Best of Detroit 2020

You voted. We counted. Now, here are the winners of this year’s Best of Detroit readers poll.

best of detroit 2020

A few notes about this year’s process: Voting took place before the state’s Stay Home, Stay Safe initiative was put in place. Many of the winners are operating at limited capacity for now. Please check with them before visiting. Also, voter comments revealed a ton of passion for businesses that didn’t quite take the top spot. With that in mind, we’ve added second- and third-place winners to this year’s list. Congratulations to this year’s Best of Detroit!


All-night eatery

1st O.W.L., Royal Oak

2nd Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit

3rd National Coney Island, multiple locations

Bagel shop

1st New York Bagel, multiple locations

2nd Detroit Institute of Bagels, Detroit

3rd Elaine’s Bagels, multiple locations

Barbecue restaurant

1st Slows Bar BQ, Detroit

2nd Bad Brads BBQ, multiple locations

3rd Woodpile BBQ Shack, Madison Heights, Clawson

Best restaurant

1st San Morello, Detroit

2nd Prime + Proper, Detroit

3rd SheWolf Pastificio & Bar, Detroit

Restaurant for breakfast

1st Dime Store, Detroit

2nd The Jagged Fork, multiple locations

3rd Rose’s Fine Food, Detroit

Restaurant for brunch

1st Rochester Brunch House, Rochester

2nd Dime Store, Detroit

3rd Toast, Birmingham, Ferndale

Burger spot

1st Redcoat Tavern, Royal Oak

2nd Mercury Burger Bar, Detroit

3rd Frita Batidos, Ann Arbor, Detroit

Cheap eats

1st Green Dot Stables, Detroit, Lansing

2nd Leo’s Coney Island, multiple locations

3rd Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit


1st Angelo Loria, Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

2nd James Rigato, Mabel Gray, Hazel Park; The Root Restaurant & Bar, White Lake

3rd Kate Williams, Lady of the House, Detroit

Chinese restaurant

1st The Peterboro, Detroit

2nd Shangri-La, Detroit

3rd Mon Jin Lau, Troy

Coffee shop

1st Espresso Elevado, Plymouth

2nd Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co., multiple locations

3rd Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters, multiple locations

Coney Island

1st Leo’s Coney Island, multiple locations

2nd Lafayette Coney Island, Detroit

3rd National Coney Island, multiple locations


1st Vince & Joe’s Gourment Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

2nd Steve’s Deli, Bloomfield Hills

3rd (tied) Stage Deli, West Bloomfield

3rd (tied) Mudgie’s Deli & Bar, Detroit


1st For the Love of Sugar, Detroit

2nd Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

3rd Astoria Pastry Shop, Detroit, Royal Oak


1st Karl’s, Detroit

2nd O.W.L., Royal Oak

3rd Whistle Stop Diner, Birmingham, Pleasant Ridge

Donut shop

1st Donut Bar, Southfield, Troy

2nd Dutch Girl Donuts, Detroit

3rd Donut Cutter, Berkley

Fast/casual restaurant

1st Frita Batidos, Ann Arbor, Detroit

2nd Poke Poke, multiple locations

3rd Penny Red’s, Detroit

Food truck

1st Nosh Pit Detroit, Detroit

2nd Jack’s Roadside BBQ, Clarkston

3rd Detroit 75 Kitchen, Detroit

Restaurant for french fries

1st HopCat, multiple locations

2nd Townhouse, Birmingham, Detroit

3rd Frita Batidos,Ann Arbor, Detroit

Greek restaurant

1st Pegasus Taverna, Detroit

2nd The Greek Islands Coney, multiple locations

3rd Kouzina, Ann Arbor, Royal Oak

Ice cream/gelato shop

1st Ray’s Ice Cream, Royal Oak

2nd Dolce Gelato at Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

3rd The Custard Hut, Dearborn Heights, Detroit

Indian restaurant

1st Rangoli Indian Cuisine, Auburn Hills

2nd Priya Indian Restaurant, Troy

3rd Cardamom, Ann Arbor

Italian restaurant

1st Da Francesco’s, Shelby Twp.

