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Lifestyle Guides



Vinsetta Garage

Pizzeria Biga Royal Oak

Metro Detroit is quickly adopting the slow food mentality: locally-sourced, made-from-scratch foods made by people who truly care. These are some of the best farm-to-table and from-scratch diners and restaurants around.
Breakfast and Lunch
Mae's (Pleasant Ridge)
Mae's in Pleasant Ridge is just really, really pleasant – from the adorable interior filled with vintage tin Faygo signs and black and white photographs and the cute patio to the excellent hearty, homemade breakfast and lunch items – think butter burgers and Scandinavian pancakes. They also recently acquired their liquor license so now you can enjoy a mimosa or Bloody Mary with your brunch.
The Fly Trap (Ferndale)
Everyone from vegans to meatatarians will be satisfied with the offerings at the Fly Trap, Ferndale's "finer diner." The place is so popular it even snagged a spot on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which has made finding a seat at this tiny diner even more difficult.
Toast (Ferndale)
Just a little bit down Woodward from the Fly Trap (which, incidentally, is just a little bit down Woodward from Mae's) is Toast, yet another totes adorbs tiny little breakfast and lunch spot with excellent homemade food and a wall lined with vintage toasters.
Café Muse (Royal Oak)
Café Muse in Royal Oak started out as a totes adorbs tiny breakfast joint, but a few years ago graduated to full-fledged restaurant-sized with dinner service and drinks. But they never lost sight of what first made them famous, which includes the grilled cheese sandwich that Oprah's BFF Gayle King called the best in America. They serve breakfast seven days a week and still have all their most popular items on the menu, like their ricotta and lemon pancakes and exotic mushroom scramble with boursin and truffle oil. Except now you can also get them with a pitcher of mimosas!
Russell Street Deli (Eastern Market)
This Eastern Market deli serves breakfast and lunch Mondays through Saturdays, and is known to have a line out the door on weekends. It's no wonder why: all items are made from scratch in-house (and anything that isn’t made here comes from local producers, from Avalon Breads to the famous Sy Ginsberg corned beef) and sourced from local growers like Grown in Detroit and from Eastern Market itself. Their corned beef sandwiches are legendary, and they also have a large selection of vegetarian and vegan soups and sandwiches.
Brooklyn Street Local (Corktown)
Being right across the river from Canada, it seems only natural that Detroit would get some culinary influence from across the border. As it so happens, poutine – the Quebecois dish made of fries, gravy and cheese curds – is fast gaining popularity throughout America. At Brooklyn Street Local, owned by a couple from Toronto, poutine is a house specialty made with hand-cut fries, beef or mushroom gravy, and organic cheese curds. Order it the traditional way, the "BSL" way (with bacon), the breakfast way (with fried egg), or the vegetarian way (with mushroom gravy). Everything else on the menu is made in-house, including their quiche of the day, baked goods and veggie burgers. They are also passionate about being part of a sustainable food culture, a list their various local partners (from compostable paper products to composters) on their website.
Vinsetta Garage (Berkley)
Located in an historic old garage named, you guessed it, Vinsetta Garage, Vinsetta is easily one of metro Detroit's most popular restaurants (and has the consistently long wait times to prove it). Best-known for their burgers and their sizable craft beer selection, be sure to also try their Disco Fries – their name for poutine and some of the best in town. Though not ideal during peak times, you can usually snag a seat between the lunch and dinner rushes or after 9:00 on weeknights.
Kouzina (Royal Oak)
Kouzina brings Greek street food to downtown Royal Oak with a small but stylish storefront located across the street from the Main Art Theatre. The menu is small, which allows them to focus on their exceptional quality. Rotating daily specials include traditional Greek items like moussaka, while their gyros (choose beef, chicken or lamb) are made to order with the pitas made from fresh dough and the meat carved off the spit for each order. Get them with a side of hand-cut feta fries.
The Root (White Lake)
Executive Chef James Rigato is quickly becoming one of the biggest culinary names in town thanks to nods from Food & Wine and a full episode dedicated to the Root in White Lake on America's Best Bites. People drive from all over metro Detroit to this unassuming strip mall in White Lake – and unless you're driving over from Waterford, it's far – to enjoy Rigato's truly farm-to-table, no-fuss rustic cuisine. The Root also has an excellent craft cocktail list, an all-Michigan-draft beer selection, and a wine program overseen by Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon.
Bastone and Monk (Royal Oak)
