City Guide 2019: Brunch and Lunch in Leisure at These Local Eateries

The food scene in metro Detroit is growing so rapidly that even the rest of the nation has started to take note
Katey Dast and Sarah Suzanne Bratton
Katey Dast (left) and Sarah Suzanne Bratton, Ann Arbor // Photograph by Stephen Koss

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.

—Ashley Winn

Diamonds Steak and Seafood
Photograph courtesy of Diamonds Steak & Seafood

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 for locations

Anita’s Kitchen

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 for locations

Aut Bar

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;

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;

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;

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;

The Fed

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;

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;

City Guide 2019: Welcome to Southwest Detroit