Rose's Detroit

Some of the best breakfasts in Detroit

What’s your favorite food? For most people, this question conjures responses that are either specific (e.g., bibimbop), or focused on a region (e.g., Middle Eastern food). For me, the answer is pretty general: Breakfast. I enjoy exploring places and learning about people through visits to local breakfast joints. This exploration of place and culture is as relevant locally as it is when travelling. Regardless of whether you’re a Detroiter, or seeking to visit the city, here are a handful of phenomenal breakfast spots you’ll find around town:

Brooklyn Street Local mural (credit- Curbed Detroit)
Brooklyn Street Local mural (credit- Curbed Detroit)

Brooklyn Street Local (1266 Michigan Ave., Detroit) This popular Corktown spot is great for both traditional eggs-and-bacon types, as well as vegetarians and vegans. The restaurant focuses on local, organic, whole foods. A list of their suppliers are even listed on a chalkboard in the dining room. The coffee, served in whimsical mis-matched mugs, is amazing. The staff is attentive, and the space is fun. If you see what seems to be a long line, don’t be discouraged—it moves at a reasonable pace.

Rock City Eatery (11411 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck) OK, so Rock City’s not technically in Detroit—but it’s in a city that’s surrounded by Detroit. That counts, right? Also, Rock City doesn’t really serve breakfast. They serve brunch. And only on Sundays from 11 AM-3 PM. Seriously, though, go here. Whenever you can. For brunch a couple of weeks ago (my first at RCE, despite visiting for many a dinner and drink), my brunch buddy and I split the biscuit chicken sandwich (wow!) and berry ricotta pancakes (whoa!). I also had the best Bloody Mary of my life. Everything that comes out of the kitchen or from the bar is inventive yet simple, high-caliber yet informal. The service is impeccable. As RCE proclaims: “Brunch is for lovers! (…and their livers)” I hope you’ll go find out for yourself.

Roses menu
Roses menu

Rose’s Fine Food (10551 E. Jefferson, Detroit) Rose’s is brand new. When I visited, the restaurant had been opened for only three weeks. Greeted by the owner’s uncle who was helping her through the weekend breakfast rush, I found the place immediately welcoming. Once the food came, it was obvious that Rose’s presents a triple threat: Great people, great food, and a great space. Servers’ t-shirts don’t lie: “[Their] egg game is slappin’!” So is their bread and pastry game—all of which is made on-site, from scratch. If you’re sensitive to the heat, be aware that the space isn’t yet air conditioned.

Craft Work (8047 Agnes St., Detroit) Craft Work is a classy joint with simple food prepared perfectly. They serve brunch in their bar space, and only on Sundays from 11 AM-3 PM. The dim, wood-paneled interior feels inviting. Seating is community-style and comfortable at long high-top wooden tables. Service is attentive and friendly. Coffee is excellent. I tried the Eggs Benedict, and have never had a version like this. The hollandaise—a notoriously challenging sauce to make—is tart, creamy, and everything hollandaise is supposed to be. If you’re a visitor to Detroit, after brunch, make sure to drive around the Villages neighborhoods which surround Craft Work to see some of the city’s beautiful historic homes.

Russell Street Deli (2465 Russell St., Detroit) This is the kind of legit breakfast (and lunch) spot that’s only open until 3 PM. Breakfast is served all day on Saturdays, and until 10:30 AM on weekdays. They’re closed on Sundays, so be warned. The restaurant’s efforts to source local ingredients for their from-scratch cooking are facilitated by the fact that Eastern Market—the largest historic public market in the US—is across the street. Russell Street uses community-style seating to fit more people into a small space. Wait times are often manageable, and worth it. Create your own egg dish, or ask for something from the menu. The bread is amazing, particularly the raisin bread they use to make French toast. This place is a Detroit classic, and for good reason.

These are just a few of the great spots which I’ve had a chance to try. What’s missing? Tell us what breakfast spots you think are phenomenal, and why.

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