meal, any time of year. Overlooking Campus Martius Park, Central is one of the best stops for dinner after a day of ice skating, live music or beach time at the park.
Perfect for: A glass of wine and appetizers before an exciting night out. (Extra points for visiting Central’s to-die-for patio during the summer.)
- Savannah Blue
Savannah Blue touts itself as being Detroit’s stop for southern flavors and it doesn’t disappoint on that guarantee. Their menu is full of catfish, fried chicken and grits that would fit into any southerner’s idea of amazing soul food.
Perfect for: A traditional date night for a couple seeking an nontraditional menu and great ambiance.
- American Coney Island/Lafayette Coney Island
A two-for-one stop, but only if you haven’t picked your favorite yet. Locals know, once you pick a favorite downtown Coney Island, you’re locked into that choice for life – switching allegiances from Lafayette to American (and vice versa) is frowned upon in these parts. That being said, a Coney dog is a vital part of any good Detroiter’s diet.
Perfect for: A classic taste-of-Detroit meal after a ballgame at Comerica Park or after a night out at one of downtown’s many bars.
- Avalon International Breads
One of Detroit’s most beloved bakeries, Avalon’s downtown location is one of their newest outposts in the city. A staple in the Midtown neighborhood for a number of years, Avalon’s new space offers some of their classic baked goods and new salad and sandwich options.
Perfect for: A casual lunch that includes both great local beer and savory vegan carrot cake.
- Grand Trunk Pub
The name acting as an ode to one of Detroit’s most prolific rail lines, Grand Trunk Pub is a favorite local bar with a comfy, familiar atmosphere. The bar supplies patrons with an enormous selection of local draft beers (and some of the yummiest fries in the city!)
Perfect for: An after-work or after-conference drink for unwinding with coworkers after a tough work day.
- Wright & Co.
One of downtown’s newer additions, Wright & Co. has made a name for itself quickly, and for good reason – their food is excellent for any nice night out on the town. With ambiance and decor that is unmatched, Wright & Co. can make any culinary experience special.
Perfect for: Drinks and dinner with a sweetheart or good friends who appreciate beautiful atmospheres.
- Golden Fleece
Serving up classic fare in Greektown, Golden Fleece’s gyros are no joke – people travel from around the area just to grab one for lunch. Golden Fleece reminds us that the golden days of traditional cuisine are never out of style.
Perfect for: A pre-game pump-up meal before any Detroit sporting event.
- Astoria Pastry Shop
Dessert counts as an entire meal, right? A hometown favorite, Astoria has been serving up treats to Detroiters for decades, with hundreds of sweets to choose from all day.
Perfect for: Whenever the sweet tooth calls for it.
Whether you’re in the mood for classic Detroit dishes or jumping headfirst into the city’s vibrant culinary scene, Detroit’s downtown neighborhood is one of the best places to start any foodie adventure.
Read more about Detroit restaurants.