Bastone is brewery and also a Belgian-inspired eatery. Monk is an even more Belgian-ier version of it, located in a much smaller space behind Bastone. At both you can order any of brewer Rockne van Meter's award-winning Belgian-style beers, but while Bastone has a more universally-pleasing pub menu, Monk goes all out with a variety of specialty mussels, decadent burgers, and savory waffle sandwiches, with an extensive selection of bottled Belgian and Belgian-style beers to go with them.
Ronin (Royal Oak)
Ronin is one of the best restaurants in Royal Oak, period. Yes, they have sushi – and it is excellent sushi, no doubt – but they also have a full menu of other appetizers and entrees which includes a phenomenal steak, and also some of the most interesting and pseudo-experimental house-made dessert specials in town. And also a really, really excellent selection of beers, liquors, cocktails, and sake. And, yeah, just go here.
Pizzeria Biga (Royal Oak, Southfield, Ann Arbor)
With two locations already open and Ann Arbor set to open soon, Pizzeria Biga – overseen by James Beard Award-nominated chef Luciano del Signore – is a traditional Italian-style pizzeria made from the more healthful biga starter dough, house-made charcuterie, and vegetables roasted in their custom-built wood-fired brick ovens (there's one in each location). They also have an excellent beverage program with Italian and American craft beers, craft cocktails, and exceptional wines.
Union Woodshop & Clarkston Union (Clarkston)
There's a reason Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives made the trek all the way out to tiny, remote Clarkston to highlight these places. These Union Joints (that’s the name of the company, which also owns Vinsetta Garage) are all about homemade comfort food in comfortable spaces – conscientious historic rehabs, to be precise – that emphasize the slow food ethos and Michigan craft beers. 
Red Coat Tavern (Royal Oak)
For many many years, the burgers at the Red Coat Tavern were consistently named the best in town. The competition is a lot more fierce these days, but Red Coat still has a dang tasty burger and nothing can change that. They also have an excellent menu of other U.K.-style pub fare (as in, everything on the menu that is not a burger) that is equally worth exploring. But one of the best things about Red Coat is their Belgian-heavy beer list – they were probably the first in the area to do this – and their even MORE Belgian-heavy "secret" beer list (be sure to ask for it).
Supino Pizzeria (Eastern Market)
Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market is one of Detroit's most famous eateries (it was even featured on the Food Network), serving an eclectic variety of hand-tossed quasi-Neapolitan-style pizzas with toppings that include locally-made sausage from Porktown Sausage and smoked turkey from City Wings (they've also been known to make a Detroit coney dog pizza on special in the past). Call ahead for pick-up to avoid the wait, and take heart: Supino is currently undergoing an expansion into the space next door, which will increase their seating space and allow for them to have a bar.
Mudgie's Deli (Corktown)
Mudgie's Deli has been a Corktown favorite for several years now, serving massive sandwiches of house-roasted Sy Ginsberg corned beef and Michigan-raised grass-fed beef. The sandwich selection is enormous and will take some serious dedication to work through, though you'll probably give it a good effort. Mudgie's was also recently granted a beer and wine license, and now serves a selection of Michigan beers, wines and meads. Also be sure to check out their weekday happy hour menu and Sunday brunch.
Bucharest Grill (downtown Detroit)
Located inside (and in the back of) the Park Bar behind the Fox Theatre, Bucharest Grill serves hearty homemade Romanian and American food (including gourmet hot dogs and fantastic seasoned curly fries), but are probably best known for their extra-garlicky chicken shawarma, easily one of the most popular and almost-legendary sandwiches in Detroit.
St. Cece's Pub (Corktown)
Located in what was formerly a traditional Irish pub and maintaining many of those same features from the previous concept (elaborate woodwork, stained glass, stone walls, a real wood-burning fireplace), St. Cece's is a friendly neighborhood but that also serves exceptional gasropub-quality food and Michigan craft beers. They also now have a late-night, lunch, and Sunday brunch menu.
Traffic Jam and Snug (Midtown)
So local it comes from the same address—literally. Traffic Jam and Snug is Detroit's only all-in-one brewery, bakery, creamery, and made-from-scratch restaurant. They also have their own rooftop organic garden and greenhouse. Established as Traffic Jam in 1965, this Midtown staple has seen the city evolve over the decades and has remained a significant presence during all those years. As the artisanal cheesemaker in the city of Detroit, Traffic Jam is also producing some terrific cheeses (try the Camembert or the Bleu Asiago). And no matter what brings you in – even just a quick lunch or a couple of beers – always save room for dessert (especially the Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Fancy Dress). 

For more information and stories about cities in Oakland County, check out Oakland County Prosper
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