Food and Drink

Food & Drink Options

With the exception of the soul food places on this list, vegetarian options can be found at all restaurants. The restaurants that have a “V” after their name are those offering a wider variety and good quality of vegetarian options. Vegan and gluten-free offerings are not commonly advertised in Detroit, but in most cases servers are willing to accommodate any dietary restrictions upon request.

Walking Distance from Campus Accommodations

Local Breakfast Options

The Towers Dining Hall  – ground floor of Towers residential hall

Avalon Bakery – Willis and Cass

Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts – Anthony Wayne Drive

Old Campus Diner – Greek diner on Cass and Kirby

Olympia Grille  – Greasy spoon diner on Cass and Warren

Student Center Food Court 

Lunch, Dinner and After Hours

Woodbridge Pub  – V

Good local food and drinks. Serves food late – $

Tony V’s Tavern

Homemade Pizzas, Indoor/Outdoor lounge-style bar – $

Circa 1890 Saloon

Closest to workshop housing. Standard bar food and pizzas. Old school dive bar.  – $

Cafe DIA and Kresge Court 

Lunch and cafe options at the Detroit Institute of Arts. – $


Middle Eastern food. Popular for lunchtime takeout or quick sit-down meal – $


Middle Eastern food. Similar to LaPita but food selection is better – $

Cass Cafe – V

Casual restaurant, art gallery, & bar. Variety of lunch & dinner options. Open late – $

Sy Thai – V

Good (spicy!) Thai food. Popular for take-out but also has a small seating area. Lunch & Dinner – $

La Feria Tapas

One of the best restaurants in Detroit!  Outstanding tapas. Very small restaurant suitable for groups of 6 or fewer. Gets crowded early / doesn’t take reservations. – $$ (or more, depending on how much you eat!)

The Grille Midtown

Gourmet bistro restaurant. Popular on weekends, when reservations are suggested – $$-$$$

Seva – V*

Vegetarian restaurant with excellent lunch, dinner, and happy hour options – $-$$


Korean and Japanese food, including sushi.  $-$$


No frills, pan-Asian options. Noteworthy for dim sum. Popular for lunch but also serves dinner – $

3rd Street Bar / Dangerously Delicious Pies

Unassuming bar exterior with a nice outdoor patio in back. Famous for selection of savory and sweet pies. And its bar. – $

The Bronx

Excellent deli-style sandwiches served in a laid back indoor/outdoor dive bar. Great people-watching, music, and a favorite of Wayne State archaeologists – $

Motor City Brewery

Known for their delicious homemade gourmet pizzas and home brewed beer. The Ghettoblaster Beer is a must! – $-$$

Traffic Jam & Snug

Wide variety of entree options in this sprawling maze of a restaurant/bar. Good for large groups & family friendly – $$

Honest John’s

Epic dive restaurant/bar frequented by a cross-section of Detroiters, old & young. Good bar-style food for dinner, lunch & brunch. The Chicken & Waffles is not to be missed! – $

The Majestic Cafe

Sit-down restaurant attached to the Majestic Theatre & Magic Stick. Offers wide variety of dinner entrees. Ask the server to show you the closed-off theatre where Harry Houdini performed his last show! – $$

Slows to Go

Take-out satellite of the Detroit’s most popular restaurant, Slow’s BBQ (see below). You can place pick-up orders on their website. Closes at 8pm. – $

Z’s Bar & Grille

An old Victorian house converted into sports pub / pizza restaurant. Nice outdoor dining / recreation area (beach volleyball, horseshoes). Serves pizza & bar food. -$

Whole Foods Grocery Store

If you’d rather stock up! Corner of Woodward & Mack, behind the Bank of America building. Has all the options to suit various dietary preferences.