2nd (tied) Andiamo, multiple locations

2nd (tied) SheWolf Pastificio & Bar, Detroit

3rd Antonio’s Cucina Italiana, multiple locations

Kid-friendly restaurant

1st (tied) Leo’s Coney Island, multiple locations

1st (tied) Buddy’s Pizza, multiple locations

2nd (tied) Jolly Pumpkin Brewery and Cafe, multiple locations

2nd (tied) Crispelli’s Bakery and Pizzeria,
multiple locations

3rd (tied) Bigalora, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Rebecca’s Restaurant, Northville

Mexican restaurant

1st El Charro, multiple locations

2nd Mexican Village Restaurant, Detroit, Utica

3rd Barrio Cocina y Tequileria, Plymouth

Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant

1st La Saj Lebanese Bistro, Troy, Sterling Heights

2nd Phoenicia, Birmingham

3rd La Marsa Mediterranean Cuisine, multiple locations

Restaurant for pho

1st Pho Lucky, multiple locations

2nd Ima, multiple locations

3rd Que Huong Restaurant, Madison Heights

Pizza place

1st Buddy’s Pizza, multiple locations

2nd Jet’s Pizza, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Green Lantern Pizza, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Supino’s Pizzeria, Detroit

Place to take a client

1st San Morello, Detroit

2nd Prime + Proper, Detroit

3rd London Chop House, Detroit

Polish restaurant

1st Polish Village Café, Hamtramck

2nd Polka Restaurant & Beer Cafe, Troy

3rd Polonia Restaurant, Hamtramck

Pop-up restaurant

1st Street Beet, Detroit

2nd Frame, Hazel Park

3rd Revolver, Hamtramck

Restaurant with a view

1st Highlands, Detroit

2nd Joe Muer Seafood, Detroit, Bloomfield Hills

3rd Iridescence, Detroit

Romantic dining

1st Prime + Proper, Detroit

2nd The Whitney, Detroit

3rd San Morello, Detroit

Sandwich shop

1st Mudgie’s Deli & Bar, Detroit

2nd Ernie’s Market, Oak Park

3rd Rocco’s Italian Deli, Detroit

Seafood restaurant

1st Joe Muer Seafood, Detroit, Bloomfield Hills

2nd Voyager, Ferndale

3rd Streetside Seafood, Birmingham

Soul food restaurant

1st Detroit Vegan Soul, Detroit

2nd Beans & Cornbread, Southfield

3rd SavannahBlue, Detroit

Special-occasion restaurant

1st Prime + Proper, Detroit

2nd San Morello, Detroit

3rd The Whitney, Detroit


1st Prime + Proper, Detroit

2nd London Chop House, Detroit

3rd Clawson Steak House, Clawson

Sushi restaurant

1st Noble Fish, Clawson

2nd Ronin Sushi, Royal Oak

3rd Maru Sushi, Detroit

Taco spot

1st Imperial, Ferndale

2nd Taqueria El Rey, Detroit

3rd (tied) Hot Taco, Detroit

3rd (tied) El Charro, multiple locations

Thai restaurant

1st Khom Fai: Thai Dining Experience, Macomb

2nd Bangkok 96 Restaurant, Dearborn

3rd Sy Thai, Troy

Vegan/vegetarian restaurant

1st Inn Season Cafe, Royal Oak

2nd Seva, Detroit, Ann Arbor

3rd Street Beet, Detroit

Meeting the Need 

Gleaners Community Food Bank has responded decisively in a time of crisis

// By Rachael Thomas 

best of detroit 2020 gleaners
Helping hands: Gleaners School Food Mobile workers prepare food for distribution to students and families in need. // Photograph by Nick Hagen

Gleaners Community Food Bank has been putting food on the tables of those in need for more than 40 years. It’s not surprising, then, that the Best of Detroit-winning organization saw a potential food-insecurity crisis coming with the emergence of COVID-19 and sprang into action.

Since mid-March, Gleaners has set up 66 drive-up distribution sites throughout southeast Michigan, modeled after its 90-plus existing School Food Mobile sites, says Stacy Averill, senior director of community giving and public relations. Those monthly distributions provide up to 30 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and other nutritious foods to students and families in need at schools in Livingston, Oakland, Wayne, Monroe, and Macomb counties.

As of late April, the 66 new distribution sites had provided 2 million pounds of food to more than 43,000 households, Averill says. That’s on top of the 3 to 4 million pounds of food Gleaners regularly gives out each month. The food bank intends to continue its additional distributions throughout the summer, when, with children out of school, the need for food is typically heightened.

Gleaners has also been encouraging organizations to replace actual food drives with virtual drives to help fund its efforts. Detroit Lions running backs coach Kyle Caskey is among those who have organized virtual drives. He raised nearly $25,000, Averill says, surpassing his $20,000 goal. Donors can also contribute directly through Gleaners’ website and attribute their gifts to the organization of their choice. Every dollar donated pays for three meals.

Other efforts include the Powered by Food Initiative, which was supported by a $150,000 match incentive from PNC Bank and other donors. Proceeds will help feed children in need who are not now in school, and their families.

Gleaners has also ramped up efforts to help seniors in need. Its quarantine boxes, with enough food for 22 meals, are being made and distributed with help from the Food Bank Council of Michigan, Detroit Area Agency on Aging, and volunteers from the Michigan National Guard. As of late April, Gleaners was producing 5,000 boxes weekly.

