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Apr 25, 2009 08:22 PM

SF Hound Visiting Detroit Suburbs - Any Must Eats?

I am going to be in Novi for 1 week due to a work trip. I am visiting from San Francisco, and would like to try the local fare. Can you please suggest restaurants in the area (will have a car) and what are the must have items from the menu.

Requirements: looking for local restaurants, not interested in any nationwide chains. Also - looking for some restaurants that will be open late - serving past 10PM. Open to any type of cuisines. I will be traveling with colleagues (including 1 vegetarian), so it must be good for groups and have some vegetarian items on the menu.

The vegetarian is joining us later in the week - so if you have any suggestions for bbq or some steakhouses, bring 'em on!

Thanks so much!

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  1. Not a local from that area, so have only visited one restaurant in Novi. It's a good one tho'.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. I will second either of Brian Polcyn's restaurants. Maybe for the nights the vegetarian is out of town.

        Forrest Grill in Birmingham or Five Lakes Grill in Milford.

        Novi is pretty devoid of any good BBQ. If you want to travel a wee bit I would suggest going to the Dragonmead Brewery and have some Lazybones BBQ brought over.

      2. If you have time to make a trip downtown, there are many good options. For the meat lovers, Roast is getting a lot of good reviews on this Board. I am personally a huge fan of Slow's BBQ - its in an old part of downtown with not much else around, but has great food, beer & scotch selection.

        The Novi/Canton area is supposed to have some very good Japanese choices - I'll leave it to others to comment.

        Ann Arbor also has good Indian options.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Ludlows23

          Lots of good Sushi in Novi-

          Cherry Blossom -

          Sushi Ajishin- Really yummy Udon-

          One world market- A cool Japanese grocery store with a sushi bar in the back-

          We have always liked Happy Sushi- although someone just gave them a poor review.

          Those are the places we like around in Novi. And of course the Diamond Jim's Bistro mentioned already. Also the No VI Chop House is really pretty good too-

          1. re: aea6574

            Not meaning to step to hard on toes...

            As much as we like those Sushi spots why would anyone that lives near a coast known for its fish even want to visit our inland sushi bars?

            As for our freshwater fish....that is a different story.

            1. re: JanPrimus

              Lake Perch: Pat O'Brien's in St Clair Shores.
              Who has a local Lake Superior Whitefish rec?

              1. re: RedTop

                > Who has a local Lake Superior Whitefish rec?

                I haven't checked; but expect that you would find it at:

                - Northern Seafood (Birmingham)
                - Ocean Grill (Troy)
                - Lily's (Royal Oak)
                - Real Seafood (Ann Arbor)

                1. re: rainsux

                  Steve & Rocky's in Novi has whitefish & perch on their menu; can't attest to origin. I've only been for lunch but have enjoyed it. Not open late, tho.


                  1. re: gooddog

                    Speaking of whitefish, has anyone tried Scalawag's whitefish and chips? There's one in Rochester now. I think they started up in Petoskey or something.

                    1. re: Tabrams

                      Rochester one has been shuttered for several months now. I'll take Scotty Simpsons over it any day, but Scalawag's wasn't bad at all. Personal preference here, obviously. But still, it's too bad that it closed.

                      1. re: Tabrams

                        Very good white fish at Scalawag's. Kinda sad the Rochester store closed so soon. I believe the original store is in Mackinaw. There is also one in Traverse city and Cheboygan as well as a couple of lansing area locations.

                        1. re: Fritter

                          There's one in Brighton, too. I'm going to go up there and check it out.

                  2. re: RedTop

                    It's getting tough to find Lake Superior Whitefish. Regrettably the economy and the lower prices from the Canadian vendors has hit the Michigan commercial fisheries very hard. Nearly all the perch are now from Canada.
                    The only Michigan commercial Perch fishery I know still operating is in Bayport. If you see perch in the Native American fish stores in the Northern areas they are buying them by the boat load from Canada.
                    I can't imagine driving from Novi to St. Clair Shores for perch.

                    1. re: Fritter

                      "I can't imagine driving from Novi to St. Clair Shores for perch."
                      Then you've never tasted the Perch served at Pat O'Brien's, Fritter. Sublime.

                    2. re: RedTop

                      Best whitefish I’ve ever had was prepared at Roast. They serve it skin-side-up and the skin is caramelized and slightly crunchy. Nice dish.

                      On the original topic, there is an upscale Mexican place in Novi called Rojo Mexican Bistro. I haven’t been there yet but considering they have mole and huitlacoche on the menu it can’t be all that bad.

                    3. re: JanPrimus

                      You know, I had not even thought about that last night. Great point. When you have a place like Sushi Ran in Sausalito

                2. Diamond Jim Brady's in Novi (tell 'em SonyBob sent you)
                  LaBisteca in Plymouth - a little pricey but very good steaks.

                  1. Inn Season is our best vegetarian restaurant:


                    You mention local fare ...

                    Polish: Polish Village Cafe:


                    Soul Food: Beans & Cornbread


                    Kosher: Milk & Honey


                    BBQ: LazyBones (to go ....



                    Take the BBQ to DragonMead MicroBrewery


                    Seafood: Real Seafood


                    Seafood & Microbrew: Lily's


                    1 Reply