Angel's Cafe 214 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 248-541-0888, $: Part art gallery, part restaurant, Angel's Café has a prime location in downtown Ferndale and the feel of an intimate European café. The chef will happily accommodate vegetarians' (and vegans') special needs.
Atlanta Bread Company 19181 Mack, Detroit, 313-640-8200, $: The Atlanta Bread Company offers a variety of hearty soups every single day ranging from baja chicken enchilada to Wisconsin cheese to the classic chicken noodle. Chili is also served every day, alternating between beef and chicken varieties. For those who want to indulge in carbs while sipping down some soup, spoon it out of a freshly baked bread bowl.
Clarkston Café 18 S. Main St., Clarkston, 248-625-5660, $$: The soup is always a hit with the hungry clientele at this modern art deco-styled café north of the city. It seats about 50, and the bar serves alcoholic beverages so you won't have to forsake the pleasures of tippling. The café serves two soups daily, a rotating special and a creamy chunky tomato soup with basil on top.
El Barzón 3710 Junction St., Detroit, 313-894-2070, $: El Barzón offers a variety of excellent house-made moles (MO-lays), a sauce made with chocolate that is unusually rich and fruity. The menu includes a local rarity known as pipian, a pale green sauce with an unusual nutty taste. Diners frequently ask for the sauces to be served over boiled chicken. The taco offerings — $1.25 for a double-wrapped corn tortilla, $2.25 for flour — also include tripe, tongue, barbecued goat and more. Terrific soups and moles of all kinds, exceptionally friendly waitstaff. Open 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. with a shut down from 3-5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 32407 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington; 248-626-6767; gcatsoup.com; $$: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup specializes in, as the name suggests, comfort food. What evokes a greater sense of comfort than the dishes that you grew up eating on a blustery winter day? If tomato soup, doesn't suit your fancy, certainly one of the other varieties, made daily, should. With grilled sandwiches sporting melted cheese, "Grandma's" mac and cheese and chicken pot pie, it just gets more comfortable from there.
Hankuk Oriental and Korean Market 33717 S. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Twp., 586-791-8877, $: This little restaurant has only four tables and four booths, but it serves large, filling bowls of soup. Their most popular soup, yoke-jang, is a spicy beef soup filled with fern bracken (a Michigan fern), green onions, red pepper powder, garlic, sesame seeds and beef broth. A less "beefy" soup would be soon-tofu, with soft bean curd, clam meat, green onion and garlic.
International Mini-Cafe 111 E. Kirby, Detroit, 313-377-2555, $: As its name suggests, this mini café serves soups from five different international cuisines. Each day the soup changes to fit the cuisine of choice. The soup is served in cups, making it a wise choice to try a delicious sandwich off the menu. Try their most popular soups: lentil or Italian wedding.
Jumps 63 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe, 313-882-9555, $$: The perfect little restaurant that serves homemade (but upscale) food in a casual family friendly environment. The soup at this underground joint is served by the season. You can chill in the summertime by indulging in the chilled raspberry, plum and veggie soups. In fall and winter, the menu consists of puree of butternut squash, sweet potato, and cream carrot, all on a rotating schedule. Bonus: The chicken chili, however, is served year-round.
Le Soups! 317 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, 248-591-7687, $: This soup spot serves up fun-named soups like "kickin' crab corn chowder." Look at a menu and find 10 soups every day, four regulars and six specials. Find a wide variety, ranging from basil chicken chili to jambalaya with sausage, from ham and chicken to roasted chicken noodle to good ol' cream of broccoli. Vegetarians can even dig in, with such vegetarian offerings as vegetable or portabello mushroom soup.
Lily's Seafood 410 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-591-5459; $$: At Lily's Seafood, the house-made beer is great, but it's the food that draws us back. And, for soup-lovers, the delicious signature Creole soup is spicy and rich with chunks of Andouille sausage, crawfish tails and chicken. Open for brunch on the weekends, you might even be tempted to hit the bloody Mary bar after a warming bowl of soup.
Mariscos, El Rincon Taraxco 1414 Junction (at Porter), Detroit, 313-843-6595, $$, The first Mexican seafood restaurant in Detroit has created a word-of-mouth reputation for anyone seeking high-quality seafood, Mexican food or Mexican seafood, especially ceviche. All this good food plus a mural of Selena as a sultry mermaid. Take time to check out the elaborate outside mural too, with its crosslike anchor surrounded by brilliant fish.
Russell Street Deli 2465 Russell St., Detroit, 313-567-2900, $, This chattery Eastern Market deli serves lunch on weekdays and lunch and breakfast on Saturdays to a loyal crowd. (Come Jan. 19, it'll be doing breakfast Monday through Saturday starting at 7 a.m.) Customers love this Detroit classic because it serves up really good food, and there's something about sharing tables with who-knows-whom that brings out the best in people. Both breakfast and lunch menus offer up original combinations of fresh, unique ingredients. And with more than 35 varieties in its repertoire, this deli is no empty bowl when it comes to soups. They offer a wide range of everything from hearty (both New England and Manhattan clam chowders on Fridays) to vegan and vegetarian (black-eyed peas with collard greens).
Sprout House 15233 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe, 313-331-3200, $: An organic grocery with produce, vitamins, and health and beauty products, the Sprout House also does a thriving carryout business in sandwiches, refrigerated prepared dishes such as sesame noodles and tempeh salad, and hot and cold soups. They are serious about soup: The store has 50 varieties of soup, give or take a few. Try the lima bean artichoke, country barley with carrots and potatoes, Thai peanut, and coconut curry. Or have the heartiness without the meat with a bowl of vegan chili; the sproutsters say it "sells like crazy."
Steve's Deli 6646 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills, 248-932-0800, $$: This is the classic soup place, considering it is known for having some of the best classic chicken noodle soup found in the city. Looking to try something a little wilder then chicken noodle? Then try the mushroom barley, the diet cabbage soup or the turkey chili. This deli has a friendly atmosphere serving a rotating special soup daily, often featuring split pea, lentil, tomato basil and vegetable.
Tom's Oyster Bar 519 E. Jefferson, Detroit, 313-964-4010, $$: It was a bold move back in 2000 when Tom Brandel chose downtown Detroit, right across from the RenCen, as a location for his next Oyster Bar. But it doesn't look like things turned out too badly, as the location still remains relatively busy and the ever-expanding restaurant chain has added a few more spots since. Try the satisfying (and warming) soups, including Tom's clam chowder, seafood chowder, crawfish bisque or "seafood chili."
Zoup! 29177 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, 248-799-2800, $, Though no longer just soups (sandwiches, wraps and salads have been added to the menu), Zoup! still has more than 200 varieties. Try from one of these hearty flavors: vegetarian split pea, chicken pot pie, twice baked stuffed potato with bacon, lemon basil chicken and wild mushroom barley. Those are only a few of the many soups that will taste even better with a wedge of sourdough or multigrain bread.See any inaccuracies or outdated information in our listings? Let us know. Send corrections to us at [email protected], or via fax at