Further Afield (not walkable)

Cliff Bell’s (Downtown)

Gorgeous 1930s-era jazz club. A must see! Fancier dinners, or just hang out w/ classy cocktails. Live jazz nightly. Reservations for dinner suggested. Most nights charge an entry cover of $5-10 after 9pm – $$

Roast (Downtown)

Among the fanciest and tastiest restaurant in Detroit, located in the newly restored Book Cadillac Hotel. Dinner is popular with the rich & famous. The less rich & less famous might enjoy taking advantage of the cheaper Happy Hour food specials.  Reservations for dinner – $$$

DeMongo’s Speakeasy (Downtown)

A tiny Detroit soul food and live music bar & restaurant housed in an eclectically-decorated historic speakeasy. Only open on weekends. Menu options are limited to 2-3 home cooked dishes per night (think fried chicken, red beans & rice, etc). Mr. DeMongo acts as doorman and grants entry to those he deems suitable (don’t worry, it’s not like getting into Studio 54!)  A uniquely Detroit experience – $-$$

Tommy’s Bar (Downtown)

Standard bar fare for lunch & dinner. Most notable for being a cozy historic bar with the remains of a speakeasy in the basement (documented by WSU archaeology students last summer).  Make sure to introduce yourself to Mr. Tommy the owner!  – $

Slow’s BBQ  (Corktown)

By far the most popular restaurant in Detroit. Known for it’s tasty BBQ. Expect to wait 1-2 hours on a normal day to be seated, longer on game days. Reservations are not accepted. Best to go in small groups of 2-3 and try to snag a first-come/first-served seat at the bar – $$

Mercury Bar (Corktown)

Fun Motown diner-style restaurant indoors (good burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc) with an outdoor biergarten and huge local beer selection – $

Ottava Via (Corktown)

Italian bistro restaurant indoors. Outdoor fire pit and bocce ball court outdoors. – $$

Two James’ Distillery (Corktown)

A fine, funky drinking establishment offering Two James’ own whiskey, amongst other things – $$

Sugar House (Corktown)

Comfortable craft cocktail bar, with excellent but pricey (for Detroit) drinks. Popular with the 1890s hipster crowd – $$

Brooklyn St. Local  (Corktown) – V

Casual breakfast, brunch and lunch spot. Indoor/outdoor – $

The Green Dot Stables (Corktown) – V

Krysta’s favorite!!  Old horse stable converted into gourmet slider restaurant bar. The food options are endless and include a weekly “mystery meat” sandwich. Always crowded (wait is usually 20-30 mins), but always good. Family friendly and open late – $

Supinos Pizza (Eastern Market)

Thin-crust, brick-oven pizza. Very good. Eat in or take out. – $-$$

Russell St. Deli  (Eastern Market)

Popular breakfast place and wide variety of deli-sandwich lunches. Expect to wait in a line around the block on Saturday mornings – $

Bert’s  (Eastern Market)

The best BBQ ribs, chicken, and soul food in Detroit!  Open daily for lunch/dinner, but on Saturday afternoons the place explodes with an outdoor BBQ set-up accompanied by live music on the front street-side and the most unbelievably talented karaoke singers out back (including many former Motown singers) – $

Detroit Vegan Soul  (East Village) -V

Off the beaten track, new soul food restaurant for vegans – $

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge (7 Mile & Livernois)

Allegedly the oldest jazz club in the world, Baker’s offers live jazz nightly and soul food dinners. Compact but cozy! – $

Dakota Inn Rathskeller  (Hollywood / McNichols)

90-year old Bavarian (German) restaurant deep in the heart of one of Detroit’s struggling Hollywood neighborhood. A quirky place with excellent German food. Secure parking next to building. Open Weds-Sunday. Reservations needed. – $-$$

Atwater Brewery Biergarten (Grosse Pointe Park)

Hot new biergarten serving food and Detroit-brewed Atwater beer in a converted church w/ outdoor beer garden – $-$$

Cadieux Cafe (East Village) – V

Historic Belgian restaurant and neighborhood bar with accompanying suite ofentrees (especially mussels!) and beers. Attached to a Belgian feather-bowling lane. It looks no-frills, but the food is great!  Family friendly – $-$$

Rock City Eatery (Hamtramck)

Unassuming eclectic restaurant serving variety of gourmet ethnic foods made w/ local ingredients. Absolutely delicious! Very casual and family friendly. Serves lunch & dinner. – $-$$

Polish Village Cafe  (Hamtramck)

The place for home-cooked Polish food. Expect a great meal – not a fancy restaurant with 5-star service (it’s in a basement!).  Can be crowded on game days, but worth the wait. This is a cash-only restaurant!  – $-$$

For more suggestions see: Eater Detroit