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Mar 10, 2011 01:07 PM

Casual, low key dining in Birmingham? [Detroit Area]

I'll be coming into Birmingham for the weekend and would like a simple place to have dinner after a long day of traveling. Any suggestions? I would prefer something near downtown Birmingham so that there is minimal travel time. Also, suggestions for a place to grab drinks afterward are welcomed!

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  1. Birmingham, MI?

    If so, then downtown B'ham has a lot of choices...if you are staying downtown either of the hotels you'd be at will be within easy walking distance of several very good restaurants.

    15 Replies
    1. re: coney with everything

      Hmmm. Yes, it depends on where you are from and what you consider to be "casual." Birmingham is kind of an upper crust place by Michigan standards.
      check out--
      Or, maybe even eat inside Papa Joe's grocery. They have tables, nice sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and glasses of wine.
      Lots of nice places to enjoy a cocktail or two, afterwards!!

      1. re: VTB

        Thanks for the link VTB! I'll be flying in from NYC and my friends will be flying in from San Francisco this Friday. Basically we're looking for anything that is not an Applebees.

        1. re: ceecee1230

          NY and SF? Tough crowd....

          The following places are not at all stuffy, despite their trendy websites, but they may be on the upper end of what you planned to spend

          (listed in order of my preference)

          Maybe a touch more stuffy, but still in the same price range is

          Or, depending on your ages, you may also want to consider the short drive down Woodward, over to hip/funky Royal Oak. You could have a nice savory crepe and glass of rose at or go to a cool place with interesting (but sometimes disappointing) food which is .

          I'm sure others will weigh in on the above, and you could also read reviews of them in the CH archive. Hope you have a great time!

          1. re: VTB

            Recommend Forest Grill as well, wonderful food, good service, relaxed and kind of chic setting, great wine list.

            Forest Grill Restaurant
            735 Forest Ave Ste 100, Birmingham, MI 48009

          2. re: ceecee1230

            As you may have gathered, I'm not big on Birmingham for lower-mid priced food. But, I do recommend the following three places, all within just minutes drive of downtown Birmingham, even if they are not in Birmingham proper:

            Tongue Thai'd (But, not real well set up for dine-in.)

            Grape Leaves (of Troy) (Not extraordinary Detroit style Lebanese food, but pretty darn respectable, as well as healthy. And, the wait time is short than any place listed in any of these postings.)

            Red Coat "Tavern" at 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, MI (a Metro Detroit burger, etc., institution, which seems to be a favorite of foodies and non-foodies alike; though, I don't personally have the enthusiasm for the place that do most.)

            PS--many like Original Pancake House for breakfast 33703 S Woodward Ave., Birmingham

            1. re: ceecee1230

              Toast in Ferndale is a great breakfast/brunch spot. The best corned beef hash I've ever had is at Deli Unique at the Radisson Kingsley Inn... just minutes from Bham in Bloomfield Hills, Long Lake and Woodward, best breakfasts, deli sandwiches, and good healthy sandwiches as well. Never been disappointed. Also a higher end Great Lakes primarily seafood place. I'd actually say, don't miss the hash here. Plus they don't hassle you to turn the table, can be crowded on the weekends. Hope you enjoy yourself with friends, let us know where you end up.

              Deli Unique
              39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

              1. re: berkleybabe

                Berkleybabe, have you tried the Toast in B'ham? wonder if they are the same quality

                1. re: coney with everything

                  toast in b'ham is good

                  also like streetside, cafe via, and evie's

                  ands since its st. patrick's day, dick o'dow's for a beer or three

                  1. re: xman887

                    xman-- can you pls expand on evie's??

                2. re: berkleybabe

                  Thanks for the suggestions bb. Your posts are accurate & succinct. What makes the hash there the best? Where else do you go for corned beef hash? What di you think of Assagi?

                  1. re: schaf1

                    I don't go anywhere for hash except Deli Unique, or I make it at home. And, blushing, still haven't been to assagi. Have you?

                    Deli Unique
                    39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      Yes, George & Josephine run a nice place. Food is excellent, wine list reasonable and service friendly & professional. One of my favorites!
                      Why do you like the hash at Deli Unique so much? I'm really curious!

                      Deli Unique
                      39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

                    2. re: schaf1

                      It is the corned beef hash I was talking about -- it's all made there, the corned beef is generous (not diced like canned), spuds are crispy, very generous portion. They also have a turkey hash which is just as good.

            2. It probably doesn't meet your definition of casual, but I say a simple, one course meal at Chez Fonfon is very hard to beat.

              2 Replies
              1. re: UrDaddy

                Chez Fonfon is in Birmingham, Alabama...not Birmingham, MI. But, I'm sure it would be very good, and I'd like to try it.

              2. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I am definitely making a list to bring with me when I fly out tomorrow.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ceecee1230

                  Have a great time...don't forget to report back!

                  1. re: berkleybabe

                    Just got back from my trip on Sunday night, had a blast! Since we were in town for a wedding we were completely pressed for time and only made it out to a couple places. Ended up going to Bastone Brewery Friday night for a late dinner-----great atmosphere, decent food (loved the fresh baked bread with chive butter, did not care for the moules). Saturday we only had enough time to grab coffee at Starbucks, a quick bite at Dick O'Dows, and the reception dinner was at the Townsend Hotel (beautiful 5 course meal). Sunday breakfast was also catered by the Townsend.
                    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and hope to make it back again! Thanks again to all for the suggestions.

                    419 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067

                    1. re: ceecee1230

                      Townsend, good stuff!

                      Too bad you're not there now, as I bet that's where George Clooney is staying!