September 18, 2020

35 essential Latino-owned restaurants in Detroit you should have tried by now

We have four words for you: SUPPORT LATINO-OWNED BUSINESSES. We're not sorry for yelling because those of us who live here know that Detroit is a rich tapestry of cultural influences from all over the world, including those from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and, of course, Mexico. We're lucky enough to have had so many Latino entrepreneurs open up shop in Detroit as a means to share their love of family and generational cuisine with the hungry Motor City masses. While we know we're only giving a small glimpse of the popular spots around town, we hope this slideshow offers some ideas of places — old and new — to support ASAP.

For more information on Detroit's Hispanic Heritage Month festivities, visit SouthwestDetroit.com.  

 

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Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine
1250 Library St., Detroit 48226; 313-962-8800; vicentesdetroit.com
Owner Vicente Vazquez founded Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine in 2005, fulfilling a longtime dream of wanting to bring family recipes to life. Vincente’s offers traditional Cuban cuisine, including Pollo Con Camarones, Lechon Asado, and, of course, the Sandwich Cubano Grande, made with pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and mayo, pressed on Cuban bread.
Photo via Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine/Facebook

Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine


1250 Library St., Detroit 48226; 313-962-8800; vicentesdetroit.com
Owner Vicente Vazquez founded Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine in 2005, fulfilling a longtime dream of wanting to bring family recipes to life. Vincente’s offers traditional Cuban cuisine, including Pollo Con Camarones, Lechon Asado, and, of course, the Sandwich Cubano Grande, made with pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and mayo, pressed on Cuban bread.

Photo via Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine/Facebook
La Gloria Bakery
3345 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-842-5722; Facebook.com/lagloriabakery
While in Mexicantown, one would be remiss to forget stocking up on sweet treats, which is exactly what longstanding La Gloria Bakery specializes in. Established in the 1970s by Ruben Gonzeles, La Gloria Bakery has become a must-stop shop for handmade sugar skulls, churros, and other authentic Mexican baked goods.
Photo via GoogleMaps

La Gloria Bakery


3345 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-842-5722; Facebook.com/lagloriabakery
While in Mexicantown, one would be remiss to forget stocking up on sweet treats, which is exactly what longstanding La Gloria Bakery specializes in. Established in the 1970s by Ruben Gonzeles, La Gloria Bakery has become a must-stop shop for handmade sugar skulls, churros, and other authentic Mexican baked goods.

Photo via GoogleMaps
Antojitos El Catracho
4627 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-784-9361; Facebook.com/AntojitosElCatracho 
As far as Southwest Detroit’s Honduran and Salvadoran restaurants go, Antojitos El Catracho is a great place to get schooled on the beauty of plantains and pupusas. 
Photo via GoogleMaps

Antojitos El Catracho


4627 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-784-9361; Facebook.com/AntojitosElCatracho
As far as Southwest Detroit’s Honduran and Salvadoran restaurants go, Antojitos El Catracho is a great place to get schooled on the beauty of plantains and pupusas.

Photo via GoogleMaps
Asty Time
7340 McGraw Ave., Detroit; 313-285-9390; astytime.com
Chef Asty Acosta arrived from the Dominican Republic by way of New York City and, eventually, moved to Southwest Detroit, where he and wife Diedra started working in a factory. Before long, the pair began preparing and selling food to coworkers, which evolved to an early version of Asty Time that ran out of a Southwest home, and in 2017, the Acosta family launched their brick-and-mortar location. Of Asty Time’s offerings, dishes like salami con tostones, a dish of stir-fried salami and bell peppers in a piquant sauce, is a standout, as is carne de res guisada, a dish of stewed beef soaked in a small puddle of sofrito-based sauce.
Photo via GoogleMaps

Asty Time


7340 McGraw Ave., Detroit; 313-285-9390; astytime.com
Chef Asty Acosta arrived from the Dominican Republic by way of New York City and, eventually, moved to Southwest Detroit, where he and wife Diedra started working in a factory. Before long, the pair began preparing and selling food to coworkers, which evolved to an early version of Asty Time that ran out of a Southwest home, and in 2017, the Acosta family launched their brick-and-mortar location. Of Asty Time’s offerings, dishes like salami con tostones, a dish of stir-fried salami and bell peppers in a piquant sauce, is a standout, as is carne de res guisada, a dish of stewed beef soaked in a small puddle of sofrito-based sauce.

Photo via GoogleMaps
El Rancho Restaurant
5900 Vernor Hwy, Detroit; 313-843-2151; elranchomexrest.com
El Rancho Mexican Restaurant opened in 1983, offering traditional Mexican cuisine via family recipes, some of which are secret.
Photo by Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez of Featherstone

El Rancho Restaurant


5900 Vernor Hwy, Detroit; 313-843-2151; elranchomexrest.com
El Rancho Mexican Restaurant opened in 1983, offering traditional Mexican cuisine via family recipes, some of which are secret.

Photo by Juan Carlos Dueweke-Perez of Featherstone
Bodega Cat
1312 Springwells St., Detroit; 313-297-2360; bodegacatdetroit.com
Known for its tamales, Bodega Cat is also a Mexican convenience store and grocery. 
Photo via Bodega Cat/Facebook

Bodega Cat


1312 Springwells St., Detroit; 313-297-2360; bodegacatdetroit.com
Known for its tamales, Bodega Cat is also a Mexican convenience store and grocery.

