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A guide to breakfast, lunch and dinner in Detroit near the NFL draft

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

Downtown Detroit’s restaurants, bars and coffee shops have been gearing up for the NFL draft, preparing to accommodate tens of thousands of hungry football fans expected to roam the various host sites April 25-27.

The areas around Campus Martius Park, down Woodward Avenue to Hart Plaza and the blocks in between feature a host of stellar eateries eager to welcome diners.

Grab a bite before the draft kicks off or take a break during all the festivities and pull up a seat at downtown-area restaurants offering an array of options from fine dining steaks and seafood to burgers, wings and pizza.

Some restaurants are new to the mix, having just opened in recent weeks, and, of course, there are the old favorites from Buddy’s Pizzeria to Detroit’s classic coney rivals, American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island, just a block or so from Campus Martius.

Many restaurants plan to extend hours and launch special menus during draft week. Keep in mind some restaurants may be closed at certain times for private parties.

Here is our guide to eateries near the action of the NFL draft:

11 spots for coffee, pastries or a great breakfast meal

Avalon Cafe and Bakery

This cafe is from the owners of Avalon International Breads, founded in Detroit’s Cass Corridor more than 25 years ago. The cafe is just a short walk from Campus Martius. Its menu features a wide selection of breads, pastries, breakfast, lunch and brunch fare. There’s also an extensive coffee bar and coffee cocktails.

1049 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-285-8006, avalonbreads.net

Cannelle by Matt Knio

It’ll be hard not to be wowed by the vast assortment of pastries that line the shelves at Cannelle. French delights like housemade macarons and pain au chocolate, berry tarts and baskets filled with baguettes will make it hard to choose just one treat. There are also salads, sandwiches and a coffee menu to boot.

45 W. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-694-9767, cannelledetroit.com

Coffee Down Under

Though it duals as a front for Shelby, the underground speakeasy set inside an old bank vault, Coffee Down Under is in fact a fully functioning coffee shop — and it serves some of the best coffee in downtown Detroit. Try the Magic, a short cup that layers ristretto (espresso of a higher concentration), steamed milk and a thin strip of milk foam. Or, get the flat white, a nod to the café’s Australian roots.

607 Shelby St., Basement, Detroit; 313-444-6626; coffeedownunder.com

Dime Store

This trendy breakfast, brunch and lunch spot is a block off Campus Martius. The restaurant inside the lobby of the Chrysler House at the corner of Griswold and Fort streets is also known for its brunch offerings as well as craft beers and cocktails. There are salads, soups and sandwiches. Its breakfast specialty is a variety of takes on eggs Benedict, poached eggs with housemade hollandaise, served with house breakfast potatoes, salad or fresh fruit.

719 Griswold, Detroit; 313-962-9106, eatdimestore.com

Good Cakes and Bakes

The James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef April Anderson garnered much acclaim for the first iteration of Good Cakes and Bakes on Detroit’s west side. Today, the Livernois Avenue location has undergone a renovation and the brand has expanded to a downtown location. Try any one of the pastries that earned Anderson the well-deserved nods she has, including the bakery’s famous peach cobbler and peach cobbler cookies.

22 W Columbia St., Detroit; 313-468-9915; goodcakesandbakes.com

Hudson Café

A mainstay on Woodard Avenue since 2011, Hudson Café is a popular downtown spot for breakfast and brunch. Omelets, pancakes, waffles and eggs Benedict are menu highlights. In 2023, the restaurant underwent an extensive remodel. The owners also opened new locations in Northville and Troy.

1241 Woodward, Detroit; 313-237-1000, hudson-cafe.com

James Oliver Guardian

With a new location in downtown Detroit’s historic Guardian Building, coffee lovers don’t have to venture to Corktown for James Oliver’s milky lattes, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and pastries.

500 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-209-4497; jamesolivercoffee.com

Madcap Coffee Co.

In Parker’s Alley, attached to the Shinola Hotel is Madcap Coffee, a minimalist coffee shop with a sleek, all-white interior and a simple menu. There are rotating seasonal options, such as the Tahitian Dream, an iced coffee modeled after a Mai Tai with notes of hibiscus, lime and an orange blossom syrup; as well as recurring staples, like the Miel, a latte with a touch of honey and cinnamon.

