Cozy Up: Best Comfort Foods During Colder Months

By: Carolyn Hall | December 21, 2023
bowl of chili from deadwood bar & grill with crackers on the side

Photo courtesy of Jacob Hawkins Photography

As the chill sets in, there’s nothing quite like the warmth and solace offered by winter comfort foods. These hearty, soul-satisfying dishes are more than just meals; they’re a culinary hug that get us through the cold winter months. These dishes offer a tapestry of rich flavors and hearty textures, each bite offering a delicious sense of well-being. Let’s dive into some of the comforting favorites perfect for this season…


1999 Coolidge Highway, Berkley

If you’re looking for a vibrant spot that feels like home, Republica is the place to be. Owner and general manager Alexis Drakopoulos tells us, “Republica is a family-owned, Berkley fixture since 2013. A few years back, my mom and partner, Georgiann Omand decided to make gold old-fashioned meatloaf and mashed potatoes to serve as a special. We sold out quickly and have since offered ‘Ma’s Meatloaf’ during the winter months, generally between October and April. One of our most frequently asked questions is, ‘Is the meatloaf back on the menu yet?’ Our customers rave about this American staple giving it cult favorite status.” Ma’s Meatloaf is only one of the comforting menu items at Republica. For other cozy options, look into the Hoppy Joe, a house-made beer braised sloppy joe with fried onion on a brioche bun, or the toasted cheese and soup for a delicious tomato fennel soup with a grilled cheese with bacon and dijonnaise on sourdough bread. 

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ma's meatloaf from republica's seasonal menu - winter comfort food
Photo courtesy of Republica


15 East Kirby Street, Detroit

Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails offers filling and delicious meals in a welcoming dining space that will become a favorite of yours if it hasn’t already. “Chartreuse is a casual New American restaurant that serves locally sourced high-quality ingredients in a bright, vibrant environment with warm hospitality,” shares co-owner Sandy Levine. As the dishes are made with ingredients and produce from local farmers, the menu changes slightly depending on deliveries, so check out the carryout menu for the day’s current offerings. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll be happy with your selections.

chicken and biscuit over gravy with greens from Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
Photo courtesy of Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails


27302 Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak

O.W.L. features a Mexican-American-inspired menu right in Royal Oak. Some of the standout dishes O.W.L. prepares include chicken fried chicken, torta ahogada, and double-layer nachos. The chicken fried chicken and gravy is made with Yukon fried potatoes, topped with cilantro, cotija cheese, 2 pieces of fried chicken, and poblano cheese gravy, and served with two eggs your way and Texas toast. The torta ahogada is a sourdough baguette filled with pulled chicken and refried beans, and smothered in spicy salsa and covered in pickled onions. As for the double-layer nachos, you’ll get fresh corn chips topped with cabbage, pice de gallo, onion, cilantro, radish, jalapeno, and cotija cheese. It comes with a large side of chorizo chili and poblano cheese sauce, but you can also add pulled chicken, jackfruit, guac, and more for an additional charge. 


18730 Northville Road, Northville

Deadwood Bar & Grill is a rustic retreat located in Northville, Michigan. Our mountain-inspired decor paired with hearty, adventurous cuisine makes us the perfect place for a cozy night out! Be sure to order a plate of our signature warm, gooey, homemade chocolate chip cookies for an extra sweet end to your evening,” shares Deanna Backos. For a comforting winter meal, start with the baked French onion soup or creek fries, with cheese, bacon, tomatoes, scallions, and ranch dressing, and then consider the cowboy mac and cheese with pulled pork and candied bacon, or the shepherd’s pie. 

jerk chicken pasta comfort food from Deadwood Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Jacob Hawkins Photography


20050 Livernois, Detroit

This moody and soulful spot offers elevated plated with a seasonal and eclectic menu. Petty Cash gives off a subtly upscale yet welcome vibe with bites that won’t disappoint. When dining for dinner, consider options like seafood risotto, crab cake, short rib mac and cheese, or sticky wings with a Thai glaze. If you’d rather visit for brunch, check out the crab Benedict, shrimp and grits, fried chicken platter, or the brisket brunch burger. 


22335 Harper Avenue, St. Clair Shores

Gilbert’s Lodge offers hearty comfort dishes in a relaxed environment, making you feel right at home. The menu here really has something for everyone, with small bites, burgers, pizza, sautés, and more. Start with an appetizer like the Saganaki pizza, pulled pork sliders, or hot pepper cheese balls. The pizza here is delicious, with build-your-own options available amongst fan favorites like Gilbert’s supreme or barbecue chicken. As far as the ‘Lumberjack Sandwiches’ go, check out the smoked turkey and artichoke pretzel or the rustic Reuben. The main entrees are also excellent and hearty selections, like the Red Hunter’s stew, fisherman’s salmon, wild mushroom chicken, or barbecue back ribs.