Nourish Your Soul with Soul Food In the D
By: Karen Talaski
March 29, 2019
Detroit soul food is deeply embedded in the city’s food culture, which features masterful chefs, award-winning restaurants and a depth of knowledge and support. Best of all, there are soul food restaurants with a variety of styles, offering creativity in the preparation and serving so every dining event is exciting.
One expert on Detroit’s food scene is Devita Davison, Executive Director of FoodLab Detroit, a community of food entrepreneurs committed to good food as well as a food culture based on equality and sustainability in the city.
Davison, her team and her board are committed to finding, growing and lifting up great places to eat in Detroit. Here are some of her recommendations for great soul food restaurants – some are brand new, some are long timers. Some are traditional and others are known for innovation. One thing is for sure: They’re all delicious.
This full-service restaurant is a family-owned eatery with a focus on comfort food. They follow traditional recipes perfect for everything from family reunions to birthdays to corporate events.
Vegetarians and vegans finally got to get their soul food cravings fulfilled when Detroit Vegan Soul opened. They have a creative twist on soul food with menu items such as BBQ Tofu, “Catfish” tofu and more prepared with organize and sustainable ingredients.
This family-owned business calls itself a soulful bakery café featuring soup, sandwiches and, of course, sweet potato pies. It also has everything else sweet potato you could think of: cookies, muffins, cobbler, cake, cornbread and even ice cream.
You know you’re going to get an amazing soul food meal when you read Vicki’s manta: “Where the Sauce is Boss and the Meat is a Real Treat!” This small storefront restaurant offers a St. Louis-style of homemade barbecue sauce and some of the finest soul food around, served with love by Fairfield and Vivian Butler.
This hidden gem is beloved among those who are looking for contemporary northern soul food, great drinks and a Detroit style like no other. If you are looking for a fine-dining experience with innovative soul flavors, then this is an ideal spot to try the menu featuring Southern fried catfish, shrimp and grits, mac n’ cheese, collard greens and more.
Yes, Baker’s is known as the world’s oldest jazz club. Yes, it has an incredible interior with a bar shaped like a never-ending keyboard. But what people come back for time and again is its food. The menu features everything from fried pork chops to liver and gizzards to catfish. Add some potato salad to the side along with peach cobbler for dessert and you’ll understand why Baker’s is legendary in Detroit and beyond.
The lines might be long when you arrive, but it is worth the wait. The restaurant is named after a term of endearment for a cousin – pronounce it like “cuz-oh” and you’ll fit right in. This celebration of food, family and friends has a full menu of waffles, chicken of every kind and more. Try the Big Pappa, which is a 10-ounce T-bone steak, two eggs, waffle and homestyle potatoes.