Metro Detroit Fusion Restaurants Offer Global Flavor

By: Aaron B. Cohen | May 7, 2021

Caprese from Assaggi in Ferndale. Photo courtesy of Assaggi.

While fusion restaurant often implies multiethnic Asian cuisine, the literal definition casts a much broader stroke. Asian fusion restaurants do make up a large portion of Metro Detroit’s scene, but so do a plethora of unique dining establishments that combine various regions of influence to create their own specialty menu. Here are a few of the best fusion restaurants in Metro Detroit.

El Barzón

Located on a non-descript corner in Southwest Detroit, El Barzón serves traditional Mexican fare alongside exceptional Italian delicacies. The menu is huge and sprawling with authentic preparations of classic dishes and new takes on fresh ingredients. All of the pasta is made in-house and the portions are hefty. If you can’t choose between chiles rellenos or spaghetti, why not split them both?

O.W.L.

This Woodward Avenue countertop has quickly become a staple in Royal Oak. Open 24 hours, O.W.L. combines Mexican street food with standard American diner fare. It feels effortless – chorizo breakfast sandwiches, cilantro potatoes, habanero bacon. There’s no need to go over-the-top when these simple ingredient combinations pack such a punch. For breakfast, try the chilaquiles. For lunch, get the torta ahogada.

Assaggi Bistro

In the heart of downtown Ferndale, Assaggi Bistro combines Mediterranean, French and Cali-inspired influences. The result is a menu that boasts homemade gnocchi alongside hummus and tabouli. With twenty years under its belt, Assaggi has mastered the art of consistency in a trendy scene prone to rapid turnover. With summer on the horizon, be sure to check out their gorgeous back patio so you can enjoy sensational food in an equally special atmosphere.

Takoi

Takoi keeps making our lists. And with good reason. The Corktown hub is at the epicenter of Detroit’s raging restaurant scene. The food brings forth a variety of Asian flavors, calling especially on the intense heat of red chili. The space is neon-lit and conducive to a great night out with a dancefloor that, during normal times, keeps patrons at the restaurant long after the eating has finished. There may be a wait to be seated – fear not. Two James just across the street offers some of Detroit’s best cocktails to hold you over until your name is called.

PAO

Located in the former Michigan Oriental Theater, PAO combines tradition and modernity with a carefully curated menu of pan-Asian cuisine. The physical space is inspiring and indicative of the creativity occurring inside the kitchen. For the adventurous eater, order the “I Don’t Give A,” offering the chef free reign over your entire dining experience.