“Our team is truly amazing for the work they’ve been able to do in this short period of time,” Averill says. “We’ve been able to do it because of the collaboration from not only our partners in the community but also the donors who’ve come to the table, our fellow advocates for food banking.”



1st Chas Williams, Evening Bar, Detroit

2nd Rob Daleski, La Lanterna, Detroit

3rd Pam Allard, Liberty Bar, Pontiac

Beer selection

1st HopCat, multiple locations

2nd Brown Iron Brewhouse, Washington

3rd Brakeman, Detroit


1st Griffin Claw Brewing Co., Birmingham

2nd Batch Brewing Co., Detroit

3rd Atwater Brewery, Detroit

Cocktail bar

1st The Sugar House, Detroit

2nd The Oakland Art Novelty Co., Ferndale

3rd Evening Bar, Detroit


1st Two James Spirits, Detroit

2nd Valentine’s Distilling Co., Ferndale

3rd Motor City Gas, Royal Oak

Dive bar

1st The Old Miami, Detroit

2nd Gusoline Alley, Royal Oak

3rd Checker Bar Detroit, Detroit

Happy hour

1st Roast, Detroit

2nd Townhouse, Birmingham, Detroit

3rd Bobcat Bonnie’s, multiple locations


1st Soho, Ferndale

2nd Liberty Bar, Pontiac

3rd Temple Bar, Detroit

Michigan beer

1st Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo

2nd Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids

3rd Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire

Neighborhood bar

1st Chesley’s Bar & Grille, Lincoln Park

2nd (tied) Mt. Chalet II, Royal Oak

2nd (tied) Townhouse, Birmingham, Detroit

3rd Abick’s Bar, Detroit

Place to dance

1st Marble Bar, Detroit

2nd Boogie Fever Cafe & Disco, Ferndale

3rd Deluxx Fluxx, Detroit

Place to drink outdoors

1st Youngblood Vineyard, Ray

2nd Townhouse, Birmingham, Detroit

3rd The Old Miami, Detroit

Sports bar

1st Art & Jake’s Sports Bar, multiple locations

2nd 24 Seconds, Berkley

3rd Brakeman, Detroit

Swanky bar

1st Evening Bar, Detroit

2nd Candy Bar, Detroit

3rd Bad Luck Bar, Detroit

Wine bar

1st Michigan by the Bottle, multiple locations

2nd The Royce, Detroit

3rd MotorCity Wine, Detroit


1st Youngblood Vineyard, Ray

2nd Detroit Vineyards, Detroit

3rd Michigan by the Bottle, multiple locations

Good to Go

When their doors closed, these four standout eateries made their Best of Detroit award-winning menus mobile through curbside and takeout service

By Lyndsay Green // Photographs by Kailey Howell


Antique Shop

1st Odd Fellows Antiques, Berkley

2nd (tied) Town Peddler Craft and Antique Mall, Livonia

2nd (tied) Treasure Mart, Ann Arbor

3rd (tied) Eastern Market Antiques, Detroit

3rd (tied) Knightsbridge Antique Mall, Northville

Appliance shop

1st Sargent Appliance, multiple locations

2nd Witbeck Appliance, West Bloomfield, Petosky

3rd Hawthorne Appliance, multiple locations

Auto dealership

1st George Matick Chevrolet, Redford
Charter Twp.

2nd (tied) Buff Whelan Chevrolet, Sterling Heights

2nd (tied) Moran Chevrolet, Clinton Twp.

