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Jun 20, 2012 11:17 AM

Detroit Cheap Eats Food Tour--need suggestions and advice...

So, my brothers and I love going on food tours, where we literally hit 20-25 places a day, just sampling the best item at an individual place. Generally, these places are not sit-down type places (although they can be). And most of the stuff is relatively cheap. What we are not really looking for is expensive dishes at fancy places.

Here is an example of one we did in LA so you can see we're not joking around!!

One of my brothers is gonna be in Detroit for a few weeks for work so some of us are going to visit him and do a Detroit Food Tour. I've already done a great deal of research (in large part, looking at other Chowhound posts).

So, please tell me if you have any more suggestions for other places. We definitely like to hit things unique to the Detroit area. And, also, it really helps if you have a specific item to get at a given place Please feel free to give opinions on the list I have already created (e.g., if there is a place on there that we don't need to stop at).

(and, yes, I have things like Sonic and Culver's on there because we really like some ice cream shakes to break things up!!).

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Google Map:

Lafayette Coney Island (chili dog, loose burger, and chili cheese fries
)118 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit; open 7:30am to 4:30am; (313) 964-8198

American Coney Island (chili dog)
114 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit; open 9am to 9pm; (313) 961-7758

Motz’s Burger (sliders)
7216 West Fort Street, Detroit; M-F 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5pm, closed Sunday; (313) 843-9186

Buddy's Rendezvous Pizzeria (square pizza)
17125 Conant Street, Detroit; (313) 892-9001; M-Th 11am-10pm; F 11am-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 1pm-9pm; (313) 892-9001

Niki's Pizzeria (square pizza with feta)
735 Beaubien Street, Detroit; 313-961-4304;

Supino’s (thin-crust pizza)
2457 Russell St, Detroit; Tu-Th 11am-8:30pm; Fr-Sat 11am-10pm

Eastern Market (Saturday morning market)
2934 Russell St, Detroit; Tu 11am-7pm, Sa 5am-5pm; (313) 833-9300

Mike’s Famous Ham Place (ham sandwich)
3700 Michigan Ave, Detroit; M-Sat 7am-3 pm; (313) 894-6922

Golden Fleece Restaurant (gyro)
525 Monroe Street, Detroit; M-Th, Sun 11am-1am, Fr-Sat 11am-3pm??; (313) 962-7093

Good People Popcorn
633 Beaubien, Detroit; M-Th 11:30am-5:30pm, F 11:30am-7pm; (313) 963-2499

Taqueria Lupita (tacos)
3443 Bagley St, Detroit; M-Th 9am-10pm, Fr-Su 9am-11pm; (313) 843-1105

Slow’s BBQ (triple threat pork sandwich [bacon, pulled pork, and ham])
2138 Michigan Ave, Detroit; M & Sun 11am-10pm, Tu-Th 11am-11pm, F-Sat 11am-12am; (313) 962-9828

Chicken Shack (broasted chicken)
1871 Dix Hwy, Lincoln Park; Su-Th 10:30am-10:30pm, F-Sa 10:30am-11pm; (313) 383-9500
11401 Joseph Campau St, Hamtramck; Su-Th 11-10, F-Sa 11am-11pm; (313) 365-1400
14630 Mack Ave, Detroit; Su-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-11pm; (313) 821-9200
19795 Mack Ave, Grosse Pte Woods; Su-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sa 11am-10:30pm; (313) 886-6060

Sander’s Chocolates (bumpy cake and hot fudge sundae)
Livonia Sanders Candy & Dessert Shop, 37702 Six Mil, Livonia; (734) 591-2147
12 Oaks Sanders Candy & Dessert Shop, 27678 Novi Rd., Novi; (248) 344-2987
Grosse Pointe Sanders Candy & Dessert Shop, 16837 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe; (313) 882-4966

Polish Village Café (Polish sampler, dill pickle soup)
2990 Yemans St, Hamtramck; M-W 11am-9pm; Th-Sat 11am-11pm; Su 12pm-8pm; (313) 874-5726

New Palace Bakery (raspberry paczki [Polish filled doughnut]
9833 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; 313-875-1334

