Your Guide to Dining During the North American International Auto Show

Hop on the People Mover and check out these local eateries


Central Kitchen + Bar's Lamb Burger // Photograph Courtesy of Central Kitchen + Bar

The People Mover isn’t the only method of public transportation in Detroit, but it can be pretty useful during the North American International Auto Show. After having your fill of the latest in car technology, make a pit stop at these local bars and restaurants – all just a short walk away from the nearest People Mover station.

Cobo Center:

The Apparatus Room
The five-story Foundation Hotel’s terrific restaurant, the Apparatus Room. is in a building across from Cobo Center that once housed the Detroit Fire Department headquarters. During the Auto Show, the restaurant will offer “Prix Fixe” limited lunch and dinner menus with select dish options ranging from $25 to $95. Regular dining menus will also be available.
Detroit Foundation Hotel, 250 W. Larned St., Detroit; 313-800-5600;

Tommy’s Detroit Bar and Grill
This historic bar and grill specializes in massive burgers, hand-dipped wings, and house-made corned beef. Have time to spare before venturing back to Cobo? Tommy’s offers 25-minute tours, taking guests through tunnels that allegedly once used to smuggle liquor from Canada across the Detroit River during Prohibition.
624 3rd Ave., Detroit; 313-965-2269;

Cobo Joe’s Smokehouse BBQ & Sports Bar
Located right across the street from Cobo Center, the aptly named smokehouse and sports bar is known for its famous barbeque and colorful history as a speakeasy. Enjoyed house-smoked hams, bacon, turkey, briskets, chicken, and more.  
422 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-965-0840;


Maru Sushi
Housed inside the Federal Building, Maru Sushi offers fresh sushi, udon, and other Japanese dishes and cocktails. The sushi stop offers daily specials and happy hour deals including 20 percent off sushi rolls and $2 bottles of Kirin and Sapporo.
160 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-315-3100;

Dime Store
For the early auto show-goers, Dime Store is the place for a morning pick-me-up. The breakfast/lunch spot adds just the right retro touch to a contemporary American menu, typified by omelets and benedicts early in the day; don’t miss the housemade chorizo.
719 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-962-9106;

Michigan Avenue:

American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island
Few things are as iconically Detroit as the North American International Auto Show and a classic Detroit coney. Stop into one of the rivaling diners  (everyone has their favorite) for quick and cheap eats.
American Coney Island, 114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-7758; Lafayette Coney Island, 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-964-8198;

Times Square:

Enjoy some of Detroit’s Soul Food scene at SavannahBlue. The restaurant in Times Square takes its inspiration from the deep south and gives it a big-city spin. Highlights include the twice-dredged fried chicken and the shrimp and grits.
1431 Times Sq., Detroit; 313-926-0783;

Urban Bean Co.
Need a quick cup of joe? Stop into this quirky downtown cafe. Fuel up with a fresh cup of Great Lakes Coffee, a Dutch Girl Donut, or a house special like the Pure Evil Latte, which blends amaretto, cherry, milk, and espresso. 
200 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-496-1010;

Grand Circus Park:

Rusted Crow Detroit
The second location of this distillery soars above the gastropub pack. Refined appetizers like mussels marinated in white wine and lemon and a caprese salad sit alongside spinach artichoke dip and chicken wings. Cleverly named craft cocktails utilize house spirits, including Detroit Steam Vodka and Murder Mitten Moonshine. 
78 W. Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-782-4751;

The Royce Detroit
Sip on a glass of wine while mulling over your discoveries at Cobo. The Royce has a wide variety of wine selections as well as charcuterie, cheese, and small plates pairings from all over the world.
Kales Building, 76 W. Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-481-2160;


Small Plates
This restaurant features shareable plates that cover a variety of tastes. From Baja Style Fish Tacos to Portabella, Eggplant, and Kale Sliders, there’s sure to be something that fills you up, but leaves just enough space for dessert … or another small plate.
1521 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-963-0702;

Detroit Beer Company
This brewhouse offers a rotating menu of beers, both bottled and on tap, bring new beers for beer-lovers to enjoy with every visit.
1529 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-962-1529;

ASHE Supply Co.
For lighter fare, ASHE Supply Co. offers craft coffee and pastries including handcrafted espresso drinks and sweet treats from Sister Pie and other local bakeries.
1555 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-672-2070;

Cadillac Center:

Standby’s extensive selection of cocktails makes it the place to grab a post-show drink. Whether you enjoy gin, tequila, vodka, or rum, this small restaurant in The Belt Alley has carefully crafted cocktails and small and large plate food selections.
225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-736-5533;

Orchid Thai Detroit
For those with a taste for Thai cuisine, Orchid Thai offers dishes made from passed-down recipes. Classic dishes include Pad Thai and Pad Pak Curry. Wash it down with Thai iced coffee, iced tea, or boba.
115 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-962-0225;


This seafood, steak, and sushi restaurant is a Greektown go-to. Even during Michigan winter, the atmosphere and Cajun-inspired entrees like Seafood Gumbo or one of the many Po’Boys will make you feel like you’re dining in the warm French Quarter.
400 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-965-4600;

Pegasus Tavern
Located right by the Greektown People Mover Station, Pegasus Tavern offers traditional Greek cuisine. Open until 3 a.m., you can satisfy your late-night Greek food cravings well after the show ends. Opa!
558 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-964-6800;


Detroiter Bar
Head to Detroiter Bar for classic bar cuisine with a Detroit twist. The bar is known for its burgers, sandwiches, and steak-cut fries at affordable prices.
655 Beaubien St., Detroit; 313-963-3355;

Ready Player One
Nestled in Greektown, Ready Player One houses vintage video games and modern twists on nostalgic, homestyle food. Going along with the theme, specialty cocktails are named after classic video game characters. Each food or drink order comes with a generous amount of game tokens.
407 E. Fort St., Detroit; 313-395-3300;

Millender Center:

Sweetwater Tavern
Wings are the specialty of this well-known Detroit restaurant. Sweetwater Tavern owner Jeffrey Cain has perfected his chicken wing recipe, combining elements from both northern and southern cooking styles.
400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210;

Cadillac Lodge
Need something to do after the Auto Show? Head to the ski-lodge inspired Cadillac Lodge. The seasonal pop-up hosts board games, cozy fireplaces, as well as hot cocktails, desserts, and light bites.
662 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-9000;

Financial District:

Townhouse Detroit
From breakfast to dinner, Townhouse has you covered with extensive brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Make sure you check out the architecture, particularly the massive retractable glass roof at this hot spot, which ramps up styled dining in Detroit.
500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-723-1000;

Central Kitchen + Bar
A mere 863 steps away from Cobo Center, Central Kitchen + Bar will surely be a hot spot during the Auto Show. Specialty dishes include a Lamb Burger topped with spicy whipped feta, pickled red onion, arugula, and tomato, or a Pickled Beet Salad.
660 Woodward Ave. #4A, Detroit; 313-963-9000;

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