1413 Farmer St., Detroit; 888-866-9091, madcapcoffee.com

Presley’s Kitchen and Bar

New to downtown Detroit, Presley’s Kitchen and Bar is in the historic David Whitney Building and the Autograph Collection Hotel. Featuring a menu of American cuisine with cocktail and dinner menus, Presley’s Kitchen will also offer breakfast and lunch service. Presley’s, billed as a neighborhood restaurant, is one of the few restaurants on Woodward Avenue offering breakfast.

1 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-887-4044, presleyskitchen.com

SpkrBox

One of Detroit’s more unique coffee shops, Spkrbox is multifaceted. The cafe not only serves up strong caffeinated beverages, it also offers a full menu of coffee-based cocktails. And after hours, head into the basement for the techno bar. The dimly lit lounge feels like you’re dancing and drinking inside of, well, a giant speaker box.

200 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-496-1010; spkrbox.bar

The Clique Diner

In business for more than 55 years, The Clique is a Detroit classic best known for its no-frills breakfast staples. There are traditional diner favorites, such as scrambles, egg sandwiches, omelets and some of the fluffiest, buttery pancakes you’ll have. There are also Southern standouts, like salmon patties and the smoothest grits in town that need little more than a dollop of butter.

1326 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-259-0922, thecliquediner.com

8 spots for midday lunch

Anita’s Kitchen

If you’re looking for something light amid the big draft festivities, Anita’s Kitchen is worth a visit. The downtown Detroit location delivers the same Lebanese flavors you’d find at the restaurant’s Ferndale flagship in salads, boxed lunches, pita sandwiches and burgers. Try the tangy lemon lentil soup as a combo with a chicken feta fattoush salad and add a side of baklava, or a fruit smoothie to go.

150 W. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-771-3030, anitaskitchen.com

Central Kitchen + Bar

On the ground floor of the First National Building and steps from Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square, Central Kitchen + Bar offers an array of soups, salads and entrees, including a smash burger. Its shareables include flatbread, chicken wings and calamari.

660 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-771-3030, centraldetroit.com

Detroit Taco Bodega

Inside the new Cambria Hotel is Detroit Taco Bodega, a more casual option for hotel visitors. The eatery offers an unexpected fusion of Lebanese and Mexican flavors with street tacos filled with protein options like chicken shawarma, halal ground beef and veggies like sumac-marinated onions and avocado.

600 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-338-3528; detroittacobodega.com

La Lanterna

Founded in 1956 in the same Capitol Park neighborhood it calls home today, La Lanterna is a quaint, family-friendly restaurant offering simple bites and casual service. There are Italian favorites, like plump, house-made meatballs, prosciutto e meloné and an array of pastas and pizzas.

1224 Griswold St., Detroit, 313-962-8821; lalanternadetroit.com

Mootz Pizzeria + Bar

On Library Street, a short block off Woodward, Mootz Pizzeria + Bar features authentic New York-style pizza and a selection of starters, salads and pastas. Mootz also has an area for pizza slices to-go and a full beer, wine, and cocktail menu. Mootz’s new expanded space next door, called the Side Hustle, is expected to be open in time for the draft.

1230 Library St., Detroit; 313-243-1230, mootzpizzeria.com

Penny Red’s

There are two ways you’ll want to eat during the NFL draft — either quickly and on-the-go between events, or long communal outings where you’ll share bites and beverages with friends. Penny Red’s and its sister game room and sports bar The Brakemen offer both options. Grab a fried chicken sandwich to-go from the pickup window — choose between The Classic, topped with ranch, sweet pickles and hot honey; the K-Town Cutlet with toasted peanuts, chopped scallions and kimchi barbecue sauce; or the Dirty Coup with red slaw, crispy shallots and bacon. Or, order in and share buckets of fried chicken and biscuits with friends.

1445 Farmer St., Detroit, pennyreds.com

Sweetwater

As the unofficial dish of football season, a good serving of wings are a must. And Sweetwater Tavern’s wings are well-known as the best in town. The tangy, spicy, meaty wings served with herb-y fries have been sought-after for decades.

400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210, sweetwatertavern.net

Townhouse Detroit

A 2021 renovation brought a chic touch to the already popular Townhouse Detroit, a longtime destination for business gatherings and loungey lunches. Today, plush, velvet tufted banquettes in pastel colors fill the space both inside and in the newly minted bright and airy atrium. Menu highlights include crispy rice bars topped with raw bigeye tuna, black vinegar and nori mayonnaise; and a Michigan cherry dessert of cherry mousse and almond cake that is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Townhouse is steps from Hart Plaza.  