2nd (tied) Bill Brown Ford, Livonia

3rd Suburban Ford, multiple locations


1st Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

2nd For the Love of Sugar, Detroit

3rd Love & Buttercream, Birmingham

Bike shop

1st Metropolis Cycles, Detroit

2nd Detroit Bikes, Detroit

3rd D&D Bicycles, multiple locations


1st John K. King Books, Detroit, Ferndale

2nd Book Beat, Oak Park

3rd Source Booksellers, Detroit

Bridal salon

1st The Wedding Shoppe, Berkley

2nd (tied) Joy Abenmode Bridal Boutique, Royal Oak

2nd (tied) Lace Boutique, Troy

3rd Ashley & Alexandria’s Bridal Boutique, Southfield

Cake shop

1st Love & Buttercream, Birmingham

2nd For the Love of Sugar, Detroit

3rd Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

Candy store

1st Mrs. Mason’s Co., Royal Oak

2nd Docs Sweets’ Candy Co., Clawson

3rd Bon Bon Bon, Hamtramck, Detroit


1st Mrs. Mason’s Co., Royal Oak

2nd Bon Bon Bon, Hamtramck, Detroit

3rd Sanders Candy, multiple locations

Cigar shop

1st Churchill’s Cigar Bar & Bistro, multiple locations

2nd Ambassador Cigars & Spirits, Troy

3rd Robusto’s Cigar Bar and Bistro, Sterling Heights

Comic book shop

1st Vault of Midnight, multiple locations

2nd Green Brain Comics, Dearborn

3rd Big Ben’s Comix Oasis, Allen Park

Farmers market

1st Eastern Market, Detroit

2nd Royal Oak Farmers Market, Royal Oak

3rd Birmingham Farmers Market, Birmingham

Flower shop

1st Viviano Flower Shop, multiple locations

2nd Blüm Floral Design

3rd Nino Salvaggio, multiple locations

Furniture store

1st Leon & Lulu, Clawson

2nd Gorman’s Furniture, multiple locations

3rd Gardner White, multiple locations

Gift shop

1st Leon & Lulu, Clawson

2nd Catching Fireflies, multiple locations

3rd City Bird, Detroit

Gourmet foods

1st Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

2nd Nino Salvaggio’s, multiple locations

3rd Papa Joe’s, multiple locations

High-end clothing store

1st Claymore Shop, Birmingham

2nd Guys N Gals, West Bloomfield Twp.

3rd The Peacock Room, Detroit

Home décor shop

1st A Touch of Lace, Bloomfield Hills

2nd Leon & Lulu, Clawson

3rd Nest, Detroit

Jewelry store

1st Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, multiple locations

2nd Miner’s Den, Royal Oak

3rd Radiant Fine Jewelry, Plymouth

Kids’ clothing store

1st Petite Cabane, Birmingham

2nd Little High Flyers, Detroit

3rd James and Olive, Rochester

Lingerie store

1st Bra-vo Intimates, Royal Oak

2nd Harp’s Lingerie, Birmingham

3rd Busted Bra Shop, Detroit

Marijuana dispensary (recreational)

1st LIV Ferndale, Ferndale

2nd Arbors Wellness, Ann Arbor

3rd Utopia Gardens, Detroit

Men’s clothing store

1st The Suit Depot, Oak Park

2nd Claymore Shop, Birmingham

3rd George Gregory, Detroit


1st English Gardens, multiple locations

2nd Bordines, multiple locations

3rd Telly’s Greenhouse, Troy, Shelby Twp.

Optical Shop

1st Roland Optics, Bloomfield Hills

2nd See Eyewear, multiple locations

3rd Henry Ford Optimeyes, multiple locations

Pie shop

1st Sister Pie, Detroit

2nd Achatz Handmade Pie Co., multiple locations

3rd Grand Traverse Pie Co., multiple locations

Place to buy art

1st Lilacpop Studio, Ferndale

2nd (tied) Yellow Door Art Market, Berkley

2nd (tied) Jacqueline Drake Gallery, Franklin

3rd The Rust Belt Market, Ferndale

Plus-size clothing selection

1st Hips Resale Boutique, Clawson

2nd Peacock Room, Detroit

3rd Bombshell Bridal Boutique, St. Clair Shores

Record store

1st Dearborn Music, Dearborn

2nd Found Sound, Ferndale

3rd Third Man Records, Detroit

Vintage/consignment clothes

1st Consignment Clothiers Inc., Northville

2nd Lost and Found, Royal Oak

3rd Boro, Detroit

Wine store

1st Michigan by the Bottle, multiple locations

2nd Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

3rd Nino Salvaggio’s, multiple locations

Women’s boutique

1st La Vie en Rose Boutique, Wyandotte

2nd Peacock Room, Detroit

3rd Guys N Gals, West Bloomfield Twp.

Reader Comments 

Best donut shop 

“I was never much of a donut fan until I tried Donut Bar. They take donuts to the next level. Their creativity with the flavor combinations they invent is astounding.” —Amanda Abro, Rochester Hills

Best pizza place 

“My kids and I have grown up with Buddy’s Pizza. To see Detroit-styled pizza finally gain some national recognition is cool. We always knew the pizzeria was great. Now other people are figuring out how great it is too.” —Sal Aluzzo, Sterling Heights

Best pop-up

“Street Beet’s vegan chicken sandwich never fails to bring tears of joy to my eyes. It’s delicious, like everything else on their menu. The two ladies who started the business are passionate about what they do and who they serve, and it always shows.” —Alexis Moceri, Detroit

Best chocolatier 

“I’m one of those people who tastes brittles wherever I go when I travel. Mrs. Mason’s Co. brittles and bonbons are the best I’ve ever had. Hands down, the best. Fresh, not too sweet, mouthwatering.” —Diane Puvin, Clarkston

