Since 1972, Redcoat Tavern has prided itself on serving some of Metro Detroit’s best burgers. Sandwiched between 13 Mile and Normandy on the east side of Woodward (with a second, newer location in West Bloomfield), its easy access makes it a top destination for locals looking to curb their cravings.
The first thing you’ll notice is the soldier. Upon entering the establishment, you’ll come face-to-face with a mannequin-esque figure, fully suited in the restaurant’s namesake regalia: musket in hand, powdered wig in full effect. For kids, it may be the first visual representation of the British imperial soldier – the same soldier from whom the United States won their independence.
The space is warm and dimly lit – the way you would expect an old pub to feel. But red leather booth cushions and historical depictions on the wall denote an air of sophistication.
But this is a restaurant, not a museum.
Everyone is here for the same reason. For nearly fifty years, the Redcoat Tavern has churned out hundreds of thousands of artfully-crafted, juicy burgers…if not more. They’re thick – the kind that cook and eat like a steak. If you order yours rare, the seared edges will give way to a beautiful crimson interior. Topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and their special sauce, it’s perfect every time. Looking for a healthier option? You can still get your red meat fix with their slightly up-charged Piedmontese beef patties, made with certified, grass-fed Piedmontese cows. Many patrons actually opt for this leaner, but no less decadent selection simply based on flavor alone.
So, it’s burgers. But not just burgers. The Cubano sandwich is a win every time and the Philadelphia elevates your typical, greasy cheese steak to new heights. The restaurant also features pub classics like the Scotch egg and blackened tenderloin tips and calamari. The onion rings are legendary (and massive), as is the coleslaw, which is cut fine and served sweet and creamy.
Don’t sleep on the soup. The French Onion — served with a heaping portion of melted cheese on top – is as good as it gets.
But if it’s your first time, go for the chowder. It comes in two varieties: the classic New English — mild, creamy and rich — and a spicier, more adventurous Caribbean seafood chowder. It’s equally creamy — almost bisque-like — but seasoned with a complex assortment of curry and additional heat-bringing elements, it will have you sweating as you sip.
Not hungry? No problem. Plenty of people choose Redcoat as their home-base watering hole, thanks in no small part to the man who has spent decades behind the bar, Brent. Situated squarely between the bar, booze and flatscreen TVs, there’s nobody better to consult on the state of your favorite Detroit team or the contents of your next frosted mug. You won’t find a better Guinness pour outside of Dublin.
There’s a reason Redcoat Tavern has thrived for nearly half a century. Quality outlasts trends. There’s plenty of space for what’s hot right now, but a great burger will never go out of style.