500 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 313-723-1000; townhousedetroit.com

20 spots for a stellar dinner

Adelina

New to downtown, Adelina made its debut in March, offering classic Italian cuisine with broader Mediterranean nuances. The restaurant is a collaboration between celebrity chef and restaurateur Fabio Viviani and local, veteran chefs Gabriel Botezan and Marco Dalla Fontana.

1040 Woodard Ave., Detroit; 313-246-8811, adelinadetroit.com

Ash Bar Detroit

At the Siren Hotel on Broadway, Ash Bar Detroit offers breakfast, lunch and dinner at various times throughout the day. Appetizers also are available along with classic cocktails and a full bar.  

1509 Broadway, Detroit; 313-290-0193, ash.world/dining/ash-bar-detroit/

Besa

At Besa, the menu focus is based on the European side of the Adriatic Sea. A selection of appetizers include seared manouri cheese and open-face spinach pie. There are also salads, dinner and side options and happy hour specials. A special for draft week is the Besa burger.

600 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-315-3000, besadetroit.com

Cibo

With the opening of the Cambria Hotel came the debut of a stylish restaurant with Middle Eastern flair. The restaurant offers standout brunch and lunch items, such as creamy whipped feta served with spicy Calabrian pepper honey, saffron pickled pear and an herbaceous shakshuka made with tomato chili sauce — often with the tunes of a live DJ spinning in the background. For dinner, a branzino is rubbed in pungent spices, fried whole and served with tabbouleh.

600 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-338-3529; cibodetroit.com

Hannah

There are plenty of steakhouses in downtown Detroit, but Hannah sets itself apart as an Asian fusion steakhouse. Here, there are wagyu sliders on the small plates menu, topped with yuzu pickles and a Japanese burger sauce. There’s also wagyu pepper skirt steak udon and a 38-ounce, dry-aged American wagyu bone-in tomahawk that can be paired with maitake, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, sake-sauteed onions or compound butters made with marrow, garlic tamari and a Thai nam jim sauce.  

607 Shelby St., No. 100, Detroit, 313-462-4722; hanahdetroit.com

Jacoby’s

More than a century since its founding — 120 years to be exact — Jacoby’s has cemented itself as a Detroit institution and one of the city’s oldest existing restaurants. The place serves up German beers and bites, such as kartoffelpuffer, or housemade potato pancakes served with apple sauce and sour cream, schnitzel and German, Belgian, English and Scottish brews.

624 Brush St., Detroit, 313-962-7067; jacobysbar.com

Leila

Leila is an upscale, Lebanese restaurant in historic downtown digs from a longtime restaurateur family. It’s quickly becoming downtown Detroit’s pinnacle of modern Lebanese cuisine in one of the city’s most visible historic quarters. Leila serves best-in-class versions of food that’s both familiar to and emblematic of the region, while exuding a grace and elegance that defies a large, high-volume restaurant.

1245 Griswold, Detroit; 313-816-8100, leiladetroit.com

Le Suprême

Inside the Book Tower is French restaurant Le Suprême, which celebrates the city’s foundation as a French territory. It landed at No. 4 on the 2024 Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Top 10 New Restaurants & Dining Experiences. Here, moules marinière are served in a Dutch oven, an umami broth of wine, butter, shallots and thyme pooling into each onyx shell. An herbaceous hunk of butter slides its way down a hot hanger steak for a plate of steak frites and trout amandine packs on a generous helping of thinly shaved almonds.

1265 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-597-7734, lesupremedetroit.com

London Chop House

London Chop House has a long history that dates to the 1950s. Step inside the dim space and you’ll witness the old-time charm. The room is filled with music by a live band, old photos and a glass case filled with boxes of cigars. Come for a range of steaks finished with garlic butter and served with au poivre, chimichurri or béarnaise sauce.

155 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-0277, thelondonchop.com

Maru Sushi

A go-to spot for sushi in downtown Detroit, Maru Sushi, inside the Federal Reserve Building (which also houses the Detroit Free Press), offers traditional Japanese cuisine combined with contemporary twists. The bar offers Japanese-focused cocktails, sake, wine and beer.

