Best Restaurants near Suburban CollectionModified: November 07, 2022 | Story by Brandon Alger
The Suburban Collection Showplace is a vast 460,000-square-foot exposition center in the outer suburbs of Detroit. It attracts people from around the world for its conferences and exposition halls. Many of these events are catered, and there is even dining on-site at the Fireside Grill Patio, known for its convenience and delicious wings, but what if you wanted something different? What is nearby the collection that can offer a unique flavor and where are you getting Detroit Style pizza before you leave?
This may depend on how you’re getting around, and how much time you have.
With its location many miles outside of the Motor City, there’s an assumption that you’ve rented a car to get here, but that isn’t always the case, or maybe you don’t want to deal with traffic on Grand River. If this is you, you can consider these options:
- Gatsby’s: Gatsby’s is simple. It’s pub food with a great selection of beer. They recently updated its menu in July of 2022 to include simple hamburgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads. This isn’t a pretentious pub. Don’t expect high-class dining, but if you want a burger and a beer it’ll hit the spot.
- Szechuan Fan: You may find mixed reviews online, but this is largely attributed to how you’re not getting cheap chicken and rice here. This is not your standard mall-style American-Chinese cuisine. Szechuan Fan is a few steps above that. It’s also going to be very busy, with a smaller dining area. Takeout is going to be the better option, but the food is great; it is one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants you’ll find in Metro Detroit.
Within a 5 to 10-minute drive
If you’re willing to drive for a few minutes, this opens up your options considerably. Most places are going to be found a few minutes east in the Novi Town Center, or north of the 96, near 12 Mile and Novi Road which, depending on traffic, should be under 10 minutes. Some of my nearby favorites include:
- Nagomi Japanese Restaurant: Nagomi is a place that makes me forget I’m in the Detroit suburbs. The menu caters to those who want authentic Japanese. Those of us that don’t speak Japanese, like me, will rely on selecting little photo cards to order and taking them to the counter. The food comes up as it is ready. The ramen and stir fry are incredible and the price is very reasonable.
- Buddy’s Pizza: You must try Detroit-Style pizza while you are here. It is objectively superior to NY-Style, California-style, and that tomato soup they make in Chicago. My favorite spot is Loui’s in Hazel Park, but the best place to start is Buddy’s Pizza. Fortunately for you, there’s a Buddy’s here in Novi, on 12 Mile, west of Novi Road. If you’re feeling adventurous and have some time, I recommend checking out the original Buddy’s location at McNichols and Conant; in Detroit, but it’s easily a half-hour drive from Novi. Either way, the pizza is the same and it’s great.
- Kura Revolving Sushi Bar – If you want Japanese, but maybe something less authentic or street-food feeling than Nagomi, Kura is worth a look. It’s still pretty new, so the wait can be long at peak times, but you can check into the queue using their app. The sushi comes on a conveyor belt and your drinks are served by a robot. It’s an experience unlike any other restaurant and if you appreciate Japanese culture, this is a must.
- The Grand Diner – Do you want to try something unique to Detroit? Get a coney dog. I’m a transplant to the region myself, and the best way I can describe a coney is that it’s a better chili dog made with a thinner meat sauce. You can get one near the Suburban Showplace at The Grand Diner is a very unpretentious diner with an Americana feel, west of the Suburban Collection, near Wixom Road.
- Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk – On the north side of I-96 and tucked back you’ll find Twelve Mile Crossing which is full of unique dining options ranging from Black Rock, an upscale chain known for steak, to Beerhead Bar where you can get a bud light and a pizza. Afterward, if you have time, you can visit the axe-throwing gym to work off those calories, or the nearby escape room for an obligatory team-building event.
About a 10-minute drive
Metro Detroit has a wealth of walkable suburban downtowns that have kept their classic feel and character, and microbreweries. I like to show friends and family around places like this any time they visit, and here are some of my favorites near the Suburban Collection:
- Downtown Northville – Northville is a quaint, upscale downtown that takes up a couple of blocks about 4 miles south of the Suburban Collection. Whether you’re getting diner food from Rebecca’s, bubble tea from the Tea Gather, or looking for a classic Detroit automotive-themed burger bar at the Garage Grill, Northville has many options, and I can’t possibly name all of them. If it’s fall, be sure to stop by Parmenter’s Cider Mill for cider and donuts too, as is required of any late-year visit to Michigan.
- Drafting Table Brewing Company – Northwest of Novi is Wixom. On your way to Drafting Table, along Wixom Road, you’ll drive past what was once the Ford Wixom Assembly Plant. This now decommissioned plant operated from 1957-2007 building Lincolns and the Ford Thunderbird. Today it is a site of active redevelopment, but half a mile north is home to some great microbrews. No food here, but there’s often a food truck or you can grab something to eat from Train’s Edge, or try some Detroit-style pizza from Jets.
- Draught Horse Brewing – If you want a microbrew, but prefer to not go to two places to get food too, Draught Horse in Lyon Township is an option. It’s about a 12-minute drive northwest, on Grand River. It has your standard brewery menu with appetizers, burgers, and salads, but the customizable Mac & Cheese is my preference. At lunchtime, you can also get a pizza and a pint for about $10.
There are literally hundreds of options in and around Novi and these are only some of my favorites. Whether you want to enjoy the concentration of Asian food in Novi, walk around the traditional downtown of Northville, or try something very Detroit and experience a crispy square pizza or a Coney dog, it’s worth your time to explore a bit and enjoy some of the options around the Suburban Collection.