August 20, 2020

65 new restaurants that opened in the Detroit area so far this year

It's been a tough year for the restaurant industry — when there's a global pandemic just when the weather's warming up, it tends to put a damper on a restaurant's finances. To open a new restaurant, it takes years of building and planning and while some may have delayed, these restaurants have braved the current landscape and gone ahead with their projects anyway. Some may have had the unfortunate luck of opening just before the pandemic. Some have opened with social distancing guidelines. And others plan on opening in the coming weeks and months. No matter the circumstances, they all could use our business and we'd recommend trying each and every one of these new restaurants around town.

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Bunny Bunny
1454 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-974-6122; bunnybunnydetroit.com
Cute Chinese food gets a cute name with chefs Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson at the helm. Bunny Bunny opened in Eastern Market in October, sharing space with beer bar Cøllect. The menu, which includes items like Chengdu hot noodles, beef and leek dumplings, Gung Bao tofu, and cumin lamb, spans inspired flavors from Sichuan Province, Hunan, and other Chinese regions.
Photo via @BunnyBunnyDetroit/Instagram

Bunny Bunny

1454 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-974-6122; bunnybunnydetroit.com
Cute Chinese food gets a cute name with chefs Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson at the helm. Bunny Bunny opened in Eastern Market in October, sharing space with beer bar Cøllect. The menu, which includes items like Chengdu hot noodles, beef and leek dumplings, Gung Bao tofu, and cumin lamb, spans inspired flavors from Sichuan Province, Hunan, and other Chinese regions.

Photo via @BunnyBunnyDetroit/Instagram
East Eats
1018 Navahoe St., Detroit; easteats.us
It’s no secret that tiny things are just cuter than non-tiny things. Kittens? Cute. Hamsters eating tiny tacos? Very cute. A brand spanking new restaurant composed of tiny geodesic domes for intimate and COVID-friendly dining? The cutest! East Eats opened in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers area with a “vegan forward” menu featuring tacos and bao, as well as soups and desserts. The space is made up of 10 domes that fit eight guests each, and each reservation allows stays of two hours. Though East Eats doesn't offer alcohol, you’re welcome to bring your own for a corking fee and the staff will provide cups, mixers, and juices upon request.
Photo via East Eats/Facebook

East Eats

1018 Navahoe St., Detroit; easteats.us
It’s no secret that tiny things are just cuter than non-tiny things. Kittens? Cute. Hamsters eating tiny tacos? Very cute. A brand spanking new restaurant composed of tiny geodesic domes for intimate and COVID-friendly dining? The cutest! East Eats opened in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers area with a “vegan forward” menu featuring tacos and bao, as well as soups and desserts. The space is made up of 10 domes that fit eight guests each, and each reservation allows stays of two hours. Though East Eats doesn't offer alcohol, you’re welcome to bring your own for a corking fee and the staff will provide cups, mixers, and juices upon request.

Photo via East Eats/Facebook
Olin Bar & Kitchen
25 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-774-1190; olindetroit.com
In September, restaurateur Holly McClain debuted her latest offering via downtown Detroit’s American brasserie, Olin Bar & Kitchen, which offers Mediterranean-influenced small plates and thoughtfully curated entrees. They also have a brunch menu that features items like Challah French toast topped with chantilly cream and apples, maple glazed pork belly, savory goat cheesecake bites, and a short rib burger. 
Photo via Olin Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

Olin Bar & Kitchen

25 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-774-1190; olindetroit.com
In September, restaurateur Holly McClain debuted her latest offering via downtown Detroit’s American brasserie, Olin Bar & Kitchen, which offers Mediterranean-influenced small plates and thoughtfully curated entrees. They also have a brunch menu that features items like Challah French toast topped with chantilly cream and apples, maple glazed pork belly, savory goat cheesecake bites, and a short rib burger.

Photo via Olin Bar & Kitchen/Facebook
Twist
Parker's Alley, behind the Shinola Hotel 
As of November, Twist is serving soft pretzels out of a walk-up window in Parker's Alley behind Detroit's Shinola Hotel. The spot is the latest from restaurateur Holly McClain of nearby Olin Bar & Kitchen. The menu features warm, soft pretzels with varieties like sea salt and cinnamon and sugar, and come with dipping sauces like grain mustard, beer cheese, sesame peanut, and veggie cream cheese. The spot is also selling cocktails-to-go, another pandemic innovation, that come in a pouch à la Capri Sun.
Photo courtesy of Twist

Twist

Parker's Alley, behind the Shinola Hotel
As of November, Twist is serving soft pretzels out of a walk-up window in Parker's Alley behind Detroit's Shinola Hotel. The spot is the latest from restaurateur Holly McClain of nearby Olin Bar & Kitchen. The menu features warm, soft pretzels with varieties like sea salt and cinnamon and sugar, and come with dipping sauces like grain mustard, beer cheese, sesame peanut, and veggie cream cheese. The spot is also selling cocktails-to-go, another pandemic innovation, that come in a pouch à la Capri Sun.

Photo courtesy of Twist
Green Beat
1219 Brush St., Detroit; 313-964-0007; greenbeatdetroit.com
Detroit’s newest cafe, Green Beat, focuses on plant-based and gluten free-friendly dishes made from responsibly sourced meat and seafood. Some menu highlights include cheesy baked cauliflower, taco salad, Y.L.T., made with yams and sunflower seed mayo, corned beet reuben, a Mediterranean burger, and Detroit-style coney dogs made from carrots. They also offer meal kits to go.  
Photo via Green Beat/Facebook

Green Beat

1219 Brush St., Detroit; 313-964-0007; greenbeatdetroit.com
Detroit’s newest cafe, Green Beat, focuses on plant-based and gluten free-friendly dishes made from responsibly sourced meat and seafood. Some menu highlights include cheesy baked cauliflower, taco salad, Y.L.T., made with yams and sunflower seed mayo, corned beet reuben, a Mediterranean burger, and Detroit-style coney dogs made from carrots. They also offer meal kits to go.