Sheeba Restaurant (Yemeni stews)
8752 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck; open everyday 7am to 11pm; (313) 874-0299

Polonia (Polish food)
2934 Yemans St, Hamtramck; M-Th 11am-8pm, Fr-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 1pm-7pm; (313) 873-8432

Marcus Hamburgers (tube-shaped hamburger)
6349 E McNichols Rd, Hamtramck; (313) 891-6170

Al-Ameer (Middle Eastern food—stuffed lamb)
12710 W Warren Ave, Dearborn; everyday 10am-12am; (313) 582-8185

Roma Bakery (pepperoni roll; Middle-Eastern pastries)
6412 Schaefer Road, Dearborn; everyday 6am-5pm; (313) 581-5000

New Yasmeen Bakery (cheese bread + spinach pie and meat pie [Middle Eastern])
13900 W Warren Ave, Dearborn; M-Sat 5:30am-10pm, Sun 5:30am-9pm

Cedarland Restaurant (lentil soup, Middle Eastern food—big portions)
13007 West Warren Avenue, Dearborn; everyday 9am-12am; (313) 582-4849

Miller’s Bar (“ground round” burger)
23700 Michigan Ave, Dearborn; M-Sat 10am-2am; (313) 565-2577

Greene’s Hamburgers (slider)
24155 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington; 248-474-7980

Tomatoes Apizza (thin-crust pepperoni pizza)
29275 14 Mile Road, Farmington Hills; M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat 11am-4pm, Sun 1pm-10pm; (248)-855 3555

Ritter’s Frozen Custard
31227 8 Mile Rd, Livonia; Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat 11am-11pm; (248) 476-4571

Loui's Pizza (square pizza)
23141 Dequindre Road, Hazel Park; W-Th 11am-10pm, F 11am-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-1pm; (248) 547-1711

Ronin (hoisin-glazed baby back ribs)
326 West 4th Street, Royal Oak; Sun-M 5pm-10pm, T-F 5pm-11pm, Sa 5pm-3am; (248) 546-0888

Zingerman’s Deli (sandwiches)
422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor; everyday 7am-10pm; (734) 663-3354

The Original Cottage Inn (pizza)
512 E. William, Ann Arbor; M-W 11am-11pm, Th-Sat 11am-12pm, Sun 12pm-10pm; (734) 663-3379

Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger (burger [long wait & “mean” service])
551 South Division Street, Ann Arbor; M-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 12pm-8pm; (734) 663-4590

PizzaPalis (Chicago-style deep dish pizza)
553 Monroe Street Detroit; (313) 961-8020
22022 Michigan Ave. Suite B, Dearborn; 313-724-7722
3171 E. Jefferson Detroit; 313-259-7272
23703 Greenfield Southfield; 248-552-7272

Union Woodshop (barbecue)
8 South Main Street, Clarkston; M-Th 4pm-10pm, F 4pm-11pm ,Sa 12pm-11pm, Su 12pm-9pm; (248) 625-5660

Culver’s (butter burger, concretes)
11001 Belleville Road, Belleville; (734) 699-6100
14800 Racho Road, Taylor; (734) 287-3147
6500 North Newburgh Road, Westland; (734) 595-1883
700 W 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights; (248) 546-5300

Sonic (ice cream and shakes)
16270 Fort Street, Southgate
7725 North Wayne Road, Westland
305 West Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak

Bob Jo’s Frozen Custard
4071 Fort St, Wyandotte; everyday 10:30am-11:30am; (734) 282-6818

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  1. That's a pretty serious list you've got. Can't really add a ton.

    Evie's Tamales
    Bates Burgers- Sliders

    And for the record, I have had good (ie not mean) service at Blimpy Burger. :)

    I would skip Sonic IMO, even if it was for ice cream and add Ritters Frozen Custard.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dblcorona

      Agree, the only "mean" person at Blimpy Burger is just a bit gruff and loud. Although she did ask me to stand up when I was leaning against a chair. She has just a tiny bit of a chip on her shoulder, methinks.

