Story by Danielle Alexander | Photos by Michelle & Chris Gerard
In addition to being home to the Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak is also very much known for its diverse and delicious food options.
If you’re planning to spend some time in this Oakland County city, be sure to schedule your visit around meal times at one of the following restaurants.
Royal Oak Restaurants
1. Mesa Tacos & Tequila
Located right on Main Street, Mesa is the place to be if you are a tequila lover. Mesa offers about 100 different tequilas and a taste of authentic Mexican flavor right in the heart of Royal Oak.
What to try: Carnitas de Puerco tacos and tequila, obviously
2. Café Muse
Named “best sandwich in Oakland County,” Café Muse is known for its unique menu, which co-owner Greg Reyner refers to as “comfort food with a twist.” It’s open for both breakfast and lunch daily, and its dinner menu is served Wednesdays-Saturdays.
What to try: Grilled cheese
Cafe Muse by Michelle & Chris Gerard
3. Pinky’s Rooftop
Pinky’s is Royal Oak’s most innovative bar, and the one with the best view. Offering fun and unique appetizers, like charred octopus or brussels sprouts bruschetta, and quirky drinks like their ice pops. Plus, the entire restaurant is decorated in pink, naturally!
What to try: Dancing Raspberries cocktail and the Beauty School Dropout dessert
Inn Season Café is the go-to Royal Oak restaurant for those following vegetarian-vegan plant-based diets, as well as those who either like (or need to like) healthier food options. All organic, Inn Season Café’s food is prepared in-house with “love and careful attention to detail.”
What to try: Any/every stir fry
5. Jolly Pumpkin
Jolly Pumpkin is known for its vegan-friendly, sour beers and their unforgettable food menu, as well. From salads to sandwiches to entrees and even brunch, Jolly Pumpkin will not disappoint.
What to try: South Pacific Pizza
Photo courtesy of Jolly Pumpkin.
6. Lily’s Seafood Grill & Brewery
If “quality food, perfectly crafted micro-brews and a cozy, relaxed, family friendly atmosphere” appeals to you, you need to check out Lily’s. Although there are many non-seafood options on the menu, Lily’s has remained one of the best seafood restaurants in metro Detroit for years.
What to try: Cracker Crusted Great Lakes White Fish
7. Redcoat Tavern
Located outside Downtown Royal Oak, Redcoat Tavern is the go-to spot for the best burgers in Detroit and more. This veteran British-American pub offers guests many beer options, as well as a retro, red-booth vibe.
What to try: Piedmontese Hamburger
8. Ronin Sushi
The fish served at Ronin comes from all over the world, including Japan, Chile, Indonesia and Australia. The sushi is made with premium short-grain Koshihikari rice. Not a sushi person? No worries. Ronin’s kitchen menu is just as popular as its sushi menu!
What to try: Cha Cha Roll and Wasabi-whipped potatoes
D’Amato’s has offered an upscale Italian experience in an old school atmosphere for over 22 years. Pair your authentic Italian meals with house-crafted martinis.
What to try: Penne with Mrs. P’s Palomino Sauce
10. The Morrie
Great food. Delicious drinks. Live music. And a fantastic brunch. What more could you need? The Morrie combines all the ingredients to a fun night out into one. Make a reservations to ensure you have a seat.
What to try: Roadhouse Ribs
Bigalora is a metro Detroit staple that features Napoletana-style pizza with Michigan’s first biga fermented pizza dough, which undergoes a natural 72 hour fermentation without the use of commercial yeast or added sugar. But they offer more than just pizza — their pastas and appetizers are equally popular.
What to try: Strozzapreti Norcina
Freelance writer Danielle Alexander loves Royal Oak but often has a difficult time deciding where to eat since everything is just THAT good!