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Here are the Detroit Free Press’ Best Restaurants of 2019

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Image credit: Mark Kurlyandchik/Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press Editor Mark Kurlyandchik reveals to WDET’s Ann Delisi which restaurants topped his list in 2019 โ€” and why.

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Courtesy of Detroit Free Press
Courtesy of Detroit Free Press

This week, the Detroit Free Press will be revealing their top restaurants of 2019

WDET’s Ann Delisi talked with Detroit Free Press restaurant critic, Mark Kurlyandchik about how the Detroit restaurant landscape has changed during the past year, the challenges facing Detroit restauranteurs and that why we are starting to see more restaurants closing. 

It felt like this transitional year, there’s more openings but you’re starting to see closings go along with that,” says Kurlyandchik.

That’s what makes America the best country to eat in, and Detroit in particular, because it’s had these waves of immigration in its history that kind of defined our area and our dining scene.”

Kurlyandchik says the theme that emerged when he was compiling the list is as a celebration of immigrant food and immigrant culture in Metro Detroit. 

That’s what makes America the best country to eat in, and Detroit in particular, because it’s had these waves of immigration in its history that kind of defined our area and our dining scene.”

Click on the player above to hear the Detroit Free Press Mark Kurlyandchik on 2019 top restaurants, and check back here daily for the honorees.


Best Restaurant of the Year, Classic

Cloverleaf Restaurant & Bar

The inventor of Detroit-style pizza, Gus Guerra, has been making pizza at the Cloverleaf Restaurant & Bar for over 50 years. Guerra, started making Detroit-style pizza at Buddy’s pizza in 1946 with the help of his mother-in-law. Seven years later, he moved to the east side of Detroit and bought the Cloverleaf and has been making pizza there ever since.

Past recipients: Phoenecia (2018), Bert’s Marketplace (2019).


Best Chef of the Year

Chef Warda Bouguettaya

Algerian-born and French-trained pastry chef, Warda Bouguettaya, brings her world travels and baking experience to Warda’s Patisserie in Eastern Market.


Mink, Pernoi, Balkan House, Karl’s and Lao Pot

Kurlyandchik describes 5 of the 10 Best Restaurants that opened in 2019.

10. Lao Pot, Madison Heights

9. Karl’s Coffee Shop, Detroit (Downtown)

8. Balkan House, Hamtramck

7. Pernoi, Birmingham

6. Mink, Detroit (Corktown)

2019 Restaurant of the Year

Kurlyandchik, describes the top 5 restaurants that opened in 2019.

5. Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado, Detroit

4. Magnet, Detroit (Core City)

3. Saffron De Twah, Detroit

2. YumVillage, Detroit (New Center)

1. Leila, Detroit (Capitol Park)

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Ann Delisi, Host, Ann Delisi Essential Music

Ann Delisi will guide you through the “essential music,” both new and familiar, that’s shaping our culture and feature music made in Detroit every hour.

anndelisi@wdet.org Follow @anndelisimusic

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