      Anyhoo, there are a ton more places in Ann Arbor. Other "institutions" in Ann Arbor are the Fleetwood's hippie hash, Brown Jug/Backroom $1 slices, Jerusalem Garden falafel with hummus, Angelo's breakfasts (overrated in my opinion though), Le Dog's lobster bisque. Oh I know there's a ton more I'm forgetting . And don't forget Ypsi! Sidetrack's burgers routinely get written up in national magazines. And I just think you can't beat the nostalgia factor at Ypsi's Chick Inn, Roy's Squeeze Inn, Bill's drive-in or Gabriel's cheesesteaks.

      P.S. If you like shakes, Chick Inn has a pineapple one that is to die for. And Washtenaw Dairy has the old fashioned kind of shakes.

      1. re: charlesbois

        Also, I don't see anything for Detroit's Mexicantown, which you should totally check out. Also Traffic Jam and Snug in Detroit is great. Motor City Brew Works you should also check out too!

        1. re: charlesbois

          Nope...they got one. A decent one. El Barzon might be a decent one but cost a bit more...

          Taqueria Lupita (tacos)
          3443 Bagley St, Detroit; M-Th 9am-10pm, Fr-Su 9am-11pm; (313) 843-1105

          1. re: JanPrimus

            missed that! Is it any surprise with the list they've amassed, though?

    2. Chicken Shack?

      That's one I'd cut from your itinerary.

      Didn't see Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips on that list...

      3 Replies
      1. re: RedTop

        Awww, I like Chicken Shack! Imagine a world without broasted chicken (that's where I live) and tell me you wouldn't crave a little Chicken Shack now and then.

        1. re: tokyo

          Yeah, I get a little craving for the Shack every so often. If you do go, get the broasted potatoes, not the fries.

          1. re: gooddog

            Me too for Chicken Shack, but it is inconsistent. Sometimes we've gotten it from the one on Woodward and it's been awful, most of the time though it's great.

      2. I agree with the feedback you have already received.

        I'll suggest that you consider a Middle Eastern Bakery. 'Hounds seem to like both Shatila and New Yasmeen bakeries.

        I prefer Shatila for my sweets ... and I'll crawl a block on broken glass for their fruit ice creams.

        FWIW; I'd skip:

        - PizzaPapolis
        - Culvers

        I consider Bates & Motz equals. I prefer Motz because of their lousy location.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rainsux

          Second Middle Eastern pastries. Since New Yasmeen is on your list, at least get some baklava. But I would recommend Shatila as well.

          1. re: rainsux

            Agree with skipping Pizzapapolis and Culvers.

          2. Wow! Impressive research. I'd add:

            Erma's frozen custard, both locations 11am to 10 pm
            6451 Auburn Rd Utica 586 254 3080
            2080 E 14 Mile Rd Warren 586 275 2447

            Telway Hamburger System (sliders) 24 hrs (I think?)
            27000 John R Madison Hts 248 545 7962
            6820 Michigan Ave Detroit 313 843 2146

            Mr Kabob (pita sandwiches)
            3372 Coolidge Berkley (inside the gas station) 248 545 5000

            I'd agree about skipping PizzaPapalis. You've already got lots of good Detroit-style and thin crust pizzas on your list, this is not the town for Chicago-style.

            Culvers & Sonic, meh. I don't hate them but would pick any Detroit-specific place over either if that's logistically feasible.

            I like the shakes too (chocolate only) at Bates.
            I think the cream puff hot fudge is the thing to get at Sanders, rather than the sundae.

            And though I haven't been there yet, Green Dot Stables (2200 W Lafayette Detroit) has been favorably written about in a recent thread.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gooddog

              I was at Green Dot last week. We ordered a variety of sliders. Loved the catfish slider. The only one I wouldn't order again was the chicken curry. This is an odd thing to say, but it made my fillings hurt. Their fries are amazing.

              As long as you're in the area, stop by the Honey Bee market for some chips and salsa to eat in your car on the way to El Barzon in Mexicantown, an awesome little Mexican/Italian restaurant. The Mexican/Italian mix sounds wrong, but it's so right.

            2. what about all that craziness in dearborn? though i wouldn't recommend the bahn mis in madison heights...piss poor bread.
              i would rec some cold dishes at trizest....
              dolce gelato in sterling heights gets my vote for ice cream
              tringalis for italian baked goods - i like their cannolis and edise