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Must try places in Downtown Detroit for Memorial Day weekend?

I will be in Detroit for 4 days at the end of May staying at the Book Cadillac and I was wondering if there were any places that I should definitely make a point of trying out while I am there that are relatively close to where I will be staying?

It can be any kind of food from fast food (I have been told to try a Coney Island Dog) to gourmet sit down dinners. Just look for any possible suggestions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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  1. Coney Island for sure...my fave is Lafayette (American is right next door.) Roast, in the hotel, is good high end but has a solid happy hour - get there early - $3 sliders reduced drink prices and the lobby bar is beautiful which would be worth a stop. Slows BBQ in Corktown is turning into a destination chow spot -- no reservations so be prepared to wait. Opus One downtown is high-end, great wine list. And, if you're into Greek, Greektown offers a bunch of options though some a bit tourist-y. Union Street (on Woodward) and Traffic Jam (off Cass near Wayne State) are a couple favorites for eclectic food, interesting vibe and crowd. Let us know where you go! The Whitney, a converted lumber baron mansion, has beautiful rooms and is very gracious --would be a fun stop even just for a drink at the upstairs bar.

    Opus One
    565 East Larned Street, Detroit, MI 48226

    Union Street Restaurant
    4145 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

    6 Replies
    1. re: berkleybabe

      BB has some very good suggestions.

      I'll suggest that you avoid Fishbones.

      1. re: rainsux

        "I'll suggest that you avoid Fishbones."

        And I'll mandate that you avoid it.

        I would also definitely recommend Roast in the Book Cadillac, *especially* during Cocktail Hour (4:30-6:30 weekdays). They have *slightly* increased their prices on the food these days: the burger, the BOTD tacos, and the stuffed peppers are all $4 now instead of $3, and still worth every red cent. I was just there last week before a Tigers game, and my friend Bill loved it as well. Truly a bargain-basement way of getting your feet wet with the place, and it's a very, very friendly atmosphere.

        Opus One is pretty high-end, and I've enjoyed my experiences there quite well.

        As BB said, if you want to go to Slows, be prepared to wait, or go at lunch or off hours. Great food, mostly awful service.

        I'll give your request some more thought. There may be some other places I'm just not able to think of right now.

        Opus One
        565 East Larned Street, Detroit, MI 48226

        1. re: boagman

          All of your street cred will vanish if you visit Fishbone's. I will also point out to you that your weekend watering hole close to the Festival is going to be "The Grand Trunk" - http://www.grandtrunkpub.com/

          I also fully endorse Roast and Slow's. I am guessing that you will also be looking for lunch type meals. http://mudgiesdeli.com/ - Owned and Operated by DJ Greg Mudge. I booked him once to open for Tok Tok back in my music promotion days. Great guy. The Sandwiches are great, as well as the Soups....but you must try a Fudgie Mudgie!

          Also are you going to any afterhours? Roni Size, Umek and Dave Clarke is on my short list.

          Where are you coming from?

      2. re: berkleybabe

        Go to Lafayette and American and do a taste test. These two places just about invented Coney dogs and aren't to be missed.


        1. re: Davwud

          I'm just wishing I were closer to Detroit these days because of this.

      3. I would recommend Russell Street Deli

        amazing sandwiches, soups, breakfast. It's really busy on Saturday and Sunday mornings but you can always do take-out. I am so into the avocado melts they have there, and the turkey club...all of the sandwiches are awesome.

        Also, I always bring nuts and dried fruit with me to keep in my bag for the festival/afterparty marathon. It really helps to have some fuel, even if you feel like your digestive system is going in reverse ;) Trader Joe's has these little packets of trail mix that are perfect for this.

        Russell Street Deli
        2465 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

        1. Mudgie's is good: http://www.mudgiesdeli.com/

          1300 Porter St, Detroit, MI 48226

          1. Excellent advice so far! I concur with everything except that I adore everything about Slows.I love the hectic atmosphere and I have always had excellent service. The only fault I can find with Slows is that I believe their side dishes don't equal the excellence of their bbq.
            If you can plant yourself behind someone at the bar that is finishing up you are usually seated quickly. The longest I have ever waited was 20 minutes...well worth any wait if you ask me.

            If you are in the mood for breakfast type food La Petite Zinc (Corktown area) and Good Girls Go to Paris (Wayne State area) both have delicious crepes, as well as a limited selection of other fare.

            Have fun...let us know where you end up!!

            1. I've not seen mention of Bucharestest Grill in the Park bar just around the corner from Cliff Bell's and walking distance ( for most people) for music and sinfully inexpensive porky products. Especially after the techno in Hart starts to wind down and after-hours starts to get going. Have to refuel to keep it pounding!

              4 Replies
                1. re: goatgolfer

                  Bucharest Grill

                  2040 Park Ave

                  Detroit, MI

                  The bigger sign is for the Park Bar. On the same corner is Cliff Bell's.

                    1. re: goatgolfer

                      Remember you will be in the middle of the world's largest techno music festival and the Book Cadillac is right in the middle of it. You are very lucky to have such a launching spot.