Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Jun 13, 2007 08:57 AM


You go to New York for street hot dogs or Nathans, pizza, and other street food, Chicago has Chicago dogs and Italian Beef. Going to Detriot......where do I go for street style food.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thats a tough one. IMHO there are few street vendors in the downtown area...serving hot dogs and sausages from a cart. I don't think any of them have any type of following. Greektown is a traditional stop for tourists (Astoria Bakery). Thee really is not one concentrated area of vendors or street type food. people do seem to crave our coney dogs though.

    1. It is the noble coney dog you seek. A simple hot dog on a white bun, topped with sludgy chili, mustard, and onions. In Michigan, if you seek a pleasant peninsula or a coney dog, look about you. But Detroit ground zero for the coney (known as a "Michigan" in upstate New York and parts of Quebec) is Lafayette Street downtown, just where it begins at Michigan Avenue. There you will be brusquely served at the adjacent Lafayette or American coney islands, will enjoy your lunch, will spill chili and onions all over the counter, will not care, will leave a tip, and will get change back from a five-dollar bill.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Jim M

        I LOVE "if you seek a pleasant peninsula...look about you." Lotsa don't know that's our motto.
        Since we're in the summer months, and we're talking "street food" or what it may be called in Detroit...we have excellent summer fairs in Hart Plaza almost every weekend, and you will find ribs, sandwiches, chicken, souvlaki, the normal offerings like hamburgers, hot dogs, normal fair-food. But you will find specialized vendors, too. All this to say that you won't be disappointed.

        1. re: amandaqtpie

          Si quaeris canem coneyam circumspice . . . doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? The other everyday food institution around here, certainly not unique to Michigan but more common here than anywhere else, is the falafel/shawarma/pita sandwich joint. For reasons I don't fully understand, there are few in the central city. But in the suburbs they're everywhere. Along Warren Avenue in Dearborn, where signs will be in Arabic and English, they're incredibly cheap and almost all good.

          1. re: Jim M

            "But in the suburbs they're everywhere. Along Warren Avenue in Dearborn, where signs will be in Arabic and English, they're incredibly cheap and almost all good."

            Jim, any specific recommendations for places that specifically serve *lamb* shawarma or ghallarba? Too many places won't serve the lamb because they believe (sometimes rightly so) that the American palette doesn't care for it. But I do! I like Shish Kabob Express in Southfield in the outlot of the former Tel-Twelve mall (good lamb ghallarba and really good fatoosh salad and garlic sauce), but want to branch out a bit. Mr. Kabob in Berkley is tempting, but no lamb there!

            1. re: boagman

              Boagman, have you tried the lamb ghallarba at Pine Land Restaurant? If not, you should. I was turned on to this place many years ago by a good old friend from Lebanon, and I have to agree that it is the best Lebanese food in the area (at least that I've tried). The lamb shank is also excellent.

              Pine Land Restaurant
              734-421-4084 8207 N Middlebelt Rd, Westland, MI 48185

              1. re: Jeff from Michigan

                I've heard about Pine Land from others and can't wait to try it. For lamb dishes, although not Arabic, I like to go to Ayse's Turkish Cafe in Ann Arbor. Two or three on the menu every night. There's one dish called Sultan's Delight (or something like that)--spiced ground lamb on pureed eggplant. Love it. Restaurant is on back side of Plymouth Road Shops, not visible from Plymouth. In what would be a fatal location for most places it's been around for 15 years. And it's not open Saturday night.

                1. re: Jim M

                  There is also a Pine Land on 12 mile and Farmington Rd. in Farmington Hills. I've wondered about how it was. I'll have to try it.

                  1. re: Rheta

                    We've had some pretty bad luck on more than one occasion with the 12/Farmington location. Just not the same consistently great quality that we're used to from the original place on Middlebelt. It seems like the chef might be far better at the latter location, but I'm curious what others have to say about their experiences.

                  2. re: Jim M

                    Wow - Ayse's - One of my favorite places to eat in Michigan! I'll have to try that Sultan's dish, which sounds amazing. Thanks for the tip, Jim.

                2. re: boagman

                  I always get my lamb gallaba and shwarmas sandwiches at La Shish on Rochester Rd (around 16 1/2 mile) in Troy. I haven't found a lamb version farther north than that yet, but the search continues.


                  Also, there is a restaurant called Grape Leaves on Maple near Coolidge next to Whole Foods that serves the lamb versions. Delicious with a fattoush salad on the side. I'm getting hungry now!

                  1. re: kellycolorado

                    Have you tried Anita's Kitchen? In Troy, 15 and Livernois. They are also opening a location in Fabulous Ferndale. (I know it's not farther north, but if you get down that way...the Troy location is near the Good Food grocery)

                    1. re: kellycolorado

                      Another Grape Leaves has opened at 12 Mile and Northwestern - replacing, I think - Mc Donald's and Panchero's - serving the same excellent chow that they have in Troy. Their grape leaves are top notch, as they should be.

            2. Lafayette Coney Island for sure