11 Detroit Restaurants That Keep Us Coming Back for More

Modified: July 08, 2022 | 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. 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.
  5. 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

  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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

  10. Nemo’s in Corktown is a Detroit classic with a simple bar menu dominated by simply great burgers.
  11. 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.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Jacoby's German Biergarten
    624 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Mario's Restaurant
    4222 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  3. 3
    Traffic Jam & Snug
    511 W. Canfield St., Detroit, MI 48201
  4. 4
    The Whitney
    4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  5. 5
    Union Street Detroit
    4145 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  6. 6
    Sweet Water Tavern
    400 E. Congress St., Detroit, MI 48226
  7. 7
    Pegasus Taverna
    24935 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
  8. 8
    Fishbone's - Detroit
    400 Monroe St., Detroit, MI 48226
  9. 9
    Fishbone's - St. Clair Shores
    23722 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48080
  10. 10
    Nemo's Bar
    1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  11. 11
    Niki's Pizza
    735 Beaubien St., Detroit, MI 48226