Best kids’ clothes

“Petite Cabane is the most adorable and beautiful store with amazing service. Wonderful place for any sort of gift for children. The clothes are so beautiful and unique. Absolutely love this store!” —Sarah Wagenberg, Sylvan Lake

Best winery

“Youngblood Vineyard is amazing. The owners are wonderful. Great place to stop by and enjoy a drink or two under the pavilion in the summer.” —Jeff Hales,

Best wine store 

“Michigan by the Bottle is a great place to learn about wine. This place only serves Michigan-made wines, cheeses, and chocolates. Their staff is knowledgeable and friendly. No wine snobs here!” —Terrie Donnelly, Sterling Heights

Best news anchor 

Rhonda Walker is an awesome news anchor and a great person. She gives so much of her time and effort to charities and is an advocate for health and wellness. She’s an inspiration.—Brooke Saunders, Oak park

Detroit Life


1st MGM, Detroit

2nd Greektown, Detroit

3rd MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit

Charitable organization

1st Gleaners Food Bank, multiple locations

2nd Michigan Humane Society, multiple locations

3rd Bees in the D, Detroit

Cider mill

1st Yates Cider Mill, Rochester Hills

2nd Franklin Cider Mill, Bloomfield Hills

3rd Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill, Armada

Detroit City Football Club player

1st Cyrus Sadee

2nd Bakie Goodman

3rd Roderic Green Jr.

Detroit Lions player

1st Matthew Stafford

2nd Kenny Golladay

3rd Darius Slay

Detroit Pistons player

1st Derrick Rose

2nd Blake Griffin

3rd Andre Drummond

Detroit Red Wings player

1st Dylan Larkin

2nd Tyler Bertuzzi

3rd Anthony Mantha

Detroit Tigers player

1st Miguel Cabrera

2nd Matthew Boyd

3rd Daniel Norris

Fitness class

1st Tiffany’s Training HIIT Gym, Royal Oak

2nd RAW Fitness, Washington

3rd (tied) Citizen Yoga, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Retrofit Studio, Royal Oak

Fitness trainer

1st Brad Goodstein, Retrofit Studio, Royal Oak

2nd John Cook, Movestrong, Rochester

3rd Dominic Danno, Dannofit, Madison Heights

Food at a pro-sports venue

1st Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

2nd Ford Field, Detroit

3rd Comerica Park, Detroit


1st Retrofit Studio, Royal Oak

2nd RAW Fitness, Washington

3rd Dannofit


1st Shinola Hotel, Detroit

2nd Townsend Hotel, Birmingham

3rd Royal Park Hotel, Rochester

Movie theater (first-run)

1st Emagine, multiple locations

2nd MJR Digital Cinemas, multiple locations

3rd Birmingham 8, Birmingham

Movie theater (art/indie)

1st Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak

2nd The Maple Theater, Bloomfield Twp.

3rd Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Private golf course

1st Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills

2nd Detroit Golf Club, Detroit

3rd Red Run Golf Club, Royal Oak

Public golf course

1st Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club, Village of Clarkston

2nd Greystone, Washington

3rd (tied) Lincoln Hills Golf Course, Birmingham

3rd (tied) Westwynd Golf Course, Oakland Charter Twp.

Summer day camp

1st Born Yoga, Birmingham

2nd Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills

3rd (tied) The Roeper School, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham

3rd (tied) Willoway Day Camp, Milford

Venue for a kids’ party

1st Born Yoga, Birmingham

2nd Great Lakes Crossing, Auburn Hills

3rd Zap Zone, multiple locations

Yoga studio

1st Citizen Yoga, multiple locations

2nd White Lotus Yoga, Washington

3rd Born Yoga, Birmingham

The Ultimate Team Player

It’s year four of Matthew Stafford’s Best of Detroit winning streak, and the Lions QB proves voters right on and off the field

By Ashley Winn

matt stafford best of detroit 2020
Photograph of Matthew Stafford by Christine M.J. Hathaway

Rumors of an impending trade haven’t hampered Detroiters’ reverence for quarterback Matthew Stafford.

They voted him Best Detroit Lions Player for the fourth year in a row. There’s a reason he’s so well-loved — a reason that’s never been clearer than it is right now.

Sure, Stafford had the sixth-highest total quarterback rating of the 2019 season, and he was only the fourth QB in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a single season.

Many analysts regard the former No. 1 overall draft pick as one of the NFL’s best, and for those who still go to Ford Field despite the team’s long-running doldrums, Stafford is a singular beacon of hope. That’s certainly enough to gain him a sizable fan base on its own. But the enduring nature of that adoration finds its origin beyond Stafford’s on-field prowess.

He and his wife, Kelly, have been active in local charity work since he signed with the Lions in 2009. Each holiday season, for example, they select a few families facing hard times to surprise with a personal visit and an abundance of gifts.

