Vegan Fine Dining Establishments in Metro Detroit

Enjoy an elegant plant-based meal at one of these local fine dining establishments.
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Dry bread and a colorful assortment of veggies make up this flavorful panzanella salad at Freya. The Detroit eatery offers a completely plant-based tasting menu. // Photograph by Jacob Lewkow Photography

While vegan comfort food has found its way to menus across metro Detroit, plant-based fine-dining experiences are more of a rarity. Nonetheless, often nestled among mainstream menu items, elegant vegan eats can be found with some exploration and resolve. In fact, some of the area’s hottest locales offer such dining. Consider these must-tries.

Freya

Diffused light; cool, clean lines; and curated sounds from the vintage record player help create an atmosphere of easy certitude at this Milwaukee Junction eatery. Offering a host of prix fixe tasting menus, one of which is completely plant-based, Freya proves once and for all that vegan dishes can be every bit as artful and varietal as their nonvegan counterparts.

With each course seemingly more inventive than the prior, the cuisine delivers a symphony of flavors with imaginative dishes like the sunchoke tart adorned with black garlic and berry compote and the tofu ricotta-stuffed cappelletti with apple slaw. House-made desserts are just as thoughtful and elegant.

Freya is located at 2929 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit. Call 313-351- 5544 or visit freyadetroit.com for more information.

Café Cortina

Generally considered one of metro Detroit’s most romantic spots, Café Cortina offers fine dining and impeccable service amid crackling fires and soft candles atop white linen. This time-honored Farmington Hills jewel has a dedicated list of plant-based pastas and entrees, to say nothing of the extensive wine list.

Crispy layered eggplant and zucchini drizzled with a house-made pomodoro sauce, mushroom polenta, and decadent panna cotta are just a few of the brilliantly reimagined classics sans dairy, eggs, and meat.

Café Cortina is located at 30715 W. 10 Mile Road, Farmington Hills. Call 248-474-3033 or visit cafecortina.com for more information.

Takoi

Don’t let Takoi’s industrial facade fool you. This Corktown eatery is every bit as lively as it is adventurous. Neon lights line the interior of the restaurant, only adding to the energy and near-futuristic vibe. With humble food-truck and pop-up roots, Takoi has had a brick-and-mortar location for six years and has received many accolades for its shareable Thai-inspired eats.

Vegan offerings such as Khanom Krok (a charming coconut cream-based bite with chili oil) and Som Tum Thai (spicy green papaya salad) prove that simple can be simply delicious. Curries, ramen, and wok-charred vegetables are sure to please the palate. Ask the mixologist to pair your cuisine with an inspired cocktail for a true culinary experience.

Takoi is located at 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Call 313-855-2864 or visit takoidetroit.com for more information.

Flowers of Vietnam

The juxtaposition of authentic Vietnamese fare in Detroit’s Mexicantown neighborhood is not lost on its cultlike followers. In fact, this onetime pop-up is now a Detroit foodie favorite garnering national attention.

The atmosphere is lively and genial, perhaps informed by its former Coney Island diner status. Stunning plant-based dishes range from the simple (perfectly stir-fried bok choy) to the decadent (fried oyster mushroom in a cacao chili sauce). Each dish delivers every bit of the authenticity, charm, and flavor for which the restaurant is known.

Flowers of Vietnam is located at 4440 Vernor Highway, Detroit. Call 313-554-2085 or visit flowersofvietnam.com for more information.

Sozai

Helmed by James Beard Award finalist chef Hajime Sato, Sozai is dedicated to providing truly sustainable nourishment, perhaps most notably with its Mori omakase. Served exclusively at the sushi bar, this chef-curated vegan tour delights with flavors and textures ranging from the timeless to the contemporary.

Authentic dishes like seaweed salad and miso soup pay homage to the traditional while also invigorating the senses anew. Expertly crafted makimono and nigiri, both rich with fermented vegetables, offer taste sensations unlike most vegan sushi. The optional (and personalized) sake pairing elevates this culinary experience to the otherworldly. A vegan a la carte menu is also available.

Sozai is located at 449 W. 14 Mile Road, Clawson. Call 248-677-3232 or visit sozairestaurant.com for more information.


This story is from the August 2023 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.