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HELP! New to Detroit (city of Macomb), need recs

Just moved to Macomb from Southern California. Miss the GREAT ethnic food there and would love to find great food here in Michigan. Am willing to drive up to 30 minutes for good food on the weekends...but would love to get some closer recomendations for everyday eating as well. I love ALL cuisines, as long as they are well-prepared and tasty! My favs in SoCal were dim sum, Hunan/Sechuan, Salvadorean pupusas, Mexican (especially sopes), French, Japanese (both Teppan and Sushi), fresh seafood, California cuisine. I know that Detroit has a large Iraqi/Chaldean population and a Greektown, so those would also be great cuisines to explore. What else can you recommend? Thanks!!!! :)

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  1. Hey Welcome to the "D"

    This link should get you started. It's from the Metrotimes (Detroit area arts & Ent. weekly) look for the search function on this page, you can search by food type, city, price, etc. Good Luck !


    1. My favorites are Noble Fish in Clawson for sushi (it's a Japanese grocery w/ a sushi counter in back) at 14 and Livernois/Main (depends on which side of 14 Mile you're on) Blue Nile (Ethiopian) in Ferndale on 9 Mile, and Beirut Palace (Lebanese) on Main in Royal Oak.

      1. Our favorite "ethnic" restaurant is Howe's Bayou on Woodward in Ferndale. In the block north of 9 Mile Road(east side of the street). Howe's features Cajun/Creole- inspired dishes. No, it won't duplicate tastes from Coops or Dookey Chase' or Donna's, or Arnaud's, in old N.O.,but it's a swell little bar-restaurant that is welcoming and comfortable. Their Crawfish Bisque is worth the trip alone. I promise.

        1. Aside from the cusines of Greektown and Dearborn, I would recommend Hamtramck, which is a large Polish city within Detroit. Though the food can be an acquired taste, I love it (though admittedly, I grew up on it). Hamtramck's best restaurant, bar none, is the Polish Village Cafe at the corner of Campeau and Yemans. It's small, and has a big crowd at times, but is worth the wait.

          Aside from the well-known Polish fare (pierogies, kielbasa, golabki), I would recommend the Dill Pickle Soup. I know it sounds bizarre, but I assure you that it is delicious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: zachary

            "Aside from the well-known Polish fare (pierogies, kielbasa, golabki), I would recommend the Dill Pickle Soup. I know it sounds bizarre, but I assure you that it is delicious."

            Seconded. That dill pickle soup is amazing, and yes, it *does* sound weird. It's completely vegetarian (pickles, carrots, potatoes, etc.), but it sure does taste good.

            A couple of things about the Polish Village Cafe: it's not *directly* on the corner of Jos Campeau and Yemans...rather, it's on Yemans about a block away from the corner, just past the recently-resurfaced public parking lot. It's not necessarily easy to find, since it is downstairs, but there's usually a crowd on any given evenig.

            The other thing about the PVC is that it's *extremely* affordable, and while the vegetables that come with entrees may not be the best/freshest, you'll be more than happy with the food that you're served, especially if Polish food is your fancy. I happen to *love* their pork chops at $7.95 IIRC, and I always end up taking one of them home with me...and I'm not some little sissy eater, either. But after the bread sticks and soup, then the entree, I'm very satisfied.

            Worth the wait.

            1. re: zachary

              Polish Village Cafe is on of my Detroit favorites.

              Their mushrooms pierogee are incredible. I can't go to PVC without having them and they are always on my Easter table.

              There is a drawback to the place; it gets VERY smokey when it's busy. I try to avoid the place during peak times which is hard to do because they are almost always busy.

            2. Welcome to the area! Will this be your first true fall? If so, make sure you visit a cider mill for fresh pressed cider and hot doughnuts...makes up for the end of summer. In Macomb you are definitely near a lot of orchards, and the Romeo Peach Festival is coming up.

              We like Los Galanes in Detroit's Mexicantown for good, not "cheesy" Mexican food. There's also a very good Mexican grocery in the area, La Colmena. There are several restaurants in Mexicantown that do South American foods--Metro Times is a great resource, also Hour Detroit prints restaurant recommendations each month.

              I'm sure you've been told about Dearborn being the epicenter of things Arab--definitely the best and most authentic experience. If you don't want to go that far, Pita Cafe in Birmingham and Oak Park is awesome, but no liquor license (some Middle Eastern restaurants do serve liquor).

              Royal Oak has a great variety of restaurants, from barbeque to Japanese steak house. It's a fun place to wander on a warm night and check out the scene.

              You'll have to come to Oakland County to find the good stuff, by and large--Trader Joes, Whole Foods, the "gourmetrion" in Rochester. If anyone has any good waterside recommendations by Lake St Clair, I'd like to hear them too!

              1 Reply
              1. re: coney with everything

                The "gourmetrion" in Rochester and Birmingham is actually Papa Joe's Gourmet Market and Catering, as fine a market as you will ever find. Papa Joe's has 500 produce items, a fabulous wine selection - many of which can be sampled - prepared foods, cheeses, meats and seafood, gourmet grocery items, house baked breads and pastries. The list goes on and on. Also, if you buy meats, poultry or seafood, their chefs will cook it for you - any way you like - at no charge. Mangia.

