Eating Your Way through Corktown Detroit Restaurants

Modified: October 25, 2018 | Story by Michelle Fusco | Photos by Bucharest Grille

No one leaves Corktown hungry. Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, originally an Irish enclave, is a treasure trove of popular Detroit restaurants. Brunch menus, vegan-friendly dishes and outdoor patios are big here. Filled with history, character and charm, every Corktown Detroit restaurant you visit has the potential of being your new favorite.

Breakfast in Corktown Detroit Restaurants

Fuel up at Astro Coffee, the preferred stop of coffee connoisseurs, featuring specialty roasters from around the country. Grab a house-made bagel at the cozy Detroit Institute of Bagels or “break the fast” with an omelet, quiche, breakfast hash, banana walnut pancakes, scones, or – if need be – The Hangover Special at Brooklyn Street Local.

Detroit Institute of Bagels, a Corktown Detroit restaurant

Lunch: A Casual Affair

Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop has been a mainstay in Corktown for a decade. It’s the place to go for sandwich masterpieces, homemade soups plus craft beer, wine and cocktails. Mercury Burger & Bar is a must-stop for 15 different varieties of D-licious burgers and decadent milkshakes — including a Faygo orange creamsicle or Vernors float. Choose tater tots, wings, fried meatballs and other $2 lunch specials — yep, you read that right – at Corktown Tavern. The upstairs of this simple neighborhood bar with a “shot and a beer” atmosphere hosts live bands. It’s decisions, decisions at Bobcat Bonnie’s. With a menu full of palate-pleasing dishes, it’s always a challenge to narrow down your order at this high-quality gastropub.

Mercury Burger Bar

Dinner: Things Just Got Interesting…

Corktown Detroit can trace its resurgence to the opening of Slows Bar BQ back in 2005. It quickly became a destination restaurant and has expanded to other locations in Midtown, Pontiac and Grand Rapids, Mich. The restaurant’s rabid popularity inspired other restaurateurs to roll the dice on Corktown. See what all the hype is about — order up some pulled pork, dry-smoked ribs, or the famous Yardbird sandwich (mustard-soaked pulled chicken).

Ottava Via gets Italian right with sausage and polenta, house-made mozzarella, stone-fired pizzas, pastas and a signature porchetta. An outdoor patio features a fireplace and bocce court.

In just a little over a year, Ima, a modern Japanese noodle shop, has earned rave reviews from local media, including Eater Detroit’s Restaurant of the Year in 2017. It’s no wonder, with its jicama shell tacos, spicy pork udon and rice bowls, served in a casual, communal setting.

Ima a Corktown Detroit restaurant

Ima Noodles

Gold Cash Gold, former home of a pawn shop, offers a serious feast of flavors with creative craft cocktails to seal the deal. Groups can reserve the Kitchen Table, with a view of skillful chefs practicing their craft.

The Thai fusion menu at Takoi earned recognition as a Best New Restaurant from the Detroit Free Press. Detroit foodies cheered when the restaurant reopened in summer 2017, six months after a fire closed its doors.

Dinner at Lady of the House is a culinary event. The menu is fresh and creative, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Corktown’s latest sensation was nominated for Best New Restaurant in the Country by the James Beard Foundation.

Find Red Dunn Kitchen in Corktown’s newly renovated Trumbull and Porter hotel, where the seasonal menu offers “Detroit-style American cuisine.”

Late Night Tummy Rumbles

After the concert, game or just a night of carousing, you might need a little snack at a Corktown Detroit restaurant. You can’t beat the chicken, beef or veggie shawarmas wrapped in a pita at Bucharest Grille. Nemo’s, a Detroit classic, is an especially popular spot before and after Detroit sporting events, with a convenient shuttle bus. Or hit Nancy Whiskey for pub fare served with a side of live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Bucharest Grill food, a Corktown Detroit restaurant

Bucharest Grill

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Astro Coffee
    2124 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-808-0351Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Detroit Institute of Bagels
    1236 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-444-9342Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Brooklyn Street Local
    1266 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-262-6547Highlight on map | More Details
  4. Mudgie’s Deli & Wine Shop
    1413 Brooklyn St., Detroit, MI 48226313-961-2000Highlight on map | More Details
  5. Mercury Burger & Bar
    2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-964-5000Highlight on map | More Details
  6. Corktown Tavern
    1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-964-5103Highlight on map | More Details
  7. Bobcat Bonnie's
    1800 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-962-1383Highlight on map | More Details
  8. Slows Bar BQ
    2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-962-9828Highlight on map | More Details
  9. Ottava Via
    1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-962-5500Highlight on map | More Details
  10. Ima
    2015 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-502-5959Highlight on map | More Details
  11. Gold Cash Gold
    2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-242-0770Highlight on map | More Details
  12. Takoi
    2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-855-2864Highlight on map | More Details
  13. Lady of the House
    1426 Bagley St., Detroit, MI 48216313-818-0218Highlight on map | More Details
  14. Red Dunn Kitchen
    1331 Trumbull Ave., Ste. 100, Detroit, MI 48216313-887-9477Highlight on map | More Details
  15. Bucharest Grill - Corktown
    1623 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216313-965-3111Highlight on map | More Details
  16. Nemo's Bar
    1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-965-3180Highlight on map | More Details
  17. Nancy Whiskey
    2644 Harrison St., Detroit, MI 48216313-962-4247Highlight on map | More Details