Story Hoodline — Heading downtown? Here’s your guide to the most popular businesses, from a high-end steakhouse to a cozy, cocktail-driven bar.
We crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit downtown, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.
1. Dime Store
Topping the list is the Dime Store, a casual eatery that puts a creative spin on classic breakfast and brunch offerings. Located in the Chrysler House skyscraper (formerly the Dime Building) at 719 Griswold St., Suite 180, it’s the highest rated business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 958 reviews on Yelp.
Not only is it a local favorite, but the 75-seat spot recently got a visit from the Washington Post, which raved about the “varied, creative and locally sourced” fare. Try made-from-scratch items like the seasonal veggie hash, blueberry lavender French toast or the cannoli waffle (malted Belgian waffle with sweet cannoli filling, chocolate ganache, candied lemon zest and pistachio crumble).
Turn down the art-filled Belt Alley and escape behind the heavy reclaimed wood doors of cocktail-first bar and restaurant Standby. Situated at 225 Gratiot Ave., the local favorite has earned 4.5 stars out of 339 reviews on Yelp.
Standby pours both inventive concoctions and approachable classics. Try Benton’s Old Fashioned (bacon-infused Four Roses bourbon, maple syrup, bitters and orange peel) or the vividly green Snake in the Grass (Citadelle gin, lime, celery bitters and nitro-muddled mustard greens).
Hungry? The kitchen serves up both small and large plates of elevated bar fare like coconut-lime mussels, a root vegetable salad, hand-rolled gnocchi with truffles and the all-American cheeseburger and fries.
For those craving carnivorous fare, Michael Symon’s Roast is another top choice. Located at 1128 Washington Blvd. in the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Yelpers give the steakhouse four stars out of 874 reviews.
Open since 2008, Roast is credited with kick-starting the current restaurant renaissance downtown, per the Detroit Free Press.
Start your feast with the lamb neck risotto, roasted marrow or the chilled lobster appetizer with creme fraiche, avocado and grapefruit. For the main course, sink your teeth into filet mignon with crab bearnaise, scallops with Yukon purée or the smoked pork chop with creamy polenta.
4. Lafayette Coney Island
Next up is Lafayette Coney Island, a no-frills diner that offers coney dogs, chili and more at 118 W. Lafayette Blvd. The downtown go-to, with four stars out of 753 Yelp reviews, sits next door to legendary rival American Coney Island (which has a 3.5-star rating).
On the menu, look for the Greek salad with pita, the chili bowl, gyro plate and, of course, the Coney Island hot dog for $2.80.
5. The Hudson Cafe
Finally, there’s The Hudson Cafe, a colorful and airy breakfast and brunch spot that has earned four stars out of 745 reviews on Yelp. Named for the flagship Hudson’s department store that once sat across the street, you can find the cafe at 1241 Woodward Ave.
Yelp reviewers rave about the generous portions, which Nathaniel B. says are “almost obscene.” Standout items include the red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting, the Voodoo eggs Benedict with housemade corn cake and chorizo and the quinoa salad (asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and pine nuts). But be prepared to wait on weekends, as the cafe is known to draw crowds.
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