The city of Detroit has long been a landing spot for immigrants, from the Italian and Irish of the early 20th century to the Hmong influx in the 1970s to Hamtramck’s Bangladeshi, Bosnian, and Iraqi Chaldean immigrants of the early 2000s. Today we’re going to break down some of our favorite international restaurants in the city.
Maty’s African Cuisine – 21611 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48219
Only a few years old, the restaurant in northwest Detroit’s Old Redford neighborhood offers a cuisine not easy to find in metro Detroit. The menu is fairly simple, and meals consist of different cuts of lamb, chicken, fish, or shawarma with a few different sauces and a choice between yellow rice, vermicelles, alloco, fries or couscous. A Senegalese population is building in the area, so hopefully similar restaurants will spring up in the coming years.
Cadieux Cafe – 4300 Cadieux Rd, Detroit, MI 48224
This East English Village institution has been serving the city’s Belgian population for over a century. A bastion of feather bowling in the United States and a speakeasy during the prohibition, Cadieux Cafe is still pumping out mussels, fries with mayo, European beers, and live music until 2am most nights. If that’s not appealing enough, comedian and actor Keegan-Michael Key, of “Key & Peele,” counts it as one of his favorite spots in the city.
TAKOI – 2520 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
One of Detroit’s trendiest new restaurants, the Thai-influenced Corktown spot “began as a food truck in 2014, evolved into an Ann Arbor pop-up, and landed as a proper restaurant at 2520 Michigan Ave in Detroit in March of 2016. After being open for 11 months, garnering a handful of awards – including a James Beard ‘Best New Restaurant of 2017’ nomination – and having a slew of fun, KATOI was brought back down to Earth when it was subjected to arson in February of 2017. The day after the fire, the rebuild began and we opened as TAKOI exactly six months later in August of 2017.”
Honorable mention: For a more authentic take on Thai cuisine, you can’t go wrong with Go Sy Thai in Midtown.
Antojitos El Catracho – 4627 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
Pastelitos, fried plantains, sopas, and horchata are all reasons to visit this Honduran restaurant on Detroit’s southwest side. Check out the absolutely massive menu here.
El Rey de Las Arepas – 7701 McGraw Ave, Detroit, MI 48210
Longtime staples of Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine, arepas have recently taken America by storm, and it’s easy to see why. Corn flour pancakes split open and stuffed with meat and cheese, these “sandwiches” are just one of the mouthwatering menu options at El Rey de Las Arepas.