6 Must-Try James Beard Award-Winning Restaurants in Detroit

Modified: July 08, 2022 | Story by Lindsay Whitman Drewes | Photos by Emily Berger, Lady of the House

Seven of Detroit’s restaurants or chefs have recently been nationally recognized by the James Beard Foundation for making America’s food culture “more delicious, diverse and sustainable.” The best culinary creations in America are just around the corner. Don’t miss these foodie gems in The D.

Lena Sareini at Selden Standard

Lena Sareini was a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2018. You can find her creating amazing pastries that are truly works of art at Selden Standard. Selden Standard is known for creating delish dishes from in-season, local ingredients. Make sure to follow Lena Sareini on Instagram (@lenapatissier) to see her latest pastry creations.


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Thomas Lents at Apparatus Room and Chef’s Table

Thomas Lents’ culinary career has taken him across the globe to many highly rated restaurants and landed him back home in Michigan at Apparatus Room and Chef’s Table, both at the Detroit Foundation Hotel.  Lents is a two Michelin-starred chef and was a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2018 and 2015. At Chef’s Table, you can expect an intimate dining experience as seating is limited to only 12 dinners each Friday and Saturday night.


Standby is a Detroit favorite focused on creating incredible drinks in their cocktail lab that are paired with excellent service and fine food. The James Beard Foundation took note of this and Standby was a semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program in 2018 and 2017.

Andy Hollyday at Selden Standard

Andy Hollyday is a partner and executive chef behind the rustic, casual atmosphere of Selden Standard. His creative efforts at Selden Standard have not gone unnoticed by restaurant goers or the folks at the James Beard Foundation. Andy has been a semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2017, 2016 and 2015. Selden Standard is known for high-quality, fresh local eats that are artfully prepared.


Takoi was recognized in 2017 as a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. This Thai inspired, trendy restaurant started creating delicious bites from a food truck before opening a permanent location in 2016. Stop in for live music on Fridays and Saturdays or reserve your spot for the Green Room dinner series to try out the chef’s latest concoctions.

Lisa Ludwinski at Sister Pie

Lisa Ludwinski was a James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Baker in 2018 and 2017. She shares her creations with Detroit from her own bakery, Sister Pie. Sister Pie is a true work of love for Lisa as she built it from the ground up. She started in her mom’s kitchen, learned through Build Institute, and continued to grow with campaigns through KIVA and Indiegogo to create the booming business you see today. Stay up-to-date on what’s fresh from the oven on her Instagram page (@sisterpiedetroit) and pick up a copy of her new cookbook Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit.


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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Selden Standard
    3921 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  2. 2
    Apparatus Room
    250 W. Larned St., Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    Detroit Foundation Hotel
    250 W. Larned St., Detroit, MI 48226
  4. 4
    225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  5. 5
    2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  6. 6
    Sister Pie
    8066 Kercheval Ave, Detroit, MI 48214, USA