Detroit, Michigan is known for its rich and diverse food culture. From classic American comfort foods to international cuisine, the city has something for everyone. Here are ten foods that Detroit is known for:
1. Coney Dogs
When it comes to iconic foods in Detroit, Michigan, nothing quite beats the classic coney dog. These delicious hot dogs are served with chili, onions, and mustard on a steamed bun, making for the ultimate comfort food. Though the exact origins of the coney dog are debated, it’s clear that this dish has become a beloved staple of the city’s food culture. Whether you’re grabbing one at a local diner or enjoying it at a Tigers game, a coney dog is a must-try for anyone visiting Detroit.
Paczki is a beloved pastry that has become a tradition in Detroit, Michigan. This Polish treat is a round, jelly-filled pastry that is covered in powdered sugar and traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent. Paczki has a rich history in Detroit, where the city’s large Polish population has helped to keep the tradition alive. Many local bakeries make paczki, and during the weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, they can be found all over the city. If you’re looking for a sweet and delicious taste of Detroit’s culinary traditions, be sure to try a paczki.
3. Detroit-Style Pizza
Detroit-style pizza is a unique and delicious take on the classic Italian dish that has become synonymous with the Motor City. This thick, square pizza has a crispy crust and toppings that go all the way to the edges, making it a popular choice among pizza lovers. Originally created at Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit in the 1940s, Detroit-style pizza has since become a beloved dish that can be found at pizzerias throughout the city. With its thick crust, rich sauce, and delicious toppings, Detroit-style pizza is a must-try for anyone visiting Detroit.
4. Vernors Ginger Ale
Vernors Ginger Ale is a beloved soft drink that was invented in Detroit, Michigan in 1866. Known for its strong ginger flavor and smooth carbonation, Vernors has become a staple of Detroit’s culinary scene. Originally marketed as a health tonic, Vernors quickly became a popular drink across Michigan and the Midwest. Many Detroiters have fond memories of sipping Vernors on hot summer days or using it to soothe an upset stomach. Today, Vernors is still widely available in Detroit and is often paired with classic Detroit foods like coney dogs and Detroit-style pizza. For a true taste of Detroit, be sure to grab a cold Vernors on your next visit to the Motor City.
5. Sanders Bumpy Cake
Sanders Bumpy Cake is a unique and delicious dessert that has been a Detroit tradition for over a century. This layered chocolate cake is made with rich, moist cake layers and a distinctive “bumpy” texture created by the signature buttercream frosting. The cake is then covered in a layer of rich chocolate ganache, making for a truly indulgent dessert. Originally created by Fred Sanders in 1902, Sanders Bumpy Cake quickly became a beloved Detroit treat, and the Sanders candy company still makes the cake today. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just indulging in a sweet treat, Sanders Bumpy Cake is a must-try for anyone visiting Detroit.
6. Polish Sausage
Polish sausage is a popular food in Detroit, Michigan, thanks to the city’s large Polish population. Made with pork and a blend of spices, including garlic, marjoram, and black pepper, Polish sausage is often served grilled or pan-fried and is a staple of many local Polish-American restaurants. In Detroit, Polish sausage is often paired with sauerkraut and mustard and is commonly served on a bun. With its delicious combination of savory spices and hearty meat, Polish sausage is a must-try for anyone looking to explore Detroit’s vibrant food scene.
7. Detroit-Style Chili
Detroit-style chili is a unique take on the classic dish that has become a staple of the city’s culinary scene. This hearty chili is made with ground beef, kidney beans, and a blend of spices that includes cinnamon and cocoa powder. The resulting dish is thick and rich, with a slightly sweet and spicy flavor profile. Detroit-style chili is often served on top of a hot dog, creating the famous coney dog that is a beloved Detroit specialty. It can also be enjoyed on its own or over spaghetti, known as “chili mac.” Whether you’re a chili aficionado or just looking to try something new, Detroit-style chili is a delicious and satisfying dish that is a must-try for anyone visiting the Motor City.
8. Faygo Soda
Faygo soda is a beloved soft drink that was first created in Detroit, Michigan in 1907. This iconic soda is known for its wide range of flavors, including classic favorites like root beer and cream soda, as well as unique flavors like cotton candy and red pop. Faygo has become an integral part of Detroit’s cultural identity, with many locals having fond memories of drinking the soda on hot summer days or at backyard barbecues. The soda is still made in Detroit today and is widely available throughout the city. For a refreshing and flavorful taste of Detroit, be sure to grab a cold Faygo soda on your next visit to the Motor City.
9. Almond Boneless Chicken
Almond boneless chicken is a unique dish that has become a staple of Chinese-American cuisine in Detroit, Michigan. This dish typically consists of tender chicken that is coated in a seasoned batter, pan-fried, and topped with a rich, nutty sauce made with almonds. The dish is often served with a side of fried rice or vegetables and has become a popular menu item at many Chinese-American restaurants throughout Detroit. With its crispy texture and delicious flavor profile, almond boneless chicken is a must-try for anyone looking to explore Detroit’s diverse culinary scene.
10. Detroit-Style Barbecue
Detroit-style barbecue is a unique take on classic barbecue that has become a popular cuisine in Detroit, Michigan. This style of barbecue is characterized by its sweet and tangy sauce, which is often made with a blend of mustard, vinegar, and honey. Meats, such as ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, are typically slow-cooked to perfection and then coated in the flavorful sauce. Detroit-style barbecue also often incorporates local ingredients, such as Vernors ginger ale or Faygo soda, into the sauce for a truly unique flavor profile. This delicious and distinct style of barbecue is a must-try for anyone visiting Detroit and looking to experience the city’s vibrant culinary scene.