Stafford also works with local charities, including sportswriter Mitch Albom’s SAY Detroit, and occasionally donates game tickets to local first responders.

The COVID-19 crisis in Detroit prompted the Staffords to go further. The couple sent free meals to local hospitals for essential workers and gave $100,000 to local organizations dedicated to combating hunger.

Those donations were split between Forgotten Harvest, which delivers food to local charities, and Detroit Public Schools Community District, which is providing meals to students not at school for their free lunches.

Stafford, who is notoriously reticent about discussing his good deeds, declined to be interviewed for this issue. But that discomfort with bragging about altruism may well be yet another reason Detroiters admire him.

We love people of talent, honor, modesty, and generosity, and Matthew Stafford is all that and more. Thus, his best-of streak comes as no surprise. The public clearly views him as the embodiment of exactly what it means to be the Best of Detroit.

Arts & Entertainment

Art fair

1st Ann Arbor Art Fair, Ann Arbor

2nd Art in the Park, Plymouth

3rd Wyandotte Street Art Fair, Wyandotte

Art gallery

1st Jacqueline Drake Gallery, Franklin

2nd (tied) Library Street Collective, Detroit

2nd (tied) Park West Gallery, Southfield

3rd David Klein Gallery, Birmingham

Author (local)

1st Geoffrey D. Calhoun

2nd Kristy Robinett

3rd Mitch Albom

Band (local)

1st George Aneed                     

2nd Killer Flamingos

3rd (tied) Bars of Gold

3rd (tied) Collision Six

Club for live music

1st El Club, Detroit

2nd Marble Bar, Detroit

3rd The Morrie, Birmingham, Royal Oak

Comedy club

1st Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, Royal Oak

2nd Go! Comedy Improv Theater, Ferndale

3rd One Night Stans Comedy Club, Waterford

Concert venue

1st DTE Energy Music Theatre, Village of Clarkston

2nd The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit

3rd Fox Theatre, Detroit

Jazz club

1st Cliff Bell’s, Detroit

2nd Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Detroit

3rd Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Grosse Pointe Farms

Museum (arts)

1st Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

2nd Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit

3rd Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills

Museum (other)

1st The Henry Ford, Dearborn

2nd Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit

3rd Motown Museum, Detroit

Theater/musicals venue

1st Fox Theatre, Detroit

2nd Fisher Theatre, Detroit

3rd Detroit Opera House, Detroit

Visual artist

1st Alexandria Bishop

2nd Janna Coumoundouros

3rd Kim Fujiwara

Detroit’s most missed

The winning attractions and venues that we can’t wait to visit

// By Emma Klug 

Detroit Institute of Arts
photograph of Detroit Institue of Arts courtesy of IStock

Fox Theatre

From music with the Blue Man Group to reality-TV gold with The Bachelor Live on Stage, the Fox Theatre was to showcase a wide array of programming this spring. Then, the pandemic hit. Events were postponed and ticket holders disappointed.  When this theater opens, it’ll be the hottest ticket in town. After months of binge-watching TV, it’s clear that nothing beats the real deal.

Comerica park

Questions that may arise on Opening Day: Will it rain — or even snow? Can you nab a ticket or will you have to party outside the park? And will you be brave enough to try one of the stadium’s crazy new food options — Coney Dog Egg Rolls, anyone? The event was to be held March 30, but the coronavirus changed that. Now, we’re sorely missing Comerica — and we wouldn’t mind an order of egg rolls.

Detroit Institute of Arts

The DIA won renewal of its tax millage on March 10. That night, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Michigan. In moments of crisis, many find solace in the arts. Whether that’s through lectures, film screenings, or the DIA’s 65,000-plus works, this is a spot we need now more than ever.

Media Personalities

Detroit ambassador

1st Detroit Bruce

2nd Eric Thomas

Local politician

1st Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor

2nd Elissa Slotkin, 8th District Representative

3rd (tied) Sen. Debbie Stabenow, United States Senator

3rd (tied) Haley Stevens, 11th District Representative

Meteorologist (local)

1st Dave Rexroth, Channel 7 WXYZ

2nd Brandon Roux, WDIV Local 4

3rd (tied) Andrew Humphrey, WDIV Local 4

3rd (tied) Ben Bailey, WDIV Local 4

Newspaper (local)

