Detroit’s dining scene, much like the city itself, is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. The food-obsessed from the suburbs and beyond are returning to the long-beleaguered downtown areas, with a new-found curiosity for exotic cuisines, flavors and ideas. Innovative pop-ups, homegrown distilleries, urban farms and a growing number of celebrity chefs (Michael Symon, Wolfgang Puck and soon, Roy Choi) have all helped to land the city at No. 3 on our ranking.

What to know

While New Yorkers or Angelenos might roll their eyes at the phrase “pop-up,” here it’s an incubator for some of the hottest chef talent. Revolver, a perma pop-up space of sorts in the Hamtramck neighborhood, is a training ground, having hosted chefs like Kate Williams and Andy Hollyday who use the space to test new menus. One of Detroit’s most famous pop-ups, Guns and Butter, plans on opening a permanent location in the future, bringing high-end, forward-thinking cuisine to Detroit. Motor City Wine, a newish wine bar located in Corktown has also been hosting pop-ups featuring some of the most innovative talent in town.

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