Along with the boom of the auto industry in the late 1800s and 1900s, European immigrants flocked to Detroit to find work and start a new life in America. The result? An area rich in culture and brimming with classic Eastern and Western European cuisine.
Next time you're craving an authentic European dish, don’t fly across the pond. Simply take a drive to the Motor City for some of the best in America.
Discover Detroit’s roots at the Eastern Market
The sprawling six-block stretch of the Eastern Market has been feeding Detroit since 1891 and the area still buzzes and hums with activity. It’s the place to go for hard-to-find ethnic ingredients and the best way to get a crash course in European cuisine. Almost every vendor hands out free samples to taste their wares, but if you’re still hungry, there are plenty of restaurants to check out.
Experience the Old Country at The Rhapsody
About 20 minutes outside downtown Detroit, Southgate’s The Hungarian Rhapsody, or simply “The Rhapsody” to locals — offers the best Hungarian food in town. Brimming with butter and homemade dumplings, these meals are made with love, just like in the Old Country. For the full deal, order the Hungarian Combination Plate with a breaded pork chop, chicken paprikas, stuffed cabbage, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.
Learn Polish at Polonia
In an area known for its Polish food, it's almost a sin not to head over to Hamtramck and visit Polonia. One bite of the homemade sausage, melt in your mouth periogis, and tangy pickle soup and you’ll be an instant convert. As if that wasn’t enough, festive Polish decor sets the mood with a menu that offers a Polish dictionary on the front page.
Have a little party at Pegasus Tavernas
Greek dining is an experience, and the Pegasus Taverna has perfected it. Head downtown to Greektown for a meal in the original restaurant, and be sure to order the saganaki, the beloved flaming cheese appetizer. Servers and guests will gleefully shout, “Opa!” welcoming you into their big, fat, Greek family for the night
Travel back in time at Moro’s Dining
Only 10 minutes from Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport, this Allen Park haven is the perfect excuse for a long layover. Moro’s Dining is a blast from the past complete with servers in full formal wear, salads tossed right in front of you, and mouthwatering Italian comfort food that could make any Michigan winter bearable. For a dinner and a show all in one, opt for one of the restaurant’s signature flaming desserts like the Macedonian.
Take it easy at the Cadieux Cafe
In search of great food, cold beer and entertainment? A favorite of Anthony Bourdain, the Belgian Cadieux Cafe regularly hosts live performances from some of Detroit’s best jazz players, a great way to kick back with a coldie and plate of pickled herring, in style. They are also the home of the Cadieux Bicycle Club, one of Detroit’s premier cycling groups.