1st Detroit Free Press

2nd The Detroit News

3rd Macomb Daily

Opinion columnist

1st Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press

2nd (tied) Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press

2nd (tied) Frank Beckmann, The Detroit News

2nd (tied) Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press


1st The Drew and Mike Show

2nd (tied) The Homance Chronicles

2nd (tied) The Robinett’s Nest with Chuck and Kristy

2nd (tied) Before the Big Day

Radio DJ

1st Mojo in the Morning, Channel 95.5

2nd Jay Towers in the Morning, 100.3 WNIC

3rd Dave & Chuck the Freak, 101.1 WRIF

Radio news reporter

1st (tied) Paul Smith, WJR

1st (tied) Frank Beckmann, WJR

1st (tied) Ken Rogulski, WJR


1st Bernie Smilovitz, WDIV Local 4

2nd Brad Galli, Channel 7 WXYZ

3rd Jamie Edmonds, WDIV Local 4

Sports columnist/blogger

1st Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press

2nd (tied) Brendan Quinn, The Athletic

2nd (tied) Eric Schlitt, Lions Wire

Sports reporter

1st (tied) Brad Galli, Channel 7 WXYZ

1st (tied) Justin Rose, Channel 7 WXYZ

Sports play-by-play

1st (tied) Ken Kal, Detroit Red Wings

1st (tied) Neal Ruhl, Oakland University Golden Grizzlies

Traffic reporter

1st Kim DeGiulio, WDIV Local 4

2nd Ann Marie LaFlamme, formerly with Channel 7 WXYZ

3rd Dayna Clark, WJR

TV news reporter

1st (tied) Bill Proctor, Channel 7 WXYZ

1st (tied) Paula Tutman, WDIV Local 4

1st (tied) Roop Raj, Fox 2 Detroit

1st (tied) Taryn Asher, Fox 2 Detroit

TV news anchor

1st (tied) Devin Scillian, WDIV Local 4

1st (tied) Glenda Lewis, Channel 7 WXYZ

1st (tied) Rhonda Walker, WDIV Local 4

2nd (tied) Ameera David, Channel 7 WXYZ

2nd (tied) Huel Perkins, Fox 2 Detroit

2nd (tied) Karen Drew, WDIV Local 4

2nd (tied) Maurielle Lue, Fox 2 Detroit

An All-Star Lineup 

These multi-award winners must be doing something right

// By Rachael Thomas 

best of detroit 2020 born yoga
Photograph of Born Yoga courtesy of Born Yoga

Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market 

This family-owned business, a winner in nine categories this year, is metro Detroit’s gourmet foods mecca. Try the top-quality meats and cheeses at its full-service delis or sample one (or more) of the 35 scrumptious flavors at the Dolce Gelato Café. Vince & Joe’s also caters, offering everything from breakfast a la carte to Mediterranean dinner buffets.

Prime + Proper

Housed in Detroit’s historic Capitol Park Lofts building, Prime + Proper redefines the traditional American steakhouse through both fare and décor, making this 2019 Restaurant of the Year winner a multi-category Best of Detroit winner as well. Enjoy chops dry-aged in-house, seafood specialties from the raw bar, and decadent desserts. The restaurant’s butcher shop offers USDA Prime beef, lamb, duck, and Japanese Wagyu to savor while dining in or at home.

Evening Bar

Situated in Shinola Hotel, the intimate bar offers seasonal cocktails with an emphasis on organic fruit and vegetable extracts, and tasty small plates curated by award-winning chef and owner Andrew Carmellini. You can find Best Bartender winner Chas Williams slinging stellar cocktails here as well.

Born Yoga

This Birmingham-based yoga studio believes it’s never too early to introduce your child to the practice, providing classes specifically for toddlers, kids, and tweens to boost their confidence and teach them healthy ways to cope with stress. The studio has other fun offerings that continue to make it a great children’s fitness destination, including aerial yoga birthday party packages and mini yoga summer camps with Disney princess and superhero themes.

Rivage Day Spa 

Relax and refresh with the luxurious offerings at this multi-category-winning spa. Try a hot stone massage with aromatherapy scalp treatment, or a Vitamin C facial intended to restore your skin’s elasticity and firmness. Rivage also provides nail services; hair removal treatments through its medical spa; as well as men’s massages, facials, and scalp treatments.


Auto detailing/car wash

1st Jax Kar Wash, multiple locations

2nd Matick Auto Wash, Redford

3rd Mr. C’s Car Wash, multiple locations


1st Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Twp., Clinton Twp.

2nd Forte Belanger, Troy,

3rd Two Unique Catering, Royal Oak, Detroit

Cosmetic surgeon

1st Dr. Charles Boyd, multiple locations

2nd Dr. Daniel Sherbert, West Bloomfield Twp.