Photo via Green Beat/Facebook
Sidecar Slider Bar, Shift, Slice Pizza Kitchen
117 Willits St., Birmingham; sidecarsliderbar.com/birmingham, shift-birmingham.business.site, and slicepizzakitchen.com
Indecisive minds will love this restaurant concept in Birmingham which puts three restaurants under one roof. Sidecar Slider Bar specializes in gourmet sliders and shareables; Shift serves as the space’s romantic cocktail lounge offering with small plates and an extensive wine-by-the glass list; Slice Pizza Kitchen, which serves gourmet pizza and subs.
Photo via Sidecar Birmingham/Facebook

Sidecar Slider Bar, Shift, Slice Pizza Kitchen

117 Willits St., Birmingham; sidecarsliderbar.com/birmingham, shift-birmingham.business.site, and slicepizzakitchen.com
Indecisive minds will love this restaurant concept in Birmingham which puts three restaurants under one roof. Sidecar Slider Bar specializes in gourmet sliders and shareables; Shift serves as the space’s romantic cocktail lounge offering with small plates and an extensive wine-by-the glass list; Slice Pizza Kitchen, which serves gourmet pizza and subs.

Photo via Sidecar Birmingham/Facebook
Sabbath Coffee Roasters
24 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 309-722-2284; sabbathcoffeeroasters.com
Some people like their coffee black. Clawson's Sabbath Coffee Roasters is taking the idea really far: the new spot opened on Halloween. The store is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Trevor and Miranda Graham, who met over coffee in 2012. The two are such coffee freaks that they began planning family vacations around must-see coffee shops, according to a press release. The new store occupies an 800-square-foot storefront designed by Grand Rapids-based Megan Weidman. In addition to coffee, the spot serves up cider and slushies. It also features pastries from Cannelle by Matt Knio and dairy from Guernsey Farms.
Photo courtesy of Sabbath Coffee Roasters

Sabbath Coffee Roasters

24 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 309-722-2284; sabbathcoffeeroasters.com
Some people like their coffee black. Clawson's Sabbath Coffee Roasters is taking the idea really far: the new spot opened on Halloween. The store is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Trevor and Miranda Graham, who met over coffee in 2012. The two are such coffee freaks that they began planning family vacations around must-see coffee shops, according to a press release. The new store occupies an 800-square-foot storefront designed by Grand Rapids-based Megan Weidman. In addition to coffee, the spot serves up cider and slushies. It also features pastries from Cannelle by Matt Knio and dairy from Guernsey Farms.

Photo courtesy of Sabbath Coffee Roasters
Bao Boys
1928 Packard St., Ann Arbor;734-802-1811; facebook.com/baoboysaa
From Los Angeles to Ann Arbor, Steven Choi and Brian Kim opened a bao bun-focused food truck in July. The truck offers a curated selection of bao buns, fried rice, and something called a Don Belly, which features Chashu pork belly, Japanese-style poached egg, dashi broth, and white rice. 
Photo via Bao Boys/Facebook

Bao Boys

1928 Packard St., Ann Arbor;734-802-1811; facebook.com/baoboysaa
From Los Angeles to Ann Arbor, Steven Choi and Brian Kim opened a bao bun-focused food truck in July. The truck offers a curated selection of bao buns, fried rice, and something called a Don Belly, which features Chashu pork belly, Japanese-style poached egg, dashi broth, and white rice.

Photo via Bao Boys/Facebook
Cucina Lab Torino
3960 Crooks Rd. Ste. 200, Troy; 248-525-9098; cucina-lab.com
No set menu? No problem. Cucina Lab Torino in Troy opened this year with Italian chef and caterer Elisabetta Balzola, who moved from Italy with her family to bring eclectic Italian fare to metro Detroit. The restaurant prides itself on using local, fresh, and organic produce and meats, as well as importing Italian ingredients. 
Photo via Cucina Lab Torino/Facebook

Cucina Lab Torino

3960 Crooks Rd. Ste. 200, Troy; 248-525-9098; cucina-lab.com
No set menu? No problem. Cucina Lab Torino in Troy opened this year with Italian chef and caterer Elisabetta Balzola, who moved from Italy with her family to bring eclectic Italian fare to metro Detroit. The restaurant prides itself on using local, fresh, and organic produce and meats, as well as importing Italian ingredients.

Photo via Cucina Lab Torino/Facebook
Campestre Chicken
3419 Fort St., Lincoln Park; 313-914-7522; campestrelp.com
Melvin Gamez Sr. and Jr. brought El Salvadorean, Peruvian, and Mexican-inspired charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken to downriver. In addition to chicken, Campestre offers pupusas, subs, and burritos. 
Photo via Campestre Chicken/Facebook

Campestre Chicken

3419 Fort St., Lincoln Park; 313-914-7522; campestrelp.com
Melvin Gamez Sr. and Jr. brought El Salvadorean, Peruvian, and Mexican-inspired charcoal-roasted rotisserie chicken to downriver. In addition to chicken, Campestre offers pupusas, subs, and burritos.

Photo via Campestre Chicken/Facebook