Photo via Bodega Cat/Facebook
El Barzon Restaurante
3710 Junction Ave., Detroit; 313-894-2070; elbarzonrestaurant.com
Fusing traditional Mexican and Italian dishes, El Barzon established itself as a unique and high-end offering in Southwest Detroit in 2007. Chef Norberto Garita, a native of Pueblo, worked in New York as a primarily Italian-oriented chef and relocated to Southfield to help the kitchen at Il Posto Ristorante before opening El Barzon, where you can get Mexican and Italian specialties, with some crossover between dishes. 
Photo via GoogleMaps

El Barzon Restaurante


3710 Junction Ave., Detroit; 313-894-2070; elbarzonrestaurant.com
Fusing traditional Mexican and Italian dishes, El Barzon established itself as a unique and high-end offering in Southwest Detroit in 2007. Chef Norberto Garita, a native of Pueblo, worked in New York as a primarily Italian-oriented chef and relocated to Southfield to help the kitchen at Il Posto Ristorante before opening El Barzon, where you can get Mexican and Italian specialties, with some crossover between dishes.

Photo via GoogleMaps
El Rey de a las Arepas
7701 McGraw St., Detroit; 313-307-2210; Facebook.com/El Rey de a las Arepas
Though El Rey de a las Arepas translates to “the king of arepas,” when it comes to Detroit’s first Venezuelan restaurant, it’s all about the queen — as in Zoraida Gutierrez, from Caracas. Her son Rayner, owner of El Rey da a las Arepas, says Zoraida begins work every morning at 7 to start on the arepas, cachapas, and pabellones which has made a mark on Detroit’s culinary scene with its authentic fare and lowkey environment. For the uninitiated, an arepa is the Venezuelan version of the empanada, made from ground corn flour shaped into a circle, grilled, split like a biscuit, then filled. 
Photo via GoogleMaps

El Rey de a las Arepas


7701 McGraw St., Detroit; 313-307-2210; Facebook.com/El Rey de a las Arepas
Though El Rey de a las Arepas translates to “the king of arepas,” when it comes to Detroit’s first Venezuelan restaurant, it’s all about the queen — as in Zoraida Gutierrez, from Caracas. Her son Rayner, owner of El Rey da a las Arepas, says Zoraida begins work every morning at 7 to start on the arepas, cachapas, and pabellones which has made a mark on Detroit’s culinary scene with its authentic fare and lowkey environment. For the uninitiated, an arepa is the Venezuelan version of the empanada, made from ground corn flour shaped into a circle, grilled, split like a biscuit, then filled.

Photo via GoogleMaps
Evie’s Tamales
3454 Bagley St, Detroit; 313-843-5056; Facebook.com/EviesTamales
Evie's Tamales has been serving its corn husk-wrapped tamales for nearly four decades. Initially, Evie's began inside Honey Bee Market. Eventually, business took off, and in 1982, owner Evelyn Grimaldo decided to move out and open her own store at a time when there was just one other Southwest business doing tamales. Beyond Evie's signature tamales, the 99-cent breakfast burritos draw a lot of attention, too.
Photo via GoogleMaps

Evie’s Tamales


3454 Bagley St, Detroit; 313-843-5056; Facebook.com/EviesTamales
Evie's Tamales has been serving its corn husk-wrapped tamales for nearly four decades. Initially, Evie's began inside Honey Bee Market. Eventually, business took off, and in 1982, owner Evelyn Grimaldo decided to move out and open her own store at a time when there was just one other Southwest business doing tamales. Beyond Evie's signature tamales, the 99-cent breakfast burritos draw a lot of attention, too.

Photo via GoogleMaps
La Noria Wood-Fired Bistro
5517 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-338-3545; Lanoriawood-fired bistro.com
Before opening El Barzon — a high-end restaurant fusing modern and traditional Mexican and Italian cuisine — Norberto Garita, a native of Pueblo, worked in New York as a primarily Italian-oriented chef and relocated to Southfield to help the kitchen at Il Posto Ristorante in Southfield. El Barzon’s sister restaurant, La Noria Wood-Fired Bistro, debuted in 2018, offering a similar Pueblan concept — there’s a pizza topped with sauteed grasshoppers — with slightly more casual environment and menu pricing. 
Photo via Google Maps

La Noria Wood-Fired Bistro


5517 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-338-3545; Lanoriawood-fired bistro.com
Before opening El Barzon — a high-end restaurant fusing modern and traditional Mexican and Italian cuisine — Norberto Garita, a native of Pueblo, worked in New York as a primarily Italian-oriented chef and relocated to Southfield to help the kitchen at Il Posto Ristorante in Southfield. El Barzon’s sister restaurant, La Noria Wood-Fired Bistro, debuted in 2018, offering a similar Pueblan concept — there’s a pizza topped with sauteed grasshoppers — with slightly more casual environment and menu pricing.

Photo via Google Maps
La Palapa del Parian
1633 Lawndale St., Detroit; 313-749-7143; Facebook.com/LaPalapaDelParian
The owners of the popular fleet of El Parian taco trucks in Southwest Detroit launched a sit-down restaurant with a patio in 2020, which offers Mexican stews, various huevos dishes, as well as gorditas, tortas, and tamales.
Photo via La Palapa del Parian/Facebook

La Palapa del Parian


1633 Lawndale St., Detroit; 313-749-7143; Facebook.com/LaPalapaDelParian
The owners of the popular fleet of El Parian taco trucks in Southwest Detroit launched a sit-down restaurant with a patio in 2020, which offers Mexican stews, various huevos dishes, as well as gorditas, tortas, and tamales.

Photo via La Palapa del Parian/Facebook