3rd Dr. Mune Gowda, Troy, Detroit

Day spa

1st Rivage Day Spa, Birmingham

2nd Margot European Spa, Birmingham

3rd Face Skincare Medical Wellness, Bingham Farms

Divorce attorney

1st Jeffrey Lance Abood, Birmingham, East Lansing

2nd David Findling, Royal Oak

Engagement/wedding ring design

1st Tapper’s, multiple locations

2nd Miner’s Den Jewelers, Royal Oak

3rd Radiant Fine Jewelry, Plymouth

Financial planner

1st Hantz Group, multiple locations

2nd Rising Sun Investments LLC, Troy, Monroe

3rd The Loupee Graziani Group, Farmington Hills

Hair salon

1st 6 Salon, multiple locations

2nd Colors by Kim Hair Salon and Day Spa, Trenton

3rd Antonino Salon & Spa, Birmingham

Landscape designer

1st Mosher & Associates, Royal Oak

2nd English Gardens, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Four Seasons Garden Center & Custom Landscape Services, Oak Park

3rd (tied) Great Lakes Landscaping, Chesterfield

3rd (tied) Zaremba & Co., Pontiac

Marijuana dispensary (medical)

1st Liv Ferndale, Ferndale

2nd Utopia Gardens, Detroit

3rd House of Dank, Detroit


1st Rivage Day Spa, Birmingham

2nd Margot European Spa, Birmingham

3rd Meta Physica Wellness Center, Detroit

Men’s grooming

1st Detroit Barbers, Detroit, Ferndale

2nd Berkley Chop Shop, Berkley

3rd 6 Salon, multiple locations

Pet groomer

1st Bark-a-Bout, Shelby Twp.

2nd Canine to Five, Detroit, Ferndale

3rd (tied) Scrubbers, multiple locations

3rd (tied) Catherine’s Pet Parlor, Royal Oak


1st Athornsphoto, Detroit

2nd Molly Grunewald Photography, Detroit

3rd Erika Mae Photography, Lake Orion


1st Nicole McAvoy, Birmingham

2nd Lucine Tarman, Birmingham

3rd Billy Johair, Dearborn

Salon for a blowout

1st 6 Salon, multiple locations

2nd Antonino Salon & Spa, Birmingham

3rd Colors by Kim Hair Salon and Day Spa, Trenton

Salon or spa for a facial

1st Face Skincare Medical Wellness, Bingham Farms

2nd Rivage Day Spa, Birmingham

3rd 6 Salon, multiple locations

Salon or spa for a mani-pedi

1st Rivage Day Spa, Birmingham

2nd 6 Salon, multiple locations

3rd Polished by Halley, Bloomfield Twp.

Special-occasion venue

1st Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River

2nd Shinola Hotel, Detroit

3rd Great Lakes Culinary Center, Southfield

Travel agency

1st Amaze Travel, Northville

2nd (tied) Corporate Travel, Northville

2nd (tied) Cadillac Travel Group, Southfield

2nd (tied) Bee Kalt Travel, Royal Oak

2nd (tied) Just Cruises & Vacations, Clinton Twp.

Wedding planner

1st Ajune Event, West Bloomfield Twp.

2nd Events by Raj Singh, Detroit

3rd Emerald City Designs, Farmington Hills

The Write Thing

Mitch Albom’s serialized story, Human Touch, focuses on fear and hope amid the pandemic, and will also support local relief efforts

// By Rachael Thomas

best of detroit 2020 mitch albom
Photography of Mitch Albom by Glenn Triest/Triest Photographic

Best Of Detroit-winning columnist Mitch Albom’s latest fictional work not only gives readers something to resonate with during these unprecedented times but will help fund pandemic relief efforts across metro Detroit as well.

Human Touch follows four families — living on the same corner in a small Michigan town — whose Saturday gatherings are upended by the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Panic, fear, and prejudice pervade as the characters either become closer or drift apart.

The delivery of the eight-chapter story, released one per week on Fridays through May 29 at and on Audible, presented Albom with a new creative challenge. “You’re not thinking about all the business parts of being a novelist; that’s all out the window,” he says. “You’re just trying to get as many people to read it and make donations as possible.”

At the core of this story is hope, embodied by Little Moses, a perceptive 8-year-old born with an unexplainable power that will guide everyone through the pandemic. Albom says Little Moses is inspired by Knox, an 8-year-old from Albom’s Have Faith Haiti Mission & Orphanage who is staying with him. Knox comes to the U.S. for therapy for injuries to his arm and leg suffered in an accident; when COVID-19 hit, he couldn’t return home.

“He has been the absolute biggest blessing in this whole crisis,” Albom says of Knox, who voices Little Moses for the audiobook. “He sings in the bathroom. He runs around the house like he’s Sonic the Hedgehog, and he can’t wait to get up in the morning. When I sat down to write the book, I said, ‘I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I know an 8-year-old is going to save the day.’”

Proceeds from readers’ donations benefit local pandemic-related relief efforts organized by Albom’s nonprofit, SAY Detroit. The group opened a free  COVID-19 testing site in Highland Park in April that’s open three days a week without a physician referral. For more information, visit