I just got back from Europe, and I was so excited to come home, because I had a whole list of restaurants I wanted to go to.
That the food scene in metro Detroit is growing is no secret to us, but it is so rapidly becoming a dining destination, that even the rest of the nation has started to take note.
Still, it’s not the headlines that make our restaurants special. It’s the culture Detroiters have created around them.
Daytime eateries have become the mellow spots to visit for the luxury of a long meal in our busy region. The area has everything from an upscale steakhouse, to which you could take an important business client, to a quiet café, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book. And of course, plenty of options for days out with friends, to share a plate of pancakes, or fresh-baked pita and hummus, to fuel up for your next stop.
Take friends Sarah Suzanne Bratton and Katey Dast, committed to eating their spinach and artichoke dip and fries — enjoyed with ranch, in true Midwestern fashion — outdoors, despite the rain. After attending Flower Day at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and doing some day-drinking at Aut Bar, the pair had worked up an appetite, which they satisfied with “some quality dip” at Connor O’Neill’s Pub and Restaurant.
You’re constantly bombarded by news of the latest and trendiest on the restaurant scene, but there are countless more standbys open from dawn until dusk that are deserving of a visit.
Enjoy the region’s best daytime eats with friends, family, co-workers, or solo. And be sure to save plenty of room for dessert.
Diamonds Steak & Seafood
Fresh shellfish and perfectly aged steaks can be found at this upscale steakhouse with locations in Howell as well as Royal Oak. Visit diamondssteak.com for locations
With locations in Ferndale, Detroit, and soon Lake Orion, this modern Lebanese restaurant offers mouth-watering dishes in store and for catering. Try the Stuffed Grape Leaves or Zaatar Pizza with a pita crust. Visit anitaskitchen.com for locations
Self-proclaimed as Ann Arbor’s only gay bar, this establishment serves delicious Mexican food by day and turns into a fun and welcoming place to dance by night — regardless of sexual orientation. 315 Braun Ct., Ann Arbor; 734-994-3677; autbar.com
Bistro Le Bliss
Food lovers are in for a tasty surprise at this modest French-inspired bistro. Creative, handmade dishes include Rustic Ragu Bolognese to Roasted Ratatouille. 6540 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-325-9251; bistrolebliss.com
Connor O’Neill’s Pub and Restaurant
Indulge in traditional Irish staples, like Irish boxty and shepherd’s pie, while enjoying live music or participating in the pub’s regular trivia nights. 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-655-298
Parks & Rec Diner
This darling diner serves up both creative and traditional brunch dishes at any time of day. Try the Vanilla Custard Pancakes or Scotch Egg Benedict, as well as some boozy breakfast drinks — the Vernors and Bourbon is a local classic. 1942 Grand River Ave., No. 136, Detroit; 313-446-8370; parksandrecdiner.com
The Common Grill
Commemorating the history of Chelsea in its hand-painted wall murals, this intimate eatery serves up fresh takes on American cuisine. Their Roasted Vegetable Dashi Noodle Bowl, featuring an assortment of Asian-styled greens, makes for a delicious lunchtime meal.
112 S. Main St., Chelsea; 734-475-0470; commongrill.com
Enjoy gourmet eats in a chic bohemian setting. Offering globally inspired lunch options, from P.E.I Mussels in white wine cream sauce to locally sourced Heritage Pork, this beautiful restaurant is ideal for gatherings and groups. 15 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-297-5833; thefedcommunity.com
The Sidetrack Bar & Grill
Offering hand-crafted burgers from Black Bean Hippie Sliders to the Billy Burton Mac Attack, this cozy corner bar and restaurant is the perfect spot for comfort food. 56 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-483-1035; sidetrackbarandgrill.com