Best restaurants in Detroit, bars near Aretha Franklin Amphitheater and RiverWalk


The summer season is drawing to a close, but there is still time to attend a late summer concert at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater. Detroiters get their shots and restaurants, and cafes and dessert houses are full of selections to get to know that special someone over dinner or over a drink.

Here are some places to eat and drink near the old Chene Park in downtown Detroit.

Before the show

If the urge to mingle starts before the concert, go to a bar to get to know each other over libations.

  • Ivy Cuisine & Cocktails. While the Ivy has a full dinner menu, it opens at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, making it the perfect place to unwind after work. The cocktail menu isn’t as comprehensive as the dinner and brunch menus with just four drinks, but after ordering the Detroit Ole Fashion or the Hennessy Jalapina, you can see why: pure perfection, warmed and sweet.

  • They say restaurant. This must-see in the neighborhood with red awnings gives the impression of being home away from home. Its warm and welcoming atmosphere can be hard to leave. Be sure to order the rum and coke to accompany the barbecue burgers that leave an aroma in the air.

  • The block. Happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. is back on Wednesdays, full of margaritas and good conversation. This bustling, casual black-owned restaurant owned by Stephanie Bryd and her family, who also own the Flood’s Bar & Grille and the Garden Theater, has bounced back with a vengeance.

Gerard + Belevender

Dinner after the show

  • Hearth 71 is ranked as the tallest restaurant in town, inside the GM Renaissance Center overlooking the water from the 71st floor. Try the scallops with Brussels sprouts and bacon and get stuffed with warm bread and butter that is constantly being replenished.

  • Bucharest Grill is a family-run Mediterranean cafe located right in the middle of an East Jefferson promenade in upscale Rivertown. Appetizing chicken and lamb shawarmas fit in the palm of one hand on the go.

  • Detroit’s Finest III Coney Island. Dating nights in Detroit can often end on a Cone Island for a number of reasons, but this family-friendly Cone Island actually has some really good Coneys. What makes a coney good? Customer service at 3 a.m., served with a smile.
  • Sloppy crab hosted a few events during a smooth opening last week and are accepting reservations. Billed as a “fine seafood establishment,” the convenient location across from the GM building is a welcome addition to the downtown area.

Dessert after dinner

A staircase, placed near the door, leads to Coffee Down Under

Coffee Down Under stays open until midnight on Wednesdays
Gerard + Belevender

  • Astoria Pastry Shop has been a staple in the Greektown community serving European desserts since 1971. It still offers the widest selection of colorful and sparkling pastries. Don’t spend hours trying to decide what to order – get the homemade custard rolls and honey curls. These are the house specialties.

  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory inside the Greektown Casino you’ll find the best of both worlds with a chocolate factory and ice cream shop just yards from each other. Fancy some chocolates? Order a matching box of caramel chocolate to treat yourself the next day.
  • Coffee Down Under, an Australian-style cafe, stays open until midnight on Wednesdays and has the best Chai tea to slip into Woodward Downhill on the way back.

400 Renaissance Center 71st Floor, Detroit, MI 48243

267 Jos Campau, MI 48207
(313) 446-4682

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