              2. Definitely try Lafayette Coney Island - it's the Pink's of Detroit!

                1. For dim sum head to Shangrila on Orchard Lake at 14 or 15, in the strip mall with the Hiller's grocery store. I think that they offer the best dim sum you're likely to find between the coasts.

                  There just isn't Szechuan in Detroit. Head over to Windsor and try some spots there.

                  There is a highly noteworthy French baker who sells on Saturdays at The Eastern Market. She is not actually in the market but rather sets up shop in the Lonely Planet Pizza shop.

                  There is an AMAZING Syrian bakey at Wattles (17) and Dequinder in Sterling Hts. The shop is owned by two brothers who make flat breads that are beyond compare. They also sell sweets at the bakery but they are not their own and are not good at all. I don't even know why they sell them as I've never seen anyone buy any!

                  Have fun exploring!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: luckygirl

                    "There is a highly noteworthy French baker who sells on Saturdays at The Eastern Market. She is not actually in the market but rather sets up shop in the Lonely Planet Pizza shop."

                    Hmm...do you happen to know if she makes pain au chocolat? That's a wonderful European bakery item that I love to eat for breakfast, but the only place I know of locally that makes it would be Le Petit Prince in Birmingham, and it's pretty pricey from that place, all things considered.

                    I'd really like to know this.

                      1. re: coney with everything

                        I have not, nor have I ever even heard of this place! Where is it? Color me intrigued...

                        1. re: boagman

                          It's a Patisserie/Creperie--they have seating so you can have dejeuner avec cafe. EVERYTHING looks amazing--I can't go very often because it's too tempting!

                      2. re: boagman

                        Hi boagman,

                        I don't recall her having pain au chocolate or even plain croissants for that matter but I could be mistaken. She has been open to suggestions though.

                        1. re: luckygirl

                          Wow, I recently moved back to MI- This place sounds awesome, and they have pain au chocolat on their website under the "Viennoiseries" menu.

                          The Give Thanks Bakery in downtown Rochester also has wonderful pastries and european breads. I don't recall a pain au chocolat but they have a lovely almond croissant and wonderful french sourdough bread "pain au levain" that has spoiled me for all others. Also, if you're in Rochester, Papa Joe's has several pastries and desserts and I believe they have a pain au chocolat.


                    1. Yer in for the BEST LEBANESE FOOD YOU'VE EVER TASTED. ...forget what you know about "arabic" cuisine or mediteranian hodgepodge of the west coast(lived there), or east coast (live here now)....it all PALES in comparison to what you can get at any corner shop in the MDA...I kid you not.
                      .Some specifics:
                      My favourite for lebanese classics that rival even my own mother's cooking is Bridgettes (sp?) on Garfield and 19 mile....She makes outstanding kibbeh nayeh (raw lamb), grapeleaves, and lubya (green beans with lamb). ..For the best chicken schwarma, I suggest Cedar Gardens in St. Clair Shores (9 mile and Mac)..,...
                      For intersting pan ethnic eats, I'd suggest checking out the corner of 15 mile and Dequinder where there's a Thai place next to an Arabic grocer next to a Korean restaurant, next to a Pasty (norwiegan stuffed pastry big in the UP) shop...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sixelagogo

                        Find a place near you where you can buy Zingerman's bread. Great stuff.

                      2. I love Evie's Tamales in SW Detroit, great tamales, refried beans cooked with, ...coool.... Lard. Delicious. The best Vietnamese you can get, in a wonderful refined setting is Annam in Dearborn. I think the best Mideast is Al=Berdouni in Dearborn on Chase Road. Pita Cafe in Oak Park, I'll vote on for best drop in or take out. Greektown, Laikon, I think is best.

                        Any of Matt Prentice's place are great...very good restaurateur, always high quality, great service.

                        In Troy, Mon Jin Lau is a very interesting, mid-scale Asian place...great Asian fusion, not Cal-or American Asian, nice setting.

                        On the other hand, for always good, reliable, comfortable and interesting fare, Sweet Lorraine's is great, Greenfield and 12 mile, also an outpost in Ann Arbor. It's my go to place for business, friends' dinners/lunches and now offers breakfast as well.

                        Deli Unique at the Raddison Kingsley at Long Lake and Woodard (Bl. Hills) has the best corned beef hash I've had at a restaurant. Really great.

                        Let us know where you land...and let us know what you chow!

                        1. Check out Dona Lola, an Ecuadoran seafood restaurant located in southwest Detroit. EXCELLENT!!!!

                          1. Thank you so much for the replies! I am really looking forward to trying all of these new restaurants...will try to hit at least one place each week and will report back. I belonged to a dining club (I actually organized and hosted events) back in SoCal. Is there anything like that out here? If not I guess I will have to start one! :)

                            1. Also, any recs for fine dining (special place for birthday or anniversary)? What are the best dishes to order? My DH and I are looking forward to finally being able to go out to eat at a nice restaurant now that we will have family close by to look after our 7 month old. We both love wine and French food (I will really miss Napa Rose, AOI, and L'Orangerie!). I like seafood, but DH prefers beef and chicken.

                              1. For Thai, try Sy's Thai at 9 Mile and Mack in St. Clair Shores (they also have a Birmingham location). For Mexican, there are several Azteca restaurants that are great. I go to one in Troy, but there is also one on Groesbeck in Roseville.

                                1. We just had Dan Good Pizza on Saturday evening. Their Chicago style deep dish is excellent. It's located in New Baltimore/Chesterfield Township.