160 Fort St., Detroit; 313-315-3100, marusushi.com

Olin Bar & Kitchen

A classy American brasserie, bar and lounge with seasonal offerings of Mediterranean and Spanish influences, Olin offers fresh oysters, a variety of small plates, a cheese program and daily features. Its short rib burger with caramelized onions, boursin and American cheese, dijonnaise and fries is a favorite.

25 East Grand River, Detroit; 313-774-1191, olindetroit.com

Pao Detroit

Offering a supper club atmosphere with a menu of Asian-fusion, PAO Detroit is in housed in what was once the Oriental Theater, built in 1927. Its menu offerings, which include halal cuisine and vegetarian options, are designed to be shareable. You can also sip on rare Asian spirits and craft cocktails.

114 W. Adams, Suite 200, Detroit; 313-816-0000, paodetroit.com

Pegasus Taverna

This Greek restaurant has been a mainstay in Detroit’s Greektown district for more than two decades. The family-owned eatery offers traditional Greek cuisine in a casual atmosphere that’s perfect for families, social gatherings or special occasion dining. On the menu are favorites such as its famous saganaki — kasseri cheese set aflame with shouts of “Opa!,” its Greek salad and lamb chops.

558 Monroe St. Detroit; 313-964-6800, pegasustavernas.com

Prime and Proper

This Capitol Park eatery extols a modern take on the classic American steakhouse. Here, the Prime + Proper’s steakhouse fare blends in an elevated way with the atmosphere, experience, hospitality and food. The Capitol Park steakhouse is a 1%-er joint at its heart — a showy room of fire and ice, meat displays and perhaps one too many patterns.

145 Griswold, Detroit; 313-636-3100 primeandproperdetroit.com

San Morello

On the ground floor of the Shinola Hotel on Woodward, San Morello from chef Andrew Camellini is a menu inspired by southern Italy and Sicily, offering authentic, wood-fired dishes, pizzas and housemade pastas with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

1400 Woodward, Detroit; 313-209-4700, sanmorello.com

Savannah Blue

This Black-owned restaurant has been serving up soul food dishes from its second-level space in downtown Detroit since 2016. The James Beard Award-nominated spot has become best known for its warm hospitality, crispy catfish, meaty oxtails and whole red snapper with Cajun beef sausage.

1431 Times Square, Detroit, 313-926-0783; savannahbluedetroit.com

Sexy Steak

As its name implies, Sexy Steak is an Italian steakhouse that places an emphasis on sex appeal. Here, steak knives are emblazoned with the phrase “you’re so sexy,” a term that echoes in neon lights in the dining room. There are aphrodisiacs, like a menu of oysters, and steaks come with an option of “sexy sauces” — salsa verde, truffle butter, Café de Paris butter and Detroit Sexy Zip.  

1942 Grand River Ave., Detroit, 313-403-1000; sexysteakdetroit.com

The Statler

This French-American Bistro features bistro classics and contemporary twists on French cuisine. Its menu includes classic steak frites (steak and fries), Coquilles St. Jacques, a scallop dish in wine sauce and steak au poivre. The restaurant is located on the corner of Washington Boulevard and West Grand River Avenue. There’s an outdoor patio, weather permitting, with portable heaters and fire pits, year-round, with views of nearby Grand Circus Park and the Detroit skyline.

313 Park, Detroit; 313-463-7111 statlerdetroit.com

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

This steakhouse is on the ground floor of the Westin Book Cadillac on Washington Boulevard. Its main menu focus is, of course, its signature prime, dry-aged and hand-cut steaks. Here, steaks range in size and cut from an 8-ounce filet mignon to a 22-ounce bone-in ribeye and a 40-ounce prime porterhouse. Selections also include wagyu strip, Tomahawk ribeye and roasted rack of lamb. There’s also a selection of seafood and chicken, soups, salads and side dishes.

1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-591-2495, sullivanssteakhouse.com

Wright & Co.

In the heart of downtown, you can take in the bustling Woodward Avenue view from the oversized, second-floor windows and admire the tin ceiling and overall gorgeous space at Wright & Co. Here, you can nosh on a selection of stylish small plates while sipping classic and craft cocktails. The concept here is creating and showcasing seasonal offerings as composed shared plates. Its massive bar is one of the best places to sit where you can order from the full menu. Impressive Wright & Co. is in the stately old Wright Kay building at Woodward and John R.

1500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7711 wrightdetroit.com