There are so many incredible restaurants in Detroit that it was hard for me to narrow it down to this short list. Amazing chefs from around the country are moving to Detroit to start up these innovative, cutting-edge restaurants because of the accessibility and opportunity the city provides. It's incredible to witness and take part in.
Selden Standard | 3921 2nd Ave.
Seasonal, locally-sourced small plates and craft cocktails are the focus at this stylish New American restaurant. Selden consistently produces some of the best dishes I've ever tasted. The menu features simple, fresh ingredients that are extremely well-executed. Their menu changes often, so there's been new items every time we've gone, but some of our favourites include the beef tartare, cauliflower with tahini, smoked potato and charred octopus (the best octopus ever. no, seriously).
Katoi | 2520 Michigan Ave.
I love the story behind Katoi (to read the whole thing go to their website), but they started as a food truck behind Two James Distillery in Corktown. It was so successful they bought a building down the street and opened a full restaurant, which they call "the mothership". I would describe the food at Katoi as American-Thai. It's SO FLAVOURFUL. It's colorful, fresh, vibrant, inventive and crazy delicious. Like Selden Standard, their menu changes often, so be prepared to see new things every time you go. Some of our favourites are the fried chicken, crispy rice, spare ribs and my absolute favorite thing on the menu is the sweet potatoes (if you don't like this dish, then something's wrong with you. like, for real).
Standby | 225 Gratiot Ave.
The cocktails at Standby are some of the best I've ever had, and the food is just as good. It's located in the Belt in downtown Detroit, one of the coolest places to visit. Our favourite thing on the menu is the burger. Now, I'm not a huge burger fan, but this is THE best burger I've ever tasted. No joke. I had a dream about this burger. For cocktails, my favourite is the Club Yellow and Kyle's favourite is the Benton's Old Fashioned, but they're all delicious (not that we've tasted them all, wink wink).
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails | 15 E. Kirby St. Suite D.
Fresh, seasonal, local produce is the focus at Chartreuse. With a large living wall and everything in shades of green, you feel like you're in a greenhouse (in a good way). The menu is fantastic, make sure you try the twice cooked egg and the steak poke.
Slows BBQ | 2138 Michigan Ave.
I was hesitant about putting Slows on the list because it's quite different from the other restaurants I've mentioned. But the food is so good I couldn't not mention it. When you're in the mood for a simple, hearty, comfort-food type meal, this is the place. I almost always order the pulled pork (how can you not, when it's THAT delicious?!), sweet potato mash and coleslaw; and I always leave satisfied and very full.
The Sugar House | 2130 Michigan Ave.
Located in Corktown, next to Astro, this cocktail bar is top notch. The atmosphere is dimly lit, cozy and intimate. The menu is extensive and a little overwhelming, but the staff are super personable and can easily direct your attention to a cocktail you would enjoy. My favourite cocktails are the Maple Leaf, Detective Inspector and Brown Derby #1. Kyle's favourites are the Fagin, EFK and the Manhattan.
Other places we recommend:
Grey Ghost | 47 E. Watson St.
Gold Cash Gold | 2100 Michigan Ave.
Wright & Co | 1500 Woodward Ave.
Rose's Fine Foods |10551 E Jefferson Ave.
Sister Pie |8066 Kercheval Ave.
Roast |1128 Washington Blvd.
Are you hungry now?! Yeah, me too. Let's go to Detroit! You pick the restaurant, I'll drive.