12 Detroit Restaurants That Keep Us Coming Back for More

April 18, 2018  |   Story by Michelle Fusco   |   Photos by Bill Bowen

Sure, Detroit’s restaurant scene is exploding with new dining options. But what about the ones that have been around for years, stood the test of time and helped define the destination? Here – in no particular order – is a partial list of The D’s longstanding dining traditions.

  1. Proudly boasting the title of downtown’s oldest saloon, Jacoby’s German Biergarten has been serving potato pancakes, sauerkraut, sausage and schnitzel to Detroiters for more than a century!
  2. At Mario’s in Midtown Detroit, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018, tuxedo-clad waiters cook old world Italian dishes table-side. Enjoy live entertainment and ballroom dancing every Friday and Saturday night. Check out their Broadway Dinner & Show packages, including complimentary shuttle service.
  3. Since 1965, the eclectic Traffic Jam & Snug has been a Midtown go-to, known for its scratch menu, in-house bakery, microbrewery and Michigan’s smallest licensed dairy.

    Traffic Jam and Snug sandwich

    Traffic Jam and Snug sandwich.

  4. New Parthenon has a 40-year track record as a Greektown favorite. With an upbeat, Mediterranean-inspired atmosphere and two private dining areas, the restaurant is great for groups.
  5. Housed in the 1890s mansion of a local lumber baron, The Whitney’s menu offers classic American cuisine, with spectacular dinners, an expansive wine list, weekend brunch and afternoon tea service. The icing on the cake is an upscale Ghostbar lounge, Thursday night Garden Parties with live bands and a “dessert parlor” that serves cakes, tortes, pies and flaming confections. One of Detroit’s culinary leaders since 1986.
  6. Art deco Union Street Detroit has been pleasing patrons for more than 25 years, with a menu that ranges from soups and sandwiches to lamb chops and filet mignon. Enjoy their generous happy hour (and try the Dragon Eggs!).

    Union Street Detroit dining

    Union Street Detroit dining room

  7. Majestic Café is part of an historic landmark entertainment complex on Woodward Avenue that includes live-music rooms, a bowling alley, pool hall and rooftop bar. Featuring Sunday brunch and a free events shuttle.
  8. Sweet Water Tavern, housed in one of the city’s first buildings, is renowned for its signature chicken wings and award-winning ribs. A must-try for any Detroit visitor.
  9. Pegasus Taverna has been a staple of Greektown for more than two decades. Combine the famous flaming cheese appetizer with a fresh Greek salad and sizzling lamb chops and you’ll soon be shouting “Opa!” Open until 3 a.m. during the week and 4 a.m. on weekends.
  10. Fishbone’s serves up seafood, steak and sushi with a Creole flair along with breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m. The Greektown restaurant, popular for almost three decades, has expanded with locations in Southfield and St. Clair Shores.

    Shrimp dish at Fishbones in Greektown Detroit

    Fishbones Detroit by Jay Vaughn

  11. Nemo’s in Corktown is a Detroit classic with a simple bar menu dominated by simply great burgers.
  12. Since 1980, Niki’s Pizza has featured nationally-recognized square deep dish pizza, authentic Greek dishes and delicious salad dressing that you can purchase by the bottle to take home. Seasonal outdoor dining is another great reason to try Niki’s.

 

Discover more of the best restaurants in Detroit.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Jacoby's German Biergarten
    624 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-7067 Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Mario's Restaurant
    4222 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-832-1616 Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Traffic Jam & Snug
    511 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48202313-831-9470 Highlight on map | More Details
  4. New Parthenon Restaurant
    547 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-963-8888 Highlight on map | More Details
  5. The Whitney
    4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-832-5700 Highlight on map | More Details
  6. Union Street Detroit
    4145 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-831-3965 Highlight on map | More Details
  7. The Majestic Cafe
    4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202313-833-9700 Highlight on map | More Details
  8. Sweet Water Tavern
    400 E. Congress St., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-2210 Highlight on map | More Details
  9. Pegasus Taverna
    24935 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080586-772-3200 Highlight on map | More Details
  10. Fishbone's - Detroit
    400 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226313-965-4600 Highlight on map | More Details
  11. Fishbone's - St. Clair Shores
    23722 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080586-498-3000 Highlight on map | More Details
  12. Nemo's
    1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-965-3180 Highlight on map | More Details
  13. Niki's Pizza
    735 Beaubien St., Detroit, MI 48226313-961-4303 Highlight on map | More Details