Story Hoodline — Looking to uncover the top eateries along Michigan Avenue in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood? Become a part of this commercial strip’s restaurant boom by visiting its most popular local businesses, from a favorite spot for barbecue lovers to an award-winning Thai fusion restaurant.
We crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit along this half-mile stretch in Corktown, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of establishments. Read on for the results.
1. Slows Bar Bq
Topping the list is Slows Bar BQ, where the Carolina-style pulled pork, brisket and baby back ribs are must-try dishes. Located at 2138 Michigan Ave., it boasts four stars out of 1,806 reviews on Yelp, with reviewers praising the generous portions and reasonable prices.
Open since 2005, the in-demand restaurant has since expanded its Detroit location and added a new outpost in Grand Rapids and a to-go spot in Midtown.
The eatery’s Yardbird sandwich — smoked chicken sautéed in honey mustard barbecue sauce and topped with mushrooms, cheddar and applewood bacon — received national attention a few years ago when it reached the finals on Travel Channel’s “Best Sandwich in America,” per MLive.com.
Next up is small plates spot Takoi, situated at 2520 Michigan Ave. With 4.5 stars out of 325 reviews on Yelp, the restaurant serving Thai and Southeast Asian fusion cuisine has proven to be a local favorite, with the Metro Times naming it the Best Restaurant in Detroit in 2018.
Yelpers praise chef Brad Greenhill’s crispy spare ribs with spicy-sweet dipping sauce, as well as the smoked duck ramen with a soft-boiled egg and wood ear mushrooms. But plan your visit carefully: the restaurant can be busy during peak hours, and only parties of five or more can make reservations.
3. Astro Coffee
Astro Coffee, a spot to score coffee, tea, pastries and more, is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 2124 Michigan Ave., 4.5 stars out of 238 reviews. Astro specializes in pour-over coffee as well as espresso drinks like the flat white, and offers vegan options in coffee drinks and pastries.
Customers single out the housemade pastries for special praise, including the weekends-only almond croissant, stuffed full of ground almonds and spiced syrup.
Ima, an eatery serving up udon and Asian fusion eats, is another much-loved neighborhood go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 217 Yelp reviews. Like its popular cousin ramen, udon is a Japanese noodle soup, but the wheat noodles are thicker and softer.
Diners can expect to find creative options on the ever-evolving menu like the customizable jicama-shelled mini “tacos,” as well as standbys like spicy pork udon and shrimp and scallion dumplings. Head over to 2015 Michigan Ave. to try it for yourself.
5. Mercury Burger Bar
Then there’s Mercury Burger Bar, which has earned four stars out of 627 reviews on Yelp. You can find the modern burger bar, which offers craft beer, milkshakes and an outdoor patio, at 2163 Michigan Ave.
Of note are the garlic fries and the Local burger, topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and coleslaw. And for dessert, check out the Hummer milkshake with Kahlua and dark rum.
Hoodline offers data-driven analysis of local happenings and trends across cities. To make this work possible, we may include affiliate advertising links that earn us a commission in articles.