Celebrating Detroit’s Food Culture

Detroit’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are thriving, perhaps especially restaurants and food-focused ventures. However, 2014 has been called the year of the restaurant and the trend continues in 2015. This Eater Detroit overview presents 15 of the most notable recent restaurant openings of 2014. Places like Selden Standard, Antietam, and Wright & Co. offer incredible, award-winning menus, and these projects required significant funding in order to come to fruition. The dining experiences they present are exquisite, and the price tags connected to them can be significant.

We found the perfect waffle fry in Hamtramck. Photo courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem (bpv.tumblr.com).
We found the perfect waffle fry in Hamtramck. Photo courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem (bpv.tumblr.com).

There are plenty of fantastic dining options in Detroit within the $8-$15 per person price range, which is much more feasible for most budgets. Try these: Brooklyn Street Local, Rose’s Fine Food, Rock City Eatery, Always Brewing Detroit, and Sister Pie. The cool thing about these (and other, similar) places is that the people who’ve created these places are almost definitely in the there when you are. They are locals who care deeply about their craft and their city. If you visit any of these places, take a moment to greet the owners.

This is the time of year when Detroiters fully commit to celebrating the city’s food culture. Two events– Detroit Restaurant Week and Dine Drink Detroit– are culinary appreciation headliners. Here’s a brief overview of each, and there’s still time to catch both.

Detroit Restaurant Week (September 18-27, 2015)

Detroit Restaurant Week is a long-standing biannual celebration of fine dining in Detroit. Top dining destinations offer specially-priced three-course meals for only $35. Several other restaurants offer selections for $25 per person. A list of this year’s participating restaurants are listed on the event’s website, along with helpful responses to frequently asked questions. All participating restaurants are required to offer vegetarian options. Pro-tip: Before you head over to one of the fantastic participating establishments, make reservations. They’re not required, but are strongly encouraged.

Courtesy of Detroit Restaurant Week
Courtesy of Detroit Restaurant Week

Dine Drink Detroit (October 1-10, 2015)

As Dine Drink Detroit’s home page states, the event celebrates “one of the country’s most exciting emerging restaurant cultures…Participating establishments are offering up something extra special for only fifteen bucks. At least one food item, a drink, and an awesome night are included in the price.” Dine Drink Detroit is a younger event than Detroit Restaurant Week, and is regarded by many as the more approachable– and certainly more affordable– alternative. Participating restaurants are generally less formal than many (but not all) of those which engage with Detroit Restaurant Week.

Courtesy of Dine Drink Detroit
Courtesy of Dine Drink Detroit

All businesses which participate in both events are of high caliber. It’s the tone and price of the events which differ, so pick what you like better– or, perhaps, pick both! Each serves to celebrate the fantastically diverse burgeoning food culture in Detroit.

Which restaurants will you explore during Detroit Restaurant Week and Dine Drink Detroit? Tell us about your favorites!